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32 - Subterfuge

Journey 31

However - the monster that had been gnawing away inside my heart since April 14th had simply gone to sleep.
I really couldn't understand why Mayen had tried so desperately to stay in touch. Was it only for the devious motives I had suspected?

Things were no better at home - I still had the regret of my lost bid for freedom - still looking at the pieces of my shattered dream littering everywhere I walked.

Mayen and I still remained in touch - more intermittently now, after a couple of weeks, maybe, of silence - the SMS started - the emails - the YM webcam chats continued.

A tree of subterfuge begins to grow.

Read also Cover Up
Read also Save Our Skins
Read also Psychology of Extortion
Read about Cath Cath
Read about World of Filipinas
Read about Captain's Log
Read about Filam Forum Report
Read about Filipina Images
Read about Reyna Elena

had completed my blog, at least updated it - I had rejoined DateInAsia - I considered it a very appropriate place to fly my warning flag - and was publicly appealing for comments on the story which was heavily linked. Every day - I would hunt out a new blog site and post the preface to this journey - with links to the whole story.

Comments started to trickle in - (read some here) - the majority of them from good people in the Philippines - ashamed - angry - embarrassed at what I had encountered at the hands of their fellow countrymen.
I generally thanked them and reassured them that I was not generalising in any way - nor did I believe that the people I had been involved with were any more than a shameful minority.

At a point, mid-November - just as I had started rehearsals for my Christmas show, Aladdin, I suffered a recurrence of the Herpes symptoms and again visited the clinic for a confirmation.
Although the tests were again inconclusive - the doctors were quietly convinced that it was a mild dose of Herpes that I had been given, by Mayen, as a lasting reminder of her love - and prescribed me suitable medications. Acheiving a positive diagnosis is very much a matter of timing - rather like detecting a scam - but all the signs were there.

This had the result of injecting my attacks on the gang in the Philippines with a lot more venom. No longer veiling my hurt or my anger the posts I was making started to describe these people in a variety of colourful ways.

I was very depressed for a few weeks. I discovered that the mystery lotion, Lactyn or Lactoferrin, that Mayen was so concerned about having spilled during one of our journeys, was quite possibly to alleviate the symptoms of Herpes - pointing to the ugly fact that she was aware all along, that she was carrying the virus - and had diverted my questions about contraception - and thus my protection - for the sake of carrying out the scam.
I was not going to give them the satisfaction, yet, of knowing that Mayen's going away present was possibly lingering there, in the nerve cells of my back, to affect me for the rest of my life.

I started to forge friendships again on DIA - with the news I had just discovered I was in no mood to consider anything more than friendship from any quarter - and with my growing education about the Philippines - it was now really unlikely that I could entertain any serious thoughts of a relationship from that country.
Besides - I still had the monster in my heart - the unresolved question that was posed by Mayen's continued presence.

Things with Mayen were still very confused - but she was still there, on the boundary - insisting her love for me was genuine and still filling her heart - still insisting that the events of August 10th were true. We even discussed marriage again. Mayen would tell me how she longed for me to "come back home" - an attempt, I'm certain, to get the blogs removed by physical threat - or worse - on my arrival in Manila.

All the time I was concentrating my efforts on exposing Sir Francis - recently, he had been getting off lightly - now I was coming back to haunt him. By associating him with Tierra Maria Estates - and displaying on the Internet my warnings - through saturation linking, tagging and blogging - it soon became impossible to search for Tierra Maria Estates without coming across my writings. He would be under immense pressure from the firm to get rid of it - somehow - anyhow - but it was impossible - day by day it spread like a virus across the Internet - and every day brought the promise of fresh new email arriving, from me - sent somewhere connected to him to cause further embarrassment.
It was - as Jim was later to describe it - a blockade on the Internet. The firm was under siege - and because it was all a result of Sir Francis's lies and deceits, he had absolutely no way out - and no doubt Sir Francis was now getting very urgent demands, from the owners of the company, to sort it out - do something about the mess that he had now caused the company - by his botched scamming attempt and by double-crossing me into the bargain.
I was reaching out with all of this - searching for answers - hoping to start an unbiased commentary - that would explore, in an informed way, how and why this had all gone wrong.
So my prolific postings served a twofold purpose - reaching out for answers - and serving a large portion of justice - the message that crime doesn't always pay - and that the emotional response of a victim is not always predictable - they may feel motivated to go to equally extreme lengths - as the scammers do themselves.

