Saturday, July 13, 2019

231. COMTRUST JINGLE, “We Share The Same Horizon”, 1973

Commercial Bank and Trust Co. (COMTRUST) was a commercial bank that was founded in 1954 and its head office was at the J.M. Tuason Bldg., in Escolta. By the 1960s, the fast-growing bank had bracnches along Taft Ave., Quezon City, San Fernando in Pampanga. It moved to Makati, then, a burgeoning commercial district, a spanking new corner building on Ayala Avenue in mid 1960s.
The bank started advertising actively in the 1960s. It was rebranded in the 1970s as COMTRUST, complete with a modern logo.
In 1973, COMTRUST rolled out its new corporate commercial featuring a minute-long song that achieved a measure of popularity with its simple, but engaging melody and its lyrics that talk about building a bright future together.

The song was composed by Jose Mari Chan, who by then, was an established singer and composer, known for hit songs like “Deep in My Heart”, “Afterglow”, and “Can We Just Stop and Talk While?”, which was the country’s entry to the 1973 Tokyo Music Festival.


Singing the song was Tillie Moreno, one of the female vocalists of the hugely popular Circus band that spawned great singers like Basil Valdez, Hajji Alejandro, and Jacqui Magno. “We Share the Same Horizon”, was so popular with the young crowd that Jingle Chordbook Magazine, the top music magazine of the 1970s, had to include it on its pages, complete with guitar chords. To top it all, Vicor Records put out a 45 RPM disc of the said jingle. 

By the late 1970s, Ayala Avenue was teeming with scores of banks, and the banking giant, Bank of the Philippine islands, began acquiring other banks. COMTRUST became one of its notable acquisitions in 1981.

The only reminders of  COMTRUST today is its distinctive saucer like building in Escolta designed by national Artist Jose Ma. Zaragoza, and its memorable jingle –“We Share The Same Horizon”, which fortunately is included in one Jose Mari Chan CD compilation, “Strictly Commercial”.


Friday, July 5, 2019

230. Is That Who I Think They Are? MARICEL SORIANO & MATUTINA for Libby’s, 1974

 By 1974, the TV sitcom “John en Marsha”, was RPN’s prized jewel, achieving consistently high TV ratings, and raking in big advertising revenues for the channel. It had started just a year before, in May 1973,  and its popularity was largely due to the talented ensemble, led by veterans Dolphy (John) and Nida Blanca(Marsha) as the mismatched Puruntong couple (in terms of status), whose relationship is plagued by meddling mother-in-law, Dely Atay-Atayan (Dña. Delilah).

Supporting the leads were two newcomers—MARICEL SORIANO (Shirley), who played the youngest of the Puruntong family, and Dña. Delilah’s always-shrieking serving maid, MATUTINA.

MATUTINA aka Evelyn Bontogon, started as a radio voice talent. The versatile Evelyn had an ‘elastic’ voice that she used to voice radio soaps—using it to sound like a child, an adult or any other character. She was discovered for TV when she was cast as a househelp named “Matutina”  in a TIDE commercial where she used a a high-pitched, shriek voice that made an impression on TV viewers, as well as talent casters.

On the other hand, MARICEL SORIANO (b. 25 Feb. 1965)  started her acting career at age 6 in the 1971 Sampaguita Pictures’ “My Heart Belongs to Daddy” with Tirso Cruz III and another kiddie star,  Snooky.  Her grandmother had brought her to the studio where Maricel charmed the producers with her acting and singing talent. She attributes her comic skills to her on-screen father, Dolphy, who guided her early in her career.
MATUTINA AND SHIRLEY, for Libby's Pork & Beans, 1974

Just like the other “John en Marsha” characters, MATUTINA and MARICEL had their own following and fo this reason, the two were cast in a LIBBY’S PORK & BEANS campaign that was launched in 1974.

In the Philippines, LIBBY’S PORK & BEANS was manufactured under Libby’s license by RFM Corporation, Pasig, Rizal. Its main competitor was HUNT’s, the market leader. The Maricel-Matutina campaign was notable for a catchphrase –“LIBBY’s! It’s DI BIS!”

The LIBBY’s brand passed on to a succession of owners—Libby, McNeill & Libby was acquired by Nestlé in 1970. In 1998, Libby's canned meat business was sold by Nestlé to International Home Foods, and became  International Home Foods. In 2000, it was acquired by ConAgra. Today only LIBBY’s Vienna sausage and Corned Beef are available in the Philippines.


