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Journey of my Lost Smartphone

WHO'S THAT GIRL? She went to Cebu Zoo one day and took countless selfies.

I will tell you a story. 

Last December 30, 2014, I lost my Xiaomi Mi3. I have three more things to tell you now: (1) I don't own that smartphone but a company phone from Creative Republiq, (2) I recently found out that there were photos synced to my Google Photos, and (3) I posted some of the photos on my Facebook account and now my story is featured in

Please allow me to post all the photos raw. I still don't know their identities yet but I hope that one day I will be meeting them so that I can ask them a few questions. I have no intention of getting back the phone but I would like to know how they got the phone.

Yes, it still uncertain how I lost my Xiaomi Mi3. 

I will just tell you how I got the phone.

After taking a job as a Social Media Manager in Creative Republiq, I was given a company phone to be able to fulfill my tasks online. I got the phone two days before Christmas: December 23, 2014. The phone was with me during the holiday season and I was able to capture moments during the break.

I'm a proud Google advocate. I love being called an Android user. As a Co-Manager of GBG Cebu, I am happy to maximize Google's feature to improve my work and personal lifestyle.

Yes, one way of making my life easy is syncing my files online. All my photos captured through my Xiaomi Mi3 are directly uploaded to my Google Photos.

Fast forward exactly a week after I got my Xiaomi Mi3. On my way back home in Lahug from SM Cebu, I put my phone in my pocket. Upon reaching home, I noticed I lost my phone. I tried calling and calling and calling and calling my phone but it kept on ringing. The entire night. And the day after.

I might have accidentally slipped the phone in the jeep or someone took it without my knowledge and playing dumb that he got my phone.

Did you know that on the entire day of December 24 I was trying to find in every jeep similar to that I rode the night of the incident? I walked from Lahug until Ayala Center Cebu in hopes of finding that jeep. Somehow, I believe I might have slipped the phone. I reached SM Cebu travelling in feet while inhaling every possible dust particle there is and for more than an hour, I was listing all the plate numbers of 04L and there were already people either trying to help me find the phone or competing with me.

Then I lost hope in finding that phone. 

Fast forward to April 20, 2015. It's more than 3 months since that incident. While checking my Gmail, I noticed a new Google Story. I checked the photos and all the photos included on it are alien to me. 

Only then I realized my Xiaomi Mi3 got a new owner. She's an elementary girl who recently graduated from elementary. 

Allow me to tell you her story.

She loves taking pictures. She's a typical girl who lives in an ordinary home with her family. I believe she got the phone as a graduation gift from her parents. 

Wherever she goes, she doesn't hesitate to give her selfie cam a beautiful smile. She has a younger brother, a best friend and both parents supporting her.

She goes to an unknown school. She rides or owns a 17B jeep with plate number GWF 385. 

 She took random photos insider her school. As of yet, it is still unknown. 

 One day she went to Taoist Temple and Cebu Zoo. She also took a photo for her father.

Last March 27, she graduated from elementary. Her graduation was held inside a gymnasium and she was able to took a photo with her bestfriend.

The story ended with a photo of her father. Since then, there are no longer new photos uploaded (yet). She might have discovered how to logout from my Google account.

After I posted some of their photos on my Facebook account, I got a number of feedback from friends. There were suggestions to report it to authorities (NTC and NBI) and it reached to an online media.

At first I wanted to block the Xiaomi Mi3 but that might not be the best option. The device won't be useful anymore. What if they bought that phone from the black market? Sayang ang kwarta nila. 

Right now I just wanted to know their identities.

If you can help me identify these people, I would be happy to meet them and engage in smart conversations rather than just block the phone and make it useless or threatening them to possible police cases. There's always this fear in authorities but this kid has a future and I would love to help her in ways I can do.

Internet can do wonders, right? Please help me complete my story by sharing this story to your friends. You can send me a message if you have more info about them.

Let us not end the story here.

(UPDATE 1: April 21, 2015)

I don't own that smartphone, as noted above. While I might be willing to give it to them, it would be better to get that phone with something in return. I wasn't required by the company to pay for the lost smartphone so it would be best to give it back to them if available.

I have yet to communicate this finding with my boss as this has never been noted in our early conversations way back January 2015.

Here are the available information as of yet:

  1. We need to identify the school of the girl. She might be from Talisay or somewhere South.
  2. Their graduation was last March 27, 2015. It was held in a gymnasium.
  3. She rode a 17B jeep with plate number  GWF 385 which can probably mean two things: (1) she lives in this jeepney route, or (2) her father owns his jeepney. This could mean she lives in Apas, Lahug, or somewhere Colon.
  4. Considering that I lost my smartphone in a 04L jeep, she might be affiliated with the driver of 17B jeep.
  5. She lives with her father, mother and a younger brother.


I have missed one detail while checking the photos: the name of the school on an ID. I will be going to Lahug Elementary School the soonest I can. I want to know if they can identify the pupil on these pictures.

A correspondent from Cebu Daily News approached me earlier and the story is expected to be published tomorrow. At 3pm today, I am scheduled to go to Lahug Elementary School with a blogger friend Eleanor Valeros.

(UPDATE 3: April 22, 2015)

Yesterday I went to Lahug Elementary School and Lahug Barangay Hall. We talked with the Guidance Counsellor of the school and the Barangay Secretary to further investigate the #JourneyofXiaomi.

Before telling you what we discussed with the Guidance Counsellor, a friend told me to name the minor girl in the photo as Kate for easier reference. She's innocent and I would no longer be uploading her new photos or if I do so, I would blur her face. (I'm still thinking about blurring her faces in the previous photos posted as to some might identify her identity which will be helpful in our case).

Well, Kate is indeed one of the 800+ elementary graduates of Lahug Elementary School, Miss Marietta Gomez confirmed. As the Guidance Counsellor, she assured that she can help us identify the identity or the parents of Kate. That is if one of the 17 Grade 6 teachers can identify her as their pupil.

This poses a problem but we are hopeful that after sending her the photos, the teacher can identify her pupil and the school can give us the contact number of the parents. What's interesting, however, is that the pupil has already graduated from elementary and they have no assurance she will enroll in Lahug Night High School. They have already given out the academic cards, which means they have no control over her.

After our meeting, we proceeded to Lahug Barangay Hall. With the assistance of my fellow blogger, Eleanor Valeros, we met Mr. Peter Cawayan, the Barangay Secretary. He informed us that we still have to verify the real name of Kate before we can contact her. The problem with dealing with Kate is that she is a minor. This brings us to the idea that we will just contact the parents of Kate. This assumes that the Guidance Counsellor of her school will cooperate with us on this case.

A resident of the barangay can file a complaint against another resident. I can personally file the complaint since I'm a resident of Barangay Lahug but we have yet to check if the family of Kate is a resident of our barangay.

I have already sent the pictures of Kate to the Guidance Counsellor and we are now waiting for her response. If she wouldn't be responding to us until Friday, I will personally meet with her again to ask for further details.

The good news is that we have already narrowed down our search for Kate. Sooner of later, we will be able to meet Kate and help her is ways I can do. I no longer have interest on the smartphone so I can assure her I just want to locate my lost Xiaomi.

(UPDATE 4: April 24, 2015)

I have posted an update on my Facebook account regarding the incident and here it is:

How's the #JourneyofXiaomi? I've been actively updating its status offline and for everyone who has been following its...
Posted by Romeo Nicolas Bonsocan on Thursday, April 23, 2015

Where will this journey lead to?

(to be continued...)


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