Monday, April 23, 2007

ON COLLECTING





















These shells are from my collection of about a dozen or so pieces of various shapes but mostly of small to medium sizes. I don't have any of those huge conch shells that can be used as door stops. I acquired these shells rather uneventfully; not while strolling along a deserted beach under the golden hue of a glorious sunset on the horizon. I simply bought them from an arts and crafts vendor at SM Megamall during some native handicraft trade fair.

That's how unromantic I've acquired my shell collection, but I appreciate it just as much and, in fact, polish every piece once in a while. And while doing so, I am always reminded of the other items or objects that some old friends collect.

In New York, books, vinyl records or CDs, and concert ticket stubs were always the most popular. But as we got older, some branched out into collecting rare watches, original paintings by unknown artists, hats, objets d'art, and garments. Some would even drive long distances to out of town garage sales or estate auctions with the sole intention of finding the missing pieces to complete their collection.

As usual, the more disposable income one has, the more exotic or rare his or her objects of fancy are. However, there are those just as intensely fixated on what regular folks may regard as seemingly mundane items (such as those drinking glasses and bottles from the Depression era). Nevertheless, as with almost anything in New York, the thrill lies in paying a minimal amount for something that will, hopefully, become incredibly valuable someday. But for some, it's simply the matter of acquiring the desired pieces and to someday pass them on to one of their children.

Many lazy weekend afternoons I've spent with friends -- learning about obscure historical bits of information through the objects in their collections, as well as listening to their fascinating tales of acquisitions as if involved in some large scale arbitrage. To this day, they love to talk endlessly about their personal collections.

But then again, their freshly-brewed coffee and home-baked pies were always just as good; hence, making an avid repeat audience out of me.


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posted by Señor Enrique at 9:01 AM


26 Comments:

Blogger Sidney said...

Beautifully written piece about collecting.
I collect books and now started collecting anting-anting.

April 23, 2007 1:25 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Now, that's something original, Sidney -- collecting anting-anting! How about taking some pics and sharing with us some of their alleged powers?

The bulk of my book and music collection I had donated before I left NYC. I figured I'd rather have some folks enjoy them instead of just collect dust. But I miss them :(

April 23, 2007 1:56 PM  

Blogger Belle TH said...

hello Eric,

I collected a lot of those on the beach during my recent trip and they are of different colors. One of these days, I will take pictures of it.

re: comment you left on my blog about photography, thanks. who else would i inherit it from but you? hehe

April 23, 2007 2:23 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Know what Belle? Back in NYC, whenever the winter blues was strting to get to me, I'd sometimes touch a few pices of shells I have in the house just to remind me of the warmth of the summer. And then I don't feel so bad anymore.

Yes, Belle! Great vacation photos you got there! You really should submit a couple as entries to photo contests just for the fun of it! Will post another one soon :)

April 23, 2007 2:51 PM  

Blogger hulihin si anna said...

i hope ive got my own collection. i haven't thought about it for a long time. you made me think of investing or looking for something that i would be interested in. anyway, i was a photographer. i don't know why i am not holding my cam for a long time. good day!

April 23, 2007 3:54 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Hi Anna!

If I may suggest, how about start collecting new photographs that you've taken? Yes, start taking pictures once again!

April 23, 2007 5:01 PM  

Anonymous Corsarius said...

The hobby of collecting things has a way of relieving stress and putting harmony back into our otherwise chaotic lives. Maybe because when we carefully polish, clean, and array our collections, we are made to value the little details, the little things in life, as oppposed to constantly dreaming and striving for big goals and ambitions. :)

I used to collect Boracay sand (Aklan is our home province), but it has since become illegal to scoop up bottlefuls of white sand. Airplane models are now my fancy, though it's quite expensive >_<

April 23, 2007 10:07 PM  

Anonymous kyels said...

I used to collect them when I was still a kid. During those days, I used to frequent the beaches.

(:

April 23, 2007 11:06 PM  

Blogger dave (",) said...

Hi Señor E, I collect forwarded text messages since April 2000. I'm in the process of transforming them all into digital form. Most of the messages are still written in a book I myself bound more than ten years ago.

As for another collection, I've finally written about my five chosen bloggers, and some more ;)

April 23, 2007 11:58 PM  

Blogger mimi said...

nagcocollect din ako ng kung anu anu pero stamps and shells lang ata ang pinakamarami...

namana ko pa ang mga stamps ng mama ko. baka pamana ko pa sa next gen ko.. Ü

April 23, 2007 11:59 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Hi Corsarius!

Yes, there is a soothing effect when picking up each item from a collection and polishing it. (This is weird, the play "The Glass Menagerie" just popped into mind.)

