Collections of a Jukebox Queen

"The title of Jukebox Queen, though no longer in vogue or relevant, is often attributed to a housewife from Bulacan. Minerva Palad has earned this moniker not for her vocal abilities, but for her love of collecting, restoring and selling of what else – jukeboxes." - Taken from the article "Jukebox Queen" by Enrico Jose of Manila Bulletin (published March 13, 2010)

We recently had our successful bi-monthly Grand Buffet in the culinary school and our batch was assigned to set up a full-fledged restaurant service operations with a casino theme.

At first, I was quite hesitant to do this with my classmates, given the elements of the theme itself as uberly expensive and grandiose in form.

I was absent the day we had a meeting on setting this up, so I was assigned to become the maître d'hôtel as a punishment and somehow lead the class of 18 people to make things work.

I accepted the job whole-heartedly and squeezed out the creative juices of each person in the team - one of which has created something I would be thankful for the rest of my life: meeting Bulacan's "Jukebox Queen", Minerva Palad.

We are in dire need of an authentic slot machine, to use as an accent to our casino-themed restaurant set up and luckily, one of my classmates was able to locate over the internet one of Minerva Palad's prized collections.

I was not aware until today when I joined my classmate to head to Bulacan and return the "rented" slot machine from a lady who is actually an antique collector - not just an antique collector, but a woman who owns the most number of jukebox machines in the Philippines.

I was amazed at how she invested most of her time and money to restore these jukeboxes and other rare finds from the early 1900's - some of which (she has about 20 as of press time) were fixed to be in full working condition. Because of this, Minerva has been named the "Jukebox Queen" by a recent newspaper article. (Click here for the article)

During our short stay, I was able to take photos of some of her collections aside from the jukeboxes:

A Thomas Edison Disk Phonograph which looked like a cabinet until I opened the door. Just look at the three pictures posted below - it is not an electricity-powered one.

An antique telephone

An antique Adding Machine (the first I've seen in my lifetime)

And my personal favorite - a 2-feet antique radio from the 1930's.

Minerva has a bigger collection of antiques and restoring the jukeboxes alone is quite a task, she says. The parts for the jukeboxes are hard-to-find and mostly available from the United States - same for the technicians.

I jokingly asked her if the technicians were also antique - we just laughed! Seriously, it is a tough business to do in these modern times, finding a technician who knows fixing these stuff is like finding a needle in a haystack.

How I wish I have the space in my room and the money to spend to get one of her items - like the antique radio or the Thomas Edison Phonograph. We will see when I hit it big in the culinary industry - with God, everything is possible.

As a keepsake, I asked for her calling card for future use.

It was an honor to have met this person who has a passion for old things. This lady has somehow, been part of our school project and we will forever be thankful for sharing us one of her slot machines and for sharing us her collections, even for a little while.

Miss Minerva Palad is the owner of "Recuerdo de Abuelos", an arts and antique shop, with showrooms located at Sta. Maria and Angat in Bulacan. You may email her at or contact 09228947676 and 09266947878 for more details.