IN PHOTOS: Ali Mall sale offers further proof of vinyl’s resurgence

Rick Olivares

Posted at Dec 02 2018 10:16 AM | Updated as of Dec 04 2018 11:24 AM

MANILA — Kagatan 29, the quarterly vinyl record sale in Cubao and held for the first time inside a mall -- Ali Mall to be exact – from December 1-2, proved to be a smashing success.

Previously held at the bohemian and artistic enclave of Cubao X, event organizer, DJ Arbie Bulaong, who last November opened a second branch of his vastly successful Treskul Record shop at the Ali X area of Ali Mall, was asked by the mall management if he would like to hold the record sale at the atrium area.

The sale drew a lot of new faces, the kind you will not see at the Kagatan sales at Cubao X, the November Hi-Fi Show, or even Record Store Day.

“For one, we’re in a high traffic area and there are a lot of curious passersby,” observed Bulaong. “Unlike in Cubao X na kailangan mong dayuhin because you are going to the event, here sa Ali Mall, you have the incidental buyer. And it is nice to see there are a lot of new faces.”

Al Rivera of Bear’s Den Records, one of the event exhibitors, noted that there were a lot of female faces in the crowd that kept all sellers busy throughout the first of the two-day sale.

“It cannot just be an older demographic,” Rivera pointed out.

“It is nice to see younger people and female buyers. Meron mga customers nagsasabi na mabuti bumabalik ang vinyl. Marami nahikayat dito sa sale sa Ali Mall. Plus, the cooler confines of the mall help.”

Common caption: Scenes at Kagatan 29 in Ali Mall. Photo by author

Common caption: Scenes at Kagatan 29 in Ali Mall. Photo by author

Common caption: Scenes at Kagatan 29 in Ali Mall. Photo by author

Common caption: Scenes at Kagatan 29 in Ali Mall. Photo by author

Common caption: Scenes at Kagatan 29 in Ali Mall. Photo by author

Common caption: Scenes at Kagatan 29 in Ali Mall. Photo by author

Common caption: Scenes at Kagatan 29 in Ali Mall. Photo by author


And just what was popular among the Saturday crowd of buyers that also included several foreigners who are now residents of Manila?

“Queen!” offered Erwin Ursua of Vinylhead Records. The recent Queen film “Bohemian Rhapsody” saw the now defunct-British band surge once more in popularity with albums such as “Sheer Heart Attack,” “Live Killers,” and “The Game” being snapped up during the Saturday sale. Of course, New Wave bands remain popular as do OPM albums.

“I had this guy buy a Pedicab album for himself,” said Rivera. “He was also looking for Up Dharma Down’s ‘Capacities’ which is in demand. But he also bought a Carpenters and Frank Sinatra record for his wife. So it is interesting to see that the two of them are into music and vinyl.”

Rico J. Puno records were being hunted down following the OPM legend’s passing away last month, as were Juan Dela Cruz Band albums.

Aside from the vinyl, compact discs, and cassettes, another popular feature of Kagatan 29 was a locally manufactured record cleaning solution, Dooo-Weez-Ooze. The product’s manufacturer, Francis Dewey Santos, a music and recent vinyl convert, said that concocting his own cleaner came about due to his concerns about maintenance for such expensive products such as records.

“Our product was borne out of necessity and I was actually surprised to see that it received such positive feedback from local audiophiles,” bared Santos.

His Dooo-Weez-Ooze has even received interest from foreign music fans except that he has yet to figure out how best to ship them given concerns about liquids being transported abroad.

“I think the new faces are proof that the popularity and demand for vinyl records continues to grow,” summed up Bulaong. “And given the response and turnout so far, I think we will do this again here in Ali Mall.”