Of Books, Music and a 1972 Kombi Van

Manila Bulletin, January 21, 2007 | Go to article overview
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Of Books, Music and a 1972 Kombi Van


Any avid booklover will look high and low for rare titles. The same holds true for music buffs.

Combine these hobbies with a 1972 kombi van and what do you get? -- a peculiar Bukswagen Experiment, a roving bookstore cum music shop squeezed in a rundown blue minitruck.

It all started with owner Raymund Generoso's passion for books.

A film and anthropology graduate at the UP Diliman, Raymund collects all sorts of books... "rare, hard-to-find books; some were even banned."

He would browse in antique shops and "underground" book stores -- anything that looked interesting was sure to land in his "must-buy" list.

Through the years, he kept on buying books, comics and other literary materials. Eventually, he says, he bought one too many books... so many, in fact, that his book stacks were enough to fill up a room.

Suddenly, he felt that he needed to dispose some. That began his roving bookstore, the Bukswagen Experiment.

The shop's name was coined after the merchandise it sells, the vehicle's logo (Volkswagen) and the urge to experiment.

"I was looking for a venue to sell my stuff. Then, I saw the kombi van which my girlfriend and I bought. It was out of fashion but it was good and big enough for what I had in mind -- a roving store. I redecorated it, placed my stuff in it and drove around the neigborhood," said Raymund.

Raymund was contented with his roving van -- it was a venue to continue his passion for literature while sharing it with other people -- until one day, one of his professors, Dr. Nelia Sarabia, suggested to put up a store where he can sell comics and other literary materials to support independent artists.

Thinking that it was a good venture, Raymund looked for a place near his house which he could rent and start his business.

In 2004, he set up a small shop at the 2/F Cicle C Mall, along Congressional Ave., Q.C. The shop was splashed with 1970s hippie and counter-culture stuff.

"Aside from books, the shop has music magazines like Pulp and MTV Ink, Urge, Holocaust, Hightimes, Heads, Cannabis Culture, Weeds and Republic, and comics such as Nardong Tae and Cresci Prophecies," said Raymund.

Then, as the months passed by, Raymund began to incorporate his "other passion" to the business -- music.

Growing up with a disc jockey father, it was not surprising that Raymund enjoys music immensely and is drawn to it like a moth to a flame.

"Wherever I go, I always end up in gigs, band concerts or anything that has music in it," shared the music enthusiast.

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