Flashback muna… think Hangouts and date places in the 50s to 70s
Panciteria Moderna was the place to go for pancit miki and miki bihon already wrapped in their version of ‘tetra pak’ (banana leaves on wrapping paper tied with a rubber band).. Pancit bihon was the specialty of Panciteria Wa Nam . Kung gusto mo naman ng chopsuey rice doon ka sa Hen Wah, tabi ng Avenue Theatre.
At sa Ma Mon Luk, siopao was at 30 centavos; mami was at 70 centavos or 2 pcs. of siomai (large) with unlimited soup for 30 centavos. So with one peso busog ka na. Ngayon bigay mo piso sa pulubi, titignan ka pa ng masama.
The Shangri-la in the basement of Shelborne Hotel (at the back) was the place to go for dates if you wanted a dark and cozy atmosphere. The Black Angel along Shaw Blvd near the corner of Kalentong in Mandaluyong was a very good place to listen to soft music (Fleetwoods, Lettermen, Cascades) and the lights were also quite low.
A l ot of coeds from Maryknoll as well as closet queens hung out there.
Then with the introduction of the ‘black light’ you looked like Dracula about to devour a beautiful victim. Kaya lang pag may pustiso ka itim ang labas kaya mukhang kenkoy ka. So do not dare to smile.
With Php 30.00- 50.00 in your pocket you were in pretty good shape for a date.
‘Bakuran’ was the in-thing at parties with ‘screening’ from a friend to assist you in getting a dance with a girl who was very sought after. Wack-Wack, the Sky Room in Jai-Alai, the penthouse at the Rufino Bldg. as well as Capri at the Sarmiento Bldg right opposite it were the favorite places for proms and balls.
Sikat ang event if the DynaSouls (dubbed the Beatles of the Philippines ), The Tilt Down Men (the Sotto brothers, Tito, & Val, favored the Dave Clark 5), Hi-Jacks, the Electromaniacs (later Electros) or the Bad Habits was the ‘combo’ playing..
Other popular bands then were the Bits and Pieces (after the Dave Clark 5 hit), Purple People, Versatiles (remember the late Bobby Lim), Technicolors (whose drummer Tony Tuviera is now the producer of Eat Bulaga), Red Fox (forerunner of Hotdog), Jungle Cats, Glenmores, Robins, Crystals , Phantoms, and the Downbeats (where most of the Juan de la Cruz band came from notably Pepe Smith or Joey Smith then).
What about gate crashing a ‘Tipar’ (for party) and the ensuing rumble between feuding barkadas: Havocs, Combat, Axis, Amboys, Mobs & Exotics, meron pang kanya-kanyang busina (car honking ID).
Remember BMI (Baguio Military Institute)? That school was a dumping ground for kicked out students from Manila and kids that needed discipline. Let us not forget ang mga taga ‘Baste’ ( San Sebastian ). Ang daming siga noong araw.
Alta Vista along Roxas Blvd. was the favorite place for wedding receptions at Php 8.50 per cover! Ngayon, kulang pang pambayad ito sa parking fee.
Special ringside seats for performances at the Araneta Coliseum were at P5.00 per. So with P20.00 you could safely invite someone and still have enough for a snack afterwards or a game of ‘putt and putt’ at the mini-golf place located at the back of Araneta. Among the more popular celebrities who performed at the Big Dome were Neil Sedaka, Anita Bryant, Teddy Randazzo, Nat King Cole, Jo Ann Campbell, Paul Anka, Johnny Mathis, Matt Monro, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Dave Clark 5, Zombies, Peter and Gordon and many many more.
Noon 5 centavos sa mga bata at 10 centavos naman para sa matatanda ang bayad sa jeep. Manila and Suburbs ang lahat ng biyahe ng jeep noon na 3 seater lang (AC ang tawag nila dito) at talagang Upong Diyes lang ang sigaw ng driver.
Sa Avenida Rizal at Sta. Cruz, Blumentritt, Tayuman, Espiritu Santo Church , Grace Park, Pasay-Taft, Dakota – Harrison, Paco-Taft, Sta. Ana Tulay at BBB-Monumento ang mga sikat na lugar. Did you get an opportunity to ride the G-Liner from San Juan to Quiapo? It would crawl up to the corner of N. Doming to pick up passengers. That’s why we called it Gapang Liner.
