Filipino Picker: A heavy dose of the 1980s

MANILA - At the first ever History Con in the Philippines sits a small booth that houses an array of old toys, antiques, and worn-out home appliances guaranteed to satisfy one's craving for 1980s nostalgia. 

There were notebooks and music magazines decorated with faces of celebrities, whose names will leave millennials baffled. Atop an old Magnolia cooler rest heaps of Funny Komiks, the oldest being from 1989. A pair of life-size ceramic statues of Mighty Kid, the mascot for the defunct local shoe brand of the same name, acted as the centerpiece, while boomboxes and television sets of a bygone era accentuated the whole set-up. 

"Ang basura pala natin noon ay puwede maging pera," whispered a middle-aged woman to her friend as both of them perused the vintage pieces with several other passersby. 

The booth belongs to Kyle Gianan, a 35-year-old picker who often travels to Bulacan, Tagaytay, and other far-flung provinces in search of rare items that will remind him of his childhood years. Since he first began collecting at the age of 18, mostly hoarding PBA memorabilia, Gianan has now amassed a collection of more than 500,000 pieces. 

"When I talk about the amount, I don't think about the money. It's more of the sentimental value and how it helps me because my job right now is very stressful," shared Gianan, who runs a small furniture shop, in an interview with ABS-CBN News. "These things, they save my life. I'll just go to the museum and parang nawawala lahat ng problema ko." 

Gianan keeps most of his collection at his two-storey shop in Mandaluyong, but hides his most treasured pieces from the public eye inside his home. This includes an official poster signed by all of the main cast members of the popular American sitcom, "Friends," which he bought for around P25,000. 

"I'm really a buyer. I rarely sell," admitted Gianan, a deviant from the rest of the local picking community, whose members mostly act as middlemen in the antique food chain, buying items they can quickly sell at a markup. 

Check out some of the pieces of Gianan's collection below, which also includes an original movie prop from the hit sci-fi film, "Back to the Future," and a few collectibles from the era of the late strongman, Ferdinand Marcos. 

Mobile users can view the desktop version of the slideshow here.

Kyle Gianan, known as the "Filipino Picker," displays his collection at the first ever History Con in Manila. Vincent Garcia, ABS-CBN News

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