Pinoy Coke Fanatics eyeball at Arjay’s Collect Zone

Arjay’s Collect Zone , Holy Trinity Parish Church corner Santisima Trinidad, Calabash Rd. Balic- Balic, Sampaloc, Manila

tarpaulin poster

An invitation was send thru Pinoy Coke Fanatics Facebook page by Mr. Jay-Ar Mendoza. A fellow coke collector. I quickly grab the opportunity to attend this monthly meeting.

Arjay’s Collect Zone

 coke delivery truck circa mid- 1980’s

I am not new to the field of collecting coke and their promotional items. I got my first coke truck when i was about 4 years-old when my aunt went to the United States of America and gave me a coke truck as a gift ( pasalubong)  . The truck was kept at a display cabinet in which my younger sibling and playmates played it almost everyday . Now , the coke delivery truck is almost worn -out with its  stickers , some coke accessories were missing  as time passes-by.

Coke 2008 Olympic Glass – promotional items from Mc Donalds

Eventually years later ,  coke pog and coke playing cards were the -in thing . I have collected several hundreds of pieces . Most of my coke pog collection where thrown away by my father who thought they were TRASH!

There are some coca-cola-promotional items that i participated , from the miniature coke bottles in exchange for a coke bottle caps with logos to coke toy trucks , coke playing cards etc…

coke truck still in box- mint condition

completing some of the miniature coke bottles and plastic toy trucks. Unfortunately some of my personal collections were either thrown away, given away by my younger sibling or taken as a souvenir items by our playmates.

Mr. Jay -Ar Mendoza

Mr. Jay -Ar Mendoza is a  coke  , stamp, coin, banknote, toy , figurine, object d’art collector. He has a day- time job and he only engages in trading excess collection during his spare times. He had several coke catalogs which he purchased from his recent trip in the United States.

Mr. Jay -Ar Mendoza showing -off a limited edition 1984 commemorative Los Angeles Olympic pins ( the pins had all the countries which participated at  the 1984 Olympic)

The pins was issued by Coca-Cola which was one of the official sponsors of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.  The flag pins comes in a set of 3 . It is very hard to complete a set.

stuff toys

Another hot items during the eyeball was the stuffs toys with coke logos . Most of the items were imported from the United States.

Ms. Millet Aguirre

Ms. Millet Aguirre is one of the early bird during the eyeball. She arrived at around past 10:30am . She bought some Coke collectible items and Santa Clause .

Ms. Roselily Z. Baduan

The members called her Ninang ( God Mother) . Since she is one of the founders of the group. Her primary aim is to foster a camaraderie among Filipino Coke collectors. The group had already evolve starting from yahoo groups, multiply , friendster and now Facebook.  With more than 300 members and sympathizers the group is still a close group in Facebook.

coke trailer trucks in pristine condition

There are close to a dozen members which showed-up during the eyeball. Unfortunately Kuya ” Amazing ” Betong ( television host and comedian) was not ale to show -up during the eyeball due to an earlier commitment .

Mr. Jay -Ar Mendoza and his wife prepared  sumptuous early afternoon snacks which consists of spaghetti, fried chicken , bread , ham and cheese.

  I got a special coke key-chain , coke folder and coke straw as FREEBIES , Maraming Salamat  ULIT sa Inyo ! Hanggang sa Uulitin

ARJAY’S Collector Zone

Location: In-front of Holy Trinity Parish Church – Calabash Road corner Santisima  Street , Balic-Balic, Sampaloc, Manila

Operation Hours:

Monday to Sunday 9:00am to 9:00pm

Contact Person : Mr. Jay -AR Mendoza ( 0917-539-6701) GLOBE

Items for Sale:


Hobbies and Supplies

Die Cast

Vintage Toys

Trading Cards

Coins and Currency

Stamps and First Day Covers

Coke collectibles

Note: A prior appointment must be set since he had a regular work . He is only available during weekends.

Full disclosure policy: The author is not a business partner .  I just happen to be a coke collector and blog about the store .