Gas was very cheap then and they could afford to keep the motor running for 2 hours at a snail’s pace. Gasoline prices then were at 25 centavos per liter and there were only two types of gas; Premium or Regular. Caltex called their premium ‘Boron’ as advertised by that multi-colored dancing lights on top of the old San Miguel Ice Plant. Near those dancing lights was the big white kettle pouring hot chocolate on a giant cup. It was sponsored by Cocoa Ricoa. Esso named theirs Extra to ‘put a Tiger in your tank’.
Yung Good Earth Emporium pwede ring idagdag sa mga magagandang shopping mall noong araw. Yung Manila Grand Opera house, Clover, Odeon, Roxan, Hollywood , Cinerama, Avenue, Universal, Dalisay, Ever, Galaxy, Ideal, State, Lyric, Capitol ang mga sikat na ‘first run’ na sinehan noon. Movie tickets were selling at P1.20 and P1.50 kung Advanced Roadshow (meaning kasabay sa international release) . Kung medyo nagtitipid ka naman doon ka na lang sa ‘second run’ theatres for P0.85 lang double program pa mapapanood mo.
Remember those second run theatres like Gaiety, Rizal, Main, Times, Society, Scala, Globe, Esquire, Vista, Republic, Mayfair , and Palace. Pero iyong last two theatres e medyo notorious sa mga ‘singit’ where they show the ‘censored’ portions of the movie.
Bodavil was still a hit during the early 50s where Opera House featured the Lupito, Patsy, the Lou Salvador clan, Toto, Chichay, Ike Lozada, Pabo, Cachupoy etc. while Clover Theatre featured Pilita Corrales, Wing Duo, Reycard Duet, Bobby Gonzales, Sunday Contreras (anak ni Pugo), Eddie Mesa, Pugak & Tugak, Chuchi, Aruray, Doro & Popoy.. Did you know that German Moreno started as a utility man at Clover Theatre and did bit parts until he was discovered later on by Sampaguita Pictures.
Sa QuezonCity ay sikat yung Max’s Chicken, Aristocrat Cubao at Dayrit.
Ang dollar rate noon ay P3.70/1$ ang palitan. Kung medyo kapos ka e takbo muna kay Tambunting or A. Aguirre pawnshop.
Ang Cosmos Sarsaparilla ay 5 centavos at 10 Centavos ang Coke at Pepsi. Mayroon din Cosmos Orange kung ayaw mo ng Sarsi. Kung may extra ka e di Royal Tru-Orange na. Pero sikat din yung 7-Up, Lem-O-Lime , Canada Dry, Uva at Bireley’s strawberry and pineapple. Kalaban ng Cosmos noon ay Ideal at Avenue softdrinks. Remember Fress Gusto, Grassland Milk, Choco Vim. Pag may sakit ka naman pinapa-inom lang sa iyo Royal Soda Water at soda crackers. Kaya naman pag galing natin e takbo kaagad sa intsik (yun ang tawag natin sa kanilang sari-sari store noon bago sila nag diversify sa mga malls, transport, food production) at bili ng Coke and junk foods..
Pag Pasko madalas kami sa Sta Cruz para manood ng palabas sa Manila COD para sa Xmas season. Mas magaganda ang mga palabas pag Christmas kasi wala pang Metro Manila Film Fest noon kaya lahat ng sinehan pagandahan ng pelikula. Noon wala pang Chippy at nachos, ang merienda ay banana cue, camote que, palitaw, biko, pinipig, halo-halo, carioca, pilipit, butsi, hopiang hapon, hopiang munggo, hopiang baboy, bibingka, puto, cassava, cake o budin, suman at mani.
Ang mansanas ay apat-piso ang benta sa Lawton Bus terminal at sa Avenida. Mas mahal pa yung local na chico na pineras. Ang grapes, pear, at apple ang karaniwang binebenta sa mga bus terminal na papuntang south (BLTB). Ang bus noon ay bukas lahat yung isang side kaya doon dumadaan ang mga pasahero.