It was perfectly clear that Mayen was on his strict instructions to keep me as far away from Sir Francis and the firm as possible - to try and deflect the heat away - and try to win me back into her manipulative clutches - with webcam appearances in her best outfits - her wolfish smile doing its best to hide the clenched teeth and frustration.

She still was adamant that she no longer worked for Tierra Maria Estates - although from the timing of her communications with me - following immediately after my most recent posting on the Internet, or hot on the heels of my latest email to Sir Francis - containing the URL and a taunt or two about owning up, coming clean - it was perfectly transparent that they were still as thick as thieves.

I had opened an email account with Bigstring - highly recommended for this sort of detective work - it allows you to track any emails sent - and read the IP address and time, each occasion it is viewed.

They soon caught on to the fact that their behaviour and locations were being read and stopped opening most of the emails sent to them - or found a way to prevent them from registering (very easily done.)

It occurred to us that Mayen's relationship with Sir Francis may have been more personal than merely a business alliance - from remarks she had made over the course of our relationship - she once informed me that I was jealous of Sir Francis - the way she would always defend him in her conversations - the relaxed manner in which she curled up asleep on the rear seat of his car - the way that she passed the blame onto his wife, for her getting the sack - at times, it seemed that it amounted to hero worship - he was her idolised master - she was captivated by his evil spell - being fed little tit-bits of glory by him when she was successful in her work. He represented the status, the success that she aspired to. But she was the one being used - by him - for his own dirty business.

Approaching Christmas time - it became clear to us that a strategy was in place. Mayen started enquiring about the state of my home life, where would I be spending Christmas - how were relationships with my family - could I chat online to her on Christmas Day - she was going to be all alone. Despite me insisting on the obvious - that she visit her nearest relative - her sister in Quezon City - she was firm in her resolve to be alone - to be apart from anyone who could possibly hurt her again. The strategy was for me to feel pity - to drive a wedge between me and any relationships I had over here - on a critical day.

I made up an excuse that although things were still bad at home and with the family - I would be away working with a friend in a recording studio from Christmas Eve - I would be unlikely to have the time to spare for chatting.

Playing a double bluff - knowing how awkward things were - Mayen could not openly admit to any association with Sir Francis - and yet was obviously doing his work and giving him feedback - but it was a stalemate situation for them.

The first week of December - the full strategy started to become more delineated - a pincer movement - combining one or two isolated but inaccurate comments which appeared on some of my blogs - voicing brief condemnation of me & my behaviour - or sympathising with Mayen - obvious attempts by Sir Francis to bring my doubts back to life - and catapult me into Mayen's area of influence more firmly.

This was the week that also brought me into communication on DIA, with a new girl in the Philippines - Mabs was her name.

Her profile was interesting to me - it complained about the bad comments she had read - Filipinas only being interested in scamming for money. She had sent me a message stating her concern about being on the site - she had only been there two weeks - and was worried about the possibility of bad exposure, how would she be viewed - she wrote a great deal in support of my blog - asked me questions about poetry.

She was very articulate and her English was well practiced and comprehensive - not really surprising as she was an ESL teacher.

By coincidence - she used to stay with her sister who lived in Paranaque - Mabs herself used to pass the Medical Center - on her way to work. When her sister returned from being away - she would inform her of my story - it is bound to be of interest to her as she works in real estate. We could have got on quite well - we seemed to have a great deal in common.

