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Mar 10, 2009

Ukay-ukay Friend

Hi, I'm new here.

With her expensive collection of dolls, you wouldn't think that a girl like Jo would still scavenge through thrift shops (ukay-ukay). She's out to look for that great find you can't see in updated the toy shelves. She once found a vintage Barbie in good condition released on my birth year!

I was at the ukay-ukay last Friday when I saw a familiar face walking out. I have seen her face posted online. Pictures can lie. I wasn't really sure if it was her. I came as close as possible to her and called out her name. She didn't respond. I saw her carrying a box of Barbie and instantly I was sure it was her. I tapped her shoulder and introduced myself as OneSixthSense from Flickr.

Suddenly she was beaming and telling me about her latest purchase - an 80's African-American Barbie which was still in the box. She told me that other than her purchase, there is nothing out of the ordinary left in the pile of dolls. She went on reminding me about the doll she intended to give me.

She is one of of those amused by the Filipiniana photos I posted. I once told her that I'm running out of Filipino looking dolls. I needed one more for the Balintawak project. She gladly offered her Lea (Barbie's friend) doll. By offer, she meant give, not lend! I had the Balintawak project scheduled during my trip to Muntinlupa. I couldn't wait for her Lea so I used my Vernie instead.


It's nice to be here.

She lives across the ukay-ukay so asked me to wait while she fetched the doll. We then had a long talk about this hobby which is turning to some sort of addiction. She had a number of doll purchases recently and a doll she collects could cost around PhP5,000. A doll she covets can easily max out her credit limit. I haven't reached that limit of addiction yet. Maybe because I have no resources to support that kind of want. I limit myself during sales and the trips to the thrift shops.

I went on asking about other Filipinoes who are into dolls. Paul and Rica are also our online buddies from Flickr. I failed to join their doll meet-up because of my demanding schedule. She mentioned one of another collector Jef. I asked her how she met him. There are two Jef's actually. She met both of them in that same ukay-ukay. She said they are nice. When they see you rummaging through the pile of dolls, they strike up a conversation. Ukay-ukay doll collectors are nice, she said. I got the idea.

All the while we were talking along a street a stone-throw from EDSA. She did most of the talking while I did most of the asking. Other than our location wasn't too conducive to lengthy conversations, she still have to prepare a meal for her husband so we had to cut our conversation short. We agreed to meet again, of course, with the rest of the Flickr doll lovers Paul and Rica.

I hurried home excited with my new doll. I took it out of the packaging and saw how beautiful and clean it was, very unlike the doll I bought from the ukay-ukay. And I thought myself very lucky, finding a friend in an ukay-ukay.

11 comments:

MkSurf8 said...

once i had my car washed somewhere near LTO in QC. The owner of the carwash-shop-cum-inuman-slash-tambayan-at-night was also into collecting dolls. she had some on display sa shop nya. cool! she was in her 50s. not sure lang if andun pa yun. that was like 3 or 4 yrs ago ;-)

Mr. Scheez said...

Hmmm, parang multi-race ang dating ng doll. Asian sya pero parang may ibang lahi and I can't pinpoint kung ano.

tagabukid said...

mukhang vietnamese, niel :D

Niel Camhalla said...

@MkSurf8, talaga? Kaso hindi naman ako nakakapunta sa mga ganung lugar. Wala akong kotse para ipa-car wash. :)

@Mr Scheez and tagabukid, I guess that was one reason I didn't use her in my balintawak project. I'm still thinking of casting her as Filipino-Chinese or Japanese or Korean. These days, you can't tell a person's (or a doll's) nationality just by her looks. And I'm thinking of renaming her Teru. Tentative still. :)

Anonymous said...

who's the guy in the background?

Niel Camhalla said...

Guess.

Clue: Not me.

Anonymous said...

if it was you....

uh..

so manly.=)

it might be you, or ur bf.

Niel Camhalla said...

He's the bf :)

katcarneo said...

Wow, small world! It is really very nice finally meeting someone you've known for a long time in the online world. I wonder where that ukay-ukay is....

Anonymous said...

does he know your about your blog?

Niel Camhalla said...

@kat, it's along sct borromeo :)

@Anonymous, he does. I had his permission to upload the photo. I even force him to edit some of my entries :)

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