Bus Conversations and Introducing Obla: The Series

Are you the kind of guy who pays no attention to the stranger seated beside you in a bus? Well, I’m kind of like that. Last December however, while riding a bus to Baguio, I got curious when my seat mate took out his digital camera and started taking photos of the passing scenes. Because I have been planning to buy a digicam for the longest time, I asked him about his camera hoping that I would get some advice on the reliable ones to purchase. It turns out that he received the camera as a gift so he didn’t have much advice on what brand to buy, the best place to buy one, how much to spend, and all those things that we think about when we buy something that we hope will be with us for a long time.

Anyways, for some reason we started talking about each other’s job. This is how the conversation went:

Bill Bilig (BB): So, what are you doing in Manila?
Camera Guy (CG): I work for a company in Makati. I design websites.
BB: What websites? I wonder if you designed the ones I visit?
CG (hesitantly): Ummm. Pornographic websites.
BB: Really?
CG: Yup.
BB: So what is it like designing porn sites.
CG: It was hard at first. It was like culture shock. But I eventually adjusted about two weeks.
BB: Would you consider this a dream job? You watch porn for free. And you get paid.
CG: Not really. It’s just a job.
BB: Did this change you in any way?
CG: I pity those girls being treated as sex objects. And the website owners and people who visit those sites are really into weird things.
[At this point, we talked about those weird things but I’m not gonna include it here because this blog is for general patronage.]
BB: So what countries do you get most of your clients from? Maybe those frigid Scandinavian countries?
CG: No. Actually most of our clients are from the U.S.
BB: Does the job pay well?
CG: Yeah it does, but the hours are bad. [Note: Sometimes he works the night shift.] And our pay is like four times lower than what our counterparts in the U.S. would receive.

Anyway, that is my recollection of how the conversation went. So why the heck am I blogging about this, you might wonder. Well, first to ask for advice from those of you who own digital cameras since I still haven’t bought one. I’ve been reading forums, product reviews, etc. etc. but I still haven’t made up my mind as to what kind of camera to buy. I’m basically looking for one that is reasonably priced, sufficient for blogging and general purposes, reliable, durable, and not bound for the trash can after only a year or two.

Secondly, the bus conversation above made me think about doing a blog series on interesting jobs that Igorots/iCordilleras are doing. We are good vegetable and rice farmers, woodcarvers, teachers, doctors, nurses, military men, rebels (this is a job no?), lawyers, activists, etc. etc. But some of us are doing interesting jobs that not a lot of people are doing and that not a lot of people know about.

For instance, Peter Chumawin is raising ostrich; TruBlue, one of our prolific commenters (thanks TruBlue) recently told us about an Igorot pilot; Gandang Igorota and her companions are translating the Bible into Kalanguya, Ivadoy Country worked to translate the Book of Ruth into Ibaloi, and I’m sure there are others out there who are doing interesting jobs which are worth blogging about. So if you know of anyone who has an interesting job (interesting because it is not common) and s/he would be willing to answer questions by email, you might want to suggest them to us so we will get in touch with them.

In our first post for the Obla (Work) Series we will be featuring Jay Watan, an internet entrepreneur who is into designing websites and web hosting. Just in case you wonder (because what they do are somewhat similar), Jay is not the Camera Guy mentioned above.

IMAGE CREDIT: nnba.net

14 thoughts on “Bus Conversations and Introducing Obla: The Series”

  1. well, for one do you want just a point and shoot or do you want a more detailed camera? i have a 3.2 megapixel sony cybershot, so it’s a point and shoot basically. i regret buying it for many reasons. it only uses a memory stick. sony products are the only ones that use memory stick, whereas most cameras and other gadgets use sd cards. also buy something that has at least 5 megapixels, coz when you blow up the picture the details are not blurry/fuzzy and the pixels are not showing. buy something that has more than 3x zoom as well, maybe 5x. make sure it’s user friendly and has a panoramic shot if you want to take longer pictures. after the surge of digital cameras, the prices have so much dipped! next time i’m going to buy a camera i’m going for a canon. good luck!

  2. If you like sharing pictures, go for a Point and Shoot Kodak. I had 3 Kodak then, all took nice pictures. Now it’s a Kodak P850. 10X optical zoom, so you can take subjects from a distance. Over 5 megapixel. Bought also a HD lens, a cheap one so I can take picture of tiny object chose up with very great resolution. It is very easy to use and not as expensive and complicated as other brands. And did I mention, it takes clear video clips, too. Don’t know how it’s priced in Manila but here, it’s like 9 thou Phil pesos. I have posted pictures taken from my Kodak P850. If you like, check it out on Zazzle.com/maylinda.
    And your blog site is great. I like it that there’s no advertisement.

  3. add on: for a memory stick, try to get 1G or 2G Kodak. Can contain 300-500 pictures. One thing I also like about Kodak, they have technical people in the Philippines who will answer your questions over their 1-800 numbers.
    zazzle.com/maylinda*

  4. Hi Torogi Mama,
    Hey, thanks for the advice. Now I know that sony cybershot is not good. I think I just want a point and shoot and nothing complicated. You are right about the price of cameras dropping, that’s actually one reason why I often held off buying a unit. I keep on thinking kasi that I will save money because the price will go down six months from now, or next year. But I’m also missing a lot of photo opportunities.

