Saturday, March 17, 2007


Have you ever been told that your husband was not with you because he was dating his 21-year old girlfriend?

I have … but it did not cause the furor you would have expected would follow such revelation. Let me backtrack a bit.

Around 10 pm two years ago, a male caller asked for me. After assuring me that he was friend trying to do me a favor, he asked if my husband was home at that time. With my suspicion aroused, I quickly invented a story about my husband Nonoy having a boys’ night out with his friends even as I frantically signaled for the very same husband to come near me and listen in to our conversation.

He identified himself as Mark Villanueva. He sounded hesitant at first, as if wanting me to urge him on. Sensing this, I encouraged him to reveal his purpose (while trying to sound as gullible as possible). He told me a lot of things about us – like my husband’s appearance (Chinese-looking, light-skinned and tall), his profession, and more!

After much beating around the bush, and with voice dripping with sympathy, he mournfully told me that Nonoy was not really with his barkadas at all … he was driving around the boulevard with his girlfriend at that exact moment! (Surely no husband could be that stupid! Unless, of course, he wanted to be found out by his wife!)

He proceeded to tell me that Nonoy met this girlfriend “Karel Lay” in SUMC while my father-in-law was hospitalized there, that she was a nursing student doing her OJT or whatever that is called, around the time they met.

My father-in-law was indeed hospitalized. How did he know about that? I found out that he called our home a day or two before, had a talk with our house helper and was able to wheedle out that information along with all the other family facts that he brandished before me to gain my confidence and assure me that he had inside knowledge on our family.

“Mark Villanueva’s” story might stink to high heavens … any thinking individual would immediately know that … but to any vulnerable wife who does not have much confidence on her husband’s fidelity, that story might just sell.

He was very good with what he did! He sounded young and spoke very good English. And he was very convincing too! He was an expert at coaxing information out by starting a statement then trailing off in the middle, letting you finish it for him, thereby unwittingly giving him usable information against you.

Take this for instance: “Your husband met this girl in the hospital. Wasn't his father hospitalized recently in ..... ?” Any anxious wife whose world has suddenly turned upside down will not think twice at naming the right hospital. But I did … I was dead calm and I deliberately named the wrong one … “SUMC” (my father-in-law was in fact admitted at Holy Child Hospital). I got him right inside my pocket from the very beginning.

We reported this matter to the NBI. Subsequent calls to our line were traced and his residence placed under surveillance. Over the next few days, “Mark Villanueva” and I continued to talk. He offered to help me get proof of my husband’s supposed infidelity by trailing him and videotaping his activities. He asked if I had a video camera. I answered, “Yes, of course!” “The latest?” he asked. “Oh yes!” answered gullible, eager me. I even added, “It’s the small model, digital!” Another outright lie from yours truly.

The next day, he called me with another problem … “We don’t have any transportation … but we can rent from Scuds … can you give us the money for that?”

Finally, we agreed to meet at Hypermart so I could give the money and the video camera to him and his two friends. The NBI agent arranged to be there as well. But that was the last time we spoke. The agent told me that he was spotted while doing surveillance and was probably recognized. I never heard from “Mark Villanueva” again.

Why am I writing about this now? I just want to warn the readers against the Mark Villanuevas in this world. The first line of defense, naturally, is to leave strict instructions to our household helps NEVER ever to give any information about anything to any caller. Period.

Nonoy warned me that “Mark Villanueva” might read this column and might want to get back at us. I told him that I would write this: the NBI knows him and his cohorts. We know him. And we know exactly where he lives. End of the story.


RTS said...

very scarey story.everywhere we turn there are people trying to take advantage.

Dominique said...

Had a good laugh reading the story. Very well told.

But..."spotted while doing surveillance...?" Sounds real fishy to me.

Venus said...

Have you heard the news here in Washington state? There was a "Mark Villanueva" also here although, this person was just posing as "Mark Villanueva" who the cops just found out to be LORELEI JOSEPHINE V. CORPUZ. It's strange that I stumbled on your blog & read the story. "Mark Villanueva" pulled a lot of fraud cases here!