basco

though shalt not covet thy neighbor's iPhone

pic by janice tañadawhen omar offered to sell me the iPhone back in august, his pitch consisted of a promise that the gadget is believed to be the fastest way to get laid. i apologize if i have severely affected the iPhone's statistics, but i did not manage to get any sex as a consequence of owning this much sought-after phone. rather peculiarly, no one has even paid attention to the phone, and while i am not in the habit of brandishing the gadget in public, the only attention that i received from other commuters on the MRT or elsewhere, were tentative glances at the piece of metal and glass resting on my palm. these days, the iPhone is more ubiquitous than billboards at EDSA. when i went to boracay, i saw uma pressing on one while he walked down the beach. i think i saw five other iPhone owners on the beach, displaying their gadgets the way gym addicts show off their pecs. i so wanted to photograph their iPhones, particularly because one was fully dressed, it looked like it had a bullet-proof vest.

perhaps it has something to do with filipinos being very shy, or being less demonstrative of their curiosity (or even their admiration of something so beautiful and newfangled). it was almost the same when i owned the nokia 7650 -- that (c)hunk of a phone i got from smart when i won the philippine star travel essay contest in 2002. people took notice, but they were tentative about expressing anything that might be construed as envy. interestingly, i was at the MRT recently and i was sending an SMS to someone when this man in front of me, who was shabbily dressed in an unpressed barong, and unshined brown leather shoes, asked: "pare, what is that?" he had a strange accent, and i had to look up. i saw that he didn't look filipino. he had indian features.

"it's the iPhone," i said, and people started looking our way. my accent when i speak english is also a little different from most filipinos. i continued to speak about the phone and the indian man pressed me for more information. then he asked if it's available in singapore.

"it is, i think," i said. "i was just there last month and i saw a few people using it." goodness, i'm showing off my jetsettedness in a crowded public mode of transport. i felt so extremely pretentious, in a good way. i wasn't lying after all.

"ok. i'm going back there next week, i'll just buy it there," the man said. "sige pare," he finally said and got off the train.

and speaking of singapore, i probably would have proved omar's sales pitch there. whenever i took out my iPhone, some person or other immediately took notice. it may be cultural, or it may be something else, and i didn't necessarily feel surprised by the attention -- i expected it!

"how much is that lens?" i asked at a camera store, then took out my iPhone to convert it in pesos. "i'd trade this for your phone though," the merchant said. even taxi drivers noticed my gadget, so much so that i had to say: please pay attention to the road. this was in november last year, and someone even remarked that the philippines was so far ahead because singaporeans couldn't find it locally. i wanted to say: oh there are just people willing to hack the phone back home.

and recently, globe won the rights to sell the iPhone locally. if i want to get the asian release, i'd still have to get it hacked. but do i even want to upgrade? or go back to sony ericsson? hmmm...

photo credits: janice tañada
but of course! uma for more effect! leche yang mga iPhone users na non mac users naman! che!