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  • If you’re an avid collector, you would know how satisfying it is to put your collection on display. But have you ever thought of opening up your home so other people can marvel at your curated stuff?

    Poinsettia “Inday” Dormido, certainly did. Late in August, she opened House of Mugs, located at her home in Bago City, Negros Occidental, where there are more than 1,500 mugs on display.

    “I can’t really remember when it started looking like how it does now, but I’ve always showcased them,” the 56-year-old recalled. Inday didn't think anyone would be interested to see her collection until one of her friends referred her to a regional TV magazine show. “It’s always been a dream to share my collection with family and friends, but I never expected it to be a hit!”

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    Inday started collecting mugs as early as 1989, when her husband, who used to work as a seafarer for an interisland shipping company, brought her one as pasalubong. From then on, he bought mugs for her each time he came home.

    That first mug got Inday to choose and buy mugs herself until it became a hobby. Then her relatives and friends, knowing she collected them, would also give her mugs as presents. Even her daughter, nieces, and nephews made sure to bring one or two for her whenever they came to visit Negros.

    Inday doesn't like to discriminate, and by that we mean she has all kinds of mugs in different shapes, colors, and sizes. Her finds include mugs with images of Philippine presidents (she has 16 now) and Hello Kitty, the zodiac signs, and mugs from popular fast food chains, among others.

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    Even the price points vary. She has expensive mugs that cost anywhere between P400 to P1,500 and inexpensive ones that she has bought for as low as P20. “I find them at local bargain stores, and it makes me happy because the cheaper they are, the more I can buy at once,” she says.

    While other people would put their collection strictly for display, Inday makes use of her mugs. “Whenever I miss my Nanay, I would use the mug with her photo. If I want to feel like I’m on holiday, I will use mugs that were given to me from abroad. If I miss my daughter [who works as a visual data journalist for a media company in Hong Kong], I will use one of the mugs with her photo on it,” she says.

    Her mugs also serve another purpose. Instead of photo frames or photo albums, Inday showcases family photos on her mugs. Even her daughter’s travel photos are put on display through custom-made ones.

    Despite owning more than a thousand mugs, Inday still has favorites, ones that represent her family. “The first mug that started this collection I owe to my husband. I think our family has achieved what we have now because of his attitude toward life and other people,” she says. “I also love the Starbucks mugs that my daughter makes sure to bring home after her travels. It reminds me of her passion for coffee, and it makes me feel like I have traveled with her.”

    Her collection is already impressive, but Inday says she won’t stop collecting any time soon. “Ever since I opened House of Mugs, there have been more donations from friends and visitors. I don’t think I’ll ever stop collecting. I just want it to grow continuously.”

    If there’s one thing this mom has proved, it’s that everyone can pursue their passion, and they don’t even need a lot of money to make it happen. “It doesn’t have to be expensive. Some of the mugs from my collection are worth P20, and I love them just the same as the more expensive ones. What matters is that they bring me happiness."

    House of Mugs is located at Brgy. Balingasag, Bago City, Negros Occidental. Entrance is free, but if you want to give something in return, Inday says you can just bring a mug to add to her collection! Schedule a visit through their Facebook page.

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