Friday, September 11, 2015


In the years before internet, computers, PC games, notebooks and tablets, our entertainment and information sources revolved around 3 mediums—Print, Radio, and much later in the late 50s, the Television.

 Our childhood was shaped not just by printed matter like comic books, Manila Times and magazines like Free Press and Sunday Times, but we were most profoundly affected by an “idiot box” that fed us daily doses of U.S. TV westerns (“Wagon Train”, “Wild, Wild, West”), sitcoms (“My Favorite Martian”, “Flying Nun”, “Gilligan’s Islands”) and even locally produced shows.
We were not just exposed to the antics of Uncle Bob and his Lucky 7 Club, and the hilarious Buhay Artista of Dolphy and Panchito, but we were also bombarded with memorable ads peddling an assortment of products and services, that featured funny characters, catchy jingles and tongue-twisting slogans.

 We had Aling Otik of Marvel, Eric Baines of Colgate, Tita Maggi of Maggi noodles and condiments, Matutina of Tide Detergent, not to mention Mr. Clean, Jollibee, and an animated kid cowboy named Pancho Pantera.

 We mouthed taglines, punchlines and slogans like “Isa pa nga!”, “Chicletin mo, Baby”, “Magapatuka na lang ako sa ahas” , “I can feel it!” and “Sapak ang apak, sa YCO Floorwax” and sang “Labadami, Labango”, “One World of Nescafe”, “Have a Pepsi Day” and “No one throws a Hallmark Card away…’cause no one throws away memories”. 

We repeated headlines from print ads—“It’s the Real Thing” of Coke, “Subok na matibay, subok na matatag” of Banco Filipino, “Pinipili ng mapiling ina” of Dari Creme and “Langhap-sarap” of Jollibee.

On radio, we tuned in to know who was going to be the next “Reyna ng Vicks” while waiting for the “Kolynos Girl” to sing.

 Indeed, these retro Philippine ads have come to define and mold our generation, and they continue to do so—as the unforgettable imagery, the collection of words, and stories, whether told in 30 seconds or on a 7 col. X 45 cm. space—are absorbed and become indelible part of our popular culture.

They reflect prevailing habits, attitudes, fads and fashions, give us snapshots of our social milieu, and provide us glimpses of the history of Philippine commerce.

 This is Philippine advertising the way I remember it. And I am glad to have been a part of it.