During the 4-6 weeks (I've lost count) that the balikbayan box was in transit, I decided to do some organizing. In preparation for some serious scrapbooking, I finally committed myself to rescuing my photos from the magnetic albums. The least I could do was to stop the deterioration now.
I was able to get photo boxes from Save on Surplus in Marikina Riverbanks for only P100 each. I figured all I had to do was remove the photos from the albums and file them in the boxes chronologically.
Only four boxes of the kids' photos to scrap? Not really. Digital photos not yet included.
Removing the photos from the albums was not easy. The glue was very sticky and I had to be really careful not to accidentally tear the photos. I used a mini spatula to lift the photos and where they were most stubborn, I used dental floss. Some adhesive was left at the back of the photos and I got rid of those by wearing a sock in my right hand. I would then patiently rub the adhesive off. It wasn't easy. Then some photos curled up around the edges so I had to place them under a three-volume dictionary to straighten them up.
All in all, it was a mind-numbing process. I'm glad that I had American Idol Season 5 to keep me company throughout. It took me longer than I planned, too. As I filed the photos, I also made notes on dates, names, etc. for future journaling.
After the photos were safely tucked away, I turned to working on the negatives. Here's a tip: It is more important to preserve the negatives because these are the original shots. The photograph is just a copy of the negative. So it pays to also keep the negatives for posterity.
I wasn't as conscientious in storing the negatives as I was with my photos. And I had thrown out the envelopes they originally came in so I had to guess the dates when they were taken. I strained my eyes peering at the negatives to figure out the whos, whats, wheres and whens.
I also wanted to transfer the negatives to acid-free sleeves but these are not available in the Philippines. So in the meantime, I slipped my negatives, sequentially arranged, in a three-ring binder. That will have to do for now.
Saving the negatives as well
There is a certain satisfaction in knowing that there's a place for everything and everything is in it's place. And as Taylor Hicks sang his winning song, I carefully and lovingly placed my photo boxes and ring-binders in storage.