Sunday, October 25, 2020

294. ROYAL SPAGHETTI of California Manufacturing Company, 1962-79

ROYAL SPAGHETTI, New Packaging, 1968

The Philippine manufacturing plant known as the California Manufacturing Company (CMC) began operations in 1955, and its pioneer product was the iconic ROYAL line of pasta products. The most popular of course, is ROYAL SPAGHETTI, which, from the 60s until today, continues to be a familiar sight in daily meals, birthday, fiesta celebrations and holidays.


There was even a canned version of ROYAL SPAGHETTI, complete with meatballs, launched in 1962, but did not take off, as it is the habit of most Filipinos to prepare and customize their own spaghetti and pasta dishes. ROYAL SPAGHETTI was packed in yellow and red cardboard cartons with the familiar “Royal” font that has remained unchanged over the years. Also aavailable was ROYAL Macaroni, in shell and elbow types.


ROYAL also joined the instant noodle bandwagon in 1978, with its Chicken and Beef variants in pouches (“Noodles na mainit…in just two minutes!) , but it was its pasta flagship brand that would remain consistently popular. The advertising was handled for the longest time by Pacifica Publicity Bureau, and its memorable campaigns included the “Royal celebration” campaign, rolled out in the Christmas of 1968.

 In 2014, Food and beverage firm RFM Corp.acquired the ROYAL Pasta brand from the Unilever Group, which had bought CMC in 2000.  ROYL thus joined RFM’s own pasta line under the “Fiesta” brand, still in exsistence today. The transaction was valued at over P2 Billion, which covers mainly the Royal brand and inventories. For 6 decades now, ROYAL SPAGHETTI continues to be a bestseller, made to match with a whole new line of pasta sauces, for taste variety.


AGENCY: Pacifica Publicity Bureau

Creative Director: Nonoy Gallardo

Copy Group Head: Vince Pozon

Copywriter: Betty Ann Quirino

CLIENT: California Manufacturing Corp. (CMC)

Wednesday, October 21, 2020



Today, the name 7-11 is associated with the all-night convenience store that originally opened from 7 am. to 11 pm. that opened in Dallas, Texas way back in 1946. The first name was “Tote’em Store” but was changed to reflect the extended operating hours.

In 1960, a new cigarette was launched in the Philippines called 7-11 MILD CIGARETTES. No, it had nothing to do with the 7-11 convenience stores in the U.S., but the cigarettes were named after a dice game called “craps” . It involves rolling the dice and getting a 7 and an 11 to win.


In a time where cigarette advertising in the Philippines was not yet regulated, the full page ads 7-11 MILD CIGARETTES only contained the information: ‘a blend of choice burley and Virginia tobacco’. Even the manufacturer’s name is not indicated,  but it looks like a local cigarette company that produced this brand.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

292. Childhoood Memories at our Feet: MIGHTY KID of RUBBERWORLD Phils. Inc. 1984

Rubberworld Philippines Inc. was once a giant shoe manufacturer of the country, maker of such iconic brands as Spartan, Kaypee,  Grosby and the super popular children’s brand –MIGHTY KID, launched in the early 1980s.

The fashionable kiddie shoes for school and play, caught the eye of parents and kids, with their snazzy color combinations, and Velcro straps that made the shoes so easy to put on. 

To top it all, a MIGHTY KID mascot pushed the brand to greater heights, a flying superhero who appeared in commercials, appeared in events and used in merchandising displays.

So successful was the brand, that MIGHTY KID expanded its product line from shoes to trendy children’s wear. As predicted, the kiddie fashions sold very well

 MIGHTY KID was an active advertiser, creating mainstream and seasonal advertise such as this Christmas commercial:


Uploaded by oblaxz2007, 14 March 2010 

In 1990, Rubber World employed rising young international singer and 1989 Junior Star Search champion  Josephine “Banig” Roberto to appear in a MIGHTY KID commercial. But 4 years after, plagued by internal turmoil that led to court cases, ceased its operations, leading to the demise of  MIGHTY KID Shoes. But children growing up in the 80s still remember the multicolored sneakers that they wore out in school and at play and the MIGHTY KID mascot who kept the brand flying high for a good number of years.