Puwede ka rin bumili nito sa Echague (now C. Palanca) tapos bili ka na rin ng hopia at mani. Mga sikat noon ay Kim Chong Tin at United Foods. Dito din nakakabili ng Chinese ham na por kilo or isang buo na nakabalot pa sa papel at plastic net.
Ang sikat na mga Plaza noon ay Plaza Goiti, Plaza Miranda at Plaza Sta. Cruz. Huwag kalimutan ang Barbecue Plaza na may “Pula-Puti” at beer. Sa mga bakery sa Manila ay sikat yung Herran Bakery, Jo- Ni’s, Hizon’s (favorite ni Dolphy kahit noon pa), Sta. Romana Bakery.
Remember Halili Beer (baka sa mga lolo ni Katrina ito) , Tody chocolate drink in cans, Horlicks malted milk tablets; Halili (baka kila Katrina din ito) bus, Super (dog logo) Transit, Yujuico, JD & MD buses; MM Liner, Medina Transit, Capistrano Transit, Pantranco, La Mallorca Pambusco buses and taxis, Golden Taxicab and Yellow Taxicab, Dollar Taxi.
Your favorite past time then was reading comics like Pilipino Komiks, Espesyal Komiks, Hiwaga Klasiks, Kenkoy Komiks. Kung medyo class ka naman binabasa mo mga Classics Illustrated (sometimes we get our book report from these comic books instead of reading the assigned novel) o kaya ay Tiktik. Dell Comics and Gold Key Comics from the US were also available at magazine stands.
ShoeMart started in Carriedo followed by the 2nd ShoeMart beside Ideal Theater and then SM Echague with a revolving restaurant at the top floor.
Safari Club beside Manila Zoo at the height of the ‘Twist’ craze, Dance-O-Rama with Pete Roa & Baby O’Brien every 5 PM on Channel 5.. If you wanted an earlier teeny bopper show, you watched Eddie Mercado in DJ Dancetime on Channel 11. Siyempre naman pag Friday, Nite Owl Dance Party hosted by Lito Gorospe, featuring the Celtics. Another delight to watch was 9-Teeners hosted by Jose Mari Chan, Rom Azanza and Tito Osias (all Ateneans) on Channel 9. Sampaguita was first seen as a cage dancer at 9 Teeners. Her real name is Tessie Alfonso. She got married to Nilo Santos of the Jungle Cats. Jeanne Young also hosted another teeny bopper show called The Insiders which guested the more popular combos at that time.
Siyempre sikat pa rin ang Student Canteen pag tanghali followed by Darigold Jamboree, hosted by Leila Benitez with Eddie Ilarde and Pepe Pimentel and Bobby Ledesma. Sa primetime naman nandoon ang The Big Show nila Cris de Vera, Oscar Obligacion a t Sylvia La Torre. Then it evolved into Oras ng Ligaya when it migrated to ABS-CBN. Remember Uncle Bob’s Lucky 7 Club. Who would forget Buhay Artista starring Dolphy and Panchito and a take off of a popular radio program Sebya Mahal Kita, Tang Tarang Tang with Pugo and Bentot on the lead.
Sa radio naman siyempre ang Kapitan Kidlat, Kwentong Kutsero, Gabi ng Lagim, Salamat Po Doctor, Lola Basyang and of course Kahapon Lamang and Tia Dely’s program which followed.. Konti pa lang may TV set noon kaya sikat ka sa kalye niyo pag mayroon ka ng television at minsan SRO pa nga pag basketball (Yco, Ysmael, Utex, 7-UP).
Now anyone who missed those days can’t really claim they’ve seen and tasted the best. Every generation has its own set of ‘Aces’. Do you recall when: You tasted Darigold Evap, Liberty Condensada, Sunkist Orange (in tetra packs), Magnolia Chocolait, Klim (the word ‘milk’ spelled backwards), Big 20 Hamburgers, Foot-long hotdog, Nectar, Chocnut, Tweet & Jiggs Candies (by Mr. Krieger), Tootsie Roll, Serg’ s Chocolate, kerosene-scented popcorn and kropeck along Dewey Blvd, dirty ice cream, Magnolia Ice Cream sandwich, Selecta ice cream (now Arce Dairy) and their fresh carabao’s milk, Magnolia popsicles in orange, chocolate and tutti frutti, langka flavors, Sison Ice Drop in monggo, and buko flavors, Milky Way’s buko sherbet, Acme Supermarket’s sundaes and Coney Island’s 32 flavors?
