Thursday, October 10, 2019

245. Brand Icon: Republic Flour Mills’ PAPA PICCOLINO

In 1968, the country was introduced to PAPA PACCOLINO a jolly, portly Italian chef with his trademark mustache. He was the brand character for a new line of “Real Italian” boxed pasta products for dishes and soups.


 It was by Republic Flour Mills (now RFM Corporation), which ventured into flour manufacturing in 1957, even though wheat wasn't being grown in the Philippines.


The name  PAPA PACCOLINO was reworked from the title of a 1953 hit song, “Poppa Piccolino", sung by Diana Decker The brand was active throughout the rest of the '60s, its line expanding to include soup varities and pizzas.


Papa Piccolino appeared practically in all print materials, but the novelty wore off as the '70s rolled in. PAPA PACCOLINO was replaced with a real endorser, host-singer Pepe Pimentel, who more or less exuded the same chirpy, friendly vibe as the cartoon character.


DIANA DECKER-POPPA PICCOLINO (1953), uploaded by GoldenOldiesOn45RPM,June 8 2010.

Friday, October 4, 2019

244. THE PLAYBOY CLUB OF MANILA, Silahis International Hotel, 1978

On  August 26, 1978, the doors of the Playboy Club of Manila, swung open at the Siahis International Hotel, joining the sophisticated and uber-exclusive Playboy Clubs around the world. Hugh Hefner built the Playboy empire in Chicago in 1953, with the launch of Playboy Magazine. 

The men’s lifestyle and entertainment magazine is notable for its pictures and centerfolds of near nude and nude women, awakening America’s sexual revolution. Then-unknown Marilyn  Monroe appeared in the very first issue. 

Hefner parlayed the brand’s success by founding the Playboy Club,  which, initially was a chain of nightclubs and resorts. The first club opened in Chicago, Illinois on  February 29, 1960. The clubs were a big hit, and Hefner’s enterprise rolled-out the Playboy Club product internationally.

Businessman Leandro “Biboy” Enriquez, a known Filipino hotelier and considered as one of the pioneers of Manila’s night life, secured a franchise from the Chicago-based Playboy Club International, and began its operations by offering memberships. From 5,000 applications, an initial 3,000 members were approved, that included top Manila executives, diplomats, and male members of rich and prominent families.Members were asked to abide by the rule: “just look, don’t touch”.

That’s because the Playboy Club was manned by “Playboy Bunnies” dressed in revealing cottontail outfits, with trademark bunny ears and cuffs. Of the over 1,000 bunny applicants, only 50 were chosen, trained by the directress of the Playboy Bunny International, Harriet Bassler, who flew over with Playboy bunny mentors, Gabrielle Conklin, Rose Nickerson and Christine Shaw.

The imported Bunnies trained the locals on the finer points of Playboy club stylized service—like doing the “Bunny dip”when serving food and drinks. The training lasted for a month and a half.

The Playboy Club of Manila, located at the Silahis International Hotel along the Roxas Boulevard hotel strip, featured amenities and facilities like the VIP Grill, Living Room with Live Entertainment, Bunny Bar, Playmate Bar, Electronic Games Room, Dining Room, Library, Conference Room and an Open Terrace for private parties for 200 people . The Health Club has a gym, sauna massage room, hot and cold whirlpool bath.

The Playboy Club of Manila had a good run in the 80s  and its live entertainment that featured such discoveries as Gigi Galon and Dale Adriatico, were the talk of the town. But tastes were changing as Makati became the commercial and social hub of the rich and famous. 

The turbulent times in the 80s led to a downtrend in the economy and businesses, including those of Marcos cronies. The Enriquezes, who were a part of that circle, also felt the pinch. Manila’s Playboy Club closed down permanently in 1991. 

