The greatest moments in history are sometimes only stories passed around the dining table from our grandparents to our parents. Luckily, some of these stories were also recorded in cassette tapes, film, or even in vinyl records. We embarked with more determination and curiosity to dig for record collections that go beyond (or are probably close enough) to our own dreams. Dodong Rosales welcomed us to his home, where his collection unravels a story of a lifetime. Whether it’s a portrait of Frank Sinatra during his fearless youth, a favorite Vic Damone record, or his mini compilations of tracks from the 50s, Dodong has every piece of a massive puzzle.
Are all of your records arranged in a specific way?
Yes. Diyan lang (Just there). Artists, then alphabetically arranged by their title. Sa umpisa (In the beginning), there were a few collectors here who are my friends. They lend their records to me. I lend mine to them also.
Do you still do that now?
Yes, we still do so once in a while.
With the scale of your collection (from cassette tapes to CDs to vinyl records), which occupies most of the space?
We have more CDs than records.
How long have you had your whole music collection?
I’ve had this for a long time already. Before we decided to relocate here in Manila, we were staying in Marikina. There was a flood and I lost 1000+ records. I had to start all over again.
Oh no. Yeah. That’s usually the case. But what made you start again? Why do you collect records, or music in general?
I just want to. Simple as that.
Are there any that you played more than the others?
Yeah. It’s here. I have 36 volumes of compilations of selected artists and song. I’ve put a lot of time compiling this one.
That’s amazing! How did you go about in compiling these? Is it from records or from the CDs?
By CD, yes. Some did come from my records.
So, why did you start this mini-collection?
I don’t have to listen to the other song in an album that I don’t like. With this compilation, I’ve already selected songs I like and put them together into volumes.
Let’s talk about records. Where is your favorite place to shop for records?
Before, in the States. I spend time going there and around the music stores just to look around.
Did you meet anyone there, like any of your favorite artists?
No, no. Well, when Frank Sinatra came here during a concert.
Who are your favorite artists you’ve seen perform live?
Andy Williams, Pat Boone, Jack jones, Tony Bennett, and Frank Sinatra.
How long have you had your turntable?
Siguro mga (Probably around) 10 years ago. That’s an old one, but it’s still working.
Do you have special records that remind you of certain moments you’ve had with them or you want this because of this certain time?
Yeah. Like Johnny James. At that time, it’s hard to find Johnny James.
What’s your song for your wife?
Yeah. Our theme song is “Making Believe You’re Here” by Nat King Cole. She was actually here in Manila. I was living in the province, so the song was perfect.
Does your wife also has records in her collection?
What’s your daily routine?
I spend around 8 – 9 hours inside this room. 5 hours straight, I’m listening to music. Then after that, I watch a movie.
What’s your favorite music-related movie?
My favorite is . . . well, I’m not entirely sure because I have a lot of collection.
Do you share your music library with any of your family?
Yeah! I’m not the madamot (selfish) type.
Do your kids collect records?
Not yet. They’re into music, but by now, they’re starting to appreciate that.
Do they also play instruments or are they more of listeners?
More of listeners.
If you had to spend time with one artist whether dead or alive, who would you want to hang out with?
If you were to suggest any music to just about any person you meet, what would it be?
“An Affair to Remember” which is a signature song by Vic Damone and of course, Frank Sinatra.
Photographed by MV Isip
Video by MV Isip
Words by PB Hermoso