|RUFINA PATIS...AY MALINAMNAM! An old 1950s patis bottle and a promotional Rufina Patis plate.|
Vintage Rufina Patis Bottle, courtesy of Atty. Jai Gatchalian.
The fish sauce that has been adding flavor to the Filipino dining table for over 100 years began operations in 1900, making RUFINA PATIS the oldest fish sauce brand in the country. It was a widow and a fish dealer, Rufina Salao vda. de Lucas, who prepared the mix of fish and salt in earthen jars that resulted in flavorful sauce that added zest to everyday dishes.
Rufina’s home industry that she put up with a capital of 50 pesos, would grow into a national business and would jumpstart patis production in the town. The product would also make Malabon famous.
Mrs. Lucas soon replaced the jars with large wooden barrels, which were soon discarded in favor of concrete vats. Groceries and supermarkets stocked up on RUFINA PATIS which were snapped up as soon as they were placed on shelves.
|1950s RUFINA PATIS MAGAZINE AD.|
Thanks to advertising, the fish sauce became a byword in Filipino homes. The increased demand necessitated the building of the the first processing and bottling plant of RUFINA PATIS at C. Arellano Street in 1957.
The next year, son Jesus S. Lucas went to the United States and discovered the large and untapped overseas Filipino communities market. After submitting many samples to the Federal government, Lucas succeeded in having RUFINA PATIS approved for sale in America, after passing the strict food standards of the country.
After her mother’s death in 1961, Jesus took over as head of the company, and grew the brand further. In 1968, RUFINA PATIS inaugurated its second processing and bottling plant on Bonifacio Street corner Naval, thus more than doubling its patis production. RUFINA PATIS today is exported in Europe, Canada, Hongkong, Australia, Middle East and the Mainland USA, a fine example of a homegrown product gone global.
|RUFINA PATIS XMAS AD, 1950s.|