Saturday 15 June 2024 11:43:17 PHT

Boholano returns US$17k to unknown owner

Tagbilaran City, Friday, 6 July 2007

No shortage of honest men

Honesty begot honesty--and more blessings keeps on pouring for Iluminado "Nong Lumi" when he decided to return a cool $17,000 (The money's peso equivalent is P800,000) which was placed in an envelop and left in his tricycle by an unsuspecting passenger.

Nong Lumi and his wife Laureana standing in front of his tricycle.
Nong Lumi and his wife Laureana.

Nong Lumi, 45, resident of Habitat Village in Bool District, Tgabilaran City is married to Laureana with two children, Mirasol and DonDon.

He was struggling financially because his wife was taken to a hospital the same day he found the money, and they had unpaid rent at Habitat village is 3-month overdue. The money might be a win-win solution. More, he could buy other things for his family. But for the tricycle driver who earns P300 a day and still paying for the renting of the tricycle, it was not as easy as that.

"Dapat akong iuli kay dili man to akoa... naa man toy tag-iya nga ilang ibalay," Bok said. (The money is not mine, there is a rightful owner who will build a house)

Instead of keeping the money to himself, he lost no time in tracking down the owner and returned it pronto!

The money was left in his tricycle while a passenger boarded it from the city airport. He then dropped at the BQ Mall.

Two hours after he left the passenger at BQ, the honest driver noticed the envelope. He inspected what was inside it and saw a number of US dollar bills.

When he found out its worth, he headed for the Tagbilaran Police Station and turned it over to the policeman on duty.

At the police station, there was a woman who was able to identify its owner to be a seaman.

The police personnel asked Bok to stay, since they have already contacted the owner of the envelope who promised to give an incentive. The owner rewarded him with $32 - about seven times what a motorcycle taxi driver makes a day.

Being in dire need of money to pay the hospital bills, Bok received it without any hesitation.

Bok had been driving a tricycle since 1979 and it was not the first time a passenger left a valuable item which he always found ways to return them to their owner.

Tagbilaran City Mayor Dan Neri Lim lauded Bok's heroic deeds. The Mayor, as an act of gratitude has paid for the house rent. He will give one unit of tricycle to Bok. Moreover, Bok can avail the city's blue card program for health care benefits.

Other private citizens also gave cash incentives acknowledging Bok's honesty.

Nong Lumi as he appeared on television.
Nong Lumi on GMA 7's 24 Oras.

"When I learned about his heroic deeds, I know there is still hope for us. There are still honest people," Mayor Lim said.

The Brother of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP) in Bohol gave Bok an award acknowledging his honesty. He is a good example especially that the BCBP has an "Honesty is the Best Policy" campaign around Bohol.

Bok was featured on GMA 7's toprating news program 24 Oras. See:

Arlene Pesquira

What readers think...

Pastor Lily in Dubai wrote:
Tuesday, 21 June 2011 02:22:39 PHT
I praise God that someone as rare as Bok is still there, honestly driving his tricyle and showing honesty to God and to men. God bless you brother and may others follow your noble example. I came home last month and few days after arriving in Manila, someone snatched my gold neclace from my back as the jeepney stopped. But, this tricyle driver, even when the opportunity to have something to pay for his wife's hospital bills, was never tempted to keep the money he direly needed. "May the Lord your God increase you a thousand times and bless you as He has promised." - Deuteronomy 1:11. I will always pray for you and your family. God bless you.
John & Alerlin Simpson wrote:
Saturday, 20 October 2007 12:04:12 PHT
Nong, thanks for restoring our faith, weve had so many bad experiences in the Philippines your story is breath of fresh air. My wifes' brother lives there in Bohol, we will be there next year (puhon) but I reckon you will be too busy with your fleet of taxis by then. Maayong swerte. John & Alerlin Perth Western Australia PS. The reward you recieved from the owner does not deserve comment at all. it should have been $1000 AT LEAST
Gwargz wrote:
Wednesday, 17 October 2007 08:24:33 PHT
1. American has a point: Judging must be done upon seeing the two sides of the coin. Instant judgment through reactive thinking is very fatal. Proactive thinking is always the best. 2. Christians are taught TO GIVE and must not expect TO RECEIVE in return. Returning the $17,000 was the best christian thing Bok did. After returning the money, it is now God who takes charge of BOK. So, what GOD did? BOK receives a lot of blessings: A new tricycle from Dan Lim! A Lifetime Health Certificate for his wife still from Dan Lim! Cash rewards from BCBP! and more Foreigners are looking for BOK now! They want him to be their Tour Guide or Personal Driver! Woooow! More blessings are pouring in. Ganyan po mag-bless si Lord. 3. Now the owner of the $17k. If he is poor and he got that money once in a lifetime and needs it badly for a house or whatever, he is vindicated for giving only $32. BUT IF HE IS RICH AND CAN HAVE ANOTHER $17,000 anytime in a year, THEN HE IS LIKE A PHARISEE WHO OFFERS CASH TO THE LORD BUT SEE TO IT THAT EVERYONE IS SEEING HIM. Lastly, if that person is rich, bisag daghan pa siyag kwarta, his life will not be blessed with happiness, joy, peace and other non-cash blessings from the Lord. Dato apan walay kalipay iyang kinabuhi tungod kay sarado ang kasingkasing alang sa mga pobre sama ni BOK. Congrats BOK.
Glen Gilbow wrote:
Saturday, 6 October 2007 09:05:35 PHT
I am an American and appreciate what the other American wrote, most of it that is. It is true that for most Americans money doesn't just fall from the sky. Most of us work very hard for it. That is what I agree with. The part I don't agree with is how much was rewarded to the person returning it. If the person returning it did not return it, the person that lost it would have nothing. And yet the reward is $32.00 dollars! What an insult! If you can't pull a $100.00 dollar bill at least out of that huge stack of money you deserve to lose it forever! Talk about cheap! If it was my lost money I would talk to the driver and ask him what was going on his life and then act accordingly. Thank God for people like this driver. For the person who lost the money; count your blessings because this will probably never, ever happen to you again. I hope you will print this and I hope this wasn't really an American because most of us aren't so cheap.
Hans wrote:
Tuesday, 11 September 2007 21:20:11 PHT
I'll ask the mayors office where 2 locate such a man...the'll know... ps try there bob....

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