Monday, July 1, 2019

229. GOLD EAGLE BEER “Billiards” TVC, starring the Bad Bananas, 1988


GOLD EAGLE BEER  was launched around 1981, a low-cost, flanker beer of San Miguel Corporation. It was looked at as a light-bodied beer made for the working class to enjoy at day’s end. It was the first beer assignment of McCann-Erickson, and the launch commercial was mainly a brand awareness, jingle-based campaign that showed an eagle being released to the skies, with shots of the product interspersed with the soaring bird, to the beat of “Let the GOLD EAGLE fly!” refrain.

The account went back to Philippine Advertising Counselors and in 1988, the agency developed a popular GOLD EAGLE campaign featuring the Bad Bananas, a  group of actor friends that included Christopher de Leon , Edgar Mortiz, Jay Ilagan† and Johnny Delgado†

They had been stars in a highly popular comedy-variety TV show called “Goin’ Bananas” in 1986. It moved to IBC, and then to ABS-CBN, in 1987, where its following grew bigger.

The story is set in a billiard hall where we find the Bad Bananas at play. A kibitzer, superbly played by Ricky Fernando provides commentaries as they play, annoying them in the process. (For his portrayal, Fernando would be named as one of the Top 10 Advertising Models for 1988).

The billiards kibitzer then demonstrates his moves, hitting the ball accurately one by one, as he amazes the gang with his playing prowess. He even took their challenge to sink a bowling ball on the table! The Bad Bananas rally around him, treating him with a bottle of  GOLD EAGLE BEER.

There were two versions of the TVCs, one, dialogue-driven, and the other, jingle-based using the full “Para Sa ‘Yo,Pare Ko!” song. “Billiards” was perhaps the most memorable ad produced by GOLD EAGLE BEER, which, to this day, continues to delight its loyal core drinkers.



ART DIRECTOR: Edwin Wilwayco
COPYWRITER: Julius Deslate
ARTIST: Pit Santiago
CLIENT: San Miguel Corp. 
PRODUCT: Gold Eagle Beer

Gold Eagle Beer "Billiards" - Philippines , 1988, uploaded by vibesey
Published on Jul 23, 2016.
EKING'S GOLD EAGLE BEER COMMERCIAL, uploaded by: perfectmanastig

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

228. Mother And Daughter Models: ROSA ROSAL & TONI ROSE GAYDA

LIKE MOTHER, LIKE DAUGHTER, Rosa Rosal with only daughter, Toni Rose Gayda.

Rosa Rosal (born as Florence Lansang Danon on 16 Oct. 1931) was one of the prized stars of LVN Pictures. She often assumed the roles of femme fatales, sexy vixens, wayward girls (but with a heart of gold) and a daring, seductive siren.

She was only 15 when she appeared in her first movie, “Fort Santiago (1946) by the Nolasco Brothers Studio. Her performance impressed the LVN bosses who got her  and transformed her into a fine actress in such classics as Biyaya ng Lupa (1959) and Anak Dalita (1956). She won the FAMAS Best Actress for Sonny Boy in 1955.
ROSA ROSAL, Early CAMAY GIRL. Print Ad, 1953.

Offscreen, Rosa Rosal led a quiet , purposeful life. She joined the Philippine National Red Cross in 1950 and has actively promoted blood donation though the years. She also engaged in charitable and humanitarian work on TV (Damayan, Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko) that won for her the ramon Magsaysay Award in 1999.

As such, she became a role model and early in her career, she was chosen to be one of the 1950s CAMAY Girls, that included such legendary screen beauties like Norma Blancaflor, Gloria Romero, Nida Blanca, Nenita Cardenas, and Charito Solis.
ROSA ROSAL, for GENTLE Fine Fabric Deteregent, 1976.

In the 70s decade,  Rosal became active on television, and did dramas and sitcms like “Yan Ang Misis Ko”, opposite Ronald Remy.  She also did one movie in 1976,”Sakada”, directed by Behn Cervantes, that was banned by the Marcos government. Because of her familiarity to TV audiences, Rosal was persuaded to appear in a commercial for GENTLE Fine Fabric Detergent.

Rosal’s daughter with American pilot Walter Gayda whom she married in 1957, alo had a successful run as a showbiz personality. Toni Rose Gayda became a sought-after model, and was a CAMAY Girl, like her mom.  She did at least ne campaign for JOHNSON’S BABY LOTION, in 1979, with Ace Compton Advertising, Inc. 

TONI ROSE GAYDA, for Johnson's Baby Lotion, 1979.

Toni Rose Gayda, later found fame as a TV host of Eat Bulaga (1996-2014), following her stint in Student Canteen and Lunch Date. Gayda presently co- hosts of A Song Of Praise Music Festival on UNTV,  gospel music TV program.