Arjay’s Collect Zones Facebook: Store/534049933344197

Pinoy Coke Fanatics:

Eleksyon 2013 – I Voted Wisely

Juan Luna Elementary School ,  830 G. Tolentino Street,  Barangay 397, Sampaloc, Manila-Philippines

I am a long time resident  and a voter of Manila.  My family  lived in various districts – Tondo, Binondo, San Miguel , Santa Mesa, Santa Cruz and Sampaloc. I remember our first polling precinct was located in the old PUP  ( Lepanto street ) campus now Sergio H. Loyola street then transferred to the Church of the Later Day Saints compound along R. Papa near Far Eastern University  before moving to the current site.

Paaralang Juan Luna

I wanted to vote as early as possible,  normally would go to the polling station 30 minutes to  1 hour before the opening . But somehow went to Divisoria to do some last minute shopping. Just a little over 7:00 am – I got an sms from a friend that there is a long line at  the polling station and the PCOS machine had a malfunction ! See the exact map :

voters outside of the polling station located within Juan Luna Elementary School

OMG, I don’t want to be stuck in the long lines just like what happened in 2010 Presidential election .  I just took my time roaming around until past noontime when i received another sms message that the polling station line was short. but the PCOS machine still had some problem ( voting had to start by 8:00am after two voters sheet were initially rejected. ) before the BEI allowed the voters to start voting .

barangay number  with  their  corresponding polling precinct

At around past 1:00pm  ( after lunch )  ,  I went to look at the bulletin board  in front of the school .  Since i knew our barangay number and polling station – It just took less than 30 seconds to pinpoint my polling station and it was located on the third floor of the school. While climbing to the stairs – I saw several senior citizens  and person with disabilities having a hard time going up stairs .  One had to be carried sitting on a mono- block chair up to the third floor of the school!

list of voters

It was indeed a very sad incident that COMELEC officials must consider in the next election . Senior citizens and Person with disabilities must be allocated a space preferably in ground floor so that they will not climb up to the second , third , firth and even fifth floor of the polling precinct. Unlike in Quezon City or Makati . Barangays in  Caloocan  , Manila  are based on a numerical number , zone rather than a barangay name.  It is wise for voters to know their barangay number and barangay chairman- A classic example is M.V. Delos Santos street which are divided into 3 barangays with 3 different barangay  numbers .

voting precinct 2027-A -Room 317

I was able to  locate our polling precinct and was assisted by our barangay chairman who happened to be within the vicinity.  I went to the Board of Election Inspector ( BEI) and introduced myself to them, then identified the polling station, barangay number – Then after a quick look , The BEI handed me the ballot sheet and let me  sign opposite my name .  The process is quite quick unlike the 2010 elections! It took less than 5 minutes compared to more than 2 hours and queuing for the long lines .  I  prepared a short list of names of whom to vote , so it just took me about 5 minutes to finish  voting. There were only 5 voters when i voted a little past 2:00 pm , I handed the ballot to one of the member and he just put the filled  ballot right beside a small box beside the PCOS machine , apparently the COMELEC technicians were not able to trouble shoot the machine  . Which caused some confusion and long lines during the morning .  Before leaving the polling station , I saw 2 to 4 people looking at the list and went inside the precinct.

COMELEC reminder

After i voted,  took some time for a quick chat with our neighbors and poll watchers about what happened to the PCOS machine in our polling station,  a nun over heard our conversation and told that that they will surely guard those PCOS machines which had some glitches ( relief on my part )  .

fiesta -like mood outside of the polling precinct

I think the 2013 election is more orderly compared with the 2010 election . I do not have to wait for long lines and wait for more than 2 hours just  for me to vote, Perhaps in the next election ( barangay ) I might  change my voting habits !

people along the G. Tolentino street

 There should be a special voting precinct  place for the senior citizens , people with  disabilities or even those with high blood pressure who cannot endure climbing up the stairs ,  the extreme humidity and hot weather due to cramped classrooms. I must say ‘congratulations ‘ to all Filipino voters for braving the heat and pressure. Same with the teachers who served as board of election inspectors , volunteers , poll watchers and PPCRV!