Gilbert commercial. Rubberworld. Mighty Kid!, uploaded by oblaxz2007, 14 March 2010:

Sunday, October 11, 2020

291. The Other Tiques that Didn’t Quite Tick: COLONIAL, MIKADO, SINSU, TOHO TIQUE (mid 1960s)

TOHO TIQUE, 1968, unknown maker

In 1933, TANCHO CORPORATION  took regular soft pomade out of jars and bottles, and put them in a convenient, handy solid tick form that allowed me to control their hair with a swab and a dab—hence, TANCHO TIQUE.

COLONIAL COSMETIC STICK, 1966, unknown maker

The vegetable-based medicated grooming stick would revolutionize men’s grooming products with its unique, convenient form, filling a niche in the market for quick and on-the-spot hair fixes. Pretty soon, the TIQUES category began filling up with me-too products, just a few years after TANCHO TIQUE’S super successful launch., 4 examples of which are shown on this page., launched from 1966 to 1968:  COLONIAL, MIKADO, SINSU and TOHO TIQUE

MIKADO TIQUE, 1967, unknown maker

But there was nothing like the pioneer TANCHO TIQUE which, using its marketing juggernaut, all wiped out the other tiques in a few years. To this day, TANCHO TIQUE in a stick continues to be produced,  with a smaller, but hardcore following.  The rest of the competitors have all been “ticked” off from market shelves in the 70s.

Sunday, October 4, 2020


"Mr. Adonis of PBA", YVES DIGNADICE for Omega Pain Killer, 1989

One of the leading  manufacturers and distributors of various pharmaceutical and consumer products in the country today is the Cebu-based International Pharmaceuticals, Inc. It was founded by the Wong brothers in 1959:  George, Sixto, Sergio, David Sr., and Pio Sr., with the launch of a product that would become a byword in body aches and pain relief: OMEGA EFFICASCENT OIL.

Aggressive salesmanship and effective door-to-door marketing were key factors that drove OMEGA EFFICASCENT OIL, and by the  mid 1960s, it revitalized its market standing with advertising, using strip ads in local magazines. In 1968, the greaseless version was introduced, which solidified the brand’s national popularity that went on through the 80s.

 Body aches and pains like sprain, lumbago,  cramps, muscle spasms, often happen after strenuous work or sports—and basketball was the perfect contact sport where these are manifested. Besides, basketball-crazy Philippines never ran out of court heroes who can endorse the brand. In 1989, a new campaign was launched by OMEGA EFFICASCENT OIL, using a popular cager at the peak of his career—YVES DIGNADICE, who, with his prowess in the court and his dashing good looks, gained considerable female fandom earning the monicker “Mr. Adonis of PBA”.

 Iloilo-born Yves Arones Dignadice (b. 18 Dec. 1964) was spotted playing in the Palarong Pambansa as a member of the Western Visayan basketball contingent. This led to his being recruited for La Salle where made a good showing at the first ever PABL tournament.  In 1984, he made the national team to the Asian Youth tournament in Seoul, Korea, where the country placed third.

 Dignadice’s  professional  career history included stints with l 1984-1985    Northern Consolidated Cement (1984-85), San Miguel Beermen (1986-1998), and barangay Ginebra San Miguel (2000). He was such an excellent defense player that he earned three All-Star invites and paved the way to his inclusion to the first ever national basketball team composed of PBA players in 1990 that won Silver in the Asian Games.

 It was the mid 1980s that were truly  his prime years—he became several times a member of the national team that played and won in the 1984 SEA Games, 1985 FIBA Asia Championship (Gold) , 1985 FIB World Championshipa and 1985 Jones Cup (Gold).

 As an established basketball star, Dignadice  became an endorser of OMEGA EFFICASCENT OIL in 1989. By then, popular basketball personalities--like Jaworski, Lastimosa, Codinera, and Patrimonio--were doing commercials for their pulling power, and Dignadice found himself doing one too for OMEGA. People still remember his after-game massage scene where he is shown shirtless--  a sure money shot for the country’s bestselling liniment.

 After his retirement, Dignadice migrated to the US with wife Jennifer, a nurse, along with daughters Adrianne, 12, and Sophia, herself, a skilled basketball player. Eldest son Bryce, 24, stays in Manila. He still plays basketball—in PBA reunion games, Fil-Am leagues, while coaching  top girls basketball teams. His Adonis days may be over, but his basketball skills continue to pay off—handsomely.