mabs wrote: 8 Dec 2007

And I few hours ago, I have nothing (or lack of something) to do so I opened my laptop and checked whatever; mails, offline messages, new songs but it dawned on me that I've only had the summary of your blog. I read again, as in I read everything. It was shocking! The hospital you're talking about was just 3 rides from my sister's residence. I stay with her. It's also in Paranaque, in Better Living/ Moonwalk junction. When I was still doing a man-to-man tutorial, I've passed that hospital on a daily basis. If my sister returns soon from her vacation, I'll inform her about Tierra Maria that happens to be a competitor. she's one of the top agents in SM Development Corp. You know SM-- the mall chains, she works for its real property business which is condominium. It will really spark interest and I'm sure she hasn't heard of this story.
How brazenly shameless these people are!
You know I don't go to church really but I believe in the bible's principle of sowing and reaping. As what Greenday's song puts it, what goes around comes around.
Do you still love her? Forgive me for asking this very personal question. I hope you're over her. From the ordeal that you went through and based on her chat messages, she's not even worth it. Do I sound like a judge? I'm really furious with people like that. Just with the injustice, ok? On occasions that don't damage my being or others family members' and friends' safety, I keep it cool and don't need anger management classes.
In a way, I envy her. I asked you before if you collect poems but when I read the whole blog from archives 1- 30, i found out that you wrote her so many poems. Do you have a clone? Hehehe! I always write poetry for others but no one wrote for me. It's not that I need a payback, I just want to know how it feels to be the subject or object of affection.
Once again, it's just my fantasy! It's nothing that I can't live without.
Take care Tim Looking forward to reading more of your brilliant thoughts.

I wrote to her saying that it would be best to keep away from the people that I had met - from what I had been reading recently, they might well have been dangerous.

mabs wrote: 10 Dec 2007

Hi Tim!
I'm glad you slept well. and have a grand time with your day's task. It was really good to prepare earlier for Christmas. I've already bought some and just ask my sister to wrap them.
i told my other sister who works in SM Property bout your story but she just heard the name and had no idea about the company. She told me Crown Asia is their tough competitor but still I told her to be very careful about sharing the information. She's in Paranaque but I'm in GenSan now so she must be the one to exercise cautions if ever.

I'm such a gullible fool - I took it all in - so intent was I at repairing my relationship with the Philippines - yes, I was still in touch with Mayen - but in reality now, only to find out what her next move was going to be - so intent, I missed the obvious - that Jim alerted me to the moment I happened to mention my new aquaintance to him.

She was a plant - a stooge. Gleaning information for Mayen and Sir Francis to work from - and also to perhaps lure me back to the Philippines, if I ever decided finally that Mayen was not the apple of my eye anymore. They wanted to scrub my writings from the wall - Mayen was just a disposable pawn in the process.

Also - the obvious implication was that via her sister in Paranaque, some "chance" information would be introduced that would hopefully create doubts within me again. Mabs conveniently distanced herself from all of this - because she is now in General Santos - hundreds of miles away.

More suspicion - if it were needed - arose over Mabs's photos. At first there was a link on her DIA profile to a site called Slide.com - with a slide show of numerous pictures of Mabs - various locations - the typical collection. This link disappeared on day two of our communication - replaced by a link to her MySpace profile - where only a limited amount of photos were on display - her excuse being that she was having trouble with the Slide site - although it worked perfectly for me.

It was winter here - cold mornings - I happened to make comments about scraping the ice off the car - leading to a question for Mabs - did she drive? No - she almost started once, but it never happened.

In her Slide pictures - which I was able to revisit thanks to my surfing History - there she is - for all the world to see - sat in driving position in a nice new car, seat belt done up, personal head cushion in place behind her neck.

It's discoveries like these that sharpen the inquisitiveness - what is going on?

Well - in short - it could have swung either of two ways - Mabs had to deduce whether or not I was still hooked on Mayen - in which case - she would pour cold water over any ideas of cultivating a romantic relationship with me - and steer me back to Mayen's loving arms - having been given a kick by the false information from her sister. Mabs - on learning that this was the route to take - insisted on me calling her "Igsoon" - sister - she would be there as a shoulder to cry on.

But when I was at first refused her email address to send her some video footage that she had previously asked for - & when I was asked to write a piece on Theatre Arts for a friend of hers (an attempt perhaps for me to reveal exactly where I was working) - it all became too hot to handle - we had to take control and defeat this plot - a week before possible detonation time - Christmas Day - before my suspicions became obvious to them.

How were we to prove that Mabs was a plant - feeding information to Mayen and Sir Francis. We needed some red dye, that would alert us when it appeared downstream.

