The most successful local skin ointment in history was formulated in the 1930s by Dr. Lorenzo C. Reyes (b.?/d. 1985) and mixed by his chemist brother, Manuel, at his Locre Laboratorio in San Lazaro, Manila. The name of KATIALIS topical ointment was coined from “KATI”(itch) and “ALIS” (go away), and was widely marketed as an effective solution to skin diseases such as “tagihawat, anan, anghit, buni, alipunga, bungang araw, bulutong tubig, balakubak, sunog sa araw, masamang butlig, ulsera, sugat, pekas, galis, pigsa, butlig pagkatapos mag-ahit, sigid ng lamok, surot at iba pang maliit na hayop”.
KATIALIS was available in small jars, and was one of the first medicine brands advertised as being Philippine-made. Its whimsical ads showed allegorical figures like angels, biblical characters (the 3 Kings, for instance, bearing KATIALIS jars as gifts) and wild animals (to represent various skin ailments). After over 80 years, KATIALIS is still available in the market today.
After concocting Katialis for 10 years for his brother, Manuel struck it on his own and came up with a copycat brand, BALATKINIS in 1947. Like KATIALIS, the new BALATKINIS was guaranteed to effectively remove “galis, buni, pigsa, tagihawat, butlig, anan, pekas, alipunga, sugat na maliliit at kagat ng hayop tlad ng lamok, surot, pulgas, atbp.”
BALATKINIS also had its share of print advertising, going as far as capitalizing on the fact that its maker is the same Manuel C. Reyes, ”na sa loob ng 10 taon ay siya rin ang gumawa ng Katialis (pormula ni Dr. L. C. Reyes). Despite following the same marketing formula of the pioneering skin ointment, BALATKINIS did not quite take off, and failed to replicate KATIALIS’ pedigree of success.