These few ads, created by Advertising and Marketing Associates (AMA) are the sole reminders, of the years when the Playboy bunnies came to town.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

243. Vanished Landmarks: PINES HOTEL OF BAGUIO, 1934-1975 Ads

Known as “the grand old dame of Baguio”, PINES HOTEL was one of the earliest structures in the city center that were built between 1905-1910. The original hotel was known as “Hotel Pines” that was erected in 1909 on what is now the Gov. Pack Rd. area where the University of the Cordilleras (formerly Baguio College Foundation) now stands. Regarded as the first tourist hotel of Baguio, it was totally destroyed during the War.

The second, more well-known hotel—PINES HOTEL was built on Luneta Hill, which provided the most modern accommodations for Baguio’s wealthiest visitors. Its construction involved the employment of Japanese workers from Nagatomi Construction. 

American managers headed the new hotel, but in 1927, the first Filipino manager, Ciriaco Z. Cuenco of Sta. Rita, Pampanga was installed, replacing the previous head, a certain Mr. Best.

The “premiere resort hotel in the Orient”, surrounded with pine trees and terraced gardens, was the exclusive place to be for weary tourists to be in the 1930s. 

The  cluster of wooden and stone buildings that overlooked Burnham Park was later rebuilt and remodeled post-War, giving way to a modern, concrete building.

In the 1950s, PINES HOTEL boasted of 144 rooms with private bath, and main facilities that include the Ifugao Hall (Main Lobby), Bontoc Bar, Kankanai Tea Room, Kalinga Dining Hall, and Cañao Ball Room. But even with these, the aging hotel struggled keeping afloat given the rise of less expensive lodgings and newer hotels in the city.

The government, which administered PINES HOTEL, later sold it to the Resort Hotel Corporation  in 1968 for Php 6.8 Million. Legal disputes hounded the sale, as the balance was not reportedly settled.

Thus, the new PINES HOTEL, relaunched in 1969 became part of  a chain of hotels of the  Resort Hotels Corporation, along with Taal Vista Lodge, Hyatt Regency, Hotel Intercon, Philippine Village Hotel, among others. By this time, it featured a Gold Dining Room, Sadiwan Cocktail Lounge and Disco, Blue Fountain Coffee Shop and a swimming pool.

On that fateful day of Oct. 23, 1984, a fire razed down the popular mountain resort hotel—which by then had 4 stories and 423 rooms.  

The deadly 6-hour  fire  left 4 people dead, including 2 Americans and 46 others, mostly vacationing World War II veterans who were there on a nostalgia trip. PINES HOTEL was totally gutted, and its destruction marked the passing of an era.

The property at Luneta Hill was subsequently foreclosed and  auctioned off by Development bank of the Philippines, which was won by SM magnate, Henry Sy in 1988. In 2002, the SM City Mall-Baguio was opened amidst controversies.

Monday, September 23, 2019

242. ARMANDO GOYENA for RUM CAÑA by Tabacalera, 1953

Tabacalera (Compañía General de Tabacos de Filipinas) was established as a cigar and tobacco factory by Antonio Lopez y Lopez, the Marquis of Comillas way back in 1881. It was put up right after the end of the tobacco monopoly.

Cigar-smoking then was a time-honored recreation for many Filipinos, and puffers often paired smoking with sipping liquor to heighten their smoking pleasure. 

Hence, Tabacalera branched out into the manufacture of liquor, and by the mid-twentieth century, it had the largest distillery in the Philippines churning out 40,000 liters of alcohol daily.

RUM CAÑA was one such successful product that came from their factory. Rum was a very popular mass drink, as it was very affordable, and Tabacalera’s RUM CAÑA became the choice of the country, and, in the 1950 decade, enjoyed a reputation as the Philippines’ best-selling rum.

RUM CAÑA was advertised during the 50s with famous star Armando Goyena as an endorser.  In real life, he was Jose “Pinggoy” Teodoro Iruyetagoyena Revilla Jr. (b. 7 Dec. 1922 / d. 9 Mar. 2011), who came from a well-off family and was a student of La Salle when he was discovered by Dna. Sisang de Leon for the movies  

He was introduced in “Puting Bantayog” (1948), that would pair him with Tessie Quintana. Goyena would shoot to stardom in 1952 with the superhero film “Kapitan Kidlat”, opposite Evelyn Villar.  His status as a major film star was cemented with “Hawayana”, which also catapulted the Goyena-Quintana love team to showbiz fame.

