1.22.2006

Another missed Kodak Moment



There are several instances when I would like to kick myself for not bringing my camera with me. Another such occasion happened a few minutes ago. I left my SLR at the office. My digital cam, which I always carry with me, is with my sister for her trip to Boracay.

Went to the mall to grab some lunch (which for me comes after 1pm when I'm at work). Upon entering the mall, my eyes met hundreds of faces all looking at the same direction. Sprawled across the lobby was a crowd of spectators all looking up at this huge wide-screen TV. (I kicked myself mentally right about here.) On screen was the fight between the Destroyer, Manny Pacquiao and Eric Morales in Las Vegas. And the whole mall stopped to watch the fight. Men and children were sitting, cross-legged, on the mall's lobby floor. Nobody seemed to notice that it was a mall floor. To them, it was as comfortable as the floor of their own living room had they had a TV in it. On the second and third levels, people hugging the railing looking down at the make-shift cinema made just for this event. Thank God for small cities. :)

One of our own had come to fight and the world will see it. All eyes fixed on the TV, shining, hopeful, excited. This will be our fight. It has Pinoy marked all over it. This will prove that we are more than just household help foreigners hire, more than just the yayas who guard their children, more than just the caregivers, and nurses who take care of their sick. We are a race within a race. There’s more to us than just brown skin and the ability to comprehend English anywhere in the country. With us, is the mark of Manny's provincial background, his Bisaya accent and his small town gait. With him is the Filipino sense of humor, the ability to make ironic jokes in the midst of suffering. He reminds us of our next door neighbor, the nice guy who helps us with farm work, the humble uncle who is all quiet but packs up a punch when needed. We can relate to him as we do with Efren Bata Reyes. We can win. We can conquer. We can be best the world. Pacquiao is one of us.

I hesitantly peeled away from the crowd and went to look for lunch. I ate my pantat at an empty food court, bought my coffee at the vacated donut shop, the whole time listening to the sounds of the announcer on the boxing ring. The shops are empty. All people are glued to their TV watching the fight. Lingering on my last look at the fans who had probably made their bets within the week, I regrettably walked back to work. The Kodak moment would come when Manny lands his knock out punch. Click! I imagined the whole mall to be in uproar. What a sight it would be. :) With this in mind, I smiled my way back to the office.

When I entered my office building, the guards had stopped listening to the radio. The radio broadcast was in real time and about one hour ahead of the TV broadcast. I asked one of the guards: "Who won?". The image of the mall crowd flashed on my mind. Click! What a Kodak moment it will be. Kick self.

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