Monday, June 30, 2008

Hope for Sale

Yesterday, my parents and I went to the supermarket. On our way home, my dad parked the car near a small store to buy newspaper. When I looked out my window, I saw this man sitting on the dirty floor, selling recycled bottles as decorative vases to passers- by.

My heart cringed at this vision. I felt for that man. He was too old to still be in the streets, making a living. He should be at home, resting and being taken cared of by his loved ones. So without letting a minute more pass, I went out of the car and handed this old man P10 in exchange of one vase he was selling.

Honestly, I think no one would ever consider buying those vases for its intended purpose. They weren’t nice to look at. They were obviously made from plastic bottles and straw. I doubt if that man could even sell five pieces a day.

So why did I buy one?

I did, because I admired him for finding ways to help his family. Like I said, the vases weren’t, at all, beautiful, but he still went to the streets looking for people who would buy them. He believed there would be, and I don’t want him to lose that hope.

I paid P10, not for a vase, but for a heart I hope will not falter.

When I think of it, it’s the most reasonable spending I did in a long while.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Rule No. 8 and 9 - Mastered by Heart

Weeks ago, a professor advised us to do something that scares us once in a while. I found it profound, yet I never really had the time to follow it religiously. Or so I thought.

Do one thing that scares you.

Apparently, I was able to put this into practice without even knowing it.

This past month, (well, this is quite obvious if you check my multiply account) I’ve been preoccupied with this emerging lifestyle called lomography. It’s basically a type of photography minus technicalities, minus adobe photoshop and minus expensive cameras. In short, it was perfect for a trying hard photographer like me.

So what does lomography have to do with anything fearful?

Well, it wasn’t actually something downright scary, like sky diving or bungee jumping, but it involved something I wasn’t comfortable with: being out of control.

In this day and age, we are so used to digital cameras, where we can instantly view the picture we took. To keep it or to erase it, the choice is in our hands. And we can conveniently make the decision seconds after clicking the shutter. If the picture appears so- so, we can always edit it using adobe and other editing software. Make it brighter, adjust the contrast, etc. ,etc.

Shifting to lomography after getting used to techie cameras was harder than I thought. In short, it wasn’t easy letting another take control; in this case, letting the camera take control. With lomo cams, the lomographer’s duty is just to point and shoot. You cannot be assured of a perfect picture. Sometimes, the view finder isn’t even accurate and light leaks are inevitable. So with toy cameras, you have to prepare yourself of being surprised all the time.

Lomography, aside from fulfilling my frustration, allowed me to loosen up and let go. It taught me to be carefree and not worry about perfection. Most of the time, we get a grip of something, offer it our full attention and give it our best shot- and that’s necessary- because there are essential things we should work hard for and take control of. But sometimes, it’s nice to be reminded that there are hands other than ours that could also make beautiful things if we can just allow it. Snapshots, vignettes, light leaks, among others, served as that reminder for me.

my two babies: bangs and moby

Golden Rules of Lomography

8. You do not have to know beforehand what you captured on film.
9. Nor afterwards

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

One Honest Soul

I should be pouring out regretful words due to the loss of my cell phone. But because of the kind heart and honesty of this one person, there’s no need for that now.

Yesterday, I was busy juggling my things from Yuchengco building to the library. I was carrying my 4-inch thick Business Policy book, Lasaret envelop, thesis proposal and planner, and they were all killing my shoulder, so I walked as fast as I could. When I reached the library, I waited in line, snatched a couple of things from my bag, and then deposited the things I wouldn’t need.

When I was already sited in my carrel, I noticed my cell phone wasn’t with me. I just thought perhaps I left it in my bag; no need to panic.

After an hour or so, I claimed my bag and left the library. All the while I thought my phone was with me. Then I felt the urge to check my things. My cell phone was nowhere to be found.

So that was the time to panic.

I didn’t bother asking the depository guy about my phone. They were nice people, no, they couldn’t have gotten the phone from my bag. Besides, I am in no position to judge anyone. I couldn’t even remember if I brought my phone with me there.

The first thing I thought of doing was to ask someone at the Lost and Found office, but I was too nervous, anxious and worried that I had to leave the school for awhile. Rather than facing what’s happening, I decided to walk to Keng’s place. Of course, where else would i go?

When Keng opened the door, he immediately embraced me and said, “The guard has your phone. No need to worry, ok?”.

How in the world did he find out about that?

He later told me that the guard found my cell phone, which I could have dropped while I was climbing the stairs of the library. (My phone has this protective leather case that wouldn’t make a sound even when dropped) The guard made the effort of texting the first person in my inbox to say that the phone is safe in his hands.

It seems like the world is still a safe place to live in.

Well, at least, the part that’s surrounded by green fences and gates is.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

How Do You Eat an Elephant?

Each term, I look forward to meeting professors who can teach me more about life than just numbers and business models. I’ve definitely met a handful in three years. Yet, I’m still hoping I’ll meet a couple more.

I wasn’t disappointed.

The moment my Business Policy professor entered the room, I already knew he had long years of business experience under his belt. In simpler terms, “Boss na boss ‘yung dating”, although it was a bit funny when he began introducing himself by saying he’s Sharon Cuneta’s brother in- law (which automatically means he’s Kiko Pangilinan’s brother). He had an entertaining sense of humor, with a pinch of arrogance that makes his personality interesting. He likes students who voice out their opinions, but you have to make sure you can defend them because he sure does voice out opinions, too.

In the past couple of meetings, I’ve been feeling a bit nervous in his class. Not really the Atty. Uribe nervousness type, but closer to being anxious to learn and, once in a while, blurt out correct answers.

I’ve only sat in his class twice, yet he already imparted to us lessons that couldn’t be found in books. I’m looking forward to more real- life business stories, more daring opinions and, well, more of his charms.

Oh, you have to cut it into bite- size pieces.

The elephant.

He said that.

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