Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of August 5, 2002
A reporter's journal
Crushing disappointment when the camera misfires
By RENATO GANDIA
All I did was to console myself that his image has been etched in my heart since I was 10.
Phones would be left unanswered, cell phones turned off, as everyone turned to television monitors listening to what he had to say.
When he arrived for the welcoming ceremony, I was there among the crowd cheering. I was not as exuberant as I used to be. Maybe it was my age, too.
I just wanted a photo as his popemobile passed where I stood patiently. But that image was not mine to capture because my camera did not cooperate. Stunned by the technical malfunction I wanted to cry.
Walking away from the crowd I wept. I was 10 years old again and wanting to be near the pope but I couldn't because of the throngs of people.
A lady from England asked me what was wrong. I couldn't even begin to tell her. All I did was to console myself that his image has been etched in my heart since I was 10.
The Way of the Cross event was testy. CBC and the producer of the presentation did not want all the media inside the fenced stage.
I was stubborn and took the chance because I wanted to capture beautiful and colourful photos.
Security's eyes were better than my hiding. I was found and was escorted out. That night I did not give up. I wanted to capture images to take home. And I did, with my ego and pride a little bit bruised from the embarrassment.
Back at the media centre, I looked at how some veteran journalists seemed to take the coverage easily. "Maybe I was inexperienced," I told myself as I felt fatigue taking its toll.
The reporter beside me from L.A. Times did not seem to panic about anything. While Reuter writers and photojournalists chatted about what would be good for dinner, I was fading into some form of discouragement.
A walk at Duc in Ultum (Coronation Park) made me realize that most of my veteran colleagues at the media centre only need to tell stories.
I too need to tell stories but stories of faith.
Now I clearly know what a pope does. And I know what I needed to do - to tell a story like Sergio's.
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