12 November 2006

vendo

it was certainly more than just your average coin-operated cold beverage dispenser.

when i was about four years old, i remember having this particular fascination with vending machines. people used to call it “vendo” during those days and i saw one for the first time at the old manila international airport (mia). family members flocked to the airport where my grandfather was arriving from a trip overseas.

the old mia was, quite possibly, the most modern airport in southeast asia. state-of-the-art escalators led guests to an amusement center, a café and a view deck where everybody got to say hello or goodbye to their loved ones. i also remember staring cheekily at teary-eyed passengers walking across the tarmac with their entourage near the plane. security was a bit lax during those days. people were generally free to roam all over the airport premises.

when family members rushed towards grandpa, i was suddenly left alone near the lobby. there were too many people all over the airport. suddenly, i could no longer determine the location of the arrival area. i was just about to cry when i came across kids drinking (paper) cupfuls of coca cola, royal tru orange and fanta root beer from a vending machine. i had not seen anything quite like it before. i got myself distracted until, minutes later, my parents had finally spotted me. right after, grandpa rewarded me with coca cola (worth about twenty five cents) from another vending machine. for sentimental reasons, i kept the coca cola paper cup for several days.

months later, i would accompany my mother to her ob-gyne specialist (the late francisca tan de leon) at mary chiles hospital along manila’s gastambide street. as soon as mother sees her doctor (she was then pregnant with my second younger brother), i would sneak out of the doctor’s room then rush to unsystematically press each button of the hospital vending machine. sadly, i didn’t have money then and mother dear wouldn’t give me some of her loose change. but i was happily observing doctors, nurses, midwives, patients and guests every time they slip in coins for a drink. occasionally, i even got treated by passers-by (usually hospital staff) who knew my mother.

my fascination with vending machines ended abruptly at age five, when i entered primary school. there was at least one vending machine on the fourth floor of u.s.t.’s albertus magnus (education) building, right on the education high school side. but that particular vending machine turned out to be a hive for bees. once, i got stung painfully on my right forearm. i cried and my teacher (milagros bautista-villarama) rushed me to the university health center for emergency treatment. from then on, i lost my sense of fascination for vending machines. i became a nerd even more preoccupied with homework.

but decades later, i still wouldn’t readily dismiss the intensity of my emotional state when i saw a cold beverage dispenser for the first time. one can always be like that little child by accepting joy and comfort from seemingly everyday things.

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vending machines at the tea room, a.n.u. research school of pacific and asian studies

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old manila international airport (1960s-early 1970s)

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1950s coca cola vending machine

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candy vending machine

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only in japan: tea vending machine beside cigarette vending machine

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egg vending machine

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coffee vending machine

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fresh vegetable vending machine

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hot soup vending machine

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rice vending machine

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movie sound track and mp3 vending machines

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beer vending machine


15 comments:

Toto said...

Hey Wendell.
Thanks for the CineManila list of winners. Wow, it's Kubrador!Another recognition of Jeff Jeturian's talent. I am also happy for Kubrador's screenwriter, Ralston Jover. He's gone a long way. Do you know that he was a salimpusa during our workshop with Ricky Lee (this was Ricky's second workshop which included, among others, the talented Lav Diaz)?
Also, thanks for the link. Please update it because I changed my URL.
Thanks.

wendell said...

toto!

im always thrilled every time a pinoy film wins an international prize. indeed, jeff has moved across the ranks. but i can assure you, he hasn't changed a bit. he usually texts me even from overseas. jeffrey and lav are the nida and gloria, amalia and susan, nora and vilma, lino and ishma of today's generation.

kubrador has been officially accepted by at least 25 international film festivals. by early 2007, there will be at least a dozen more to be added to this list. the invites are still pouring in. producer joji alonso-antonio is going crazy plotting the schedule of jeffrey and tita gina's appearances worldwide. kubrador is being shown in at least one film festival each week since july 2007. at times, they are being shown in two, even three festival locations.

maximo oliveros, kubrador, heremias, todo todo teros and other outstanding philippine independent films are the salvation of our local film industry.

thanks for dropping by.

w.

p.s. i already changed the link to your site.

Toto said...

Hey Wendell.
Thanks for the message you left in my blog. Coming from you, that's highly encouraging.
Keep writing.

Nick said...

Hey Wendell.
Wow, that's a complete collection of vendo machine! Where did you get the pics?

wendell said...

toto, nick! thanks for dropping by.

nick! i lived in japan as a tokyo uni student during the mid-1990s. took photos of some of the vending machines. i found some recent ones in online publications. crazy indeed. haven't posted the the R-rated vending machines. in japan, one can find a vending machine full of contraceptives with different colors and shapes and scents. the vending machine is oftentimes located in a very public place like churches, the post office, or the city hall.

Nick said...

Hey Wendell.
Thanks for sharing your Nick Joaquin story in my blog.
Hey I'd like to see that R-rated vendo machine.

wendell said...

hehe. ill have it posted. i was extremely worried about its appropriateness. i guess posting one or two pics wouldn't hurt. will post harmless shots later.

Anonymous said...

Hooray for Jeffrey and his team! Where can I get a copy of his movies? I really would like to see some home grown movies here in Australia. Can I buy the DVD? As with Vending machines, Don't you have condom machines at your toilets in Canberra? They're everywhere here in Melbourne. Cheers Wendell

Anonymous said...

Oops..that last post was me, Alfred Nicdao

wendell said...

alfred! i hope they'll have DVD copies reissued soon. right now the film is still making rounds of film festivals and there's a strong possibility that it will make rounds of australian capital cities. several australian institutions have been asking producer joji alonso-antonio for screener copies. let's hope the screenings will pushe through. of course, there are condom vending machines in oz. even here in canberra. but there's nothing like the ones they have in japan. they are all over! and they are packaged in a very cheeky way. here in australia as in many parts of the world, they are purely vending machines. in japan, i reckon, they were making a statement.

Coffee fairy said...

i still call it vendo up to now and am still fascinated with it up to now, hehe. And those are just the simple drinks vending machines...but soundtracks, mp3 and R-rated vending machines?! wow! amazing how almost anything now can be possibly dispensed thru a vending machine :o)

wendell said...

foyan!

indeed. wanted to post the R-rated vendos but i was thinking of kids who may be dropping by this site.

stay cool!!

w.

Pada said...

I would like to congratulate Gina Pareno for her recent victories. I went to see Kubrador in the London Film Festival and I was very impressed with the quality of the film and Gina's performance. One thing I know for sure, Ms Gina Pareno will go places since international critics were already comparing her to the Oscar-nominated Brazilian actress Ferdinanda Montenegro (Central Station).

Loyva said...

Oh my goodness...THE BEES!!! Tuwing dadaan ako noon sa corridor papuntang canteen, iniiwasan ko talaga yung vendo na yun. Ang daming bubuyog! Lalo na kapag bumili ka ng drink from that machine, siguradong susundan ka ng mga bubuyog hanggang sa classroom. Nakakaloka. Higit sa lahat, minsan pumapalpak yung machine at mas maraming carbonated water kesa dun sa flavor nung drink. Haay...what memories. :)

wendell said...

thanks pada! im dreaming of people like caridad sanchez, nova villa, rio locsin and other brilliant but underrated actresses to follow suit. there's more to pacquiao re: our country. tita gina has just exemplified that.

loyva! it was so traumatic for me as i had not seen a bee before. i was four or five then. and i still cannot forget. stay cool.