Throwback: 14 Filipino vintage ads of famous brands

(Facebook/ Retro Pilipino)


Filipinos are a sentimental bunch. We often see throwback posts on our social media feeds, featuring photos from a year or a decade ago.

Now that everything is instant and always on-the-go, it’s refreshing to see some of the stuff we had in the past are being uploaded online, reminding us of simpler times. These old advertisements show that our past and present are, in some ways, intertwined.

Retired police officer Eduardo de Leon collects print ads from the 70s and 80s as a hobby. They came from issues of Reader’s Digest,  Liwayway Magazine, his friends’ collections, and some are from the internet.

“Posting and sharing these photos in Retro Pilipino, Pinterest, and Flickr is my way of preserving them, so that others can copy or grab them and preserve them in any way they like,” he said.

“[In that way,] these ads will never get lost and they will be celebrated a little longer before they totally disappear.”

These retro ads may look foreign to young people now, but old advertising styles weren’t really different from the advertising styles being used today, according to Anlex Basilio, mentor of Marketing Communications and Creative Discipline at De La Salle University.

“The big change now are the platforms and channels of communication,” he said. “The consumer hates ads. He wants interaction, two-way communication, and messages must be adapted to all his devices.”

From being limited to print, radio, and TV, ads have morphed into what people call “augmented reality” (hidden content in mediums such as film and websites), and e-commerce.

Take a trip down the memory lane and see vintage ads of products that we still love today.

Throughout the years, Rufo’s has become synonymous with tapsilog and other comfort-food goodness. The Kalayaan Avenue branch may no longer be around today, but remarkably, the phone number on the motorcycle (899-4207) still lives on to this day.


As Asia’s first airline, Philippine Airlines has always had a remarkable reach. In fact, its recent push into more destinations means that for the most part, PAL still flies to the same destinations shown in this original print ad—and then some.


The Marca Piña Soy Sauce was immortalized by the little boy featured in its TV ads. In the commercial, the boy’s mom teaches him how to say “piñakamasarap,” but the little boy can only settle on “piñarap.” But who knew that soy sauce can actually whet our appetite?


Ah yes. Guy and Pip were the Kathniel and JaDine of the 70s. The transistor radio is now a museum-like artifact, an ancient relative of smartphones and music players. Meanwhile, the endorsers have become respected names in showbusiness.



As we all know now, Nescafe’s “perfect partner” is Coffee-Mate. But back in the day, Krem-Top (now under Alaska) was the coffee brand’s inseparable mate.


The popular coffee brand has been keeping Filipinos awake for more than 45 years, but it’s now under the Universal Robina Corporation, the makers of Chippy.


It’s startling to look back and see National Bookstore brag about having three (!) branches. Fast-forward to 2015 and they have over a hundred locations.


There are now many brands of quick-melt cheese in grocery stands, but it was Magnolia that has stood the test of time.


Once upon a time, milk was sold in glass bottles. Now, we buy them in cartons in supermarkets.


“…pleasantly cool all year round…”

“…only 15 minutes away from downtown Manila…”

In 2015, these are the kinds of lines that property developers use when they advertise locations in Laguna, Cavite, and Bulacan—but certainly not White Plains.


The iconic short, brown bottle. The refreshingly gold liquid. The familiar logo. Some things are simply timeless.


For decades, Ma Mon Luk was where people went for their chicken mami and siopao fix. Quite honestly, they have become an authority and an institution in mami affairs, that they don’t actually need ads anymore.



As one of the largest residential subdivisions in the Philippines, BF Homes has evolved to become a thriving melting pot of residential and commercial properties, with an especially great collection of small restaurants. While the community has endured, the company that created it, Banco Filipino, shuttered its doors in March of 2011. Not so matibay, after all.


Long before the recent trend of natural foods and beverages, Royal TruOrange once came with pulp bits. Today of course, pulp bits are nothing special. You certainly won’t find them in your RTO anymore. But almost every orange juice maker offers an option that contains orange pulp.


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  • Allan Advincula

    I don’t know today, but last 2010, I ate at that Rufo’s branch in kalayaan ave.

  • Umberto Roco

    I can still remember the contest that Royal had for a free transistor radio like in the Philips ad. You had to spell ROYAL with the ‘tansans’. The Y was the tough letter to get. (Those radios had a circuit board, a speaker, a battery receptacle – and a lot of empty space in that fiberboard box/casing.)
    Man, I’m old.

  • IJT

    I don’t know why seeing tv commercials or old ads such as these give me some sort of bizarre feeling.

  • Ralph Dollente

    I have some of the jingles playing in my head. ‘Mag-beer muna tayo’, ‘Yung may pulp bits siyempre’, ‘forty-five choice coffee beans in a cup of blend 45’…