The film “Hawayana” , a 15th anniversary offering of LVN Pictures, was shot in color, a rarity in the 50s, and was directed by Manuel Silos. The RUM CAÑA series capitalized on the huge following of Goyena, and the appearance of the print ads were timed to coincide with the movie’s national screening in June 1953. 

In 1958, Goyena married the prominent beauty Paquita Roces, herself a top commercial model known as the first Camay Girl. The couple had 8 children: Maritess, Tina, Johnny, Ces, Pita, Rossi, Malu, and Cita and 29 grandchildren, many of whom also joined showbiz.

He put behind his acting career after his marriage, reappearing only in 1995 as Don Eugenio López in Chito Roño’s “Eskapo”. Roño cast him again in 2001 for “Yamashita: The Tiger's Treasure”, for which he won that year’s FAMAS Best Supporting Actor award. His last appearance was in “Annie B.” in 2004, before his death age 88 in 2011.

As to the product Goyena endorsed, Tabacalera’s products were acquired by La Tondeña beginning in 1955, with Añejo Rum. The liquor giant had earlier bought Ayala Distillery in 1924. RUM CAÑA today, no longer exists, but La Tondeña continues to manufacture and sell a similar rum product with the brand name  “Flor De Caña Anejo Oro Rum”.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

241. ANGEL FACE by POND’S, Print Ads 1959-1968

ANGEL FACE SKIN CARE, introduced by POND's in 1946

POND'S' is a world-famous brand of beauty care products, currently owned by Unilever. Its most well-known product was POND’s Vanishing and Cold Cream. By  the 1940s ,  it became the first skincare brand at a critical period when women assumed more  jobs as the men went to war.

EARLY ANGEL FACE ADS, with 1958 Miss Philippines Chuchay Tuason, 1959 ,1961

It was just after the war that POND’s introduced a new cosmetic line with the introduction of ANGEL FACE Compact Powder in 1946.  Before World War I, POND’S had been selling face and body powders, but never promoted them until 1932, when it officially launched its POND’S Powder line. A decade later, it introduced its range of Dreamflower powder products.


ANGEL FACE turned out to be a bigger success when the compact powder hit the market. The first ads proclaimed:  “A sensational new make-up that’s easier to apply—no water, no greasy fingertips. And it stays on longer than powder! A smoothing ‘cling’ ingredient is pressure-fused into Angel Face. Makes it go on evenly—stay on.”


The ANGEL FACE Compact Powder was produced in the following shade: Blonde Angel, Ivory Angel, Pink Angel, Tawny Angel, Bronze Angel, Blushing Angel, Gypsy, Golden Angel. In 1950, a mirror case compact was added, a welcome product innovation.


In 1955, POND’S and the Chesebrough Manufacturing Company merged to become Chesebrough-Pond’s. By the end of the 50s decade, ANGEL FACE Compact Powder was introduced in the Philippine market, which was widely received by Filipinas, who loved the idea of a portable foundation powder kit to enhance their beauty.


The early ANGEL FACE ads showed Miss Philippines 1958 Chuchay Tuason as its model. She had modeled earlier for POND’S Cream. The new, squarish compact design was introduced in 1961.

LOCAL ANGEL FACE LIPSTICK ADS, adapted from the U.S., 1963

An attempt to diversify the line in 1963 resulted in the introduction of ANGEL FACE Lipstick, but this turned out to be a premature move. The print ads that came out locally were U.S. adaptations.


In 1964, the compact was re-designed to make it more circular. For the next years , ANGEL FACE was actively promoted via full color ads, using a variety of beautiful models and career girls—students, teachers, stewardess and at least, one actress.


