Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Bargaining with the FireDog

It’s getting late in the year and I haven’t exactly known the FireDog yet. But I can smell hunger stalking in the halls as I sit lusting in the corner after the things that the FireDog can bring, if I manage to strike a successful bargain.
I promise the firedog the most memorable year in terms of pictures if he brings in one of those four to eight megapixel Canon Powershot digital cameras, with 7x optical zoom Canon was selling with a free powershot radio and USB card reader last Christmas season as a holiday treat to unsuspecting customers. Or, I can settle with any of Sony’s Cybershot line with 32 MB internal memory and the Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar lens, as long as these are brought to my doorstep for free before the end of the month.
Or, even that V530 Kodak Easy Share digital camera, now advertised as an amazingly stylish camera, in a very hot deal ad on the Philippine Daily Inquirer, will do for a moment. That V530 is now selling at P20,995; free with 128 MB Kodak SD card and a camera case. It’s a five megapixel digital camera, sleek and stunning in red, grey and black colors, powered by the exclusive Kodak color Science chip. I wonder if this camera is really as good as it looks but it is equipped with Schneider-Krueznach V-Variogin lens, with 3x optical and 4 x digital zoom and an MPEG 4 video that capture high quality, true-to-life colors, so that ad says!
Now that the reign of the firedog begins, I promise to deliver my part if the firedog fulfills his part of the bargain. I’d take pictures of Davao at six o’clock in the morning, standing at that portion of Magallanes street, just a little behind the SP building where the gables of the Royal Mandaya hotel jut out of the old shabby rows of buildings along Bolton street.
I’ll disembark from a jeepney passing by the Bankerohan bridge and take a shot of Davao river, framed by shanties that populate the riverbanks. Or, hang around Bankerohan public market shortly before dusk to take pictures of crowds crawling over the open ukay ukay stalls like ants, under the backdrop of the setting sun.
Walk along Matina’s McArthur highway to buy pan de sal early in the morning, to frame the peak of Mt. Apo blanketed by clouds, with the concrete overpass hanging over the road by the Matina public market.
I promise to be as truthful as I could get, whatever truthfulness means. I’ll take a walk along the seedy aisles and alleys in the city to capture a glimpse of life that other people deem ugly. I’d choose the often forgotten and taken for granted street alleys as mementos to the future. I’ll start with that alley in between the Grand Menseng Hotel and the carinderias lining down Magallanes street that hide the Community Hospital at the back. This alley leads to the bank of the Davao River where people take the boat ride across to the SIR village of Matina. Another small pathway running parallel to the river, branch from this alley going to the emergency room of the Community Hospital, where patients’ relatives keep vigil late at night. This alley stinks of dried urine, where foul-mouthed teenagers ply at night, something that could not be captured by camera. But the sights of barbecue stalls and street food and the transaction going on near the riverbank surely will give future anthropologists something to think about.
I promise to take them all to treasure--but only if the firedog gives me one hell of a chance of owning one of those cameras, instead of just leaving me here drooling over the pages.

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