Tuesday, March 24, 2015


As early as the latter  part of the Spanish regime to the early American period, MALABON  was already home not only to its bustling “patis” industry but also to the rapidly-developing manufacture of cigar and cigarettes.

The town became the favorite home to several tobacco factories, the largest of which were the La Princesa and the Insular-Yabena factories, whose products were marketed throughout the country.

What appealed to most local collectors of paper ephemera were some of the local cigar and cigarette  wrappers or labels because of their very colorful and imaginative  designs many of which advertised the products of their respective  localities, while others portrayed the good qualities and patriotism of the Filipinos, the beauty  and modesty of local belles, and also show-cased some places of interest and tourist destinations in the country.

Thus, according to historian Ambeth Ocampo, since majority of Filipinos are smokers, cigars and cigarettes may be considered part of our history, and that fortunately our country’s culture and heritage are somehow preserved in our cigar and cigarette wrappers.  - JORGE DELOS SANTOS 

When Collections Become Burdensome Obsessions

How to Get a Grip on an Out of Control Collecting

How Do You Know a Collection is "Out of Control?"

You know the first step to solving a problem is realizing you have one. This means you've got to recognize that your collection has grown into a worrisome accumulation of objects that are taking over your life.

Some of the red flags signaling that a collection has grown unwieldy include:

Repeated concerns and comments from close friends and family members about the size of a collection or the amount of time spent pursuing your hobby, like this is "overtaking your life."

Alienation from a significant other or family due to concerns about your collection and/or repeated arguments over the size, nature or storage of the collection.

Financial hardships caused by over collecting - you need to be selling instead of buying more.

A severe lack of space to properly store collections.

Photo courtesy of : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2011420/I-told-come-handy-Junk-hoarder-set-auction-collection-100-000-running-space.html

That last point is often one of the most significant signals of an out of control collection, according to Luray. Collections that have outgrown their allotted space present a number of issues. These include not being able to locate items in your collection that may be of value (ie. I know I have one of those but I don't know where it is), collections that are deteriorating and ruined because of improper storage, or those in which a collector has no earthly idea how many items they have or how much their collection is worth. 

Taming That Beast of a Collection

Getting a vast collection back on track can take anywhere from a few days to a few years, depending on exactly what you've collected and the volume. In many instances it requires mastering "the art of letting go," according to Luray, and that's not always easy.

It can also seem like an overwhelming task, so breaking it down into manageable chunks will be extremely important. Decide how much time you can devote each day or each weekend, and force yourself to take steps to accomplish your goal. Good intentions won't cut it.

Of course, this is easier for some collectors than others. Problems arise when there is an extreme emotional attachment to objects. If you just can't get a grip on your feelings about your possessions but they're overtaking your life, it might be time to get some professional counseling.

If you're not quite to that point and want to give it a go on your own, follow these steps:

Photo courtesy of : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2011420/I-told-come-handy-Junk-hoarder-set-auction-collection-100-000-running-space.html

Put the Hunt on Hold - Until you get things under control, try to use the time you would normally spend shopping to add to your collection to get it into a manageable state. That might be hard, especially at first, but do your best. You'll quickly see that you do indeed have time to work on culling, organizing and displaying your collection if you give up some or all of your shopping time temporarily.

Cull Your Collection - Start by culling out the things you really don't want. There's no collector on earth that hasn't accumulated some impulse purchases they probably should have never brought home. Whether they're expensive splurges or something that turned out to be basically worthless, determine the value and get rid of the items that you really don't enjoy owning anymore. Sell them online if you can, and if they aren't worth that much effort consider donating the items to a charity-operated thrift store or other entity that would welcome them. If you collect dolls, for example, give your usable items to children's home. You can feel good about helping yourself and others at the same time.

Inventory and Organize - Once you've decided what to keep, get organized. Most out of control collectors have no clue about what they have and what their collections are worth so break things down into manageable batches and start taking inventory. Catalog as much information about each item as you can such as what it is, where you got it, how much you paid for it and what it is currently worth, if you know. If you don't know current values, you can at least document the collection and then go back to fill in that blanks regarding value as you have time to do further research.

Curate the Items You Want to Display - Once you have your collection organized, determine which of those items you want to display in your home to enjoy and share with others. For instance, a rug collector can display the rugs on several beds and walls in a home, and then properly store the rest of the collection.

If you have lots of small collectibles, clean out those shelves and display cabinets and start over. Try to group similar items or themes together to make the collection more appealing to the eye. Ask a friend who is good at decorating to help you if you need some pointers.