Source: PH Sports Bureau

After his retirement, Dignadice migrated to the US with wife Jennifer, a nurse, along with daughters Adrianne, 12, and Sophia, herself, a skilled basketball player. Eldest son Bryce, 24, stays in Manila. He still plays basketball—in PBA reunion games, Fil-Am leagues, while coaching  top girls basketball teams. His Adonis days may be over, but his basketball skills continue to pay off—handsomely.


Ph Sports Bureau, YVES DIGNADICE STORY | Ang PBA Player Na NAMAMARIL Sa Court,, uploaded 15 April 2020. Accessed 4 Oct. 2020

Wikipedia: Yves Dignadice

International Pharmaceuticals Inc. website:

Sunday, September 27, 2020



The Cinderella story of business magnate Alfredo Yao is one for the books. Left without a father as a child of 13, he managed a stallin the Bluemntritt, Sta. Cruz area selling all sorts of products. At age 17, he put up a printing business, Solemar Commercial Printing, with a Php 3000 loan.


As his lot improved, he chanced upon a new concept of affordable printed packaging in 1979 while on tour in Europe—the doypack format. So, from printing, he ventured into the juice market with the introduction of his ZEST-O Juice Drink in 1980, under his SEMEXCO Marketing Corporation.It was packaged in revolutionary doy pack, that can be filled with liquid or powder on normal packaging lines, which, while flexible,  can stand alone on store shelves for display.


ZEST-O expanded into different fruity flavors that became household brands. ZEST-O’s huge success  paved the way for other products contained in the same breakthrough packaging:  juice brands SUN-GLO Juice Drink, BIG 250 Juice Drink, and PLUS! which were exported to China, Korea, and Singapore,  parts of America and Europe, TITA FRITA Tomato and Banana Catsup, BEAM Toothpaste, ONE Ice Tea, and TEKKI YAKI Udon.

TITA FRITA Tomato & Banana Catsup, 1990

Today, the beverage company Yao founded has been renamed ZEST-O Corporation. . He also ventured into low-cost airline industry, after its alliance with Asian Spirit—thus Air Azia Zest was born, before transitioning to Zest Airways.


Salvosa, Isabel. How a street vendor grew up to become the Philippines’ Juice King,posted Oct. 4. 2018.

Success Story of Alfredo Yao: The Juice King.  June 19, 2017

Wikimedia: AirAsia Zest,

Thursday, September 17, 2020

297. ASCAROL BONBONS, by Metro Laboratories, Inc. (1957-1969)

ASCAROL BONBONS, in chocolate flavor, 1957

One of the most popular deworming drugs in the 1950s, was ASCAROL brand, produced by Metro Laboratories, Inc. Metro was then a leading pharmaceutical company that made popular products as Dhobinol (skin ointment), Elixir Auri-Bromide and Metrotussin (cough medicine).

ASCAROL Print Ad, 1957

Ascariasis, or roundworm infestation, was a common children’s condition in the post-war 50s, and the most prevalent in agricultural Philippines. The soil-transmitted parasitic worms can cause severe abdominal pain, fatigue, vomiting, anemia, distended abdomen, itching, and malnutrition and weight loss in kids.

ASCAROL print ad, 1960 

 As liquid antihelminthic medicines tended to be distasteful for kids, Metro Laboratories made the product in chocolate-flavored candy forms---ASCAROL BONBONS. The albendazole-based bonbons, came individually-wrapped in a glass jar,, which children can enjoy like candy,  while being treated for their infestation. No laxatives were required.

 ASCAROL Print Ad, 1969

ASCAROL BONBONS were promoted in print ads, from the 50s to the 70s, becoming household names, and proven the most effective worm expellant for decades. The rise of new  and very affordable multi-worm products halted ASCAROL’s market success. Combantrin, for example, is Pyrantel-based, which required only one dose to eliminate all types of worms, and yet it is gentle on the stomach.

 The brand name Ascarol today, is used by Laboratorio NeoFarmaco of Ecuador, in their de-worming product that is just as popular as the Philippine brand of old.