Photograph by Pat Mateo
Style Necessary Style

Tech tools that can withstand wars, disasters — say these men with high-risk jobs

When treading through the most foreign and notoriously dangerous places, it is foremost to be equipped with the right gear and gadgets. Here are some of the tried-and-tested, foolproof tech pieces owned and used by some of those with high-risk jobs.
Julio Silvestre | Apr 29 2019


Used by journalist Ed Lingao when covering war zones

Lingao goes beneath the surface to find the larger story in the hotspots he's in. He writes his pieces on a laptop built for the kind of business he's in. It stands up to wear and tear on the field and is resistant to dust and water. It can be banged around and stepped on but will continue to function. Coming with slings and straps (no bags needed), these laptops cost as little as PHP 4,000 used, and as much as USD 4,000 brand new. These laptops are sold to the military, police emergency units, or construction companies.


You may also like:


General Dynamics GoBook XR-1

When Lingao needs a rugged laptop fast enough to edit video documentaries, the General Dynamics XR-1 is his weapon of choice, produced by the same company that makes F-16 Falcon fighter jets. Sealed to resist water and dust, the XR-1 features a touchscreen much like the CF-18. Lingao has brought the XR-1 to his travels to Jolo.


Panasonic Toughbook CF-18

Lingao's choice for most of his travels, the CF-i8 can weather any environment. It can turn into a laptop with a screen capable of rotating 3.80 degrees. It is tough but light and compact. However, like most rugged laptops, the processors are not very fast due to heating issues that come with internal sealing.


Panasonic Toughbook CF-30

Sharing almost the same protective features as the CF-i8, the bigger, heavier CF-3o is the newer model that boasts of a Core 2 Duo processor. It can go for six or seven hours on battery.



Used by television reporter Jorge Cara in his coverage of the 2013 Zamboanga crisis

Although not personally owned, Caririo has used this vest and helmet to cover the 19-day siege of Zamboanga by factions of the Moro National Liberation Front intending to occupy the city under the Bangsamoro Republik. With government troops trading fire with rebels, journalists descended the city garbed in protective gear.

This plated vest is only one of many models that media men used. This model is equipped with a solid metal plate in the torso, much like a bulletproof vest. The helmet is made of metal with inside padding.

Created by Manila Shooters, the vest costs from PHP 50,000 to 70,000, while the helmet is priced at PHP 15,000 to 18,000.



Used by volunteer aid worker Gabriel "Gab" Malvar during disaster response operations in Yolanda-ravaged Tacloban

Also known as a Mobile Operation Attachment Bag, the 5.11 Rush MOAB 10 is a customizable tactical bag that is compact, easy to handle, and durable. It has numerous pockets and compartments, which allow multi-storage of different gadgets and accessories.

When Yolanda flattened Tacloban late last year, Malvar worked with the international NGO Global DIRT (Disaster Immediate Response Team), which gave him the MOAB 10 while he documented relief and medical efforts. The bag doubled as his camera bag, keeping his SLR camera, lenses, batteries, and chargers, among others, safely tucked away. It holds water bottles, flashlights, and knives, as well.

Malvar now uses the MOAB 10 on assignment, particularly when covering Sulu as a journalist.



Used by wildlife photographer Gutsy Tuason for his dives in Palau and Anilao

Tuason takes his gorgeous underwater photographs with a Nikon D4 camera encased in Aquatica housing made of aluminum. The casing also prevents the camera from warping under depth pressure. The Nikon D4 comes with a pair of Sea & Sea YS-110 flash and a FIT Focus Light 2400 Lumens to light up underwater gloom. For safety, a Scuba Pro Dive Computer is attached to measure the depth of the dive and indicate how long the diver can stay there.

Being that the camera accessories are highly specialized, the aluminum housing can cost well over PHP 140,000, while the flash will set you back PHP 25,000 upwards apiece. 


Goal Zero Sherpa 100 Power Pack

The Sherpa 100 Power Pack might be the ultimate must-have when power is in short supply. The lithium-ion battery can be charged in wall outlets and cars, but its best feature is its set of compact solar panels that enable users to charge it during the day even when access to electricity is scarce. It needs 10 to 20 hours of charging time. The Power Pack is equipped with multiple ports that allow it to charge mobile phones, tablets, lights, DSLR cameras, and laptops.

Handy and compact, the Sherpa 100 weighs only 1.9 lbs and measures less than seven inches. 

The Sherpa loo Power Pack is available at Squires Bingham Sports, located at 2nd Avenue corner 31st Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

Photographs by Pat Mateo

This story originally appeared on Vault Magazine Issue 14 2014.