Photo courtesy of : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2011420/I-told-come-handy-Junk-hoarder-set-auction-collection-100-000-running-space.html

Focus Going Forward

You'll feel pretty good about your collection and yourself when you get things under control, so be sure you don't get back into the same trap again. You can certainly keep collecting and enjoy your hobby, but learn to be more selective and focused about your purchases as you start shopping again.
Rather than buying anything and everything related to your chosen collecting interest, try to focus on filling in gaps such as completing sets or looking for rarities. Save your money for those larger purchases that will make your recently-honed collection complete rather than buying just to be buying. Now that your collection is organized and you have an inventory of what you already own, it will be much easier to set and accomplish collecting goals. Instead of having a burdensome pile of "stuff," you'll have a fun and rewarding hobby once again.

Photo courtesy of :  http://www.treehugger.com/culture/artist-song-dong-exhibits-items-collected-packrat-mom.html

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


While attending the auction of Bayanihan Collectors Club, I came across these old postcards of Max's Fried Chicken Restaurant being sold by one of the antiques dealers.  It reminded me of the days when my dad would celebrate his birthday and would take us there to eat at the Sct. Tuazon, QC branch.  I could finish a spring chicken meal and would order an extra bread. The crispy chicken skin is so delicious, that would ask my mom's chicken skin.   I like it with Jufran or Mafran banana ketchup and so does everyone else in the family. I was always a treat when eating at Max's back then.

1960's Max's old postal card. They have only two branches in Quezon City and Dewey Blvd.

Max's Restaurant's beginnings started in 1945, after World War II. Maximo Gimenez, a Stanford - educated teacher, befriended the American occupation troops stationed at Quezon City. Because of this friendship, the soldiers regularly visited Maximo's nearby home for a drink or two. Later on, the troops insisted that they pay for their drinks. This prompted Maximo to open a cafe, where the troops could enjoy food and drinks.

1960's Max's old postal card menu.  Imagine a whole chicken meal of 6.00 pesos only.

The cafe initially served chicken, steak and drinks. Maximo's niece, Ruby, who managed the kitchen, created a special recipe for chicken that became an instant favorite for the GIs. Soon, the Filipino public heard about the delicious chicken-tender, juicy and crispy-and they came too! Max's Restaurant was born.

Over the years, Max's Restaurant's popularity grew and it became known as "the house that fried chicken built."

Max's Restaurant has established itself as a household name in the Philippines, an institution, and a proud Filipino tradition. The second and third generations of the family continue to zealously uphold the standards and traditions set by Maximo and Ruby for all Max's Restaurants.

1960's Max's old postal card menu.  Imagine a whole chicken meal of 5.00 pesos only.

1960's Max's old postal card.
 Source: http://www.maxschicken.com

Saturday, December 20, 2014


 The City of Malabon is presently in the midst of celebrating this year one of its historic festivities. This is the 400th Anniversary of the San Bartolome Parish Church, one of the oldest churches in the country.

Malabon was called Tambobong during the early Spanish era until it was established as an independent parish by ecclesiastical authorities on May 14,1614 under the patronage of San Bartolome Apostol.

The historic church is the parish of Malabon’s first stone edifice built by the Augustinian Order under Fray Diego de Robles.

Street Scene, Malabon. Turn of the century postcard

The church edifice is best described in an article entitled “SAN BARTOLOME: A HISTORY IN STONE “(Starweek, Phil. Star Sunday magazine, May 4, 2014 issue) :
                    “The church measures 70.14m long and 25.05m wide. It has
                  a central  nave and    two aisles, transept and a dome in the media
                  narenja or  barrel vault style, cupped by a campanile. The porch   
                  is supported  by imposing ionic columns which resemble a
                 Greco-Roman temple.”

                      “The colonnade of the façade supports the protruding triangular
                 pediment. The eight ionic columns of the outer side are
                 echoed by the corresponding sets attached to the front recessed
                 façade wall flanked by the three-storey twin bell towers. The squat
                 columns and semi-circular arched windows make for dramatic
                 contrast. The Augustinian symbol is inscribed on the wall above
                 the main entrance.”

It is considered by church experts to be “one of the most beautiful examples of ecclesiastical architecture that Spain has left the country”

Malabon bancas. Turn of the century postcard

The present Parish Priest of the Church, Fr. Ric Torrefiel, has done wonders in improving and beautifying the church, inside and out, that drew tributes and praises not only from  church parishioners but also from those who have personally seen and observed the building and its environs, including no less than Pres. P-Noy Aquino himself when he attended recently the wedding of his first cousin, Malabon Mayor Len-Len Oreta, who  expressed his admiration  for the beauty and edifying appeal of the Church.

Old postcard of Malabon and not Manila

It may be expecting too much but we hope and pray that sooner or later, San Bartolome Church becomes one of the region’s tourist destinations.

Bridge of  Malabon

First Day Cover issued by the Philpost to commemorate the Quadricentennial of San Bartolome Parish