Wednesday, August 31, 2016

74. GLAD RAINWEAR AND NOVUS RAINMATES: Gearing Up for the Rains in the 60s-70s:

INCLUDING THE RAINY SEASON--as Glad Rainwear endorser, 1971.

The rainy season is upon us once more, and the wet weather brings to mind a few of the products that people wore to protect themselves from the elements in the 60s and 70s. Between then and now, the rainy weather basics have not changed: umbrellas, wore boots and raincoats. A few companies though, thought of new ways to make these drab and often heavy rain gear more appealing.

In 1970, for example, Union Carbide Philippines Inc., a company primarily known for car batteries and industrial products ventured into the manufacturing of polyvinyl chloride materials. This paved the way for the launch of a revolutionary personal raincoat perfect for the unpredictable rainy season—GLAD RAINWEAR.

It was different from existing bulky plastic raincoats then—GLAD was very light, flexible and can be folded and tucked away in a handy pocket packs. What’s more, the raincoat came in different, fashionable colors.

The company employed no less than 70s teen star Vilma Santos to endorse the products. She appearedin several colored and black and white print ads that showed her exposed to the elements while at work. There was also a non-celebrity version of the ads, featuring people from all walks of life, protected by GLAD RAINWEAR while under the rain.

Needless to say, the handy raincoat enjoyed a measure of success for its anytime-anywhere convenience, its softness and affordability. In a special way, GLAD RAINWEAR made wearing raincoats cool and fashionable.

It was the same tact that PVC Inc. of Malabon  adapted even years earlier, when it launched its NOVUS Rainmates boots for ladies in 1963. Where before, rain boots were made of heavy rubber and were available only in black, PVC manufactured boots that were advertised for their “high style”—smart, casual and comfortable. Novus boots for ladies were also available in 5 colors.

GLAD RAINWEAR and NOVUS RAINMATES have long disappeared from the market, and the companies that made them have also undergone major changes. Union Carbide suffered irreparable damages due to the Bhopal disaster in India in which toxic chemicals were accidentally released from their  plant and killed thousands. The company continues to engage in chemical manufacturing. PVC Inc., still operates in Malabon, making fire and safety equipment.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

73. Brand Icon: Alaska Milk’s ALASKA BOY (MICHAEL UYTENGSU)

MICHAEL UYTENGSU, was widely believed to be the model of the "Alaska Boy" on the paper label
of the popular Alaska Milk, introduced in the early 1970s,by Holland Milk International, a company established by Michael's father, Wilfredo Uytengsu Sr.

In the early 70s, the Holland Milk Products Inc., a partnership between General Milling Corp. and the Dutch-based Holland Canned Milk International, was established by business magnate Wilfredo Uytengsu Sr. The first product the new company manufactured was a canned filled milk brand called ALASKA MILK.

ALASKA MILK came in tin cans and featured an illustrated close-up picture of a smiling, fair-haired boy in a blue turtle neck on the paper label. The face of the so-called ‘Alaska Boy” would soon become a familiar brand icon, his pleasant looks ingrained in the national consciousness,  helping transform the newbie brand into a formidable player in the Philippine milk market.

TVC 30s here:

The success of the brand was propelled by an aggressive advertising campaign bannered by the slogan “Wala pa ring tatalo sa ALASKA!” and an unforgettable 1974 TV commercial featuring the 1970 NBA draft Israel “Cisco” Oliver who played in the very first season of  the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) . The 6’6” cager was challenged by a young, Alaska Milk-drinking kid, Michael Uytengsu, the son of  Wilfredo Sr., in a “One on One” basketball challenge.

Alaska TVC with Cisco Oliver. 1974.

Michael Uytengsu was also featured prominently in ALASKA MILK print ads, alongside milk cans of both filled milk and condensed milk variants.  People began noticing the striking similarities between the boy on the label and Michael, giving rise to a widely believed story that he is the same “Alaska Boy” on the product label.

ALASKA MILK PRINT AD. Woman's Home Companion. 1975.