Enter - Yenhuar - a creation of Jim's genius. I started feeding Mabs information that I had just met up with a beautiful Chinese violinist - who made me realise all the deficiencies in my relationship with Mayen. I strongly hinted that we were planning to work together in the new year on a concert tour and were both feeling stirrings within our hearts. I voiced concern to Mabs about how I should break the news to Mayen - that my interest in her was rapidly evaporating. Mabs, of course, in her new role as big sister, could do little but show how happy she felt at this news. I emphasised the delight I was feeling in sharing cultured ideas again - to have found a relationship where artistic decisions were really the only important ones. Here was a chance for me to become involved with my first love again - the classics.

On the 20th December I wrote to Mabs.

Hi Igsoon Mabs - I hope you are having a good day.
I was much entertained by your twofold stimulation of my sense of culture - and my sense of humour.
I chuckled heartily - mainly at you revealing a side of yourself that I had always suspected - he, he - your sense of fun.
I entirely know what you mean about some books having the ability to never be outgrown - they grow with us - The Little Prince is definitely one of them - always one step ahead in terms of how and what it chooses to reveal to us - depending on the stage we are at in our lives.
As far as aligning the importance of the invisible to internet communication - perhaps you are referring again to instinct.
Away from the tantalisingly visible, separated from the influential power of the written word - our instincts - profoundly ignored - easily outvoted - await their full recognition and vindication.
There are many invisible forces involved in communication - forces that are at play in the words we write - the time we give - emotional response - we absorb them at some level of our being - not fully conscious of them all - but they contribute to an effect - they arouse our instinctive awareness - which hovers, like a ghost, whispering its unassailable truth.
Usually it is probably hindsight that provides vindication, instinct's own justification.
Oh that we could obey that soft voice - but we confuse it with the voice of fear - and choose to become brave.

Since meeting Yenhuar (she is half chinese - her mum is from China - her dad is English) on Monday - the violinist - we have been in constant communication - email - cellphone.
I am making explorative plans to join her in rehearsals and eventually on a concert tour - which will mean having to find a replacement to take over from me in Aladdin - an almost impossible task at this time of year - I thought - but I have found the perfect candidate.
It seems that all conditions are met - and the management of Aladdin fully understand that the offer I have received to undertake the concert tour is much too good financially to consider refusing and potentially will expand my career into an area I have always dreamed of - back to the classics - Shostakovitch, Prokofiev, Ravel, Debussy - with such a beautiful player - a chance of a lifetime.
Yenhuar and myself - despite the fact that we are both married - have both admitted to our discontent - and explained all the reasons.
We have an electricity - wow - we spark - not only when performing together - we both noticed that on Monday evening - but we seem to share a perspective about life - we certainly have the greatest respect for each other, artistically.

All of a sudden - all of my dreams for Mayen seem to be evaporating into thin air.
To be in a world that is not limited to honeyed words - so conspicuously weighted - to appeal only to my desires and my ego - in their single pointed aim of manipulation.
To be in the world of flesh and blood again - out of the range of deception - in a world where common artistic goals and values are the only real concern - refeshing? I am feeling renewed after only two days.

Several things have occured to me -

Libidinal energy - and attraction is far more than just skin deep - once attracted, it should roll like a wheel - self-perpetuating from the totality of personality - the intellect - class - perspective - culture - they all fan the fire - keep the wheel rolling along.
Libidinal energy - although primarily a procreative force - can find delight and stimulation from many other areas of a relationship - other than primordial desire.
I am going to have to find the words - sometime very soon - to tell Mayen that my soul has been enlightened by another.
Besides which, Yenhuar is appalled by the treatment that I received from Mayen and the gang, and this illuminates for me all the dark corners of remorse, banishing from me any shadows of guilt.
Her sister is going to become a strong ally in my quest for justice and retribution on the internet. A graphic designer, her career at the moment - with internet advertising - he, he.
So - I feel a new man - he, he - that's my news of the day - excited - tired - but full inside with hope - much, much more.

Have to get some rest - sorry for my absence - I've had a phone glued to my ear all night - been busy with the shows and getting the car fixed all day - huhuhuh.

God bless - and take good care of you.