Friday, June 21, 2019

227. Creative Guild’s 1984 TV Ad of the Year: SAN MIGUEL BEER “Pulutan”

David Ogilvy identified several elements which could make a TV commercial register in the minds of the market, and among them are such formulae as slice of life and dashes of humor. He warned, however, that “very, very few could write funny commercials that are funny.”

Humor certainly carried the day, not to mention the campaign, for the very first Creative Guild Television Ad of the Year, a 30-second drinking table argument among friends that was concluded with one of the decade’s mist memorable advertising one-liners.

The client was San Miguel Beer, a min account of Philippine Advertising Counsellors from when the brand first began advertising in the ‘60s, to the time the San Miguel account moved to McCann-Erickson in 1986.

The campaign was “Ito ang Beer”, which had been launched to confront the first product to challenge the best selling Pale Pilsen’s leadership in years, Beerhausen.”We were simply out to reinforce the product’s market position,” says Romy Sinson., then, one of the copywriters along with pal, Julius Deslate, on the San Miguel account.

Now president of SLG Advertising, Sinson recalls how the campaigngave him a chance to use that favorite Pinoy humor genre, the anticlimax, in a series of commercials starred in by the brand’s 5-man team of well-known endorsers: comedian Bert Marcelo, boxing great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde, singer Rico J. Puno, billiards champion Amang Parica, and racing winner Jockey Eduardo.

The commercials had progressed at an entertaining pace;  after a series of 15-seconders focusing on the accomplishments of each spokesman, invariably ending with the assurance that “Ito ang Beer,” the boys figured in more ads  that had them arguing over options, whether it was music to play for the night, or which watering hole to head for. “The common element was San Miguel Beer,” Sinson says. “The message was that , no matter what your taste was and where you were heading, san Miguel Beer was the best companion to have around. “


The winning ad”,  the “Pulutan TVC”, had the protagonists again at odds over the evening’spica-pica.The ad is a delightful sequence of memorable reaction shots from the different personalities; the late Elorde’s calm drawl is perfect foil to Puno’s arrogrant demand for “crispy pata” and Marcelo’s agitated whine for “inihaw na pusit”.

Adding even more spice is the nameless waiter, who is exasperation personified,, especially when Elorde settles the matter with his ludicrous but legendary request for isang platitong mani”.

Romy Sinson credits the directorial wizardry of Jun Urbano for a huge “50%” of the commercial’s with-it appeal. Needless to say, Beerhausen’s German-flavored campaign was steam-rollered by the gang’s  endearingly Pinoy antics. The dialogue became so popular that “isang platitong mani” even became a movie title. “Everybody familiar with the San Miguel campaign remembers the ad.” Sinson recalls.

ADVERTISER: San Miguel Corp.
PRODUCT: San Miguel Beer
AGENCY: Philippine Advertising Counsellors
COPYWRITERS: Romy Sinson, Julius Deslate
ART IDRCETOR: Edwin Wilwayco
DIRECTOR: Jun Urbano
PRODUCER: Jun Castro

PERFECT 10: A Decade of Creativity in Philippine Advertising, Published by the Executive Committe of the Creative Guild of the Philippines. 1995. Butch Uy, Alya Honasan
 "Isang Platitong Mani" TVC:, uploaded by Casvar Daikun. Published on Feb 3, 2009
“Isang Platitong Mani” title slide: OJ Movie Collection, Published on Sep 18, 2016

Monday, June 17, 2019

226. MARCELO STEEL CORP., Jose Rizal Print Ad Series, 1961

MARCELO STEEL CORP. was one of the businesses of industrialist Jose P. Marcelo, who had started as a successful manufacturer of rubber shoes (Marcelo Rubber Co.). In 1948, he bought the Nail Plant and its equipment of the government-owned National Development Co., for Php100,000. He took over and made a million pesos in his first year of operation.

By the 1950s,  MARCELO STEEL CORP. was one of the leading steel fabrication plants in the country. Its 12th year of operations coincided with the centennial birthday of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, so it released a series of corporate ads—6 in all-- that communicated his  ideals and insights on various aspects of life , that are shared by the giant steel company in the pursuit of its purpose and business mission/vision. Accompanying these ads were reproduction of panintings done by leading and rising  artists of the 1960s.

Service to Others Before One’s Self. Rizal maintains that “the duty of modern to work for the redemption of humanity…and once man is dignified, there would be less unfortunates and more happiness..” Similarly, the company has “a policy of giving substantially, in cash and in kind, to various civic, charitable and educational institutions.”The painting, by Gregorio Custodio, shows Rizal being put under arrest by Spanish authorities in Barcelona.