Of course, they were two different “people”.  Alaska Milk  Corp., in its website, would clarify the story: “The Alaska boy on the label of some of the Alaska Milk products is an artist’s rendition of a fictional character with brown/ blond hair and blue eyes. This trademark device came with the purchase of the Alaska milk brand from Holland Milk Products Inc (Netherlands). All trademark owners of the Alaska brand use an Alaska boy on their label though the rendition may differ depending on the country”.

 A tetra-packed flavored milk product produced by his father's company.

ALASKA MILK was not the only milk brand that Michael Uytengsu endorsed, he also did print ads for Daisy Milk, a read-to-drink milk brand also from Holland Milk, that came in tetra packs. Eventually, her sister Candice, became the solo model in Daisy Milk’s TV ads.

Michael briefly became the real face of another product--Alaska Quick Cooking White Oats. The product, however was short-lived.

MICHAEL UYTENGSU, today, is a U.S. resident and has a thrivinng
luxury wine business.

In the end, it was only the  “One-on-One” ALASKA MILK commercial of Michael Uytengsu that would attain national fame, now considered a classic in Philippine advertising history.


youtube video: Uploaded by Josh Howard,,

Monday, August 15, 2016


The most famous  local shoe brand of the Commonwealth era—ANG TIBAY—was started by the successful Filipino industrialist, Teodoro Toribio (b,1887/d.1965) back in 1910. His ‘rags-to-riches’ story began when the impoverished Teodoro left school to work in a cigar factory for 80 centavos a week.

The ambitious boy, however, had other ideas.  At age 20, he learned slipper-making in a Calle Juan Luna shop and after 3 years of working, he had saved enough to start his own hole-in-the-wall slipper business along Rizal Avenue which he named “Ang Tibay”.

The business flourished  and soon, Toribio was exporting to Hawaii. His chain of slipper shops included 15 Manila and 2 provincial branches.  From slippers, Toribio began making shoes after acquiring a second-hand shoe machine.

His business boomed even more, and he became known as  the “King of Slippers and Shoes”. His large, art deco-style  factory in Caloocan, near the Bonifacio Monument, produced shoes and slippers by the hundreds of thousands, and worn by everyone—from the man on the street to high society people.

A believer in modern advertising, Teodoro even had a slogan for Ang Tibay—"The Wear That Lasts". His best endorsers were the people who wore his shoes, and many of these were men and women of influence whom he hobnobbed with, as his stature as a respected industrialist grew. His high profile clients included top executives, ranking government officials, educators,  and even at least two presidents!

They willingly allowed their likenesses to be used in small ads that appeared in the leading magazines in their day, particularly Graphic Magazine.

Ang Tibay became the premier shoe factory in Asia, a testament to the modern industrial development in the Philippines. Teodoro became a millionaire many times over, allowing him to go on trips around the world.  He was named as one off the “Big 4” of the Philippines—based on his wealth and success. 

At its height, there was practically a pair of  “Ang Tibay” shoes in every Filipino home. His product line included basic shoes, customized-made-to-order shoes for the elite, and even combat boots, which were worn by thousands of Filipino soldiers who went to war.

Teodoro’s “Ang Tibay” business survived the post-war years, but by the end of the 60s decade, it started to feel the effects of international competition  as Japan and China overtook the Philippines in industrializing their industries. The situation was exacerbated by corruption, political instability and the changing taste of the market. 

True, “Ang Tibay” was a heritage brand, but it was also looked at as old and passé. The descendants of Toribio continued with shoemaking using different brand names.

“Ang Tibay” may have come and gone, but for sure, it has its place in history, shodding the feet of several generations of Filipinos—from every Juan to the highest executive of the land. It is not only the wear that lasts, but also the legacy of one Toribio Teodoro.

