Saturday, May 1, 2010

Antiquing On the Way to Nasugbu

A lot of enterprising folk have set up shop along the main road in Silang and Tagaytay--the route you pass on the way to Nasugbu, Batangas. Long ago one could only shop in fruit and produce stands but now, a profusion of furniture shops and woodworkers are scattered along the way. Some of them look like they are reworking old wood, but a lot of them look like they always have a fresh supply of newly-cut hardwood on their premises. Is this legal?

Anyway, lots of the shops are from La Union, and they have just moved there because the rent is cheaper and they have a steady supply of moneyed customers plying that route ever weekend, on the way to their homes by the sea. 

What never ceases to amaze me is how loosely they use the term "antique". I stop to check out the antiques and I don't see anything that resembles even a Philippine antique. Maybe they started out with "folksy" antiques, but once they were gone, they started reproducing them. Then they started creating new designs. Then they are not remotely "antique" in any sense of the word! Many times I've even come across signs that say "Made to Order Antiques" (can't find that photo just now)--can you imagine such a thing? I've realized that to them, "antique" means anything old, doesn't matter how old, and made of wood. 

I admit it's usually beautiful solid hardwood, and a many of the woodworkers really know their stuff. They like to show you the old slabs and chunks of wood that they have, and tell you that the wood won't move, warp or crack on you--hopefully. Then they offer to create an antique for you, in any style you like. Antiques, made to order. An interesting concept indeed!

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