How We Got Robbed in Rio 20 Hours Ago


So. The inevitable happened. We got robbed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 20 hrs ago, Brazil time. At gun point. It was way too early when we visited the Escadaria Salaron in Lapa. We were told to go there at 10am but we didn’t listen.

I only brought my SSS ID and Samsung S7 with me. Marx was supposed to bring only an eco bag which contains his DSLR, phone and SJCAM but I told him to use his backpack. I forgot to mention though to leave his wallet and passport.

While taking photos of Marx carrying his backpack, Marx noticed a taxi passed by where 3 passengers kept looking at us. Then while I was taking photos of him, I noticed someone tapped my shoulder and took the backpack on my back. Right there and then, I knew what was happening. I didn’t resist anymore and allowed them to take our stuff, including my money sling pouch that contained my phone. The guy who took it must not have been satisfied that I only had little stuff with me so he started frisking my body. Groped my breasts to make sure I didn’t place anything in there. Half raised my shirt to probably see I wasn’t hiding a money bag. Peeped in my shorts too. Maybe he thinks I tucked money in my undies? Then left. Then another guy checked on me to see that I no longer have anything. He again groped my breasts. Frisked my entire body and took a peek inside my shorts. This guy was holding a silver gun. Marx thinks it looked fake but I know better. After seeing that I have nothing left in my possession, he started doing the same to Marx.

Then I suddenly feared for Marx’ life when Marx did the unthinkable. He tried to go after his passport. He was begging “My passport, please, my passport.” All of this was happening while he was trying to get past the guy with the gun. Then the guy pointed the gun at him. I really thought the guy will pull his trigger. He must have thought of the word police instead of please when Marx kept begging. I had to step in and tell Marx to forget about it and signalled him to turn around and do the ‘surrender’ pose. I was relieved to see he still had the sense to follow my lead. Then the robbers fled with a yellow taxi. I think it was an old Vios or something where the trunk pops out of the car’s body.

It happened too fast. Marx was still wailing about his passport. He was at his wits end and was about to breakdown on the streets. There were two street sweepers present. They just witnessed everything and had pitiful eyes when they looked at us after everything happened. We hurriedly ran back to our hotel, which was just a 10-minute walk from the area.

We then learned from Guilherme, our hotel staff who has been super helpful in extending us aid in this whole ordeal, that it was a good thing that the robbers fled with stuff in their hands. Why? Because the worst thing that could have happened was us getting beaten if they didn’t find anything worthy to rob from us.

With Marx’ passport gone, we are stuck in Brazil for the next 3 weeks. As much as we wanted to escape Brazil and move on to our next country to forget about this traumatic incident, we can’t. The Philippine Consulate Marx has spoken with says he can only be given a travel document to go back home in our country. All our travel plans will be altered unless for some miraculous reason, a John Marx Velasco Philippine passport shows up in our hotel doors before 6 am later (April 16, 2016), Brazilian time. Or the Philippine Embassy here in Brazil grants Marx an emergency passport so that we can continue with our planned itinerary to visit Peru and Bolivia too.

P.S. We’d like to extend our huge thanks to those who sent us messages and extended their help. You guys are amazing and we really appreciate it.


  1. Glad both of you are now okay, maoy mas importante. May the rest of your stay diha doy be only positive and wonderful experiences from henceforth. Amping!

  2. Sorry to hear about this, Doi. Didn’t know you were groped in the process too. I wish you two safety and all the help and support you will need for the remainder of your trip.

  3. So sorry this happened, Doi. I could imagine how traumatic this was. Nakakagalit sila! Magnanakaw na bastos pa. But Im relieved to know you and Marx are safe.

  4. Hoping that the thieves would have the decency to give back or leave the passport in the embassy. Things happen for a reason. Perhaps, a surprise awaits for you and Marx in Brazil.

  5. Well as they say learn from your mistake But for me “Learn from other’s Mistake”

    Brazil is a cess Pool, if you dont die you get robbed or worse Raped and robbed then killed.

  6. Sorry to hear about ur sad experience. Hope all will be positive news from here on. If there’s anything else I can do to help, plz let me know. Be safe in ur travels and take care always.


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