Monday, January 9, 2012

Going for fun in the Philippines some 65 years ago

After the second world war, people visiting the Philippines either came by sea or by air.

The American President Lines (APL) had its Round-the-World service with passenger ships calling  on 23 ports in 14 countries including the Philippines. 

"Picture, if you can, your Philippine welcome!" was its enticement for people to get on board the passenger ships bound for the Orient. The advertisement circa 1947 featured "gay sketches" ("gay" did not have sexual connotations yet at that time) of country scenes done by Sgt. Tom Scott for his wife.  He humored his wife by labeling the horse drawn cart a 'taxi'.

Source:  Duke University Libraries Digital Collections.

In 1973, the President Wilson completed her last voyage around the world, which also marked the end of the trans-Pacific service that started way back in 1867.

Source:  Duke University Libraries Digital Collections
By that time too the airline had become the more favored mode of travel. It was faster, and Philippine Airlines (PAL), for example, had come-on amenities like cocktail and snack bar service, spacious lounges, and real sleeping berths ("not mere adjustable chairs," the 1948 advertisement said).

PAL had a one night sleeper service from San Francisco to Manila with a stopover in Honolulu.

The image of two women chatting their time away before bed tells that they did not have to deal with fasten-your-seat-belts events. We wonder what passenger safety measures were in place around that time.

Upon arrival, PAL was there to assist them with customs, entry and clearance forms, and even hotel reservations.

What fun was in store for them after landing at the Nielson airport in Makati, and later at the Nichols Field in Pasay?


American President Lines history timeline. Retrieved from

"Picture, if you can, your Philippine welcome!" adverstisement. Retrieved from Duke Univ Libraries Digital Collections at.

"Fly, PAL" adverstisement. Retrieved from Duke Univ Libraries Digital Collections at.

1 comment:

  1. Pre...

    My dad was a staff nurse of the President Lines' Pacific "routes"....Manila/HK/SF/ the 20's/30's?...
    Then, before the war, decided to be became a nurse/attendant to some rich SO CAL Family (Daniels) that were some of the founders of current day Ervine.....An decided to come "home" in 48 to marry my mom..