  • PRES. MANUEL L. QUEZON (b.19 Aug. 1878/d. 1 Aug. 1944) was a Filipino statesman, soldier, and politician who served as president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines 1935-1944 
  • SEC. ELPIDIO QUIRINO (b. 16 Nov. 1890/d. 29 Feb. 1956) was a Filipino politician of who served as Quezon’s Secretary of Interior and Finance , and who became the sixth President of the Philippines, 1948 -53. 
  • DR. CAMILO OSIAS (b. 23 Mar. 1889/d. 20 May 1976 ) was a Filipino politician, twice for a short time President of the Senate of the Philippines. 
  • DR. FRANCISCO BENITEZ (b. 4 Jun. 1887/30 June 1951) was an outstanding educator, author, editor, and the first dean of the School of Education of the University of the Philippines. 
  • SEC. EULOGIO RODRIGUEZ (b. 21 Jan. 1883/d. 9 Dec.1964) was a Filipino politician and a long-serving Senate President after Quezon. 
  • DON RAMON FERNANDEZ (b. 12 Apr.1878/ 10 Nov. 1964) was a prominent businessman, who became Manila mayor (1920-23), and later, a senator. 
  • DON RAFAEL PALMA (b 24 Oct. 1874 /24 May 1939) was a Filipino politician, Rizalian, writer, educator and a famous Freemason. He became the fourth President of the University of the Philippines. 
  • DON GONZALO PUYAT  (b. 20 Sep. 1878/d. 5 Feb. 1968) was an industrialist who started the "House of Puyat" that became well-known as a premiere maker of furniture, billiard tables, bowling alleys and steel mill products. 
  • DR. JOSE REYES (b. 5 Dec. 1899/d.1973) was the youngest Dean of the University of the Philippines Junior College, Cebu. 
  • HON FELIPE BUENCAMINO JR., was an assemblyman, from Nueva Ecija 
  • DON PRUDENCIO REMIGIO was a prominent Manila attorney and former member of the Philippine legislature. 
  • MR.FELIX BAUTISTA was an assistant solicitor general of Department of Justice 
  •  ASSOC. JUSTICE ANTONIO VILLA-REAL (b. 17 Jan. 1880/ 12 Feb. 1945) was a Filipino jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. 
  • USEC LEON GUINTO (b. 28 Jun 1896/d.10 Jul. 1962) was a distinguished public servant from the Commonwealth period up to the post-war era, best known as the war-time Mayor of the City of Manila in the Philippines. 
  • ARCH. TOMAS MAPUA (b. 21 Dec. 1888/ 22 Dec. 1965) was the founder and first president of the Mapúa Institute of Technology (MIT) , established in 1925. He was the first registered architect of the Philippines. 
  • GEN. VICENTE LIM (b. 24 Feb. 1888/ d. 31 Dec. 1944) was a brigadier general and World War II hero, the first Filipino graduate of West Point (Class of 1914).

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

71. Creative Guild's 1985 TV Ad of the Year: MAGNOLIA "60 FLAVORFUL YEARS"

1984 Creative Guild of the Philippines Best TVC, MAGNOLIA 60 FLAVORFUL YEARS MAGNOLIA 60 Flavorful Years is an Ace-Compton masterpiece which took all of 6 months to plan, execute and produce.

 It won the Creative Guild of the Month for January 1985, and emerged as the top TVC of the year for 1984. The commercial shows how Magnolia, the finest name in dairy products, lends its flavorful presence to Philippine life at its merriest.

 “Magnolia—fills life with flavor!”…so the jingle goes, and at once, Filipino festivities past and present spring to life as if straight from an old picture album. These period scenes, also reproduced on the commemorative calendar, were painstakingly recreated and shot in a dozen locations, involving a cast of hundreds. Indeed, everybody involved in the making of the commercial have enough memories to fill their diaries and journals.

For one thing, this was the last commercial directed by the late Ed Claudio, who passed away in the middle of shooting the Magnolia ad. And, it is in this commercial that composer Jose Mari Chan makes a rare comeback to compose the jingle melody, beautifully sang by Pat Castillo.

 JIMMY F. SANTIAGO, Creative Director 
This is the first ad I ever did which had 8 pre-production meetings. The storyboards kept changing at the rate of 5 frames a day! And we never had so much studies for a jingle! For the fireworks display, we had to shoot in Bulacan, only to have that scene replaced by the one done in Japan! But I knew right from the start that the final storyboard had all the qualities of a truly outstanding commercial. And the creative awards it had won, proved it.

 JONJIE DE LOS REYES, Account Supervisor 
One day, I just suddenly found myself being named as the account supervisor for a special Magnolia project daw! Next thing I knew, hayun—nasa pressure cooker na ako. In the course of the project, my A.E. Sandra Puno gae birth. Then I got pregnant! Haayyy! But when Client’s hapy I’m happy. Now, every time I see this commercial, I see it as a “labor” of love.

