A picture of a fake monk has been making rounds online, with people claiming that they have been forced to hand out money for “donations” in exchange for beads they are being forced to wear.
The picture was posted on Reddit Philippines, where people who encountered the supposed monk commented about their experiences and verified that the individual was questionable.
The fake monk in the picture was spotted at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
Reddit user “needmoneypls” claimed that the monk forced a bracelet on his/her wrist, saying it’s a “donation.” When the user handed out P20, the monk got angry and said that he/she should give out P100.
User “ajthealchemist” added that he/she saw the monk at UP Manila, where the latter handed him/her a “charm or something.” When the user didn’t give out money, the monk got angry and walked away with a grumble.
For user “lovelessact1,” he/she even negotiated with the supposed price of the bracelet.
“Nilagyan ng beads ‘yung kamay ko ng sapilitan habang hawak ‘yung kamay ko. Pagkatapos nanghingi ng 100 (pesos). Sabi ko 20 lang pera ko. Nagpupumilit na kahit 50 na nga lang daw. 40 pesos napagkasunduan naming presyo.”
Other users claimed that they saw the fake monk in Makati, Ortigas and even in Santolan LRT2 station.
It’s not the first time
This is not the first time that fake monks have been spotted or reported by the public. Two years ago, similar monks asking for “donations” in exchange for beaded bracelets were seen in La Union.
Based on a report, they were initially spotted in Baguio City, where they “forcibly” asked passers-by to pay for the bracelets.
Police officers from Barangay Tanqui, San Fernando City said that the fake monks were Chinese nationals named Shao Yufa and Wang Bushi.
However, it’s not confirmed if they were the same individuals who were recently spotted in BGC, Makati, Ortigas or Manila.
Real monks do not solicit money
Generally, monks are supposed to live a simple lifestyle where prayer and contemplation occupy their time.
They are not supposed to solicit money on the streets if they are associated with real temples, The Sun reports.
“Real monks do not act aggressively, and would gladly offer a blessing without asking for money, and would certainly not demand a higher amount of money than the one offered.”
“Authentic monks typically would not acknowledge a donation, and would avoid eye contact. They would not sell beads, medallions, amulets, or rosaries,” it noted.
This was confirmed by Maththumangala Chandananda, a resident Buddhist at the Alberta Buddhist Vihara Association in Edmonton.
“Normally, that should be done by lay people, not monks. If they nag you to give money, that is outright prohibited,” he said.