Today,  only ANGEL FACE Talc and Face Powder brands are available locally in plastic containers. The pressed powder compact is sold elsewhere like in Spain and parts of Asia.

Friday, September 13, 2019

240. Brand Stories: SERG’S CHOCOLATE PRODUCTS, 1954


In the 1950s, the most well-known name in local chocolate products was SERG’S. It was founded by the Goquiolay Family in 1954, with Antonio F. Goquiolay at the helm as president and general manager. Under him were Cochita Goquiolay as treasurer, and the chief chemist and product manager, Flaviano Yenko, Sr.  The company was named after Antonio’s son, Sergio Goquiolay—hence SERG’S.
IN SERG’S OF EXCELLENCE: L-R. Luis Mendoza (Asst. Gen. Mgr.), Antonio F. Goquiolay
(Pres. & gen. Mgr.), Conchita Goquiolay (Treasurer), Chua Tiong Chuan (Distribution),
Flaviano Yenko Sr. (Chemist and Product manager) and Edgardo yenko (Factory Superintendent).

By 1956, SERG’S was a fully mechanized food enterprise, churning out chocolate products like breakfast chocolate powder, flavored chocolate,  candies, cocoa drinks and chocolate snacks that were comparable to the world’s best. 

SERG'S AND SUPPLY. Ditribution of Serg's products were handled by Willy's Commercial,
managed by Mr. Chua Tiong Chuan.

SERG’S was capitalized at one million pesos by 1956, and its air-conditioned factory boasts of the finest chocolate machinery and  equipment from Europe and the U.S/ At its prime, it had the largest cracler-fanner equipment, that cracked and fanned coca beans.

Its leading branded products included SERG’S Breakfast Cocoa, Choc-o-Malt, Milk Chocolate Bars, Choc-lettes, Chocolate Bars with Orange Flavor, and a host of other chocolate lines.


SERG’S was a thriving business all throughout the 1960s but the Goquiolay family migrated to the U.S. at the height of Martial Law. When Marcos was ousted and the Aquino administration took over, SERG’S was taken over by the government as part of the Asset Privatization program.

Some 2 decades later, Sergio Goquiolay, who had been a marketing professor in the U.S., came back to the Philippines and attempted to re-start the SERG’S business. For awhile SERG’S chocolate products were seen again on supermarket and grocery shelves.

But the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997 dashed all hopes of a permanent comeback. With the peso devaluation, SERG’S came under great debts and was plagued with labor problems despite promising sales. SERG’S filed for bankruptcy in 2001, and Sergio Goquiolay passed away that same year.

Saturday, September 7, 2019


SMC CORPORATE PRINT AD launching the new logo, 1975

The giant multinational business conglomerate of the Philippines—SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION—had its beginning in 1889, when prominent Manila businessman, Enrique María Barretto, applied for a royal grant from Spain to establish a brewery in the Philippines that would be known as La Fábrica de Cerveza San Miguel.

In the next century, its San Miguel Beer would be its most famous product, here and all over the world. Its product portfolio would include food, beverage, packaging,  real estate, among others, but San Miguel Beer would always be top-of-mind among its loyal consumers.

The early San Miguel Beer bottles were branded with the letters S over M. The more well-known San Miguel escudo (seal), symbol of the royal grant, was incorporated in the design of the product label, and became a sort of a corporate logo for many years.


It was only in 1975 that SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION adopted a new corporate identity logo, as it acknowledged that the “escudo” was strongly associated with their beer product, which has since changed with their diversified ventures.

For this diversity, SMC created a new symbol, keeping the “escudo” for its brewery products. The new symbol symbolized th primal element of  Water, Life, Growth, Food, Abundance and Progress.

A TV commercial used animation to explain the basic concept behind the new corporate logo. This logo was in use until 1999, when SMC reverted back to the use of its “escudo” to stand for the company and its products. In 2012, the “escudo” design was further streamlined, a version that is still in current use. 

San Miguel Corporation, wikipedia
San Miguel Logo: