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.

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