Tita’s Costume Jewelry : A Wonderful Performer’s Treasure Trove of Fashion Accessories

Taking a trip down someone’s memory lane is one of my favorite activities. Tita Noni Zabala, a friend, close relative, music educator and performer wanted to clear her wardrobe of a few near-vintage items. These were fashion basics but they are fabulous in their simplicity. I can always use brass bangles from southern Philippines and I love to have an armful of them sometimes. Fine silver filigree is also one of those pieces often seen in the collection of grand Filipina dames like my Tita Noni. A faded tambourine neckpiece can still be made new if she brings it to a jeweler’s shop, I told her. That’s what made her decide to keep it instead of giving it away. However, for the many other pieces she allowed me to keep, I will be forever grateful. There’s this pin with lot’s of amethyst – colored crystal, an imitation tortoise shell hair clip with rhinestones, bracelets, chains, charms (that now adorn my fancy bracelet), beaded combs and dangling earrings! Do I have the head (and panache) to wear all these? Probably not a performer’s flair but I simply treasure all of them! Auntie Noni said she’s tired of awards and trophies but I hope that this blog will serve as a tribute to her forty years of teaching music and singing on stage. Cheer up Tita! You’re still beautiful, you have grandchildren and a loving husband (a retired military man and an honest one at that). Oh, but it’s nice to sit around her wonderful garden! I just admire her trees and her tiny jars among the plants. I definitely look forward to more afternoons with a person whose art continues to fluorish in her golden years. Let’s all sing to that fellow UP Philippine Association of University Women! Let’s also give Aunt Noni an encore!


About cathydeleon

I was a student of the late Constancio Bernardo and Jose Joya. I also had the privilege to have Rod Paras Perez, Napoleon "Billy" Abueva, Romeo Mananquil, Rafael Asuncion, Virginiaflor Agbayani and Lito Carating as my mentors. Larry Alcala's work at the Commission on Audit was done with a little help from me and another fine arts graduate. It was as well a privilege to meet many well known Filipino artists like Juvenal Sanso, Nena Saguil, Cesar Legaspi, Ang Kiukok, Onib Olmedo, Boy Rodriguez, Norma Belleza, Jerry Araos, Fred Baldemor, Esmeraldo Dans, Dave Aquino, and many other equally prominent visual artists. After a few years of working in a gallery, I took up graduate studies and finished my M.A. degree. Consequently I took up Philippine Studies (Philippine Society and Culture). The course was a consortium between the UP Asian Center, UP College of Social Sciences & Philosophy (CSSP) and the College of Arts & Letters (CAL). I finished my Ph.D. degree a few years ago.
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