A fixture in viral nostalgia-bound lists of ’90s candies, Serg’s Chocolates used to dominate the market. “The pinstripes wrapper had become so ubiquitous beside chocnut and sugarcoated candy balls,” an article from the Inquirer opines. Its musical ad was just as iconic, the words, “isang balot ng ‘I love you,’ isang balot ng Serg’s” imprinted onto ’90s kids’ consciousness.
The brand itself, which started in the ’50s, has an interesting history: the family that owned it fled the country in the ’60s amid kidnapping threats and heavy anti-Chinese discrimination, leaving the patriarch Antonio Goquiolay to run the company through fax overseas; it closed down in the ’80s after it was mistakenly believed to be part of the corporations owned by Marcos and his cronies; it was revived in the ’90s by Antonio’s son Sergio, who the brand was named after, only to be taken down by the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.
Good news for everyone that misses it: according to the same Inquirer article which interviewed the brand’s current owner Randy Ong (who happens to be the son-in-law of Sergio), Serg’s is staging another comeback. Ong has tracked down their old equipment, as well as built up a small factory in the family ancestral home.
“He says he is open to investments in order to jump-start Serg’s once again. He can’t say for sure when he can finally roll out production, perhaps a whisper of a start early next year,” says the article.
With the recent resurgence of the local chocolate industry, here’s to hoping that the times will be more friendly to the nostalgic candy.
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