Sunday, September 12, 2010

139. Flavor in a Bottle: RUFINA PATIS

A true Filipino icon brand--that's Rufina Patis, perhaps the most well-known name in the local seasoning industry-- a notch higher than Tentay, Dalisay and Lorenzana patis. This flavorful fish sauce was first concocted by Lucio Lucas and Rufina Salao in 1900, an enterprising couple from the fishing town of Malabon. By the 1930s, the product was so in demand, such that in 1935, the brand name "Rufina Patis" was patented. In 1935, the demand for this product had grown so high that its makers decided to patent its brand name. Rufina Patis went international in the 50s when it was exported to Filipino communities in Hawaii and Guam. I still remember the catchy jingle that played over and over again on the radio "Rufina Patis! Rufina Patis! Ang patis Rufina...ay malinamnam!". Rufina Patis was first packed in bottled with paper labels. This 1950s-60s bottle has an applied color label with the signature Rufina font on top of a green circle. Other kinds of bottles were used, but the logo remained the same.

Though not as high profile and as visible in the marketing scene, the Rufina Patis Factory is still in operations today in Malabon, still churning out the flavor that first captivated Pinoy taste over a century ago.

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