I will ask my friend the exact name and location of the hobby shop where he buys his planes from and pass it on to you.

April 24, 2007 6:14 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

The beach I used to frequent in Subic, Kyels, oddly has not much shells around. Wonder what happened to them.

April 24, 2007 6:15 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

"As for another collection, I've finally written about my five chosen bloggers, and some more ;)"

Can't wait to see them, Dave!

I know this person who does nothing but send me forwarded messages. Would you like me to forward them to you? Just let me know.

April 24, 2007 6:18 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Stamp collections, though I've never done it myself, holds much fascination for me, Mimi.

I used to pore over a friend's collection tirelessly. So much history behind those stamps, actually.

April 24, 2007 6:21 AM  

Anonymous Major Tom said...

I've been collecting coffee mugs before and it used to be that I savored each coffee drink with them. But thru the years, they broke one after another. The kids did em in, some were the maids and one by my wife. Some of em were left but I got discouraged bout that. Usually, items of collection was to be put on a rack and safeguarded, but my style was different, I was using the collection items, inviting friends to have coffee and use the items, and have stories about where each of em I bought. But that wasn't a good idea I found out later.

But maybe that was just my style, I like using those items and if they get broken, then so be it...

April 24, 2007 10:03 AM  

Anonymous niceheart said...

I have a very boring collection, movies in VHS tapes. And of course my pictures, our family pictures which I never find boring. :)

April 24, 2007 10:29 AM  

Blogger carlotta said...

hi! finally i get to visit your blog again! =)

i also have a shell collection, the first from zambales (way back when i wasn't yet in me teens), and the second one from palawan... =)

i also love collecting postcards from the places i've been to. i even mailed on to myself from KL.

i hope you're doing great over there in manila!

April 24, 2007 2:23 PM  

Blogger carlotta said...

oh, and guess what? i bought a small book that's printed in the 1920's. i'll write about it in my blog soon. =)

April 24, 2007 2:24 PM  

Anonymous rhodora said...

I don't really have a collection. But I have this mug that I value so much. It was given by Tita Cory when she was still president. It's yellow in color and printed on it is: "I had coffee with CORY." So far, it has lasted 17 years now. Sana huwag mabasag. :)

April 24, 2007 3:04 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

My brother's friend in NYC has the same attitude you do, Major Tom.

A career military guy, he had collected an interesting bunch of shot glasses during his travels all over the world as a U.S. sailor. However, instead of being mere display items, he and his drinking buddies would use them. Those glasses, usually inspired many fond memories to be brought up and discussed at length.

April 24, 2007 6:13 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Those aren't boring at all, Irene. If cared for well, they can be passed on the kids for their enjoyment later on in life.

You and my mom share the same fondness for family photo albums. She treasures all of them :)

April 24, 2007 6:15 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Those are interesting collections you have, Carla, especially the postcards.

The summer heat is on with a vengeance here in Manila ... hehehe. I take about 4-5 showers a day just to prevent any of those skin rashes to develop again like last summer.

A 1920s book? A classic? Can't wait to read about it.

April 24, 2007 6:18 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Naku, Rhoda! If I were you, I'd put it up on a safe place somewhere na lang and not use it. Problem with mugs is that they easily chip. So if you really treasure it, put it in a safe place, or just use it as a pencil/pen holder.

April 24, 2007 6:20 PM  

Blogger sheilamarie said...

eric, i don't really have any collection of anything, unless you can call my loads of book back home a collection =)

maybe i can start when we've settled down somewhere for good =D

loved the pic, as usual =D

April 24, 2007 6:53 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Books have always been on top of the most collectible list, Sheilamarie :) Don't worry, you'll have plenty of time to collect stuff ... hehehe :)

Many thanks!

April 24, 2007 7:09 PM  

Anonymous mitsuru said...

i am a collector 2. i collect anything that fascinates me. i have so many stuffs that my dream is to put up a private museum in the future to showcase my stuffs. lol

when i was in the phil, i used to frequent evangelista st cor hizon i think in bangkal makati. you can find rare stuffs there that you could buy for a song that the sellers got fr garage sales fr forbes, dasma, and abroads (US & Europe), etc

e.g.

US Military's book like the rare WWII Armed Services Edition @ 5 pesos each (selling at $30 on ebay),pocketbooks @ 5 pesos (most of them Tom Clancy Books owned and signed by the late Justice Teodoro Padilla and Phil History Books' gifts fr Cesar Virata), paintings, depression glasses, vinyl recs, etc.

I let one album full of original postcards from the 1920s to the 30s, a collection by a spanish who travelled around the world and lived in the phil slipped away though dahil di kami angksundo sa price at first when i made up my find, nabenta na. sayang talaga. lol

April 25, 2007 8:17 AM  

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