Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Life on Display

Note: The following article is the 2nd draft of my feature article in my English class. This is my first ever attempt to write something that simply just features somebody. In class, we ended up not having to write the final article because of lack of time. The 2nd draft was checked as if it was the final feature article. 

Museums are a fad because of the variety of items that reveal shadowed parts of the past and glimpses of the future. These items are the stars of the show, and most people would rather observe only them all throughout their visit, instead of the numerous other seemingly boring fixtures in the museum.

One such fixture is George Antolino, a security guard in the famous gold exhibit of the museum. He was tall, dark, but ignored by a lot of visitors. To those who noticed him, he looked like a normal Filipino corporate security guard.  He wore a gray barong and black pants, sported a 3x4 military haircut, and almost-always held a walkie-talkie to his ear. With his pensive expression, you’d think he had a problem with being where he is. But by being a guard for Ayala Museum for four years, he is able to share peculiar insight on his job, on the people going there, and on the stars of the show, the artifacts.

His pensive expression revealed nothing about how he initially desired to work for the Ayala Museum. He found its ambiance refreshing to the senses, after his stint as an SM security guard. According to him, he trusted Ayala’s reputation too. After four years, he has not left, which leads us to ask if he loves his job. “Oo naman,” was his response. His family depends on what he earns from the place, and that is enough to make him happy there.

With around two-hundred visitors a day, it seems like George is not the only one drawn to the museum. From his observation, schools would normally schedule field trips, and foreigners mostly consisted of Koreans and Japanese. When asked if he had problems with any of the foreigners, he responded with, “Sa totoo lang, mas madali pa ngang kasundo ang mga foreigner na iyan eh. Kaunting sabi mo lang sa kanila na huwag gawin ang ganito o ganiyan, susunod na.” Foreigners were used to being disciplined, while Filipinos who visited the Ayala Museum would only pretend to follow the rules. He could not understand Balikbayans insisting to pay the more expensive foreigner fee, and only shrugged his shoulders at the thought that they might have just been bragging.

George’s daily task is to protect golden artifacts he speculates as simple pieces of metal the revealed history. He thinks they simply look like junk aluminum foil painted gold. Despite this, he eagerly pointed to one particular piece of junk encased in a glass box. Inside the container was a human torso wearing George’s favorite piece, a 24-karat halter with an intricately knitted design, resembling a rope with fine threads.

Sinuot ‘yan ni Cheche Lazaro sa T.V. Sa Probe. Ako nagbabantay noon eh,” he shared, with pride evident from his eyes, as they intently looked at the halter. He then went back to his duty.

Museums showcase items like the halter that certainly reveal a lot about history by just being on display, and not making any sound. However, certain unnoticed members of the Ayala Museum, like George, when asked to share, can also teach us about our own selves. Sometimes, we may even learn things that no priceless gold artifact can spell out. We just have to get to know them, to maybe get to know ourselves a little better.


eigengrau21 said...

well said^^

grabe, matagal na akong pabalik-balik dito sa blog mo.

it's nice to know something new from you.

gud day.

Anonymous said...

just keep on writing thougts that inspires others life... i had watched you in lipgloss and you do great there.

Anonymous said...

what a crap festure article!!!

Anonymous said...

hello mikee! pa link po.

tnx a lot!

-DC- said...

naalala ko yung nag-gaguide s min nung minsang nag-field trip kmi s maynila... medyo maingay ang iba s min tapus sabi nya "alam nyo kung ano ang tingin s atin ng mga bansang nsa kanluran, pra tayong mga unggoy, walang pakialam sa ating pinagmulan"

npapa-isip ako twing nbabasa ko yung mga post mo...
gud luck....


JM said...

i am a constant reader of your blog, good thing you are now again posting

Anonymous said...

great writing!! it is always a great feeling to come visit your site and read your works!

Anonymous said...

I saw you at serendra last night! you were with your family in Krispy Kreme :)

rochelle said...

hi kuya mikee!!

ganda ng topic niyo.. simple pero ang galing ng outcome!!

great job..

hmmph.. sana matandaan niyo po ako?!

we met at sam concepcion's concert!!

anyway.. hope for your response!!

may site po ba kyo??

Raiza said...

You're really right! I was dying to see those gold artifacts recovered in Surigao that are now displayed in Ayala Musuem... I hankered so much after the thought of me knowing myself better after seeing those gold stuffs that were part of my past... I guess your blog post reminded me of the other entities around the musuem who really can teach us also something about our lives...

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...


i watched that in Probe team. The artifacts that will change the History. Ganun kayaman ang Pilipinas dati. Well, I really like to emphasize that the work of security guards are not that simple. Imagine they only receive 6k a month.Sometimes they work 24 hours. Its painful that they cannot apply without an agency. Imagine how much they charge the security guards. Sometimes the guard will pay the lost item in a shop for example laptops or cellphone. We need to honor them even in the simplest way by saying Thank You or Take care or by a simple smile..Gambate Kudasai..^_^

Anonymous said...

True. Our eyes tend to be usually, if not always, centered on the “stars” of the show maybe because to see these “stars” is our main reason for coming. But I also hope that we should respect other people around us as much as we respect the “stars” that we intent to have close encounter.

In the story, it is so sad to hear that foreigners take the guard’s instructions more seriously than Filipinos. It is so clear that foreign visitors are aware that if they become careless of their actions they might have to pay for a penalty. And perhaps, they are also conscious of the responsibility of the guard. They value the guard’s presence - that he is there not just to protect the golden artifacts, but to also put food in the table.