University of Santo Tomas Quadricentennial Stamp launch

University of Santo Tomas started its jubilant celebration last January 27, 2011 . This school marked its 400-year anniversary and taking another  milestone in Philippine history.

Arch of the Centuries – The arch is presently locate some 15 meters from the main building and serves as one of the landmarks of the university .

it serves as the link of the campus with its Intramuros roots and its Spanish heritage. It has become a symbol of learning—the portal to greatness under which students and alumni (such as Rizal, Mabini, Manuel Quezon and Sergio Osmeña) have passed. 

The Arch of the Centuries was originally erected in 1611 at Intramuros , where UST was originally found. After the war ,  the historical arch was transferred to its present location at Sampaloc , the Arch was also carried piece-by-piece and was re-erected at the front of the main vehicular entrance of the University.

The original Arch ( which was originally  faces the main building was built from Philippine adobe or volcanic tuff  quarried from Makati and Bulacan ).  The  arch served as a  main passageway to the university building before it was destroyed during the closing days of the Second World War ,  when it was still at Intramuros. A newer arch facing  España Boulevard, which is a reconstruction of the original arch.

The Arch contains Doric columns  but is Baroque  in its details. The inscription on the arch says “Gateway to the History of the finest breed of Filipinos,” a reference to the numerous alumni  who have made an impact in Philippine history. On the left pillar of the facade facing España Boulevard is commemorative plaque honoring National Hero Dr. Jose Protacio  Mercado Rizal y Realonda , and on the right pillar is another plaque honoring President Manuel Luis Quezon , both being UST alumni. The arch was recently been declared in 2010 as National Treasures by the National Museum of the Philippines.

On the sides at the top of the Arch are panels depicting the life of Saint  Thomas of Aquinas , the patron saint of the University and of all Catholic schools.

All incoming students (freshmen and transferees), as parts of their initiation rites into the University, known as the Thomasian Welcome Walk are required to pass through under the Arch. Candidates for graduation, on the other hand, also pass through under the Arch during a parade after their Baccalaureate Mass.

This tradition started on June 2002. Fireworks display ends the passage and signals the party afterward. The parade, either of freshmen or graduating seniors, is done per college/faculty in random order. There is an old superstition that while studying at the University, one should not pass under the arch until he graduates. If done so, an event will happen that will bar his graduation from the University.

National Artist for Literature 2001 – Mr. Francisco Sionil Jose and wife were among the VIPs , He is also an outstanding UST alumna

Part of the celebration is the unveiling of a 10-meter sculpture commissioned by the UST management by a well-known UST graduate Architect Ramon Orlina to create the “ Quattro Mondial which consists of four human figures each representing four centuries of excellence.  Upon the four figures rest like GLOBE, it tilts 23.5 in constant motion and at the same time perpetually facing the North Star, which is the brightest star in the constellation.

The globe represents the event of globalization of the university in which produced several Philippine Presidents, alumni from all over the world, foreign students from different parts of the world.

UST quadricentennial flag

One of the male sculpture which symbolizes “ EXCELLENCE” was modeled after Mr. Piolo Pascual a famous actor and a commercial endorser, While another female sculpture which symbolizes “ ERUDITION” was modeled after Mrs. Charlene Gonzales- Muhlach a B.S. Psychology graduate and a top 6 finalist in the Miss Universe beauty pageant held in Manila on May 21, 1994. After all, this prestigious university had produced some of the country’s top beauty pageant winners to name a few.

Mr. Orestes Ojeda, whose real name is Mr. Luis Pagalilauan , a veteran actor , artist and  entrepreneur  pose for a souvenir shot with Philpost employees

Mr. Orestes Ojeda was introduced in the movie, “Zoom Zoom Superman,” starring Ariel Ureta in 1973. From then on until “Sanib,” directed by Celso Ad. Castillo in 2003, the actor acted in films of all genres—action, comedy, sex, drama, horror  (almost 70 films in 38 years)! He has been directed by important filmmakers like Ishmael Bernal in “Broken Marriage” and “City After Dark,” Celso Ad. Castillo in his trail-blazing “Nympha,” and Lino Brocka in “Inay.”

