Friday, January 19, 2007

first job

I worked as editorial assistant at Philippine Journal of Education for almost a year with Mrs. Paz Marquez Benitez who was already 83 years old at that time but still actively editing the magazine. That was my first job and I loved it because it was my dream work---to get into a publishing company. In the morning I was assigned in the editorial office and in the afternoon I was working in the Cirlculation Department answering letters from subscribers. The editor, Mrs. Benitez , only worked mornings so we got to get out of the editorial office in the afternoon. My most unforgettable experience there was when the Managing Editor, Ret. Gen. Licuanan, gave me a tough assignment to direct/supervise the taking of pictures around Metro Manila for the whole year's back covers.Provided with a car and necessary provisions, we scoured the big and small places of Manila looking for suitable pictures to be taken that could be used for our monthly back covers for the entire year. The procedure was for us to first secure the permission of our subjects by letting them sign a waiver before we took their pictures. We were able to follow this procedure on all our thirty five shots except for the last one which was that of an ice cream vendor giving a cone of ice cream to a little boy. It was the photographer who said that it wasn't a good scene and the General surely wouldn't choose that. The photographer was very wrong. When proofs of the scenes we took were spread before the meticulous eyes of the General for him to choose to best photo to land on the back cover of our January issue, guess what he chose? Yes, he had his eyes on the photo of the ice cream vendor and the little boy whose pants were two sizes too big for him. When the General asked for the waiver, I knew that I should find and shoot the photographer for putting me into that situation. However, I had to save my neck, so I told the General quite bravely that I had all the waivers of all the photos except that." But I could give you the waiver you need in fifteen minutes", I assured Gen. Licuanan.
Like a General that he was, he commanded me to do just that. I rushed to the photographer and demanded for a blow-up shot of the picture immediately so I could read the address of the ice cream factory which was painted on the cart. He did it in seconds and I was out into the streets looking for that ice cream vendor whose signature could mean my getting axed from my first job or not. Luckily, after a few minutes of waiting, the man appeared . I told him that he was going to be on the back cover of our magazine, was it okay with him? He sheepishly smiled and asked if he had to pay for that. " No", I said, " all you need to do is sign the waiver form." And he did. I was back in the office before closing time and kept my first job.

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