Viral bracelet-selling 'monks' reach La Union

Carmela Jimenez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 27 2016 01:36 AM

Photo courtesy of Mark Anthony Inocencio

LA UNION- Pictures of two men dressed like monks have gone viral after they were first seen roaming around major streets in Baguio City.

Reports said they have been forcibly asking passers-by to pay for the bracelets they offer.

The two men dressed as monks were seen roaming the streets of San Fernando, La Union.

Some vendors in San Fernando City Market recalled the alleged monks' strategy.

"Nando'n akon sa loob, tinawag ako, sinenyasan lang ako kasi di naman siya nakakapagsalita then lumabas ako then after that, kinuha kamay ko. Mayat maya may hinugot na yung mga kasama ko akala nila libre mayat maya naningil na siya naming ng isandaan. May mangkok. May dati na siyang isandaan na pera. Gano'n daw ilagay naming dun sa mangkok niya,” Lorna Hidalgo said.

(I was inside my store when they told me to come out. They put a bracelet on my arm. I thought it was for free, but he pulled out a bowl and asked me to give P100.)

Photo courtesy of San Fernando City PNP

Last Saturday, the monks were spotted at Barangay Tanqui, San Fernando City. They were invited to the police station. The monks were Chinese nationals identified as Shao, Yufa, 48 and Wang Bushi, 54.

"Pinuntahan namin, kinausap namin. Kaya lang hindi po sila marunong magsalita ng English o Tagalog. Naki-coordinate kami sa Baguio kung may complainant against sa dalawang ‘to, so far wala namn silang sinabi sa amin kung may complainant. Dito naman sa stasyon, wala pong complainant against sa dalawa," said Police Superintendent Bryant Demot, San Fernando chief of police.

(We tried to talk to them but they cannot understand English or Tagalog. We coordinated with Baguio PNP if there were complaints against them. We were told there were none. There were also no complaints against them here.)

Photo courtesy of San Fernando City PNP

No one could confirm if the tandem seen in the Central Business District in San Fernando is the same group roaming around Baguio City, or if they really are monks.

Vendors in San Fernando City Market said no one from the two who were invited by the police sold them bracelets.

There were no formal complaints against the monks lodged in either Baguio City or San Fernando Police Station.

Upon inspection, the passports of the Chinese nationals were found to be valid. 

They were accompanied by San Fernando City PNP going to the bus terminal bound for Manila.