Saturday, December 25, 2010


Purico, a brand of shortening, was introduced in 1919 by the Philippine Manufacturing Corporation (PMC). It was sold in carton blocks with the familiar yellow label. The products of PMC were promoted over the radio, then the leading mass medium before the advent of television. Purico sponsored "The Purico Amateur Hour" (It was later renamed Tawag ng Tanghalan/Call of the Stage for which the first TV advertising contract is signed, after PMC was bought by Procter & Gamble.)

The Purico Amateur Hour featured the brightest stars of the radio, dishing out songs and skits and what-have you--from Tolinday and Chichay, annoucers Ira Davis and Conde Ubaldo, actresses Rebecca Gonzales, Lily Miraflor and singing discoveries like Milagros Bernardo.

The radio program attracted bigtime stars (Rogelio de la Rosa, Rosa Rosal, among others) and gained a nationwide following. Fan photos of the performers and stars were issued for adoring fans to collect in albums. An example is shown above, made perhaps, by an ardent follower of the radio show. About 20 photos of from the radio program were assembled on a home made album of Manila paper, dating back to the 190s, the golden age of Philippine radio broadcasting.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


An advertising paper premium fan given by C.O. Del Rosario Inc., a beauty supply store along Azcarraga (now C.M.Recto St.) cor. Misericordia St. The shop sold everything from cold wave lotion, hair colors, setting lotions and salon essentials like scissors and curlers.

The cardboard , when pulled, reveals a full religious scene featuring Jesus Christ with a group of children and the biblical quote "Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not..". A rather profound message for beauticians--recipients of this vintage folding fan.

Monday, December 13, 2010


A 1960s tin pinback of the famous crimebusting duo. I remember Batman was shown on Channel 7 back in the late '60s and I followed every Zap! Kapoww! and Ka-Blamm! episode of the cape crusader and his young sidekick in green tights. Adam West portrayed Batman while Burt Ward played the boy wonder, Robin. They live in a mansion with their loyal butler, Alfred in Gotham City, which was forever being besieged by anti-heroes like the Penguin, Catwoman, King Tut, Mr. Freeze and the dastardly Joker. Batman clubs were formed overnight and members got to receive cheap premiums such as fan photos and cheap thin lithographed buttons such as this, which dates from 1966.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


The Philippine music scene of the 1970s was not just defined by moptop artists, British bands and folksinging groups—but also by a revolutionary songbook that became a byword in its heyday: JINGLE Songbook Magazine—or just plain JINGLE, to a horde of guitar-strumming, music-loving young people, myself included. Before JINGLE, we only had squeaky-clean songhits with predictable titles like “Hit Parade” and “Song Cavalcade”. But the launching of JINGLE changed all that: it was fun, it was attuned to the times, it was irreverent and wacky, it poked fun at the establishment, and it answered young people’s clamor for better entertainment.

First published in 1970 by Jingle Clan Publications, the first issue had the Beatles on the cover and featured 90 pages of songs—around 120 of them, 100 of which came complete with guitar chords. JINGLE was a staple in many high schools and colleges in the country, as it made singing and playing guitar so easy (the magazine had a pull-out guitar chord guide)—all for jut P2.50. JINGLE music had it all-- from Jack Jones to Tom Jones, Beatles to Monkees, Motown to Soul, Platters to Peter, Paul and Mary, James Taylor to Carole King, Pilita Corrales to Nora Aunor, ballads, folk songs, standards, songs from rock musicals (“Tommy”, “Jesus Christ Superstar” and more.

The articles too, were hip and cool, dished by a stable of writers that included Juaniyo Arcellana, Vicar Rosales, Pennie Azarcon and Ces Rodriguez. Emil Davocol and Dani Tagbo did very “in” illustrations that found their way on mod T-Shirts. I remember one beautifully-illlustrated poster that came free with an issue of JINGLE, a Pilipino translation of “Desiderata” done in calligraphy. I remember framing that poster for my room! Of course, JINGLE also gave other assorted freebies with every issue—like a Beatles’ bookmark, a David Cassidy poster , frameable quotations.

A lot of risqué things could be found on every page—from green songs and jokes (I even won First Prize in their regular send-a-joke contest, with my entry featured prominently on “The Grin Page”), protest songs and Anti-Marcos establishment commentaries. It ‘s no wonder JINGLE was one of the publications that incurred the ire of authorities and was targeted for closure during the Martial Law days. But so popular was JINGLE that it was soon made available again, spawning imitation songbook magazines like MopTop, Burgis (which became BM after Martial Law), He & She. It even raised its prices to Php 4.75 in 1077, and two years later, an issue cost Php6.00. Re-issues that came out in 2009 cost a whopping Php80.00.

JINGLE was line-extended with the coming of JINGLE Extra Hot Magazine that was a showbiz tabloid of some sort, but as they say—the original (concept) is still the best. Today, re-issues of past JINGLE editions are still available, reproduced to the last detail—including pull-outs—by Jackpot Publications.

Shown above are two original issues from 1977 and 1979, found at last year’s Greenhills Antique Fair, in good condition, priced at 200Php each. A cheap price to pay to reclaim a portion of my 70s youth. Err, which page again is that Jim Croce song?

Sunday, December 5, 2010


The first image we have of Santa Claus or St. Nicholas, shows the saint dressed in a bishop's miter and robe, with a kindly, bearded face. The Dutch portrayed their Sinterklaas, the giver of gifts, as a tall and reedy person in a red coat. It took the illustrator Thomas Nast to give St. Nick a rounder frame and a cheerier expression. He made St. Nick even more believable by giving him a workshop and the task of keeping an eye on children's behavior. He also gave him a permanent address: the North Pole!

America further built on this image in the 19th century by picturing him as a jolly gentleman, with white hair, a moustache and a long beard.He acquired a chubbier face and a ruddier complexion. The final milepost in the development of his image came from The Coca Cola Bottling Company when they used Santa for their ad campaign. Their artist, Haddon Sundblom, created an adult who ehshrined Nast's Santa's face and costume. The 1950s campaign continued for more than 40 years and this archetypal Santa image has been perpetuated and recognized as the universally accepted image of Santa Claus.

These two full-color Christmas Coca-Cola ads are from the back pages of National Geographic Magazine from the 1950s, found locally.