Monday, July 11, 2011

World of antiques

Treasure hunting is probably all about digging earth in an identified site and waiting for that glitter of gold to strike the eye, but that’s the end part. The more painstaking part, I suppose, is related to research and finding about the history of an area one has set his eyes upon as a possible site.

Having grown up in Marinduque, I have also encountered people who find a spot to hunt in based on their own dreams or imaginary entities that the treasure-obsessed finder eventually finds himself or herself interacting with. Then, when at the end of the search no treasure is found, it is plainly and genuinely believed that it’s been taken away by other imaginary entities who may have found the hunter not worthy of keeping or finding that treasure.

There are people, however, who are not into digging that precious gold but have their eyes and passion set on what to them are the real treasures – the vast world of antiques, together with the even more priceless stories attached to each of the item. Ornate candelabras, crystal chandeliers, santos, gramophones, antique furniture, period picture frames, paintings, prints, grand pianos, musical instruments, rare seashells, various artifacts recovered from old houses or from even garbage when people fail to see their value, various bric-a-brac and simply astounding curiosities; photographs, books, china and glass in cabinets, name it.

There are those who love to reach and comb almost every nook and cranny of the archipelago for pleasure, relish every minute of their time in those enumerable places, always making it a point to bring home a piece there from – something with a smaller or bigger story associated with it for future retelling or just remembering by. To them nothing could equal those stories that gild the splendor of antiquity they have collected.

There are many old houses in Marinduque’s six towns owned by some of the old riche with decorative furniture and many items dating back to the 19th to the 20th century, but absolutely none could surpass the experience (if one is lucky enough to have that rare opportunity that photo hobbyist Dan Pagulayan and I had yesterday), of seeing the astounding private collection of Roel and Noel in Boac.

When that happens, you see, how these owners greatly treasure things of the past could open one’s eyes, crystal ball clear, on how those who came before us lived and made sense of their lives in that time bygone – and forget, for once, about finding buried treasures in the hills or beneath estuaries for some time.

Photos by Dan Pagulayan