A globetrotter’s souvenirsBy Bayani San Diego Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
No, this is not an episode of the US reality show “Hoarders.”
It’s just that GMA 7 comedienne Maey Bautista loves collecting all sorts of memorabilia – particularly those she has picked up during her numerous travels all over the world.
She will be the first to deny that she’s a jet-setter, though.
“I was just lucky that I worked as production staffer in (the old Kapuso travel show) ‘Pinoy Meets World’ which ran from 2006 to 2009,’” she explained.
Checking her passport, thick with over a dozen visas, would inspire envy from anyone.
She has visited places near and far—from Korea to South Africa, that is.
She always brought home lots of snapshots and souvenirs—not just for herself but for her friends as well.
When the Kapuso team taped an episode of “Pinoy Meets World,” in Vietnam, Maey had an authentic ao dai (traditional dress for women) made in a Hanoi dress shop.
It’s a practical investment, she said. “Until now I still get to wear the ao dai when I have gigs—like for Chinese New Year. I wore it on ‘Unang Hirit,’ too.”
In Turkey, she snapped up belly-dancing costumes.
She also kept her wacky alien spacesuit costume from the foodie show “Eateria,” which she hosted with Betong Sumaya and Grace Lee.
Maey has amassed quite a collection of wigs of various colors. She has started collecting hats, too.
She also keeps all kinds of headdresses and hairbands.
“I need to wear wigs and hats to play certain characters. Hats make you look taller onscreen, too,” she remarked.
When she was in Japan, she bought Coke cans and bottles for Betong, who collects the softdrink giant’s memorabilia.
From the Caribbean, she brought home Rasta figures and other trinkets.
“I wasn’t into refrigerator magnets before, but because of ‘Pinoy Meets World,’ I learned to appreciate them,” she said. “I would rather bring home clothes or T-shirts.”
The dream catcher was a gift from a friend from Baguio. Same with the miniature bulol, which “serves as my protector,” she said.
She doesn’t have the heart to throw away anything—from her dad’s old camera to her first TV, a Daewoo, which she bought while still working for (the investigative program) “The Probe Team.”
She held on to the Daewoo even though she had already bought a 32-inch Samsung flat screen TV.
Maey, a Centro Escolar University mass communications graduate, also worked for Lakbay TV and INQ TV before going back to QTV, which eventually became GMA News TV.
She has brought home refrigerator magnets, coins and other souvenir items from her travels abroad.
A cherished souvenir came from “Probe” colleague, host Robert Alejandro, who gave her a drawing of a Manobo house.
She also kept souvenirs from her stint in “Survivor”—including the bag, buffs and the now-tattered costumes she wore on the show.
Brother Jun, who is based in the United Kingdom, gave her a replica of the blue sapphire and white diamond engagement ring of Kate Middleton and Princess Diana.
“I frequent tiangges, artsy-fartsy bazaars and trade fairs,” said Maey.
She prefers big, colorful earrings “which make me look sosyal [rich],” she quipped.
A friend gifted her with a white Puma watch. She also has Fossil and Converse watches in her collection.
She usually just waits for friends to gift her with various scents. “These designer brands are too expensive. My budget is only P500,” she said.
Fragrances seen on her dressing table included Incanto, Burberry, Zara White Jasmine, Ralph Lauren, Bulgari and Clinique Happy (her favorite).
Reluctantly, she has been forced to build a shoe collection because she frequently hosts formal events.
She admits that she’s not into designer bags. She’s much too frugal to buy such luxury items.
Still, she was able to score a few chic totes—mostly gifts from friends.
In Italy, she bought a leather bag that cost her P5,000—so far her biggest fashion acquisition.
She regularly appears on television (“May Tamang Balita,” “Ang Pinaka,” “Day Off,” “Unang Hirit”) and has made her big-screen debut in Dominic Zapata’s “Boy Pick-Up the Movie.” She is also in the cast of Mac Alejandre’s forthcoming film, “Just One Summer.”
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