Yesterday, December 13, I was waiting for the start of the 6PM Catholic Mass at the Landmark Department Store inside the huge Trinoma Mall, Quezon City, when my attention was caught by the man sitting in front of me. The man, who was fiddling with his mobile phone earlier, was now taking video shots, using his phone, of the lady-usher who was standing near us. The usher was directing Mass goers to seats in front, near the altar. The usher was a salesperson of Landmark and she, like the other female and male ushers at that time, was in uniform. Her uniform, like the rest of the female ushers, was a rather tight light-brown dress with a hemline several inches above the knee. As she moved her arms up to direct the people to the seats, her hemline went up a bit more to reveal more of her legs. And there she was, her back to the man (and me).
The man was apparently delighted by what he saw and about seven minutes before the Mass officiated by Fr. Ramon Eloriaga was to begin, he was videotaping the lady on his mobile phone, from the waist down. It was hard for him to hide what he was doing, if he did try to hide it, because the angle he was shooting from required him to put his camera at his eye level, while sitting down. And since I was sitting a few inches from him (we were seated in row of chairs that was propped up against a wall), I could easily see what he was doing.
I was alarmed and shocked at how this man could invade the lady’s privacy that way, and while at Mass yet! For a moment, I was thinking that maybe the man had a new mobile phone, and he was just checking out its features. But, no! He just went on with his videotaping, making sure that his phone’s camera was focused on the lady’s buttocks and legs. I wanted to either ask the man to stop what he was doing or else yank the lady away from where she was standing, away from this instant videographer. But, somehow, fear gripped me as I wondered how the man would react if his attention was called. He didn’t look harmless to me, if I would go by first impression of his looks and demeanor at that time. Anyway, I proceeded to observe the man while he was videotaping, and I decided that if he did any graver thing about the lady at that time, I would really do something to stop him. Mercifully, the Mass already started, and although the lady-usher continued to stand near us, the man behaved. Although he was checking his mobile phone from time-to-time, something that he shouldn’t have been doing too, in respect to the ongoing Mass.
Anyway, I resolved that if I see him again at the Landmark Mass soon and he again whips out his mobile phone to take a shot of the lady-ushers or even Mass goers at their unguarded moments, then I’ll really do something to stop him from doing so. I don’t think I could again just sit there and see how another woman’s privacy was being violated that way, and to think that that man was doing his thing at a Mass!