Cubao X vinyl sale draws younger crowd, more women

Rick Olivares

Posted at Feb 02 2018 06:34 AM

Buyers search for records at Cubao X. Photo by author

MANILA -- Kagatan 26, the first of the quarterly vinyl record sales/swaps at Cubao X in the Araneta Commercial Center was held over the weekend with over a dozen sellers and re-sellers of records, compact discs, and cassettes converging in this bohemian and artistic enclave. 

According to event organizer DJ Arbie Won, the resurgence of vinyl domestically has shown no signs of stopping. “There are sellers and sales not only in the national capital region but also outside," Wong noted. "And we’re also seeing a lot of younger people discover the magic of vinyl.”

Like 25-year old writer Nic Angeles, who only began buying vinyl recently. "Previously, I was into compact discs and streaming. My first encounter was my parents’ collection – New Wave titles. My dad got a Smiths record and he played it and I fell in love not only with the music but the medium. It was a different experience,” she said.

Aside from the hand-me-downs, Angeles looked forward to purchasing her first record. “It’s weird since I bought my first record – from Canadian band Silverstein -- 'yung mga bands na trip ko ngayon. I always wanted to start by buying a record that I really liked from a band that I really liked. After that, I could get others na even not from my generation.”

As for Kagatan, Angeles discovered the sale when searching for record stores online.

Nic Angeles holds up her records. Photo by author

Gary, a 26-year old who declined to give his last name as he left for Kagatan while on break from work at a nearby supermarket in Cubao, said he can only afford to buy one or two affordably priced records during payday because of other expenses. 

“I only started last year, nung last Kagatan and napadaan lang ako and I saw the record sale. Usually, streaming lang ako, downloads. But I was intrigued so I bought one. My Christmas gift to myself last year was one of those portable turntables. When I have extra money, I will upgrade. But since I went vinyl, it helped grow my love for music. But right now, I cannot buy the brand new records. Puro second hand,” he said.

For his part, re-seller Elwyn Zalamea who also manages artist Dong Abay, insists that he doesn’t like over-pricing his records. “Yung tama lang,” he said. “If you price it too high, you scare customers away and since ang dami na nagbebenta, doon sila pupunta sa may competitive na presyo. Plus, it is a good way for young people to get into music and records at an inexpensive cost.”

While generally, record buyers are of an older set, those born in the 1960s and '70s -- vinyl’s heyday -- we took note is that this quarter’s Kagatan sale, drew quite a bit more women to the sale than previous ones. We counted over two dozen women who flocked to the stalls and purchased records, cassettes, or compact discs as to merely browsing. That is more than that last five Kagatan sales dating back to the start of 2017.