|THE ORIGINAL IS STILL THE BEST. The legendary beauty, Paquita Roces-Revilla. in a Camay Ad.|
The soap—with its iconic cameo logo—was available in the Philippines as early as the 1930s thru the 40s-- imported all the way from the U.S.
Camay’s first advertising in Philippine publications were unimaginative illustrated ads that touted its superlative qualities—mildness, lather and fragrance.
|CAMAY AD, 1940|
Fifteen years after Procter and Gamble (PMC) was founded in the Philippines, it introduced to Filipinas in 1950, its first cosmetic soap for the local market—Camay.
This mild and gentle soap was not just made for women—but more specifically-- for beautiful women.
By the 50s, the face of Philippine advertising had become more sophisticated, with P&G products like Camay, launched through creative advertising campaigns.
At a time when most soap ads extolled the functional benefits of their product, Camay’s advertising appealed to a woman’s emotional need—to look and feel beautiful, that could only come from their soap’s luxurious pampering,
|YOUNG PAQUITA, AGE 2|
Paquita belonged to the upper crust of Manila high society, newly married to a handsome movie star, Jose Goyena Revilla Jr. (aka Armando Goyena, “Kapita Kidlat”), himself, from an affluent and prominent clan. They had met at Sky Room along Taft Avenue, a favorite hang-out of society people in the 50s.
Paquita modeled for Camay’s launch print ads beginning in 1952—and even after a bevy of movie stars like Tita Muñoz, Tessie Quintana, Gloria Romero, Norma Blancaflor, Rosa Rosal and Alicia Vergel were signed up as Camay beauties, the original Camay Girl with regal, patrician looks, appeared in ads throughout the 50s, introducing its many soap variants and promotions.
|THE FACE THAT LAUNCHED SCORES OF OTHER CAMAY BEAUTIES.|
She retired from modelling in the 1960s to raise 8 children, 7 of whom are girls. Three of them eventually became Camay Girls in the 70s and 80s—eldest Maritess Revilla (..”ang lahat ay napapalingon..at napapalingon muli..”) , Cita Revilla, and Rosie Revilla.
|PAQUITA ROCES-REVILLA INTROS WHITE & PINK CAMAY. c.1955|
For over 40 years, Camay was held its own against it main competitor, Lux. It was relaunched in the mid 1980s, with a new campaign—“for skin that faces the world”, and a new way of pronouncing its brand name.
|WHICH BABY IS A CAMAY Gamay Promo ad. 1959. Sunday Times Magazine|
But in the late 80s. P&G shifted its manufacturing and marketing focus to other lucrative brands. Just when everybody thought that the soap’s rich history was over, P&G brought back a new, sexier Camay in 2015, with the new Romantique Rose Camay bath soap and shower gel. The ads featured actress Angelica Panganiban, who joined the scores of elite beauties known collectively to this day as Camay Girls.
|With first born Ma.Teresa revilla, future Camay Girl|
Still, people who grew up in the 50s still recall the original Camay Girl who started it all—Paquita Roces. After a storied career as a wife, mother and a beauty icon, Paquita died in 2001, after a lingering illness, at age 68.
Her husband, Armando, would live a full decade more, passing away in 2011. They left behind a family of eight beautiful children and 29 grandchildren.