Mr. Ramon Orlina’s sculpture before the unveiling ceremonies

Another statute that symbolizes  “ SPIRITUALITY ” a Dominican Priest, by Rev. Father Rolando dela Rosa, O.P. Rector of UST and the fourth statute that symbolizes “ TRADITION” for academics had Ms. Monina Orlina –Mr. Ramon Orlina daughter as a model.

According to Architect Orlina, It took over one and a half year to finish.  The statute that he himself had conceptualized, designed, executed. The statute was made from cast bronze, solid glass blocks and the base is from marble.  His works was unveiled formally to the public just in time for his birthday. Lavish fireworks capped the ceremonies, while famous UST alumni, faculties, friends, media, ambassadors among others.

Over 50 flea market style tents which  sells from commemorative t-shirts to pre-paid cellphone load. There were some promotional booths  giving away freebies like bottled energy drink , chocolate wafer , candies and vitamins.

Just like any celebration, the  bazaar which enterprising students , corporation can realize their entrepreneurial skills  .  Some of  tenants  are also alumni of the university, Like Perfume magnate  Mr. Joel Cruz   and various UST institutes had been selling a lot of memorabilia’s from commemorative key chains, T-shirt, caps, mugs, books,  pre-paid load, UST SIM cards , perfume and  even an on- the spot job fair !

A proud Thomasian wore a UST Growling Tiger head gear with matching yellow t-shirt

The festive atmosphere, with hundred  thousand  Christmas lights dangling from the  old- acacia and narra tress.   Thousands of alumni and invited guests  from all walks of life filled the campus grounds. There was a concert at the nearby track and field .

Philippine Postal Corporation employees led by Mr. Luis Carlos , Mrs. Elenita San Diego, Mrs. Josefina T. Cura – Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club founder  and the author  pose for a souvenir shot

While waiting for the stamp launch, the author had some time having some private conversations  with some Philpost employees and the  alumni . The author  took the opportunity in taking some photograph of the special  framed  commemorative stamps. There are only 100,000 stamps and about 10,200 pieces of  souvenir sheet stamps with Mr. Ramon Orlina’s  “ Quattro Modial “ sculpture  was featured on the issue.

Ms. Cory Quirino , Mr. Piolo Pascual and Architect Ramon Orlina

Ms. Cory Quirino is a fitness , health and wellness guru ,  a lifestyle television host , crime crusader and now Miss Philippines – World franchise holder were  among the hundreds of VIPs invited to grace the event.  Beside is Mr. Piolo Pascual a television host , actor, commercial model and Architect Ramon Orlina .

Mr. Orlina was once a board member of the Stamp Advisory Committee of the Philippine Postal Corporation.

The UST commemorative stamps issue were almost sold-out already at the Philpost.

“ It is a pity that they only issued few thousand pieces of UST commemorative stamps” according to one of the alumni who wanted to buy the stamp during the launch.

Mrs. Carlene Gonzales- Muhlach with throngs of reporters, adoring fans

The official time of the ceremonies was further extended to past 6:00 pm  due to the huge crowd and media that gathered in the event. With much anticipation, screaming and  giggling voices from the students and guests  that accompanied the arrival of Mr. Piolo Pascual and Mrs. Charlene Gonzales- Muhlach.

With much fanfare and lavish ceremonies , The  formal unveiling of the stamps and  of the statute was almost held simultaneously. The ceremonies  also coincide with Mr. Ramon Orlina’s  birthday celebration.  There is portion within the centennial plaza were an evening buffet was served to the selected guests and alumni.

The author had a memorable experience in this stamp launch .


“The University of Santo Tomas gratefully looks back to July 24,1605, when Bishop Miguel de Benavides, O.P., the third Archbishop of Manila bequeathed a modest amount from his personal funds and his personal library collection for use in the establishment of a ‘seminary-college’ to prepare young men for the priesthood.