This spelt danger to the gang - this news. If they were to lose the grip that they imagined Mayen to still have over me - with Mabs confirming herself as only a shoulder to cry on - they would have no more power to manipulate me.

Mabs made one final reply to my message and said she was removing herself from DIA.

The proof we were waiting for arrived the following day - in an email from Mayen.

21st December


are you still busy and tired from work??
i hope you have a successful shows..
i miss chatting to you.. and i hope i can steal some minutes of your time
huhuhuhu.. im lonely today coz i expect we could chat
but still i understand...
Its a wonderful day today, this morning i woke early
and i witnessed the beautiful sun rising.. its really wonderful..
Im was talking to the sun hehehe, i told him
that i wish your here with me.. i hear a music from piano
someone played on it.. nice songs.. its really melts my heart..
yah its true.. one of my nieghbor own it, the piano..i was thinking of
you, you were playing piano for me in province..
Timmyboy, merry christmas.. and im wishing you more happiness
and success and im praying that i can have you back someday..
i love you and God bless you..
love ,

Again - the dye cast upstream had floated to the surface in front of our very eyes.

I sent an email to Sir Francis - with pictures of Mabs and Mayen - both from their profiles at DIA - stating - "Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear - now you will find it impossible to communicate with us." Accompanied by another URL.

So now they were truly screwed - Mayen and Mabs now useless. How could they acheive their urgent aim of getting the rapidly spreading information on the Internet to be removed?

I blocked Mayen and Mabs from writing to any of my email addresses.

What followed were desperate attempts from Mayen to contact me - phone calls & off-line messages on YM - including an SMS on Christmas morning - "I miz u so bad. Im th!Nking of u 2day. mahal kita timmyboy. wish ur here..so lonely without u..please dnt change."

I tried to block international calls from my cellphone - but it was not possible - so I had to change my number.
I removed my profile again from DIA and struck Mayen from my Yahoo Messenger list.

Sir Francis was the only person able to contact me now - by email - but he didn't know that.

Had there been the slightest glimmer of remorse, the merest hint of an attempt at honesty, an apology even - I would not have gone to these lengths, but the time scale involved and their constant ruthlessness swayed me otherwise. They deserved everything that was happening to them - all the fallout from the exposure.
The writings, the warnings would serve as a lighthouse to other sailors on the Internet Dating Sea.
So I continued pasting and posting, linking and tagging.

I posted on YouTube the short video of Mayen about to reveal the fake scar on webcam - it is only a taunt - it doesn't reveal anything (the content of the whole video is safely stored away) but it is suitably tagged and it is picked up by other sites around the world which increases its presence in search engines dramatically.

The YouTube site provided an opportunity to get a small forum of comments going. Jim and I returning under different aliases, with different characters - this was great fun for Jim - the genius playwrite that he is - as well as the genius Psycho-analyst - and all round indispensable ally to have had alongside me - all through this most trying and testing of adventures.

Somewhere in this period - Christmas visited briefly - and left again without any fuss - and we entered 2008 - but they were simply just other days.

I sent an email to "the players" indicating that our strategy for the new year was - Saturation, saturation, saturation - a term they are all familiar with - it's what they call their promotional work - malling - handing out brochures to crowds.

Jim discovered on Veoh that a Philippine online news site had posted a video of an interview with the famous Filipina Celebrity, Actress and conservationist - Chin-Chin Gutierrez - discussing the environmental virtues of the Tierra Maria Estates farm lots at Lipa City. We were already aware that she was featuring heavily in the firm's recent advertising thrust, having been contracted as the company's endorser.
Mayen had first mentioned to me about Chin-Chin in a YM chat - before my first visit. After the events of August, it occurred to me that here was the "soft belly of the crocodile" - as Jim puts it - an area of vulnerability - simply because of her high profile - no doubt she would want to keep her reputation pristene.

I had been trying to get a message through to either her or her agent, even resorting to leaving comments on other peoples blogs . . .

