Sunday, February 26, 2012

214. Advertique: YCO PAINT KEYCHAIN

YCO was a leading manufacturer of paints and wax from the 1930s thru the 60s. YCO was the acronym of Ynchausti and Company, founded by the Spanish Basque Ynchaustis, whose various business (Bank of the Philippine Islands, La Carlota Sugar Central, Ynchausti Steamship, Rizal Cement, Tanduay, among others) fueled the growing Philippine economy for decades. At the turn of the 19th century, Ynchausti and Company were the largest Philippine conglomerate and shipping firm and very likely the first Philippine multinational; with offices in San Francisco, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Manila.

"Paint and Beautify!" was the advertising slogan of YCO Paints in the 1930s--and the product proved to be quite successful. In the late 1940s, YCO even sponsored a basketball team--the YCO Painters that won several championships in the 50s and 60s from the Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association (MICAA) basketball tournaments and from the National Open. Olympian Caloy Loyzaga used to play for the legendary ball team that was active till the 70s.

By the 1950s, Elizalde Paints and Wax was manufacturing the paints with the same popular brand name. The paint and wax products were actively promoted in women's magazines and Sunday weeklies. With the advent of TV advertising, its other product line--YCO Floorwax-- became a byword with its slogan "Sapak and apak, sa YCO Floor Wax". The only known advertising premium given away by YCO Paints is this small keychain that is a replica of a real YCO Mixed Paint can. Found in a Kamuning collectible shop, it dates from the 50s, the peak of popularity for YCO products that made life shinier and more colorful, for over half a century.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Who has not played tried contacting the spirits of our dearly departed using the "Spirit of the Glass"? Outside of the Philippines, a similar device--The Ouija Board-- has been used for many years. Parker Brothers, a pioneering toy and game manufacturer since 1883, issued the Ouija Mystifying Oracle Board as a children's game. Although it is sold as a game, caution is advised in the use of a Ouija Board--lest some naughty spirit possess your body. Remember what happened to Linda Blair!

This is what's left of a Parker Brothers Ouija Oracle Board Game--just the game board with cool graphics and letters on which a planchette of plastic (now missing) rested and which moved around the alphabet to spell names, answer questions and mystifying queries by "yes" and "no". Haven't tried working this board--maybe a replacement glass will also work as a planchette--but I am not ready to be possessed just yet.