KING OF OLD TIME RADIO
WHAT HE COLLECTS SPECIFICALLY Vintage tube radios CRAZIEST COLLECTOR MOMENT “Tuwing umaga at tuwing tanghali, pinapalinis ko sa aming househelp ‘yung bawat piece sa collection ko.”
perhaps unlike many of our wives or girlfriends, 48-year-old picker boyet guillermo’s wife supports his obsession with vintage tube radios. in fact, it was she who sparked the start of guillermo’s mad collection. one day in 2010, while they were in cubao expo, they passed by a shop where several vintage tube radios were displayed. “nakita niya ‘yung radios and told me, ‘in love ako
sa mga ganoong radio,’ sabi niya. ‘gusto ko may mga ganoon tayo.’” and what do you do to please your girl? you follow and do what she wants. “that’s why yung isang naka-display doon, binili namin even though it was too expensive.”
but that radio looked very lonely when they displayed it at home. and so guillermo went on
to buy a second one, and then a third one... until the number of tube radios in his possession reached roughly 60 to 70 pieces. “kung hindi ako nagkakamali, base sa participation ko sa groups of pickers and collectors, ito na nga yata ang pinakamalaking collection of tube radios [dito sa pilipinas].”
an average non-working tube radio can cost you p2,000 to p3,000. but the ones real collectors like guillermo are after are the older, rarer, and of course, working models. but it comes at a price: tube radios from the early 1900s to 1920s can cost between p50,000 to p80,000.
Just like many other collectors, guillermo takes pride owning a particular item, specifically the 1930s rca radiola 17, which he bought for p55,000. it’s a rare piece because it had a short run in the market, from 1923 to 1928, so very few of it still exist. “having this specific piece in my house, makes me happy. i really treasure it,” he says, beaming with pride.
“this collection just makes me really, really happy kaya inaalagaan ko talaga sila. ang saya umuwi sa bahay tapos nakikita ko ang tube radios ko. it gives me a different feeling na rito [sa collection] ko lang nakukuha.”