 ALEX R. CASTRO, Writer 
I wrote the jingle lyrics in one evening. Next day, present kaagad. Approved on the spot, without revisions. Aba, OK! Kasi, pag pina-revise pa, I was ready to change the line to—Magnolia, fills life with labor!. That approval made my day!

 MARIO SARMIENTO, Casting Director
Subukan nga ninyong mag-cast ng 100 talents to portray family members of 3 generations? Nakaka-loka!


What gives this world its many colors 
Love, a special fervor 
What makes moments so much sweeter 
What fills life, our lives with flavor? 

 Through the years, what brings the laughter 
In all kinds of weather 
What makes minutes last forever 
What fills life, our lives with flavor? 

 Magnolia, fills life with flavor 
Magnolia,fills life with flavor 
For 60 flavorful years…it’s Magnolia. 
Magnolia, fills life with flavor 
Magnolia, fills life with flavor 
For 60 flavorful years, it’s Magnolia  
For 60 delighful, wonderful, flavorful years’s Magnolia! 

1. Unfortunately, no print exists of this Creative Guild TV Ad of the Year 1985. Only the jingle survived, and it is included in the CD of commercial jingles done by award-winning composer, Jose Mari Chan. In the finals, the Magnolia commercial edged out San Miguel Beer’s “Tuloy ang Pasko”
2. The Radio counterpart of this commercial won the 1985 Radio of the Month for January.
3. The end shot featuring fireworks writing the name ‘Magnolia’ cost Php 35,000 per set up, a tidy sum then.

 ADVERTISER: SMC-Magnolia Corporation 
AGENCY: Ace-Compton Advertising, Inc. 
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Jimmy F. Santiago / Cid Reyes 
ART DIRECTOR: Kits Yamsuan / COPYWRITER: Alex R. Castro 
CASTER: Mario Sarmiento 

UNITEL DIRECTORS: Ed Claudio, Boldy Tapales 
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Carding Baltazar 
COMPOSER: Jose Mari Chan / ARRANGER: Louie Ocampo 
SINGER: Pat Castillo 

Source: Article originally appeared on PATALASTAS, newsletter of the 4 A's of the Philippines. 1984.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

70. You’ll Like This Very Mucho: FRESS GUSTO TVC 1975-78

A new, but short-lived San Miguel Corp. bottled softdrink was introduced in 1975, with much hoopla, accompanied by a TVC, a catchy jingle and a boy talent who would make waves years later in the music scene. New FRESS GUSTO was a root-beer drink that was set to rival Cosmos’ Sarsaparilla.

FRESS GUSTO BOTTLE, courtesy of Jorge E. Ferrer

Its assigned ad agency, J. Romero and Associates came up with a festive commercial inspired by a Mexican fiesta. As such, the production involved scores of “paisanos” celebrating the coming of new softdrink in their ‘pueblo’, led by a boy who enthuses—“Refreshing FRESS GUSTO, you’ll like it very mucho, come and get it, amigo!”.

 The boy cast to appear in the commercial was no other than Gary Valenciano, who was just 11 when the ad was shot.

 The Filipino-Puerto Rican talent was a La Salle schoolboy when he made his first TV appearance in that ad. His energy was already apparent in his performance back then. A choir singer, Valenciano would launch his showbiz career at age 19 in Kuh Ledesma concertss, and TV shows like ‘The Pilita and Jackie Show, and later in Germspesyal and Penthouse Live.

He had his first solo concert in April 1984 at the Araneta Coliseum, and made many hit recordings. Today, the multi-awarded “Mr. Pure Energy” is still active in showbiz. He is married to Angeli Pangilinan with whom he has 3 children: Gabriel, Paolo and Kristiana Maria Mikaela.

 As for FRESS GUSTO, we wish we could say the same. After the novelty of its launch died down, the product floundered until it was “killed” by SMC in just 2 years.

youtube, Fress Gusto Classic Phil. TVC,, uploaded 13 Jul. 2007, ADman 1909.