You went to: Arcegas at the Maranaw Arcade, Funhouse at Bricktown, Aguinaldo , Erehwon Bookstore, Alemars Bookstore, Bookmark, Botica Boie, Makati Supermarket D’Bankers Barbershop and Leila’s Coffee Shop, Tropical Hut along Estrada, Acme Supermarket, Cherry Supermarket (now Foodarama), The Regent of Manila, Hotel Mabuhay, Manila Hilton, Christmas carnival (at Lawton in front of Letran College ), Villa Pansol and Lido Beach , Aroma Beach and Jale Beach?
Rizal what? ‘Who would be crazy to build a cinema in the middle of nowhere?’ It turned out to be the best theater in the city of Makati then (at the same site now occupied by Shangri-La Hotel).
We ate at: The original A&W along UN Avenue in Manila, Aristocrat’s Flying Saucer (across Malate Church ), Bonanza Restaurant, Little Quiapo, Country Bake Shop, Selecta Restaurant, Taza de Oro, New Europe, Madrid, Cucina Italiana, La Cibeles at A. Mabini, Luau, The Makati Automat, Sulo Restaurant ( Makati ), Bulakena, Casa Marcos, Au Bon Vivant, Salambao Restaurant, Dairy Queen, Di Mark’s Pizza in Cubao, the elegant dining room of the old Army & Navy Club, Botica Boie in Escolta, Alba’s in Florida St., Malate, Brown Derby and their signature foot-long hotdog came with its special, extra tarty mustard sauce and a hot, crispy bun. We used to park at their drive-in bays after we were exhausted from all-night partying but with enough energy to gobble down sausages and soft drinks.
The Plaza was the favorite venue for all formal school and social functions. Every Friday night the Plaza became an instant disco-teque called ‘POW’. Food was not a big factor so long as cozy couples could have their special table for two.
You shopped at: Bergs, Soriente Santos, Assanda’s, Oceanic Commercial (where you bought original watches and jewelries), Syvel’s, Walk-Over in Escolta, Good Earth Emporium, 15c and Up, Manila COD, Avesco at Avenida Rizal, Rustan’s San Marcelino, Aguinaldo’s in Cubao.
The original Rustan’s was the garage of the Tantoco’s residential house which was eventually converted into a dazzling shop filled with eclectic things and collectibles.
You would want your wardrobes (pang-porma) tailor-made. So you went to RM Manlapat, Toppers, Fifth Avenue , Estacio’s, Sleek’s (owned by Eddie Ilarde) or D’Sharp (owned by Dolphy) for your Continental style pants and shirt-jack (Marcos loved this style) or the sleeve shirt. If you wanted a groovy denim pants, you would buy the finest denim material at Divisoria and brought it to Gulapa’s. Levi’s was not a by-word then.
For school uniforms, we would love to wear our khaki pants from the famous RTW shop called Macomber in Quiapo. Or, our parents would just buy us a pair of Sabur or Savalbarro khakis. When it came to footwear, siyempre mas maganda pasadya especially when you want a good Chuka Boots, Spanish Boots or Beatles Boots. You went to Wings, Glenmore or Camara shoe makers. Pag casual naman siyempre US Keds, pero kung medyo low budget lang e puwede na rin ang US Kids. For sports shoes you would want a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor, and if you were on a low budget you bought Custombuilt or Edwardson. But if you wanted to float on water (as the advertisement claimed) you wore Marcelo Rubber Shoes black! Yan ang sinusuot ni Kenkoy..
