Monday, December 12, 2011


Hushed voices tell of a place where all electronic gadgets forcibly taken away from their hosts are sold.

There, pickpockets and robbers turn ambulant vendors. Their makeshift stalls line up a busy strip. It is where flies come together to inspect their wares; eager to get the best deal, knowing somehow, what are laid before them came from someone else.

But such words are never spoken.

This shitty truth was avowed to me by a colleague. Someone, who in his past life clawed out of the dregs. At the back of my head, going there is the closest I could exact as revenge. Maybe too, my Ipod Nano found itself peddled in one of the stalls there. 

I would like to retrieve it with cash.

"Ingat ka papunta dun." It was from my agent.

So I went to Avenida in search of the blackest market. Dressed down to my house garments, I even left my phone and wallet to ensure my possessions are spared. 

It was easy to fit in. The sidewalk was packed with people. Most were blue collar workers off to see if their wages could afford them a worn down phone. There were Nokias and Motorolas, I even spotted a touch-screen Samsung and a bunch of China-made Cherry phones.

A stall sells digital cameras. I wonder how it was snatched from its owner. A hold-up maybe? What if it was pawned? There were even laptops at drop down prices. Displayed for all to see, my heart wishes of amiable partings. But all I could hear are the cries and woes of their past owners. 

I moved from one stall to the next with a heavy heart.

And then, like a silver lining at the tail of a cold front, I caught glimpse of sunshine. Square in shape, silver in color. It was the same Nano I lost. 

I picked it up, hovered over the home button with my sweaty finger. I had to see what songs are kept in its repository. Rihanna, Goo Goo Dolls. Not a single Electronica. I think there was Eminem as well, and a slew of punk bands. Close enough, but those weren't my songs. The Nano was owned by someone else. 

"Magkano po siya manong?" 

"Two thousand."

"Wala na pong tawad?"

"Sige P1,900." I was ready to haggle some more, or even check the other stalls just a few steps away from my prospect.

But just when I was about to move on, I saw another gadget. an Ipod Touch lying beside the Nano.

"16 GB yan"

"Magkano?" I prefer to withhold the price.

"Kaya niyo pa ibaba ang presyo?"


The bait was very tempting. Especially when I learned how the inferior Apple gadgets on the nearby stalls commanded a higher price. The one being offered had a defect. Yes, a major one now that I see it differently. But at that moment, I was easily swayed by a wagging finger. Leaving my phone behind denied me salvation from my own impulses.

"I will get it." It was too late to back off.

Drunk with the thought of having my first Apple, I went to the nearest ATM to withdraw some cash. It was worth half-a-month's pay. Something I could use to fund my holiday project. But my inner demons say otherwise. 

"It's time you level up."

"Think of it as a reward."

"You can use WIFI instead of your service provider's snail-paced WAP. Imagine how it would revolutionize your Social Media usage."

No questions asked. The demons have a point.

And so I returned to the vendor to see the iPod Touch for a final inspection. Guiltless of my ways of acquisition. Fearless with my unilateral decision. I handed over the cash as the product exchanged hands. Sliding it inside my pocket, I left the strip a conqueror.

It was a Pyrrhic victory.

"From now on, you will be Furion." I said to myself, smiling, while looking at the side mirror of the jeep.

And the sweet taste of hubris
lingered in his mouth.
Only to learn, too late
it was the same fit of arrogance that would 
lead to his downfall.
Less than a day later.


Orochimaru said...

sana sinabihan mo ako. i live near the area

Anonymous said...

hello then, Furion. You must download Tap-Tap. :)

- Joe

Désolé Boy said...

The placed used to be a playground to me. Story hunt, documentary shoot, the scavenging of the cheapest of cheapest whatnots I/we need etc.
Write a follow-up Kuya. Tell us what happens to the gadget. Maybe I/we could get one, too.


anong nangyari?

daniel the jagged little egg said...

Hehe nice. Congrats sa new gadget mo sis : )

Pagnagkapera ako turo mo sakin kung pano pumunta dun hehe : )

Gusto ko kasi ng Nokia C3 for X'mas, baka pero dun : )

Anonymous said...

A classic case of a violation of the Anti-Fencing Law.

Konting ingats bro hehehe...


Martin said...

Uy madalas rin ako noon sa area na yun buti at ni minsan di ako nadukutan o nawalan dun. Baka wala sa itsura ko ang may mananakawan. lol. ingat na lang sa susunod