When we were still kids growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, we acquired the good habit of collecting stuff that we learned to love and take good care. May it be collecting stamps, bottle caps (tansans), action figures like GI Joe, plastic scale models and Matchbox or Corgi die cast cars, our generation developed this passion of taking care and nurturing our private collections.
“Ang purpose o saysay kaya ginagawa ko ito ay ang pagkakataon na mabigyan mo ng opportunity yung future generations na makita yung mga gamit na kinalakihan natin nung bata pa tayo. It is a big thing for me na ako ang tao na makakapagbigay sa kanila ng information or experience na naranasan natin dati,” said Mark Anthony Gianan, a.k.a. Krazy Kyle, the Filipino Picker.
“What I do is go house to house and collect vintage items which I also buy and sell. My mother was a sentimental woman and I inherited this trait from her. So mga private items ko like my basketball jerseys, lumang school identification cards (IDs) ay itinago ko lahat. Usually ang mga tinatabi natin when we were still in school are the awards like medals, trophys and certificates. Ako pati mga gate pass, library cards and other odds and ends ay itinago ko. So ang unang ginawa ko since my business is woodworks ay gumawa ako ng dalawang shelves at linagay ko lahat ng vintage stuff ko doon. It looked really nice so I posted the picture online and it garnered good feedback. So I decided that I am going to do this for the rest of my life,” said Gianan.
At some point of your career after you have recorded and made several hit songs, makikilala ka ng mga tao after becoming one of the pioneers of the local Pinoy hip hop scene. But there will come a time when you reach your peak in the local music scene and you now have to look for a new hobby or a new passion where you can excel as an older guy.
“So when it comes to this hobby of picking and vintage collecting, I am one of the young ones in the block, so to speak. The veterans in this business call me the young guy but I enjoy being a picker and vintage collector. But I enjoy picking and collecting and it is just like learning to ride a bike all over again, na parang papatunayan ko sa mga tao na I can do it. I am enjoying this new life as a picker and collector of vintage stuff,” explained Gianan.
Picking is really more than going from house to house and looking for items na para doon sa mga may ari ng bahay ay basura na sa kanila at nakatambak lang sa isang sulok sa bodega, puno alikabok at agiw. But for you, sa isang tingin mo lang nakita mo na it can be an accent sa bahay ng isang mayaman na Dona na nakatira sa Ayala Alabang na papatungan niya ng mga picture frames. Or it can be a table na pwede mo rin gawing something else like a cabinet, things that can be repurposed. A picker should have good eyes for stuff like that.
“Ang tunay na story ko as Krazy Kyle, the Filipino Picker is that I make it a point to get or acquire the items that I couldn’t afford to buy when I was a kid. Before, like for example, toys, sabi ng Nanay ko na she will buy me a toy worth P100. Pero hindi palagi P100 yung worth ng toy noon. So there was a time na sabi ko sa sarili ko na isa na muna ang bibilhin kong toy instead of yung apat na toys ng collection.
“So nung nagretire ako sa trabaho at nagstart ako ng sariling business, doon ako nagkaroon ng sariling income at medyo naging maluwag sa mga araw-araw na gastusin. Nagkaroon ako ng tinatawag na luho. Nakakabili na ako ng luho and those are the stuff na hindi ko nabili noon, yung gigil na gigil na magkaroon ako nung bata pa ako.
“Ito ang tinatawag na starting point ko sa business ng picking and collecting kasi may mga bagay na malapit na mawala sa mundo, yung mga toys at iba pang gamit na susunugin na at tinatapon na lang sa mga basurahan. Sabi ko sa sarili ko na kahit hindi ako nakarelate sa mga bagay na iyan may mga hundreds or thousands of Filipinos na nagsasabi sa facebook page ko or sa akin personally na I need to have that kasi kailangan mo masave iyan kasi baka wala ng matira na ganyan sa future,” said Gianan.
As a matter of fact, Gianan was able to get his hands on a pair of vintage Kaypee rubber shoes which has since ceased production after their factories closed down in 1994. “It is one of my favorites especially this pair of Futura rubber shoes which was modelled by PBA legend Alvin Patrimonio. A few years ago I was able to get my pair of Futura rubber shoes signed by Alvin Patrimonio himself,” Gianan proudly explained.
“Ang taas ng respect ko sa online picking and collecting. Other people they would say, ‘dapat picker ka at dapat pumunta ka sa junk shop, dapat pumunta ka sa probinsiya.’ Sometimes the big items are being sold online and through messenger. May magsesend ng message sa akin telling me that this rare painting or this rare soft drink bottle is being sold and you need to have this. Yung fan base ko as a picker lumaki at umabot na sa mga probinsiya.
“When I started in this business there were people who raised their eyebrows at me and said ‘hindi iyan picker kasi nag online selling iyan.’ But I explained to them that I always do my rounds on weekends when I go to the provinces, places like Tagaytay, Bulacan and other nearby locations. But the big items here in my collection came from online selling or buying so ang sabi ko sa sarili ko na you cannot discount the fact na malaking bagay sa collection and picker world ngayon ang going online.
“I have joined several exhibits already and I have seen how the things I have collected touch the lives of people. Ang ibang tao naiiyak pa. Yung isang Lola nahawakan lang yung Mighty Kid figure napaiyak sa tuwa. May isa akong kopya ng Funny Komiks at nakita ng isang customer na lalaki yung baby picture niya doon sa loob ng komiks.
“The greatest effect of seeing, collecting and picking stuff from the past is the anti-stroke and anti-stress factor. Your stress level which was originally 100 will go down to zero once you go here and visit my shop. Makikita mo yung ibat-ibang bagay dito at bigla mo maaalala yung nanay mo, yung ex-girlfriend mo, yung nagbigay sa iyo ng mga toys nung bata ka pa. Maaalala mo lahat. Pumunta ka lang dito at mawawala bigla yung galit mo.
“For me there is always a way so meron rin kaming tinatawag na Toy Donations. I always make sure that every year during my birthday and Christmas meron akong Toy Donations. I always show my followers and my fans that I am not just collecting these stuff and toys for myself only but I am also doing this for the people. All these things I have collected I have plans of putting them up for display in a small museum someday. Kasi ngayon for me, wow factor lang ang nangyayari na natutuwa ang mga tao. Pero someday, siguro mga 20 years from now, super rare na mga iyan at hindi na lang basta collectibles. Mga antique na iyan na dapat ilagay sa museum, sa tingin ko,” said Gianan.
By Jose K. Lirios