    Hi Meling,
    Thanks also for your advice and your pictures are great ha. I also like it that you had them printed in items that you can sell.Those TI and Bago shirts are really nice too. TI alumni ka pala ha. I will consider Kodak 850 among my choices.Thanks for dropping by 🙂

    Hi Nats,
    Thanks for your advice. For some reason most of the reviews I read about Kodak digicams are not very positive. So it’s good to read your feedback and Meling’s feedback about Kodak both of which are positive. I will also look into C330. Magaganda nga kuha mong pics. Thanks 🙂

  5. Great idea! a great way to find new people on the web.

    Your porn guy sounds interesting 🙂

    I use a Kodak 330 too. It’s my first digital camera, and I love it because it is easy to use. Basically point and shoot as everyone had said. I guess it all depends on what you want to accomplish with your camera. I bought mine just to take everyday photos of the kids and for the food blog. That works nicely for that purpose.

    Now that I am getting more into photography though, I am noticing its limitations like with light. It’s not a good camera to use when you want to play with lighting because you can’t control how long the aperture stays open. Zoom capability is also limited.

    I’m looking forward to now upgrading my camera to something bigger and better 🙂 I’m dreaming DSLR….but I’m also dreaming I’ll win the lotto. haha!

  6. Hi JMom,
    Thanks. Yup he is. Too bad I didn’t get his contact info so we will feature him in this blog.

    I guess I will do what you did. Start with a more basic camera and eventually move on to the more advanced ones if I see the need for more detailed/exciting photos. If you win the lotto, dapat may balato 🙂 Thanks again.

  7. ei bil, like your porn guy, i don’t have any advice to give re what digcam is best kase mine is a gift lang din… I have an Olympus something which takes real good pics.

    TYVM for including us ‘translators’ (Gandangigorota & Ivaduy Country)in your examples of people having ‘weird’ jobs… hehe! Fyi, there are like 40 plus Igorots (iKalingas (Lubuagen, Butbut, Mangali, etc.), iMt.Ps (Bontoc, Balangao, Majukayong, Barlig), iBenguets (Ibaloi), iNVs, Ifugaos (Amganad, Ayangan, Keley-i, Tuwali)and other non-Igorot tribes in Luzon doing translation in their own languages and also more in Visayas and Mindanao. Yun lang, not all of them join or have websites like gandangigorota, Ivaduy Country,and layadgal. 😉

  8. Have 4.1mp/3x zoom cybershot SONY for almost two years now, and thought it was da best!! After all da comments, I’m so depressed. Then again, not into these gadgets so it’s perfect me for point and shoot during parties. It holds over 200 pics and I only take maybe 10 pics at any given time. Besides, it so easy to use for email attachments. This cost over 10k two years ago, as most said, cost should be reasonable now. Thanks btw for the “prolific” accolade you bestowed on me, rarely do I hear good comments, ehem…some called me “arrogant” before, up to this day I’m mesmerized by their opinion (two white females). For the record, I’m pragmatic, very generous, and have sense of humor, lots of it!!!
    goodhealth always to everyone…

    TruBlue

  9. Hei Bill,

    I second the motion sa TYVM ni ate ganda for mentioning us in your blog. But so sorry to object that our jobs are not ‘weird’. I don’t like the sound of it…hehe. Personal opinion lang po…hehe manen. As for the translation of Ruth, I just did the drafting but without a consultant checking it…it will remain as a mere draft as mentioned by ate ganda in one of her multiply blogs. So credit goes out to the consultant, as well as my team mates (Ibaloi translation team), including the people who helped in the comprehension checking. Haay, dami na ako nasabi.

    Thanks again and God bless po!

    FBI/Ivadoy Country

  10. Hi Ferri,
    Thanks for the details about the Bible translators. I really find it interesting and I think it is a very productive work.

    Hi TruBlue,
    As I said somewhere in some of the comments section, buti ka pa meron kang digicam hehe. I enjoy reading your comments and the sense of humor does shine through. Comments away my friend 🙂

    Hi FBI,
    Hehe, si Ferri ang nagsabi na “weird”. What I said was your jobs are very interesting because they are not common. Kaya ako din mag-oobject sa paggamit ni Ferri ng “weird” although I understand that she really didn’t mean it literally . Peace 🙂

  11. hahaha, sori bill, got u in trouble. yah, the post-modern meaning of ‘weird’ is ‘special, unique, rare, etc.’in the sense that a first grader won’t say, “My ambition is to become a Bible Translator someday,” when asked what s/he would like to become in the future. ‘know what I mean, FBI? 🙂

    (post-modern daw oh! dyok lang… just making palusot… but tama ka bill, I didn’t mean the primary sense (i.e. literal) of the word.)

  12. Hi Ferri,
    No problem. Nakiki-post modern ka na rin ha 🙂

    Hi FBI,
    No problem din 🙂 At least na-clarify natin 🙂

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