(look who's been there as well - Jepoy)

. . . people who had interviewed or photographed her and might be able to deliver the first warning shot over the bows - a storm head of bad publicity was gathering about Tierra Maria Estates - ready to burst on to the Internet and in the press - did she really want her name to be associated with this scandalous firm? None of the obvious routes of communication - her own website for instance - offered any method of communication that was functional at that time. One day I stumbled upon her Friendster profile - sent her a message - spelling it all out. This was certainly not blackmail, although undoubtedly, it was going to put her in a frightful situation - it simply said - speak out, denounce the firm, dis-associate yourself - or be stained by the same bad publicity - by mere association.

We waited for a response. I discovered soon after this that the messaging system on her own website now allowed messages to be sent to her manager - so we sent one there as well - and waited.

There was one isolated comment in the thread accompanying the video on Veoh - from a man calling himself Elybacolod - allegedly in Jakarta, solidly underlining Chin-Chin's credibility and eloquence - and generally praising the firm for the wonderful appeal of the Farm Estate - and stating how he was personally attracted to the idea of purchasing a piece of home there.

Enter Jim - posting the next comment (as bingobert) - a warning that Chin-Chin is the front for a company engaged in extortion through prostitution.

The rebuff follows - the man from Jakarta (elybacolod) - warning that such comments are potentially libelous:

"ellumbra, bingobert's allegation that ms. gutierrez is a front for a prostitution racketeering scam in Manila is serious, and potentially libelous. I read your blog and if I read it correctly, you were scammed by a woman and her alleged boss who both claim to "work" for maria estates. That does not automatically translate into a prostitution racket sanctioned by the firm. Did you report this to the firm to verify if they are indeed working for Maria Estates? You made an honest error in judgement the first instance, as you openly admit in your blog. Do not make a second, more serious error in judgement with legal consequences by making allegations about the company without verifiable proof. Due process knows no territorial boundaries. Libel laws still apply to both print and Internet media. Why not bring this to the attention of the company so they can take necessary action if some of their employees are complicit in the racketeering that you and bingobert alleged."

I reply with:

"elybacolod - I would welcome a legitimate libel case as manna from heaven. I am clear that Miss Gutierrez is possibly quite ignorant of the activity behind the front of Tierra Maria Estates - her endorsement would not have been forthcoming had these other facts been brought to her attention. What is not disputed are the facts directly involving the Marketing Manager of the firm. I met him in the Sales Office - was encouraged to set up a website - taken on a tour of the Farm Project. I met him again in Hounslow UK in connection with the website. I have received emails, SMS messages from him & other members of his staff corroborating the fraud. I have sent emails to Tierra Maria Estates, Mary's Garden Realty, HLURB - Philippine Government agencies - and met total apathy. Is this not complicit support of the activities I have uncovered? The Marketing Manager was foolish to dirty his own hands in this instance - but this has given us the rarest of opportunities - to redress the balance of justice."

And Jim (as bananarama23):

"A friend of mine was caught up in a similar scam involving a Philippine "property" company with dire consequences. All these "companies" cannot hide and use the threat of laws when it suits them as the activities of their employees and staff are achieving their corrupt aims by using - in your case "Tierra Maria estates" to give the air of legitimacy to internationally scorned and illegal scams that these criminals are plying. The internet works both ways in this scenario, the scammers think they can use internet with anonymity above all laws when it suits and cry "libel" when it doesn't. Ellumbra, having read your blog it is clear that you were a victim of organized crime and elybacolod the "Tierra Maria" staff involved in ellumbra's blog do not "claim" they work for "Tierra Maria" the man in question is their "marketing" manager!
All on line all plain for the world to see! So, these property companies cannot "pretend" to be ignorant of their staff's activities when it suits. The "companies" are as guilty of the acts in which they give sucker and support. This modus operandi is at the heart of the organized crime syndicate's structure. The onus of responsibilty is on these companies to act and clean up their acts, but, of course they won't. Why not? The money from extortion. Well, I have another serious legal scenario to present to these companies the harboring "offshore" of money being laundered from the proceeds of crime. That too is an internationally recognized law. Want to try it on?"

The man from Jakarta:

"bananarama23, thanks for the info. yes, i will take this on. i've passed on these allegations to the firm. let's see how they react. I agree with you that the onus of responsibility lies with the companies to clean up. it is also the responsibility of certain institutions to address money laundering on a global scale. would you be willing to testify? i may be in the position to shed light on these so called scams by the medical establishment alluded to in this posting."

