Monday, March 31, 2008


The cellphone may have unseated the television as the most popular and ubiquitous technological invention in man's history. In Manila alone, there may be at least three cell phone units per household. Come to think of it, even domestic helpers own a cell phone.

According to family and friends, the cellphone remains to be the most requested graduation and birthday gift; proving that cell phones have, indeed, become the most sought-after personal electronic gadget by almost everyone -- kids and adults alike.

I am one of those who have become completely dependent upon this device; regarding it much like a security blanket.
I may be able to do without television, but absolutely not without a cell phone. There was a time -- even though already half way to my destination -- when I immediately turned back upon realizing that I had left home without my cell phone.

However, despite its benefits in terms of telecommunication convenience and accessibility, some people consider the cell phone as an electronic leash used by protective parents and possessive lovers. Worse, it has also become a prime target by snatchers and petty thieves. In Manila alone, some mugging victims reportedly sustained gunshot and knife-stabbing wounds, while others were killed outright for refusing to hand over their cell phones. Yet despite the perils of ownership, many folks acquire a cell phone -- be it for personal or business reasons.

Moreover, recent innovations in cell phone technology make them even more attractive. Besides the basic features such as voice and SMS messaging capabilities, newer models are capable of taking impressive photographs and videos, as well as storing and playing MP3 files.

Their prices are also becoming more affordable, while major service providers intensely compete to provide lower-priced services. These, in turn, encourage some folks to constantly upgrade to newer models, which oftentimes result to a decrease in the prices of used models due to sheer abundance.

And as for cell phones becoming a status symbol in Manila, it's true. A couple of years ago, a waitress in a swanky cafe in Greenbelt ignored me when she saw my Nokia 3310 -- a model fit for mere peons she must have thought.


posted by Señor Enrique at 10:03 AM


Blogger Sidney said...

By any chance Eric, do you have the cell phone number of that woman in your last picture? ;-)

March 31, 2008 11:48 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really can't imagine how we survived life before the advent of the cellphone. With this gadget, I had been saved from numerous emergencies.

March 31, 2008 12:25 PM  

Blogger Unknown said...

I am amazed how quickly cell phones grew in popularity. very nice shots!
Wiley Willows Photoblog

March 31, 2008 1:40 PM  

Blogger JayAshKal said...

Why don't we have a "cell phone " free day. I've managed without one (and internet) for 13 days, while on vacation. It is liberating.


March 31, 2008 3:05 PM  

Blogger nutart said...

ha-ha-ha! Like you, Eric, I too might just by ignored by waitresses etal because of my cheap celphone! But, thank God, I'm pass the insecurities of urban wannabees :-).Naku! Why get a fancy thingamajig when all I need is to say when or where I'm going! Aside from that I can just whip out my celphone even while riding a jeepney without fear of losing it! My husband and I would gift our wards with our second hand celphones just so they can inform us whether they can make it to come and report for work or not. It really is a great help...although my husband is quite impatient with economical "texting". I find though that one skips proper spelling through texting and oftentimes I tend to wonder what the message really means!

March 31, 2008 6:12 PM  

Blogger Unknown said...

Some parents call celphones this generation's cigarettes. My sister bought our 10-year old nephew a celphone. While I don't understand why a 10-year old needs a celphone, my nephew seems motivated to study after he got the celphone. It's definitely a status symbol for teenagers, yuppies, and some gadget-conscious adults. I have a supplier, a rich Chinese businessman, who still uses an old Nokia celphone. It's more practical, he said, because he can leave it anywhere and nobody's interested.:D

It has become a necessity for me, too, and I sometimes wish I don't have a celphone so I can have some private time.

March 31, 2008 6:46 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Better I not give you her number, Sidney. Adding another textmate for her to be occupied with while walking or driving may just lead her to an early demise ... hehehe.

March 31, 2008 9:33 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Truth be told, Rhoda, my assimilation into the local culture was made easier by having a cell phone -- in case of emergencies, my family and friends are merely a text or call away.

March 31, 2008 9:34 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Astonishing, indeed, Luke, how cell phones just invaded our culture.


