This Facebook page has rare footages of Regine Velasquez, ‘80s PBA, and vintage T.V. commercials

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The collection of Jojo Bailon, the administrator of the Facebook page View on the 3rd, includes a wide range of materials, from the arrival of Pope John Paul II to the trailer of comedy film 'Bagets 2.' Photo by JL JAVIER

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — In the ‘90s, a boy was part of a commercial by the Philippine Gaming and Amusement Corporation (PAGCOR) that was taped in a public elementary school in Cavite. The boy died due to dengue a couple of years after the commercial aired.

The boy’s family had been searching for a copy of the PAGCOR footage for years. The brother of this boy came across View on the 3rd, a Facebook page that shares old and new T.V. show clips, commercials, photographs, CDs, laser discs, and VHS tapes, featuring foreign and local celebrities and personalities, among many others. The brother then asked Jojo Bailon, the administrator of the page, if he had stumbled upon the PAGCOR video.

Bailon says that he told them he’ll try his best but could not guarantee to find it among the stacks of tapes that he has. “Eksacto mismo, ‘yun ang unang lumabas,” he says, recalling that he randomly selected a tape, played it, and luckily got it the first try. He told the family, the mom of the boy started crying, and Bailon says this was one of the more memorable engagements he’s had since starting the page.

Where it all started

Bailon attributes his collection back to his grandfather’s affinity to music. He says his grandfather grew up a poor man but eventually made his fortune by travelling from Laguna to Bicol and vice versa to trade goods.

Yumaman [ang] lolo [ko] so he built a big house. We still have that house. It's over a hundred years old na in Laguna, in Cabuyao,” he shares. “What he did was he bought one band. In Laguna kasi, it's called musikero.”

Photo-22 (1).jpg Jojo Bailon, a timepieces specialist at Salcedo Auctions, is the administrator of View on the 3rd, a Facebook page that shares old and new T.V. show clips, commercials, photographs, CDs, laser discs, and VHS tapes, featuring foreign and local celebrities and personalities, among many others. Photo by JL JAVIER

His lolo didn’t go to church, but instead, would look at the sky, meditate, and have the band play him songs every Sunday. His dad would also accompany his lolo to travel all the way to Manila to watch an opera at the Manila Metropolitan Theatre. Eventually, his dad alloted a music room in their house in Manila, and this fondness for music and performances was naturally passed on to the young Bailon.

He shares that, while growing up, his bonding time with his dad would typically be in their music room, which was filled with expensive equipment — from amplifiers to turntables. “He taught me how to listen to music,” Bailon says.

When the Betamax was first available to the market in the ‘70s, his dad was in on the trend right away. They also had equipment that boosted the signal to have better quality videos. Some of the recordings his dad ranged from the arrival of Pope John Paul II in 1981 to the movie trailer of the ‘80s comedy film “Bagets 2.”

“He's a very busy man eh,” says Bailon of his dad. “He would record shows kasi you can put the timer eh and then he will watch them Saturday night and then the whole of Sunday the shows that he missed that's why we have those tapes.

Photo-33.jpg Jojo Bailon's collection of the Eraserheads CDs. Among the bunch, he says that "Maskara" is the rarest find as it is not commercially available. Photo by JL JAVIER

From Betamax to social media

When Bailon started working, he also picked up the habit of recording shows he liked; his favorite being “Ryan Ryan Musikahan,” a late night musical show led by musician and composer Ryan Cayabyab that aired weekly from 1988 to 1995 in ABS-CBN. He continued to record and collect for his own pleasure.

His dad passed away in 2004, and his mom told him to get his dad’s collection just a few years ago. With his and his dad’s massive collection combined in one place, he felt he needed a place to dump all the photos and video files that they’ve accumulated over the years.

Three years ago, he took to Facebook to use it as a sort of cloud storage, just so when family and friends ask him about a particular video file, he could digitize the tape by putting it inside a DVD recorder, burning it into a DVD, inserting it in his computer, converting it to MP4, uploading to Facebook, and sending the Facebook link to his family or friends.

