Monday, April 28, 2014

Sunday Wandering at the Manila Collectible Co.

Even sunny days that seem filled with endless opportunities, still yield the inevitable “Mommy, I’m bored!” Undoubtedly, your children will utter those words at least once during these summer days.
Summertime is a great time to encourage children to let their imaginations soar yet still keeping their minds a-brim to learning more.

For me, all I needed to do is get myself a cup of good coffee, some bread with a delish spread.  That can just get me right through such sunny boredom.  Well, that is just what I did but made it entirely different and even more interesting.  Yes, the kids did get just what they wanted as well - some learning activities that is not taught in their ACE-based curriculum classroom and of course with such fun.

Okay, the coffee was a complimentary from The Manila Collectible Co. and so are the bread bites with "Awesome Tsokolate con Crema and Dulce con Crema."  Awesome is just the right way to describe the experience once you try the two different spreads, which you can buy inside the venue.  Will definitely come back here once our Nutella jars empty.  The girls who Bhogs and I brought  had some lemon grass iced tea, again thanks to TMCC and Carla of Vera Studios for inviting us and paving the way for us to learn about the place and what it has to offer, specially to kids who are tired of staying at home and watching TV all summer.

So what then is The Manila Collectibles Co?
Before I formally introduce TCMM, let me give you some of the things you can expect at the place.
First, as you can notice on the above photos, the place opens up and welcomes visitor with art works.  As you go up the second floor, you will see paintings and and photos of the olden Intramuros.  The staircase is field with colorful artworks hanged on the walls.

As you reach the second level of the building, you will notice a welcoming vibe, because the entire place opens up like a gallery where you can buy everything on display, at low-cost.  Secondly, Ms. Virgie the manager gives a pedagogic tour which starts with the lesson on Philippines ancient script - Baybayin, wrongly known as the Alibata.

Alibata, which is a word that was invented just in the 20th century by a member of the old National Language Institute, Paul Versoza explained it after returning from the United States to give public lectures on Tagalog philology, calligraphy and lingusitics.
As he explained in Pangbansang Titik nang Pilipinas in 1939,
"I coined this word in 1914 in the New York Public Library, Manuscript Research Division, basing it on the Maguindanao (Moro) arrangement of letters of the alphabet after the Arabic: alif, ba, ta (alibata), “f” having been eliminated for euphony's sake.

Both Bhogs and I were surprised when we learned that ancient Filipinos actually had a writing system of their own.
From the root word baybáy meaning, “spell,” Baybayin, our ancient alphabet, is a Tagalog term that refers to all the letters used in writing a language but is more like a syllabary.  According to Ms. Virgie, the ancient writing was discovered on a stone tablet which was being used by a  tribe as a doormat, this stone is known as Ticao Tablet.

After this, we each have spelled our own names according to the Baybayin.  It's an art in itself, mind you. On the area of TMCC, we also learned about the Lingling-O which is an omega-shaped ornament that was excavated  in Batanes, which  symbolizes fertility, often used as a pendant or earrings prominent in Ifugao, bontoc an Kalinga regions.  We also saw and heard about the Philippine Tara or the “Golden Tara,” a  4-pound gold statue of a Hindu goddess that was discovered in Mindanao in 1917.  Another interesting piece was the Manunggul Jar.  However, this place is not a museum by the way, which at first I thought it was.  The prehistoric pieces are just replicas of the original, that is why they can be bought.

I'm loving these handcrafted bags which are great for beach-bumming.
My kids found every spot interesting, from books, native couture, toys, musical instruments, art pieces to accessories.  The owner really highlighted that Philippine arts and culture is very rich and supporting our very own local crafts  and crops can way benefit not only our indigenous brothers and sisters but more so in making marks to our foreign visitors in Intramuros.


Lastly, my girls made sure they go home exuberant, culturally-inclined and having their own contribution to Philippine arts.  They sure did have a blast designing and painting their terra cota pots.

Now I know where to buy the Batirol for making home-made Tsokolate.  I also bought some cacao bars and a pack of the sugar-free dried Mango ffrom Zambalez.

So the next time you felt boredom is drowning your family down, head up to Intramuros and make The Manila Collectibles Co, your next culture space venue.  

We surely found a way to beat that boredom jar, did we?

The Manila Collectible Co.

Address: Villa Blanca, Cabildo cor. Beaterio St.,
                Intramuros, Manila
Contact Numbers: +63 918 985-5830


  1. I love that place. Even the owner is interesting. She is an anthropologist.

    1. Hi! Thanks for dropping by, Yes Ms Charisse, except I wasn't able to meet her yet.


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