Well, not only a change of heart - from the man in Jakarta - who seems to know an awful lot about the hospital in Paranaque - but a change of writing style.

It was plain to Jim that this was Sir Francis (under the guise of elybacolod) - admitting that it was a scam - but trying to push the blame onto the hospital and the girl. Trying anything in fact - to distance the scam from the company.

Bananrama23 made a final appearance, refusing to fall for the obvious bait that had been dangled - by ignoring it completely and addressing only me:

"Unfortunately, ellumbra I cannot disclose my interest in this thread at this stage. However, I assume from the information I have read on your various blogs that you have no objection to me passing on this information to various interested parties? The issue surrounding westerners being targeted (scammed) by various countries is now of great interest to the authorities. Again, I cannot unfortunately elaborate here further on these matters. I will however when appropriate be contacting you directly regarding these matters."

Bananarama23's comment about the authorities was no hollow boast. Because of the undeniable possibility of there being a link between Sir Francis and the British Embassy in Manila - remember the emails they sent me - my MP has become involved and the matter has since been taken out of my hands - by the Foreign Office and SOCA - the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

Ultimately it is not me that this situation, or my journal is proving anything to.
In excess of three and a half billion pounds is leaving British shores each year as a result of scamming. This draining of money has attracted the attention of all political parties, the security services & law enforcement agencies.
The British Government does not take too kindly to its own citizens being scammed - by those countries - including the Philippines - while their own governments lack the initiative and political will to deal with the issue at a domestic level. The authorities in this country do not take kindly either to foreign nationals using festivals or exhibitions on our soil as recruiting grounds for British nationals to be used inadvertently to scam other British nationals.

Here is the final email sent by me to my MP - 11th March 2008,

Dear ***
Hopefully I shall bother you no more after this email.
I must thank you again for taking the trouble to pass on my concerns to the correct people, it has been a great comfort and a strength to know that I was not on my own in dealing with this matter.

I am not certain if you have any notion of what has been happening recently - but I took it upon myself to openly and widely denounce the real estate firm that concealed the scammers - on the Internet - seriously affecting both the "legitimate" and the "not-so-legitimate" sides of their business.
This has drawn rather a hostile response (well I did invite it) - from what appears to be a whole community of linked bloggers - specifically mobilized to try and discredit me - and by using various emotional twisting and mind bending methods - trying to get me to capitulate in the hope that they would garner some propaganda that they could use.
The Internet is a strange place - the effectiveness of what I had done went far beyond my expectations. It seems that material - once posted - can become cloned and syndicated around the world - thus creating a far larger presence in the search engines (my objective) than I could have possibly imagined. The material that the scammers were producing to counter my presence online was limited in usefulness because - to make any sense at all, it had to be linked in some way to my material - thus defeating their own purpose - only attracting more attention.

I have posted the final chapter to my story - which included the reporting of my suspicions to yourself, my MP - and I have mentioned the interest of the Foreign Office and SOCA. I have not mentioned any names - I hope you do not consider this a liberty taken - after all it is the truth and should be included in my story - but the mere mention of these facts certainly appears to have had a profound effect.
The power of the Union Jack - they quake at the thought of encountering British Justice - the hostility has ceased - their own counter publicity machine seems to be slowly being taken down (a slow job - the ghosts of postings linger in the search engines for quite a while) - a public statement in the form of an email from Francis Jalbuena stating that he and the real estate firm are the victims in this situation - and denouncing everything I have written as lies and a hoax - has disappeared overnight - and they seem intent on hiding in the shadows again.
However - I still have some points that remain unanswered.

1) The unquestionable possibility that the British Embassy's authority was being used to disseminate unverified information - to the criminals' advantage - as opposed to the interests of a British national.
2) The allegation by Francis Jalbuena that the British Ambassador was made privy to my writings - and assessed it as rubbish.
3) The unsavoury notion that criminals might be using the British Embassy and the Ambassador to help manipulate their own advantage.
4) The unpleasant notion that Francis Jalbuena was using the Barrio Fiesta at Hounslow (July 2007) to attract UK buyers - into an association which surely must be regarded as a highly dubious business operation - additionally, that he used this opportunity to pass on to me specifications, to be included on the website that I had unwittingly agreed to setup, as a UK point of contact for his operation.

