Right before I moved away from the Philippines, I made one of the most remarkable purchases of my life. I felt like it was time for a new phone, and upon visiting my neighbourhood mall I was bewildered by the number of kiosks selling a range of completely unrecognizable, totally no-name Android phones at dirt cheap prices. In the end, I settled on a model from Firefly Mobile, which boasted remarkable specs for a remarkably low price of approximately $100 US. The phone ended up serving me well, its 3GB of RAM allowing me to clutter up the memory space with idle apps, and the Sony camera lens took some pretty good pictures – Even if most of the pictures in my blog don’t exactly bear this claim out.
I began raving to my friends about my magical cheapie phone, though my ardour was somewhat dampened by the fact that I left the Philippines two weeks after buying this seemingly Philippine-only brand. I only encountered one other person who ever owned a Firefly phone, and I accepted that Firefly was doomed to be one more thing among many that only I, the great bearer of that terrible burden of solitary enlightenment, can truly love and appreciate.
A year later, I returned to the Philippines to catch up with old friends and, most importantly, to see the dogs that I had given up for adoption. I stayed in an Airbnb, a tiny studio unit in a condo complex attached to a mall. The mall had its own forlorn little Firefly kiosk, which I would pass by each day. The kiosk would either be staffed by an extremely bored-looking woman with no customers, or would be empty.