March 31, 2008 9:35 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You're right, Mario. It can surely be liberating to exist without these modern day conveniences -- but not for too long, though ... hehehe!

March 31, 2008 9:37 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I must admit, Bernadette, the only time I upgraded was when I got into blogging. The early photos I posted were taken by a more advanced (at that time) model with a fine camera.

I then upgraded from cell phone camera to a Canon point & shoot, and then finally a Nikon dSLR.

It's mind-blowing how the prices of new cell phone models go down so quickly.

March 31, 2008 9:40 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I believe you, Luna, I know of a few folks who are very happy with their old model cell phones. Had I not gotten into blogging, I'd be happy to keep my 3310 :)

March 31, 2008 9:41 PM  

Blogger carlotta1924 said...

hehehe funny =) my pa also owned a 3310 which he accidentally left at mr. donut in greenhills. the crew there called our house to say that he left his cell phone so in a nutshell, nabalik sa kanya yung cell phone :D if that were a newer model most likely no one would call.

April 01, 2008 5:47 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

And I must've dropped my 3310 a number of times, Carla, yet it kept on working without a hitch. A nephew still uses it. A very sturdy model, indeed!

April 01, 2008 7:06 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Immediately after I retired from the work force, the first thing I did was to liberate myself from the invisible shackle of a cell phone. I ceremoniously broke it into pieces LOL.

Email is now my preferred method of communicating and keeping in touch with friends and "foes." It is slow but snail mails and smoke signals are slower LOL.

April 01, 2008 7:29 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

But bertN, a cell phone is a good thing to have especially when travelling. You never know when you may need it for emergency situation.

April 01, 2008 7:54 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been living my life w/o a television for almost 4 years now. Pero if you were to ask me to ditch my cellphone that's an absolute no!


Our lives have been commanded by the need of having a cellphone wherever we go, diba?

April 01, 2008 9:11 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Lol ... you and me both, Kyels!

April 01, 2008 9:51 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I'd still live because I still remember living for 15 years without a cellphone. I could resist my phone more than my laptop and the Internet, haha.

April 02, 2008 7:38 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I agree, dave, but when driving or traveling, best to have a cell phone available :)

April 03, 2008 6:21 AM  

Blogger wysgal said...

I can't live without my PDA. If I wasn't connected to my email 24/7 there are a lot of things I would miss out on. I also love being able to go online any time I'm away from my PC (the number of sites with mobile phone versions is increasing).

April 03, 2008 11:32 AM  

Blogger reyd said...

It would have been nice if they never invented that animal!
Para tuloy akong naging atsoy and should never leave home without it. Eh ang naririnig ko lang parati or text sa cp ko ay:

Dad, saan Ka?
Honey, sunduin mo na kami dito sa..
Daan ka nga sa grocery at bili ka ng ..
Pre' sama ka ba mamaya?
Pards, I need a ride...
Hey, you need to comeback to work now.
Dad, penge pera
Ikaw na sumundo kay kuwan...

Ilan beses ko na naiiwanan sa iba't ibang lugar ito, balik ng balik sa akin. :lol: Pag nawala, ka dali palitan ng T-mobile.

On the bright side, it is always nice to have one in case of an emergency and just to hear the voice of your loved ones.

Depende nga talaga sa lifestyle at status ang pag-gamit ng CP or other gizmos.

April 25, 2008 12:47 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Lol ... very funny, Reyd -- reminiscent of similar complaints from my kumpadres and other dads I know.

Pero, kailangan nga natin lalo na pag may pamilya :)

April 26, 2008 7:11 AM  

Blogger Unknown said...

I feel empty and helpless if my celphone is not with me. I feel i am last to know about whats going on and i get informations late. They are important but sometimes it can get you into trouble.

May 08, 2008 9:57 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

The only thing I get on the mail are bills; all social correspondence are via email. Goes to show you, Wysgal, that I'd be really out of touch should I fail to log online.

May 08, 2008 11:28 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You've just reminded me of a question I was confronted with: Which one would I give up -- my wallet or my cellphone?

May 08, 2008 11:30 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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