I get a call from my friend. Let’s call him Blad. He tells me he can’t remember what happened last night and that he lost his iPhone.
I’m sorry I tell him. “Maybe next time you should wear a lanyard.”
Half an hour later, Blad sends me a Google Maps link to something. He says his phone is still turned on, that he tracked it using the Find My iPhone app, that it’s somewhere in Antipolo and the best part: that I should help him find it before the phone’s battery dies.
I laugh at the ridiculousness of this idea. There is no way in hell we can find that.
Blad is Filipino-American but unfortunately can’t speak a lick of Filipino other than “Nasaan yung CR.” Obviously, I can’t let him try to find it by himself so I decide to help him. I also call another friend, EJ, and ask if he wants to help out. EJ says yes. We all agree to meet up at the McDonald’s in Katipunan.
We head out excited but also feeling like dumbasses. Blad is sure now, thanks to another friend who was in the cab with him, that he left it there. On our way to wherever his iPhone is, I ask them about our plan. Turns out we don’t have any. Maybe we should look for a cab parked there and ask for the driver?
What if it’s a warehouse and it’s a trap and their plan is to kidnap us? Naaah. We have two bowling balls in the trunk which we could use as a projectile. We’re safe.
We finally get to where the iPhone’s location is.
It’s a Saturday morning so no one’s really outside except for someone hanging clothes. We didn’t spot any cabs.
Great. Now what?
EJ comes up with a brilliant idea: let’s knock on all the doors and ask if someone came in at 3AM and found an iPhone!
Sounds time-consuming but we’re already here so sure, let’s do it!
After our 3rd door, we decide that it’s not a brilliant idea after all. Whoever we were asking would just end up asking someone else in the house so this method was too slow.
We go back to the guard house (we entered the subdivision without him noticing us) and ask the guard for help. Maybe he can show us his log book?
He says he will need to call the president of the subdivision association. We tell both of them the story and how the phone is still turned on and that it’s here somewhere.
“Ang galing pala niyan! Hindi talaga pwedeng manakaw!”, exclaims the subdivision president. He then looks at my iPhone (I signed in using Blad’s account so we can track it there) and says “Pwede pa bang i-zoom yan?”
I zoom it in, he looks at it with squinting eyes and says that’s not their subdivision. The dot is in that area behind it.
We see it from where we’re standing and it’s a shantytown.
The subdivision president insists that it’s safe but that we should go in there with a Barangay Tanod just in case. We figured it’d be a waste of time if we back out now so we soldier on.
A guy comes in riding a bike, he’s our guy says the guard. We follow him into the shantytown area as he goes to another Tanod’s house. We tell our story again but this time surrounded by 20 other people, half of which are shirtless men. They pass around my phone, talking amongst themselves how crazy it is that we can track it.
At this point, we were getting slightly scared. What if they start getting mad at us for accusing them? We look at each other thinking we should probably head back.
Then another shirtless man approaches us.
“iPhone daw brad. Ganito oh.”
“Nasa akin yan.”
In my head I’m like WTH just happened. Blad overhears this and asks me, “Did he just say he doesn’t have it?” I give him my straight face and tell him to follow the shirtless guy.
He goes inside his house. And then comes back outside and shows us a phone.
Turns out he did have it!
Apparently, he was the guy that cleaned the taxi cab where Blad’s phone was left. The shirtless man explains that he didn’t touch it, didn’t know what to do with it but that if someone looked for it, he’d return it. We thank him for his honesty.
From this experience, I can tell you that the Find My iPhone feature actually works. So if you have an iPhone, make sure you enable it.
It’s not foolproof though. If someone finds your phone and turns it off, you’re SOL.
How do I know this?
Well after we found Blad’s phone, a couple weeks later…
He loses it again.
This time the person turns the device off. We couldn’t track it.
So no, Blad did not live happily ever after.
He’s stuck with an Android now. Bummer. Should’ve gotten a lanyard. :)