May 17, 2019

Bad news for fans of the kitschy trinket store Papemelroti: Its co-founder, Bienvenido “Benny” Alejandro passed away at 92 on May 15. His wake will be held at the Loyola Memorial Chapel in Commonwealth, Quezon City.

Alejandro’s late wife, Corit launched the first Papemelroti store (then-named Korben, a portmanteau of the couple’s names) in 1967 at Tomas Morato, QC. “This is all here because of my wife,” Bienvenido had said in a 2017 interview with Philippine Daily Inquirer, a loving quip that reflects the spirit behind the arts and trinket chain.

With Papemelroti, the couple has left behind an indelible legacy. For five decades, its branches have been the place where artsy kids from Metro Manila get their first taste of kitsch. Their letters made of wooden blocks and earrings shaped like vinyl records are instrumental to the coming-of-age of many young art enthusiasts, and there’s a clear line between Papemelroti and the rise of millennial arts and craft stores like Common Room.

As a lovers of all things kitsch, we offer our deepest gratitude and pay our respects to the late couple. May they find a heaven covered in glitter and papier-mâché hearts.


Featured photo courtesy of

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