Wednesday, October 24, 2012

242. A Case in Point: 50s COKE ALUMINUM CASE

One of my earliest Coca Cola collectibles is this stamped aluminum carrying case that can hold 24 bottles. I remember picking this up from good old Makati Cinema Square, which, back in the '80s , was  a favorite hunting ground for all things old, vintage and collectible. I've seen a few aluminum cases here in the Philippines; I don't think these were produced locally--local crates were of wood until the 70s, when plastic replaced them. The crate is divided into niches by means of metal rods that are covered in rubber. I just checked ebay and currently there's one similar to this priced at $96.00--with an hour to go before the end of the auction. Past examples were sold for $70 plus. As you can see, this aluminum crate is a nifty way to display my collection of vintage Coke bottles. What a way to "open happiness!"

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Few months back, I was in Cubao to check on some stuff my dealer supposedly found from an old house in Quiapo. Just as I was arriving at his place, he sped by in his car, the trunk loaded with house junk--just precisely the stuff my thrift shop dreams are made of! He said he had a couple of old prints, so he pulled out this frame, with glass intact.
I could barely see what was behind the glass; it was smeared with dirt and dust build-up! But I could faintly see the hazy shape of what appeared to be a print of the celebrated Virgen de la Naval. I paid for the frame--dust, grime and all--and headed for home.
I immediately pried open the back of the frame, and the backboard turned out to be a cardboard print of some Dutch landscape, complete with windmills and all. My hunch was correct, for upon carefully removing the fragile paper print that the backboard supported, I turned it over to see that it was indeed a nice print of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary--Virgen de la Naval!
The image of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary is one of the most revered Marian image in the country. The ivory figure was carved by a Chinese artisan in 1593, who was converted into the faith while carving the image. It now reposes at the Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City where its annual feast day--La Naval Fiesta--is celebrated every October.
It was my first time to see this kind of print--I have one printed by the UST press that dates from the early 20th century. There were some pencil scribblings at the back of the paper print which puts the date of this making before the War.

Monday, October 8, 2012

240. Before They Were Famous: ALFIE ANIDO'S YEARBOOK

Remember Alfie Anido? He was one of the so-called Regal babies launched to stardom in the late 70s to 80s (the others were Willima Martinez, Snooky Serna, Jimmy Melendez, Gabby Concepcion, etc.). Well, back in 1973, he was a chubby elementary school graduate whose batchmates include President Noynoy Aquino, designer Pepito Albert and senator Teofisto Guingona III!
That's what I found in his Ateneo Yearbook, which I picked from the recent Greenhills Antiques Fair. Just 14 years old here, Alfie was a member of the Varsity Football. Upon graduation, he remained in Ateneo to pursue a management course.
While in college, he started appearing in commercials and in fashion shows, and was soon discovered for the movies. He was teamed up with former Miss Magnolia finalist, Dina Bonnevie, whom he supported in the 1980 hit camp film "Temptation Island".
Just a day before his 21st birthday, on 30 December 1980, Alfie died, reportedly of suicide. But rumors abound that the Enriles had something to do with his untimely death (he was with Juan Ponce Enrile's daughter, Katrina, at that time). In Enrile's recently published memoir, he revealed that Fabian Ver was behind the rumor linking his family to Alfie's death, a rumor that has become a sort of an urban legend in Philippine showbiz. Who would think that only 7 years before that, Alfie was a happy, chubby, cute young Atenean, with perhaps just his football games in his mind?