Updated: Nov 3, 2020
Retro furniture, old tin cans and old soda bottles long-forgotten by time are among some of the things that never cease to catch my eye. The dust that surround these items bring with it old memories that I cannot ignore; some questions come alive and I cannot help but wonder about the stories behind each piece.
When I was 5, I used to visit my father's relatives at Pandacan. I remember climbing the stairs and going past a large guava tree before reaching the main entrance which was their kitchen. Soon as I entered, cats of different colors dominated my vision. Seeing them was one aspect of my visit that I looked forward to. I enjoyed playing with them, while lola Dedeng (grandmother Dedeng) scolded me each time. I never really understood why it annoyed her whenever I played with her cats. Whatever her reason was, I never really cared for it... I continued to play with the meow meows because it was fun. Other than the many cats on the floor and on the table, their windows always got my attention and they were beautiful.. antique capiz windows surrounded their wooden provincial type home. Their house was something that looked like it had just come out of a scene from an old Filipino movie. I remember how the wooden floors creaked each time I made a tiny step. Not far from the kitchen was their living area and it had wooden sofas that I was so in love with. As I sat on them like a well-behaved little doll, my mind often wandered and my thoughts took me places where the future and I danced together. I knew then that someday, I would have my own place and long-forgotten pieces would surround me.
My mom loves antiques and I am blessed to have some of them. She gave me the huge dining table that once belonged to my grandfather. She gave me some of her antique jars. She gave me other old things too that are now on my wall and in some corner of my house. Along the way, I collected more vintage pieces that are both of value and non-value. Among the many things that I had at home, my dream of having a wooden sofa that resembled the same piece that I once sat on as a child had yet to come true... then I saw "it" on Facebook. I felt a sudden feeling of excitement and I hoped that my inquiry would get a reply really fast. Not long after, I had a new mail. I crossed my fingers and hoped that it was the mail I was longing for. Oh yes, it was.
The wooden sofa was available and very much affordable too. My dream was about to come true... at this point, all I had to do was go to Garage WCC, pay for the chair and bring it back home with me. Just a few days after my inquiry, I went on a short trip (well, it was quite long due to the traffic) to Garage WCC which was located at Bangkal Makati. It was there that I was greeted by Marie Tillman Figueroa and her husband. As I made my way inside her shop, my eyes went on a hunt... oh look at this and oh look at that! From vintage lamps to an old looking Sungka with legs - her store was a heavenly spot for an old soul like myself.
I bought the wooden sofa, along with the four-legged Sungka and many more that I felt would be good additions to my home. My son also bought an old helmet which looks like an old military helmet, and because he feasted his eyes upon some baseball cards, he was given some for free. A lot of the items sold are reasonably priced and if any of the items are not in their best condition, Marie's husband can turn bronze into gold. It has only been two months since I had been there, but I have been dreaming of taking another trip to her heavenly shop. Someday, I will do just that.
Things, old and new alike have stories to tell. As each piece is passed on from one person to another, new memories are added - their stories grow bigger and bigger. But along the way, these items are lost and forgotten. Fortunately, every now and then, there are some people that seek for jewels among the junk that most have taken for granted; what was once lost and forgotten are brought to life. Marie's little shop is an example of this.