“Thus, on April 28, 1611, the Colegio de Nuestra Senora del Santisimo Rosario, later named Colegio de Santo Tomas, was born in its original campus within the walled city called Intramuros.

“On November 20, 1645, the College was elevated to the rank of a University by Pope Innocent X. King Charles of Spain granted the title “Royal University” to UST in 1785, for the exceptional loyalty shown by its administration and students who volunteered to defend Manila against the British invasion.

“On September 17, 1902, Pope Leo XIII made the University of Santo Tomas a “Pontifical University” and in 1947, Pope Pius XII bestowed upon it the title “The Catholic University of the Philippines.”

“The continuing increase in enrolment prompted the administration in 1927 to relocate the University in its present site in the Sampaloc district, along Espana St, Manila, which covers 21.5 hectares.

“Inspired by its rich history, spurred on to impart wisdom and knowledge, enthused by noteworthy accomplishments, the University has remained steadfastly responsive to the needs and issues of the time as they occur, whether in the Philippines or elsewhere in the world.

“Today, the University campus is considered a historic site and is a recognizable landmark in Manila and the country.”

Technical description of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) 400 Years (1611-2011) “Unending Grace” stamps are as follows:

Kind of Issue: Commemorative

Denomination and Quantity: Php7.00 / 100,000 pieces

Date of Issue: January 25, 2011

Last date of Sale: January 24, 2012 (or as stocks allow)

Size: 40 mm x 30 mm.

Sheet Composition: 40 (4 x 10)

Souvenir Sheet: Php 37.00 / 10,200 pieces

Size of Souvenir Sheet: 110 mm. x 75 mm.

Perforation: 14

Printing process: Litho offset

Paper: Imported Unwatermarked

Printer: Amstar Company, Inc.

Designers: UST Quadricentennial Committee headed by
Rev. Fr. Rolando V. de la Rosa, O.P.
Rector, University of Santo Tomas

Photos: Donald Tapan

Design Layout Artist: Jesus Alfredo Delos Santos

Designer of Souvenir Sheet: Ramon Orlina
Designer of Souvenir Folder: Jonathan Gamalinda

Design Coordinators: Dr. Ngo Tiong Tak
Jonathan Gamalinda

Designs: Three of the block of four stamp designs of the 400 years Commemorative Stamps for UST are edifices or buildings which are considered National Cultural Treasures.

The Main Building of the  University of Santo Tomas  (UST) in Sampaloc, Manila functions as the university’s administrative center and home of the Faculty of Civil Law, Faculty  of Pharmacy  and the College of Science. The Main Building is also the home of the Museum of Arts and Sciences.

Design 1 which shows the Main Building during at night time

Design 2, featured  UST Central Seminary and Chapel

Design 3, shows Arch of the Centuries with 400 year logo

Design 4 features the Painting entitled, “The Foundation of the University of Santo Tomas,” by Archbishop Benavides.

The Souvenir Sheet features the design of Ramon Orlina that shows the Quattro Mondial Monument and Benavides Monument done in 1889 by Tony Noel with the University of Santo Tomas logo and the Main Building.

commemorative items

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will be releasing 10 million copies of the bill amounting to P2 billion, and 400 commemorative medals. BSP officials said the 200-peso bill will be legal tender but the medals will have no value.

Interesting note is that former President Diosdado Macapagal that is  featured on the 200-peso bill is one of the university most distinguished alumna.

The bills feature the Quadricentennial logo (tongues of fire forming the letters U, S and T emanating from the Main Building) on the dorsal portion, while the medals bear the engraved image of Msgr. Miguel de Benavides, O.P., founder of UST and third archbishop of Manila. The central bank will also release 400 special copies of two uncut 200-peso bills equal to P400, matching UST’s years of existence.

Both the commemorative paper bills and stamps are highly collectible since they are only issued on a limited number. But it totally depends on the budget of the collector.

Sources and Reference :

University of Santo Tomas :


Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas :


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