Posted by: nastypen | June 15, 2008

Curio Frenzy

I bought a ring on father’s day. I remember my dad’s fat fingers decked with a ring or two aside from his simple wedding band. He had this massive ring with the face of a snarling lion. My dad looked so opulent with his rings that he could have been a lovechild of an archbishop and a mafioso. I didn’t know if it was enough to kiss his cheek and hug him every time we meet…or am I supposed to kiss his rings as well. I was at a curio shop or baratillo with friends and saw a ring that caught my eye. It was vintage. It was being sold for 750 pesos. Well, I harnessed my sisters’ and mother’s haggling skills and I got it for 450. Not bad.

I like the ring. It’s huge like my father’s rings. And it had 12 pieces of lapis lazuli. What really endeared itself to me is that both sides of the ring are embellished with a design that reminds me of a mischievous happy face.

This is the first ring I have worn in years. My ring collection is missing. Or maybe my mother might have stowed my rings away only to be discovered a century or two later. The last time I wore a ring was a silver one with turtles bought by Addie in Baguio. He bought it after I was upset that for the first time in my life, I was pickpocketted. I lost my mobile phone in Baguio as I bought cacti.

Ultimately that turtle ring was stolen years later. I was very angry when I lost that ring. It was stolen in Bacolod. I was having a massage at one of their spas down there. And it was one of their fancy spas at that. I should have taken off the ring and placed it in my pocket but, then again, I never had to. Well, the masseuse and her oily hands swiped that ring. Addie never revealed how much it was. But it was not about the monetary worth. It was my ring from him. and some floozy swiped it away. I hope she contracts herpes in her throat or something. I was very upset.

So, I did not wear any ring for years until I saw one today peeking at a rack filled with dead people’s stuff.

I was with my former Fine Arts professor Sir Tats and his lady love Gou. I took them to my favorite DVD pirate at Makati Cinema Square. They bought quite a lot of titles. We were about to leave for lunch when Gou spotted an antique shop in a corner.

It never occured to me to get in that shop in the several times I went there. We went in and the place was huge. It was filled with bric-a-bracs, kitschy chandeliers, old paintings. Gou managed to settle in front of this glass case filled with trinkets. And some of them were great finds.

Gou bought a nice set of Onyx jewelry. It was a great find considering it was a pair of earrings, a pendant and a ring. all of that for less than 1,500 pesos. I thought it was not bad. and what I love was ring Sir Tats gave her. It was a jade ring that will go with any kind of clothes. That cool ring for 500 pesos. Here’s the happy shopper with some of her conquests:

Work it, Gou!!!! Fabulous!!! The Angle!! The Angle!!!! I love the earrings!!!

Here are my and Gou’s rings:

I wanted to scream “Wonder Twins Power Activate!!!!” Mine is the one with the 12 pieces of blue.

I saw a ring that I think Mikee would just love. It’s so ornate and fabulous:

My apologies that I did not bring my proper camera so the hairy arm of the seller is clearer than the ring. this ring costs 700 pesos. Well, if you haggle as well as my sisters and mother, you’d get it for 400. The seller said “500 is his best price.” I thought “bitch, you’re lucky my little sister isn’t here right now.”

There were some kitsch items I’d love to buy if only i had the money, space and sustained great sense of humor.

If I had a big house of my own, I’d like to collect all these old statues of the saints. I don’t like the expensive ivory ones. Just give me the ones made our of wood. I think they have more character like this scary head of St. Francis:

I remember Blas telling me how proud he was of his antique Narra bed. when I saw that narra bed, I thought it looked like one of those things where in the people of the provinces lay their dead on. It looked so…. “modern?”…because of its clean straight lines. I don’t like modern. I don’t like clean. I don’t like simple. I don’t like straight lines. Give me ornate and swirling details. Give me drama. Give me baroque kitsch. I saw some bed head boards in that shop that are so dramatic in details, you are obliged to swoon to sleep instead of merely flopping on the bed.

Gou remarked, “There are just few places like these.”

It’s a shame because we are now dependent on the mall way of shopping.

I saw this fabulous make up box made with snake skin. I might return to buy that. Sadly, the handle is destroyed. Perhaps we can have that fixed. It was so fierce! I haven’t fully explored the space. But, no, there were no books. No clothes. I hope they have old luggages. Or picnic baskets. I need a container for my art materials.

There were no other buyers. Perhaps it was the place’s location. Right beside Jollibee and smacked in a corner. But part of the charm of the place is sifting through the medallions, the amulets, the old watches, and Lord knows what you will find.

Hell, there was this couple of giant lamp bearers. Both of them looked so hideous but intriguing they probably belong to the bedchamber of bordello madame.

I was looking for a ring I would get Addie. When he flies to Manila, I’d take him there to buy him our ring. Perhaps he won’t like the one with the swan wings. wahahahahah. Oh goddness there was a ring with a couple of cupids. I wanted to scream and shrill in terror but with a huge smile on my face. I saw one that is a simple silver band with the words “Love Boat” on it and I was itching to buy it for a pinkie ring. The seller said they usually get new stuff every week.

I found my ring and my imagination started to race. Who owned this ring? Was it owned by a bored housewife who twiddled this ring as she waited for her husband who is cheating with her friend across town? Or was it owned by a drag queen of yesteryear who augmented her income reading the tarot at the town carnival where she fell in love with the contortionist? Was it owned by a coquettish girl who giggled at a boy and was caught by her strict granmother who forced her to give up this ring and enter the convent to atone for her slutty ways? Perhaps it was owned by a man who fancied himself a swinger and parted his hair in the middle and starched his pleated pants wrong one day he was laughed off town never to be seen nor heard again? Whatever the past this ring had, it is now mine and I like that it may have stories to tell.



  1. if you go to the basement of MCS, meron ding nagbebenta dun ng vinyl records and turntables!

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