Sunday, April 21, 2013


ESSO stands for  Standard Oil Company (S-O, hence, "Esso") which originated in New Jersey. On September 7, 1933 Socony Vacuum Oil Company of New York and ESSO merged to form the Standard Vacuum Oil Company or Stanvac.
In 1945, after the War, Stanvac promptly resumed its operations. In 1957, Stanvac started constructing a refinery in Limay, Bataan to meet the country’s growing fuel needs. It was inaugurate in 1961. Soon, ESS stations began sprouting all over the country and to promote travel, it gave away premium items like this Esso Coloring Book, made especially for children.
It featured the mascot,  the Esso Tiger, which was further popularized by Esso's slogan, "Put a Tiger In Your Tank". The scarce 8" x 7" coloring book featured 14 pages to color, showing the Esso Tiger saving the day in a whimsical fairy tale.
In 1973, the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) acquired Esso Philippines at the height of the first oil crisis and renamed it Petrophil Corporation. It is now known as Petron Corporation.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


The Caped Crusader and his young  buddy in tights team up to beat up a dastardly criminal in this 1966 tin lunchbox from Aladdin. Capitalizing on the popularity of the TV series "Batman and Robin", this lunchbox has a few dents and scruffs, but is still in a serviceable, displayable shape--sans the thermos. Batman lunchboxes have always been desirable and even in this state, this lunchbox is worth about $25-$40. (A mint example would go for over $500!). I can't even remember where and how much I paid for this lunchbox, now 47 years old--but I do know it's worth keeping, to remind me of my 'kaboom, ka-poww, holy mackerel" days!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


A centavo saved is a centavo earned!
That's what my grandfather used to say to us in his futile attempt to make us realize the value of money--or even coins. I remember he always kept his loose change in empty cigarette paper packs, ready to be dispensed whenever us, grandkids, needed to buy one piece of Texas bubble gum or a sheet of colored paper for an art project.

But a better way to save was with the use of coin banks, given as premiums by many banks. This example, however, is different, in that it was given away by the Bureau of Posts. In the form of a book, the coin bank is actually a metal box, sandwiched between two leather "book covers" showing a relief of the postal building.

A slot is provided at the top of the metal box that simulated the closed pages of a book, and which even comes with a lock to secure one's precious savings. Too bad, with the advent of e-mail, phone texts, mms, facebook and other technological communication breakthroughs, snail mails are bound for extinction; so the 80++ year old Manila Central Post Office Building may be in real danger of disappearing too. Rumor has it that it will be sold and converted into a 5-star hotel!! Now, more than coins,  that's a heritage structure we really need to save!!