Holding High the Brow Serene. This ad refers to Rizal’s reminder that we should “work for a purpose”. This is in synch with the vision of the company “which dreives satisfaction from its role in providing livelihood to thousands of Filipinos, in supplying vital requirements of the construction industry at low cost, and in contributing substantially to a more stable national economy”. The painting, showing Rizal soeaking “Los Indios Bravos”, was painted by Gabriel Custodio for Caltex.

Behavior to Deserve a Friend. “To have a good friend is a great fortune”, Rizal once declared. The corporation has always affirmed that “its foremost aim is to deserve the patronage and goodwill of the Filipino people. Th paining is by Fernando Amorsolo Jr. showing Rizal with friends, Ferdinand Blumentritt and MaximoViola.

The MARCELO enterprise became a large empire that, at its peak, included a rubber plantation, a fertilizer, a small boat manufacturing facility—aside from the shoe plant and the steel fabrication business. Unfortunately, upon the death of the patriarch, the businesses collapsed in the 1990s, brought down by a repressive political regime, liberalization, and most of all—festering family feud. The messages of Rizal, once inscribed in the company’s own ads, apparently have all been forgotten.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019


On the occasion of the inauguration of the Philippine independence in 1946, many private enterprises sent out their warmest felicitations to the new republic and its first president, Manuel A. Roxas through their advertisements, a selection of which appear on this feature.

The Far East Air Transport was founded by  Don Salvador & Dona Victoria Araneta in response to the economic recovery of the country from the devastation of World War II. They established  the first Filipino-owned airline in the Philippines called Far east Air Transport. This led them to put up an aircraft mechanics school known today as FEATI University.

Greg Fallesgon was one of the advertising and photo engraving store to service the needs of stores that lined up the commercial district of Sta. Cruz, Avenida, and Azcarraga, where his offices were also located. It created ads, window and merchandising materials for retail establishments in the 1940s.

The company that was engaged in such diverse businesses as export-import, insurance and paper manufacturing was founded by Swiss J.M Menzi. He had come to the Philippines as a trader sometime in 1910, formed J.M. Menzi Corp, and acquired rubber plantations in Basilan. Upon his death, he was succeeded by his son Hans Menzi, who became a publisher of the Manila Bulletin.

La Fábrica de Cerveza San Miguel opened in 1890 at Calle Aviles, an enterprise began by  Enrique Ma. Barretto de Ycaza y Esteban, after getting a grant from Spain. The brewery, maker of the country’s premiere San Miguel Beer, got its name from the San Miguel district of Manila.

“La Estrella del Norte” was founded by the Levy Brothers (Adolphe, Charles and Raphael) in 1870, and started as a jewelry and watch shop in Iloilo. The Escolta shop became one of the biggest department stores in the country that sold local and imported goods.  It diversified and sold bicycles, appliances, and later, even cars! It had downsized in the 1960s, and today, a small  “La Estrella del Norte store is still in operation in Makati.

The leading metalcraft business  in the Philippines was founded in 1890 by Crispulo M.  Zamora (1871-1922), a master engraver. Eminent engraver and silversmith, Crispulo M. Zamora. It was the premiere maker of medals, medallions, trophies,plaques and commemorative coins at the turn of the 20th century.

The Philippine Press Wireless, Inc., was an American company that was granted a franchise in 1938 to construct, maintain and operate in the Philippines stations for the reception and transmission of wireless long distance messages, pictures or other matter pertaining to the press. It merged in 1965 with Globe Wireless Ltd. And Mackay Radio and Telegraph Co. and became Globe-Mackay Cable and Radio Corp., a predecessor of Globe Telecom

Reneé Thornton was a brand of cosmetics established in 1923 by Paramount Cosmetics  with offices  in New York. The products became available in the 1940s throughUy Su Bin & Co which exclusively distributed them.

The favorite Filipino ice drop brand in the 1940s was one of the side-businesses of Ed. M. Sison & Co., which was in the business of building and selling air condition, refrigeration unitsand industrial cooling equipment. The company thus, also made ice desserts like ice drops and ice cream. Sison Ice Drops, were made in their Sampaloc plant and were popular for its Pinoy flavors, like buko, pinipig, mongo and keso.

GLO-CO Beauty Products  were the most popular pre-war cosmetics in the Philippines. Brands like Gloco Beauty Crème Soap, Face Powder and Tonix hair and Skin Tonic were distributed by Asiatic Commercial Corp., and later, Cromwell Cosmetic Export Company, Inc.. Advertised in the Commonwealth years, GLOCO reached the peak of its popularity in the 1950s. Because movie stars endorsed them, they were known as “Hollywood beauty products”