Better Than Bone China

I’m not one to like kitschy stuff, let alone attach much value to them. But I do have a favorite set of figurines. Cheap, mass-produced figurines which probably cost around 10 pesos each back in the day.

I got them during the late Eighties when my two sisters and I were in college. That was a terrible time for the Philippine economy and like countless other families, we lost everything — our house, the car, the small business, our savings.  I was aware that my parents were struggling really hard to stay afloat.

Every year before then, at Christmas we got a lot of presents and special treats from our parents.  I understood that that Christmas would be different and was expecting no gifts at all. I knew that every expense was a strain on my parents’ budget.

But on the 25th, there were little Christmas packages with our names on it under the tree and signed “from Santa Claus”. (My mother has always been a firm believer in keeping such Christmas traditions for her children, even when those children were already in college and had probably already seen male strippers in Santa Claus costumes, hehe. I’m kidding, Ma!). So I opened mine and there they were, my figurines, individually-cradled in crumpled newspaper.

I always thought figurines were useless and often tacky dust-gatherers.  These? For reasons far beyond their cuteness, I adored them.  Enough to give each one a name:  Kicky, Boo, Bardingar and Bimby. (Weird names, long story.)

Boo’s my most favorite.

Over the years, I brought them with me wherever I lived and put them up where I could see them everyday. There were times when looking at them was all I needed to feel better.

My dad’s condition nowadays makes travel a logistical nightmare for everyone, so it was not until last Christmas that they were able to visit us here in our new home.  I pointed out Boo and The Gang to Ma and showed her their permanent display area on top of my bookshelves. That is where I put the irreplaceable, priceless stuff.


22 thoughts on “Better Than Bone China

  1. @Grace, your comment just made me realize that I’ve been keeping Boo & the Gang for more than 20 years. 🙂

    @Rumpy, they’re pretty special to me. 🙂

    @Renee, And he’s just an inch tall, haha. Really cute. Thanks!

  2. This is sooo cute. You are a such a great writer, I feel like I know you when I read it. Boo is so cute! I have a tacky pink glittery porcelain swan that my grandma gave me when I was about 5. I feel that same sentimental way about it.
    PS. I’ve thought of something else I really can’t do and felt the need to tell you! I CANNOT lip read!! People are always mouthing at me and I have to say ‘what?!’ haha

  3. It just goes to show that a gift can mean a whole lot more than it is worth $$$. I am sure your parents got a kick out of seeing them displayed proudly on your shelf! My mom collected ceramic, hand-painted angels for me for years and I still put them out to remember my childhood.

  4. hahaha! bimby–he with the long face and the maparetrato-na-lang-ako super bored look! speaking of santa, for the longest time i did wonder why he and ma had the same penmanship. me and my big brain hekhekhek!

  5. this is all too cute. I have also some things that I keep for ages and they always make me feel better, like for instance the ticket to the movies where my hubby took me to the first date

  6. Hahahaha! I can still remember before during my elementary days when receiving a figurine as a Christmas present was every student’s nightmare!

  7. @trixie, Thank you. They are pretty cute for figurines. 🙂

    @Amanda (onemommysthoughts), How about featuring those ceramic angels on Photo Friday? 🙂

    @Anna, hakhakhak!

    @7topics, I still have ‘our’ tickets, too. We are such sentimental fools, haha.

    @Karen, Thank you. There is so much I learn from you about photography so make that a double thanks. 🙂

    @Rumpy, We love you, Rumps, thank you!

    @Mikhail, I assure you that hasn’t changed in elementary schools everywhere. 🙂

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  10. Tita, you are a great storyteller. I love this story. Your sense of humor always cracks me up (strippers in Santa Claus suits?). But underneath it all is a warmth that radiates goodness.

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