If you saw CCTV footage of a man running full-tilt down the street with a household appliance on his shoulder, you’d be more than a little suspicious. For some reason, washing machine theft seems to be a real problem in the Philippines, and there’s lots of security cam videos to prove it.
But as this particular CCTV footage from Brgy. 446 Zone 44 in Sampaloc, Manila, was viewed over 100,000 times on TikTok, something is clearly different. First of all, the streets were full of witnesses, owing to the fact that this bold heist happened in broad daylight.
A couple of bystanders looked way too stunned to react to the washing machine being hauled down the street. But what’s this—one guy raises his arms looking like he’s cheering it all on.
Apparently it was all a game. A giant barangay-wide party game organized to celebrate the local fiesta.
Barangay chairman King Ancheta—who posted the CCTV video on his TikTok account—confirmed that they were all in on it when he was interviewed on the television show On Record. His novel take on the traditional palaro allowed one person per household to join in on the fun, as barangay officials monitored the proceedings on public CCTV.
The grand finale had participants scrambling to find a washing machine (!), for which the prize was Php500. “When you organize a game for the fiesta and are surprised to see [the winner] is stronger than the Hulk!” Ancheta captioned his TikTok video. The winner of the game was barangay resident Dean Lester Peñamente, who proved that he was a real superhero when he split his winnings with the neighbor who lent him the washing machine.
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