Sunday, February 14, 2010


One of the early manufacturers of powdered milk was Sprungli & Co., a Swiss firm, that came to the Philippines in the late 19th c. with a canned milk called "Bear Brand". When I was little, we used to believe that this "gatas oso", as we knew it, was really from the breast of a mama bear! (What does that make us? Goldilocks?!). Blame it on the very iconic trade character that the milk brand used--a seated bear nursing her dead-looking baby with a bottle. The milk was packaged in tin cans such as this--but this 1930s can is more unique in that it incorporates a mirror premium on its aluminum cap. This rare packaging was found in Bangkok and is relatively in good condition. Of course, Bear Brand is still very much around--there are still liquid and powdered milk varities, but Nestle, the currecnt owner, has updated the bear's features, which looks more like a cuddly Teddy than the fierce Mama bear who looks ready to devour her baby if he doesn't stop whining.