I am aware that there are certain discretions that do not allow you to reveal to me the inner machinery of the government - and that you - doubtless - have far more pressing concerns.
Even with no feedback - I remain determined that some positive conclusions or actions result from my disclosures to you.
It has certainly been an education for me - and I look forward to returning to normal life again - without the dark, sinister hauntings and feelings of guilt - thrust upon me by my encounter with the Philippines - and by my own naivety and foolishness.
Ultimately - I am saddened by what I have discovered - about what is potentially a mysteriously beautiful culture - and I do feel that with the assistance, the determination of other more effective governments throughout the world - perhaps the long road towards stability for that country might be shortened - even a little.
Maybe I still have my head in the tropical rain-clouds.

Thank you once again.
Yours sincerely,
Tim Cumper

Yes, it appeared I was naive as well about just how ruthlessly determined these people could be . . . read on.

The press recently had been carrying a story of a British man, a minister, David Brash - living in the Philippines, who had been murdered, shortly after getting married, at the bidding of his Filipina wife - who had paid her driver £350.00 to have him killed and his body dumped in a swamp.

From the Daily Mirror 12/12/07
We never heard any more from elybacolod - the "man in Jakarta," but continued using the gift that they had given us - a publicly accessible forum, centered around the association of Chin-Chin with Tierra Maria Estates - exposing their soft underbelly. With her own publicity machine, her own fans - here was the most fantastic opportunity to really get some pressure applied. We carried on posting comments suggesting that Chin-Chin herself would be implicated by her links with the firm - if she did not speak out about it - sought out other Internet appearances of Chin-Chin - and attached our limpet mines - and announced that we had sent messages to her and her agent informing them of the gathering stormclouds of adverse publicity.

The impression was that the world - or some of it at least - was awaiting Chin-Chin's decision to remain silent or denounce Tierra Maria Estates - with baited breath.

I was contacted through my profile at Veoh, where the comment section was accompanying the video, by someone with the screen-name Delfin777.

He wrote to me saying that he had been the victim of a scam, also in April of 2007, by a young Filipina who had sent him some photographs of Chin-Chin, aged 18 to 20 years old (which would have been about twelve years ago.) The girl was pretending that they were photographs of herself. He was from New Mexico.

He sent me an email with some of their communications and attached one of the photographs - the digital information encoded into this photograph revealed that it had been taken in 2006 - so either he was a bad judge of age - or a liar.

Interestingly, in these communications Delfin777 (who we later refer to as Fermin) asks of his contact (who went under the name "joyc2cool" as her Yahoo username or Joy) quite often if she had read The Little Prince, which was the book that Mabs had referred to in her email to me.

We continued an exchange of messages, some of his emails were in Spanish - others, he told me - he had translated by software into English. I used the Bigstring email account - my emails to him seemed to be gathering an enormous amount of "reads" - some from an IP address that seemed to be in Mexico - and many others that seemed to be in the UK.

In January the book arrived that Nellie had promised to send me - For The Love Of My Son - by Margaret Davis - the tale of her private investigation into her son's murder - which was instigated by his wife - a Filipina.

Photo courtesy BBC
I devoured the book in two days - finding it tragically compelling and frightening - with its descriptions and affirmations of the character of some Filipinos - encountering corruption, danger and the apathy - lack of interest or action - that I recognised all too well.

We were certain that when all the loose ends were finally sewn up, that here we had a story of our time. We had some serious weight to throw around - all to put unbearable pressure on Sir Francis - and all courtesy of the Internet - the very means by which it was all started.
Sir Francis would now be hearing from his superiors in the firm, from Chin-Chin via her agent, from Mayen as well - as some of the characters we had created were openly despising and mocking - at times, cruelly so - but - as I was beginning to realise - this was simply the truth about Mayen being laid bare - it smarted at first - but assisted in the exorcism of those last whisps of emotional attachment to her.

Click the flags to read about all the alarm bells.

Tim Cumperhttp://www.bebo.com/Ellumbra

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