In my case, there are two that hold their own special journeys.
The first of these two is a silky bright yellow baby tee – which I’d like to call the “Mr. Robot shirt” – I bought from an ukay-ukay in 2003. Just like all my ukay finds, buying it was sort of love at first sight: for only P20, it was a sleek piece that spoke my personality, and I knew right away, I wasn’t going out of that ukay-ukay without that shirt in hand.
Its importance grew over time, as I transitioned from an age of youthful discovery to early adulthood. It became a usual sight in the laundry basket. I wore it during Saturday wash day classes in school and during unforgettable vacations, like my first trip to Boracay in 2004 – memorable dinners on powdery white sand with the family, explorations on and away beach pockets with Jigs (who is now my husband) – and a much awaited, tranquil return to my grandparents’ ancestral house in Bicol in 2005.
It reminds me of youth, of a time when I didn’t have to worry much about being a grown up, of a time spent mostly on discovering the thrilling, though sometimes turbulent, experience of growing up.
The second of these clothes is a more sentimental piece: a brown coat that has been with me, tucked under an old pile of letters in a box beneath my bed for about 15 years now. And the truth is, I never, not even once, used it. It’s been in that box, covered in a cake of dust, bearing an old carton smell for 15 years.
So I keep it, safely tucked in that box for fifteen years. Not that I haven’t moved on. I guess it’s always just comforting to know that you always have a reminder of that one act of rare kindness of someone who already left and who may possibly never come back. “For you to wear on rainy days,” he said.