Sunday, January 27, 2013

251. Boxed: THE BUGALOOS

One of my favorite after-high school cartoons (yes, I was still into kiddie cartoons in high school!) was the TV show, The Bugaloos, produced by brothers Sidney Krofft and Martin Krofft, that aired from 1970 to 1972. The Bugaloos were a musical group of four British-accented teenagers, who lived in fictional Tranquility Forest. They wore insect-themed outfits with antennae and wings which allowed them to fly, and were constantly harassed by the jealous Benita Bizarre,played by comedienne Martha Raye, whom I keep mistaking for Phyllis Diller!. Well, what do you know, in 1971, Aladdin Industries came up with The Bugaloos lunchbox, and here's one that survived the trash bin. Forty two years old, and rusty on one side, it features Benita out to attack the singing band of bugs! Not exactly in great condition, but still good enough to churn again  those fuzzy, funny and funky memories of my dysfunctional childhood--when cartoons ruled my weekends and musical bugs were all I cared about!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

249. Filipiniana Tole Art: A WEDDING IN 3-D

 One of the more unusual framed photos I have seen is this three-dimensional photo cut-out of a wedding couple, assembled between glass, found in an Apalit warehouse. The pictures appear in layers, with each picture element--the bouquet, the bride and the groom--cut out and glued on wood; which means that several sets of the same wedding photo were used to make this tole art piece.
 The whole ensemble was then mounted on the base of a frame, then sandwiched between glass, and the result is rather a unique and striking presentation of the busts of a wedding couple at a very special moment of their lives.
 I have seen only 2 similar pieces in my collecting lifetime--one, a solo figure of a woman in butterfly sleeves, and the other, also a 1930s wedding anniversary picture of a prominent couple in my town:
I may never know the identities of the bride and the groom, but what I do know is that their lifelike good looks are forever preserved in this rare, tole art piece that is a testament to the imaginative creativity of a Pinoy artist-photographer!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Now, here's a 109 year old photo of a snazzy-looking Filipino boy, another nice find from my usual Cubao junkshop. I thought I had found the Pinoy version of  Little Lord Fauntleroy, the character made famous by novelist Francis Hobson Bennett. The novelist introduced us to a style of dress that is at once a page boy costume and a boy-man suit---worn with a lacy collar,  knee pants and black stockings. I was told by the dealer that this photo came from the house of the Paternos in Quiapo, which counts Malolos Congress head, Pedro Paterno as member--but of course, you just have to take claims like this with a grain of salt. Complete with a straw boat hat on his tousled mop of hair and a dandy stick, our Pinoy kid cuts a smart, princely figure indeed, one who could very well win a Fauntleroy Lookalike Contest!