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Lifestyle

Blast from the past with Yesteryear’s 20,000 vinyl records, cassette tapes




On the outside, the Yesteryear Music Gallery looks like a dinghy little warehouse. But on the inside, a passion for music burns, as exhibited by some 20,000 vinyl records and vintage cassette tapes containing Filipino music—the oldest of which is a record of the songs of Maria Carmena, 100 years and counting.
 
Seventy-nine-year-old Nestor Reyes Veracruz began collecting the tapes since his retirement from banking back in 1998. His favorites include the zarzuela songs of Atang dela Rama and Vicente Ocampo; he even has a tape of the songs of Fernando Poe Jr.
 
The best part of it all? The gallery is open every day, and anyone can walk in for a free listen.
 
“Ngayon lang ako ulit nakakita nang ganitong karaming plaka,” said Gat Juan Marcial Palo, a visitor, in a GMA News' Saksi report aired Thursday. “Unique siya kasi kung titignan niyo, ang music ngayon, Digital Age na tayo, so download na lang, CDs, ganoon.”

 
“Kaya minsan nga, nakikita mo na lang 'yung ganitong plaka, parang tinatapon na lang nila,” he added.
 
On the side, Veracruz also collects old sculptures, which include a masterpiece from National Artist Guillermo Tolentino, the sculptor of UP Diliman's famous Oblation statue.
 
Racquel Banawa, another visitor, said, “I like looking at old things, antiques, so being in a place like this throws you back...during my era.”
 
Preserving for the future
 
It seems that paired with Veracruz's passion is a dream—a dream of having the next generation listen to music he believes should not be forgotten.
 
“Nagugulat sila kasi nakatago kasi ito eh,” said Veracruz. “Actually, passion ko lang naman ito, eh. I am not going, really, to do this for business.”
 
“'Yung passion ko was to gather as much as possible,” he said. “All those long-lost Pilipino songs—we don't have any archives... Darating ang panahon na sisisihin tayo ng mga future generations. Bakit hindi man lamang natin nakolekta 'yung mga music natin? Pinabayaan natin—which is a heritage.” —Vida Cruz/KG, GMA News
 
Yesteryear Music Gallery is at 87 Maginhawa cor. Magiting Streets, UP Village, Quezon City. 
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