Saturday, August 30, 2014


I first saw this set of small coloring books being sold at Visual Mix, a 2nd-hand book shop that has evolved into the giant used book shop chain, Book Sale. Of course, I just had to get them; they were no ordinary color books to me--they depicted cartoon characters which I watched avidly back in the 70s and early '80s. There was PAC-MAN, based on a Japanese computer game, Pakkuman;  MARVEL'S SECRET WARS that featured all my fave super heroes like Thor, the Hulk and Spiderman; HERCULOIDS, a Hanna Barbera cartoon that had characters out to save the planet like Zandor, Tara, Dorno and Gloop & Gleep. Finally, there was POPEYE, THE SAILOR MAN, that had its beginnings in 1933, although the cartoons I remember were produced by King Features Syndicate from the 60s.
These were cheap Philippine reprints, nostalgic paper relics of  Saturday mornings of marathon cartoon-watching, when the world and I were younger.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

306. Advertique: MENNEN POWDER TIN

POWDER TO THE PEOPLE! MennenTalcum For Men. Vintage powder tin, 5" high.

The Mennen Company was founded in 1878 by German immigrant, Gerhard Heinrich Mennen, who founded his company in Newark, then later moved to Morristown, New Jersey in 1953. The company's first product was talcum-based powder, an innovation at the time. Its product line expanded to include over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and personal products such as the Skin Bracer, Speed Stick, and Baby Magic products.
The men's line began with  "Mennen Talcum for Men."  and this example dates to the '30s. It was found in a local shop with its content almost full. Areas of missing paint are apparent--the paint on the tin is easily washed off.
The product graphics are still strong and unblemished in some parts, and the front panel even retains the image of the founder. Locally, the brand was overshadowed by Johnson & Johnso, which dominated the powder market. Mennen found a niche with its men's personal care line like skin bracer, deodorants and after-shaves. Mennen was later sold in the '90s to manufacturing giant, Colgate-Palmolive.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

305. Campaign Memorabilia: MACAPAGAL TIN PLATE

MACAPAGAL FOR PRESIDENT! A 1961 campaign memorabilia promoting the candidacy of Diosdado Pangan Macapagal of the Lberal Party vs. President Garcia. 

Campaign gimmicks were not unknown in the 60s, and whe Vice President Diosdado P. Macapagal decided to run for presidency, he made sure his political promise will be remembered by every Filipino every time they set their table: "No more hungry Filipinos!!!". This campaign giveaway--a tin plate printed with Macapagal's name and famous quotation: "I'd rather g to jail than see the people go hungry!"-- was meant to do just that--and, as everyone knows, he succeeded, becoming the 9th president of the Philippines.
Found in a Bulacan shop, the plate is in a remarkable state of preservation--even it's plate stand was intact. I have seen a similar one years before ina Manila shop, a little rusty and dented--but which sold anyway, to my utter disappointment. This time, I would not be denied. Despite the rather steep price, I got this rare gem of a collectible, and a fine example of Pampanganiana, if there is such a term!
True,  Macapagal served the country to the best of his ability--but his term was considered unproductive, even with his Land Reform program. His term was badly tainted with the Stonehill corruption case, and in 1965,  he lost to Ferdinand Marcos--but at least he did not leave behind a country in disarray. The ouster of Joseph Estrada in 2001 paved the way for the rise to power of daughter, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who went on to assume the presidency. Her term was another story.