Photo-14 (3).jpg Bailon also inherited most of his dad's music and video equipment, which he still uses up to this day. He also still needs some of the equipment, such as the DVD recorder, to digitize the tapes. Photo by JL JAVIER

However, a complete stranger liked the page.

Sabi ko shit, nahanap,” he recalls. “Sabi ko, ‘Can you please not share it?’ Sabi niya, ‘Why?’ Sabi ko, ‘It's only a place where I want to put my … it's like a cloud or something diba? Eh siguro hindi niya natiis, shinare niya.

The page started to get a steady stream of followers since then. Now, it has over 11,000 followers, and one of the videos (“Rated K” episode featuring Erich Gonzales who had just won “Star Circle Quest” in 2005 at the time of airing) reached more than 1.5 million views. This, he says, was an exception since most of the videos that would gain a lot of views and engagement would be either a station ID, a commercial, anything Regine Velasquez, or a PBA game of the past (as in circa Atoy Co and Alvin Patrimonio).

“I don't digitize everything,” he clarifies. “I still have the tape kasi for me, the tape is still the best storage media. Can you imagine? Forty years and it's still working.”

Photo-21 (5).jpg Footages of Sharon Cuneta and Regine Velasquez, among others do well on the View on the 3rd Facebook page. Other videos that would gain a lot of views and engagement would be either a station ID, a commercial, or a PBA game of the past (as in circa Atoy Co and Alvin Patrimonio). Photo by JL JAVIER

Then and now

With his collection, he’s been able to assess and reassess shows or performances that most people would have only seen once. His Facebook page has also turned into a nostalgia trip or a sort of yearning for past events to return.

His followers, he adds, are more inclined to engaging with videos or photographs of a long-gone era. Without prodding, he talks about the inimitable presence of “real talent” then.

Kunwari in ABS-CBN diba hindi naman talaga marunong kumanta eh tapos pakakantahin nalang diba? Li-lip-synch, lalagay diyan sa Sunday show, week after week,” he explains. “So tayong viewer, tatanggapin nalang natin. Nung araw, hindi. Marunong ka kumanta? Parinig nga. Hindi 'to pwede, next.”

Photo-5 (15).jpg Bailon's collection of laser discs. He explains that, for him, laser discs are closest to what the naked eye sees, as opposed to high-definition copies that are too sharp and unrealistic. Photo by JL JAVIER

The collecting mind

His exposure to music and entertainment all throughout his life would make one think that he would have tried to work within that industry. But he’s quick to say that he never was attracted to it (although also says that he would try to venture into DJ-ing in the future).

He says that some followers of the page would also assume that he’s worked in a T.V. network before because he has all these archives of shows, movies, and commercials, but for him, he finds his satisfaction in finding a piece that nobody else has.

“One time I got a message wanting to buy my archives. Ang feeling ko that guy was from a T.V. station, maybe nasira ‘yung files nila or something,” he says. “But I said, it's not for sale and he said why don't you name your price. Sabi ko it's not for sale, sorry. It's really not for sale.”

He also got a message asking where he got the copy of the 1961 romantic film “Pitong Gabi sa Paris” starring Nida Blanca and Nestor de Villa. “I just said secret,” he says, laughing.

Photo-31 (1).jpg “I still have the tapes kasi for me, the tape is still the best storage media. Can you imagine? Forty years and it's still working,” says Bailon of how even there is the option of him digitizing his collection, he still prefers to have a copy of the actual record or tape. Photo by JL JAVIER

Bailon doesn’t plan to sell a single thing from his collection, as he only wants to donate them eventually to a public school in Laguna where his mom taught for several years. But when asked what his main motivation for collecting all these was, especially since he doesn’t and will never get any form of monetary value from these objects, he says:

“In reality, gusto mo lang naman talaga mang-inggit. Sa totoo lang naman eh, diba? I have this and you don’t have it.”