Aldrin Sandoval Bagos (inset, top left) immediately contacted Kevinson Pineza De Ocampo (inset, bottom right) to return the wallet.


Filipino who found wallet hailed an ‘unsung hero’

An honest Filipino in Abu Dhabi has been hailed an “unsung hero” for returning a wallet that a fellow Filipino left behind in a taxi.

Aldrin Sandoval Bagos said he felt it was his moral obligation to return the wallet as soon as he found it when he got in the taxi on his way home from work at around 9:30pm on Saturday (January 20).

“Upon opening the wallet, I saw the Emirates ID of the owner and noted a bank card and cash in it. Without second thoughts, I decided to take the wallet with me to find the owner,” Bagos told Expat Media.

The Filipino expat said he immediately tried to find the owner as soon as he arrived home. He lives in the UAE with his family.

“Luckily, I was able to find him on Facebook and messaged him straightaway so he can get it back. I assured him it is with safe hands,” Bagos said. In less than an hour, the owner was reunited with his wallet.

Bagos said it was important for him to return the wallet and its contents to its owner, “regardless of the amount”. “I feel it is a moral obligation of anyone to return a found wallet as it is a valuable possession. I have been working in Abu Dhabi for the past 7 years and have experienced all the ups and downs. I know how important the Emirates ID, bank card and cash are for the person,” he said.

“For some, it would certainly be tempting to keep money that does not belong to them, but doing so is dishonest. I was determined to find the rightful owner of the wallet as I know how important it is for him. I immediately thought ‘What if it is the last money he has to survive the remaining days until his next salary?’ It may sound cliché but honesty is the best policy! I hope that everyone who will be faced with the same situation will do the same thing,” Bagos said.

Meanwhile, Kevinson Pineza De Ocampo, an airline ground crew who owns the wallet, called Bagos a true “unsung hero”.

De Ocampo said he was exhausted after working a 14-hour shift that evening that he didn’t realize that he left his wallet in the taxi. The wallet contained less than Dh1,000 in cash along with his debit cards, IDs and Air Pass card.

He was surprised when Bagos contacted him on Facebook to tell him that he found his wallet in the taxi. “I usually use Apple Pay to pay for things, so I didn’t notice I lost my wallet, and I was so tired from work I wasn’t paying close attention to my things,” he told Expat Media.

“I feel lucky that I didn’t have to panic that I lost my wallet, because before I found out that I lost it, some honest person had already found it and was already trying to return it to me,” he said. “He didn’t even look at how much money I had in the wallet. He just wanted to return the wallet to me,” he added. De Ocampo said it helped that he used his full name in his Facebook account, which made it easier for Bagos to track him.

His realization following the incident? “I realized that overseas Filipino workers are truly unsung heroes as they say and that the UAE really is the safest place because we have Aldrin [Sandoval Bagos] as living proof. It makes me proud as a Filipino,” De Ocampo said. PIA/Expat Media

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