Blockbuster movies were: The Ten Commandments, Shane, High Noon, King and I, South Pacific, Horrors of Dracula, Gunfight at OK Corral, Psycho, House on Haunted Hill, Magnificent Seven, The Alamo, Spartacus, West Side Story, Ben Hur, Longest Day, Madame X, Guns of Navarone, King of Kings, El Cid, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Birds, Elvis’ movies like Love Me Tender, Loving You, Jailhouse Rock, King Creole, Blue Hawaii , GI Blues, and the Beatles’ Hard Days Night, Help, Yellow Submarine, The Graduate, Romeo and Juliet and of course the ever popular The Sound of Music.
You had your hair styled or permed by: Nomer’s, Lita Rio, Grace Lagman, Dick & Lucy, and Kayumanggi. That was the time of Aqua Net stiff, foot-high beehives, French twist and Kiss Me liquid eyeliners and Pretty Quik instant facial blotters.
You sang: Dont Be Cruel and Hound Dog by Elvis, April Love by Pat Boone, Fool’s Paradise by Buddy Holly, Mack the Knife by Bobby Darin, Bobby, Bobby, Bobby by Jo Ann Campbell, Devoted to You by the Everly Brothers, Someday by Ricky Nelson, One More Chance by Teddy Randazzo, Carol & Calendar Girl by Neil Sedaka, Puppy Love by Paul Anka, Young Ones by Cliff Richard, Walk Dont Run by The Ventures, Apache by the Shadows, A Hard Days Night, All My Lovin, Yesterday, Hey Jude by the Beatles, World Without Love by Peter and Gordon, Cherish by the Association, Because by Dave Clark Five, Distant Shores by Chad and Jeremy.
Saved your whole month’s allowance of P20.00 to watch the Beatles perform live at Rizal Memorial Coliseum in 1966 (July 4).
It was hip to listen to: Bingo Lacson, Lito Gorospe, Bong Lapira, Eddie Mercado, Jack Henson, Art Galindez of DZMB and Jo San Diego (past midnight) of DZMT, Sonia Basa, Ronnie Quintos, Naldy Castro of DZWS, Harry Gasser, Joe Cantada and Jose Mari Velez of DZHP; the singing sensations from Ateneo de Manila, RJ and the Riots, The Loonilarks, Jose Mari Chan and the Twofus (Ronnie Henares and Jojit Paredes) and dance to live combo music garbed in cocktail dresses and dark suits.
DZMT was affiliated with the Manila Times and was one of two radio stations operating after 12 midnight. The other station was DZHP whose program was taped. Jo San Diego of DZMT went on live (she of the velvety bedroom voice. She can still be heard today at DWBR every Sunday afternoon).
And danced at Manila Hotel’s Jungle Bar,Bayside Night Club (with live music by the Carding Cruz band), the Nile , D’Flame, Rino’s, Wells Fargo, Nautilus, Hi-Ball and Bulakena. Or, maybe rode a Motorco with your date and went around Dewey Boulevard . When you got hungry you would drop by the Barbecue Plaza . You tried your luck at the Pula-Puti joint in Russell Street ..
Do you remember when: Malate streets were named after US States ( Pennsylvania , Tennessee , California , Colorado , Carolina , etc.). Paranaque, San Juan, Makati , Pasig , Las Pinas, Taguig, Pateros and Muntinlupa were municipalities of Rizal province; DLSU was De La Salle College, Poveda was Institucion Teresiana, Adamson University was the original St. Theresa’s campus in San Marcelino, Robinsons Mall was the Assumption Convent campus, Petron was Esso, Villamor Air Base was then known as Nichols Air Base, bancas were aplenty in the Baclaran side of Dewey Blvd. (now Roxas Blvd.) and traffic was non-existent in Tagaytay.
PLDT telephone numbers were five digits and you used your index finger to dial a number one at a time.
Sikat ka sa barkada kung may ‘syota’ kang ‘Colegiala’ (Assumption, STC, St. Scho, Maryknoll, Holy Spirit, St. Paul’s, St. Joseph’s , Sienna, PWU, Sta. Isabel). Siyempre hindi rin naman papahuli ang mga coeds natin from UP, UST, UE and FEU. As proof, you should be wearing her high school ring in your pinkie finger.
If you remember all these things, you’re in great company and I dare say… HAPPY TO BE!!! : )s