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Philippine TV Commercials: Spotlight On McDonalds Ads

Updated on October 9, 2015

Things You Miss Most

As I have mentioned in a previously related article, not in my wildest dreams would I have thought that one of the things that I would miss from the old country were things I used to abhor or at least not care for.

I know that most people wouldn't understand what I mean because most people do not move from place to place or at least move half-way around the world to a different country, a different continent, to a place where people speak a different language and have different beliefs, customs and traditions. Yes, like moving to a totally different world. That would be scary for most I would think.

Although I do know that there are millions of people who go off to foreign lands to work, to be exiled, to study, to migrate or otherwise stay for good. And for them this is all easy to grasp, if you haven't travelled very far from your homeland then it might be a little harder to explain this to you.

8,000 MIles Away

Now I am living some 8,000 miles away (okay I just checked online it is closer to 7,500 miles by air) from where I was born and nope, not in a million years would I have guessed that after a few years that I would miss the TV Commercials from back home.

This is a third of a series that I am now obviously working on but not really planned on doing. And for this time around I will be spotlighting a few Filipino commercials of the All American Fastfood McDonalds.

I know McDonalds is all over the planet now and they have gone to the Philippines in the early 80s (my generation). The Philippines is the fourth Asian country, McDonalds went to. Previous to that, they opened stores in Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong among other places around the world.

What are a few interesting things about this is that the Philippines is both the Rah-rah-rah All-American and the Seriously Anti-American Kid in that part of the world.

Now until the Philippine Congress (Senate) decided to finally kick out among the last vestiges of good old Uncle Sam from the Philippine Islands (all the US Military Bases) in the country in the early 1990s, you cannot find a more All American nation in Southeast Asia. And I guess they still are.

Today, they have become the unholy mix of Hollywood, the Spanish Convent and the Oriental Culture. Add in a dash of the South Pacific and South and Middle East Asia and then you can see who the Filipinos are.

Now watching Filipino TV Commercials will help you wade through this mesh of a crisis of identity and as I mentioned from the previous article about Jollibee, the local counterpart of McDonalds, we can learn a lot about the people from their commercials.

And so if you want to know more about these people from the Far East who now seems to be all over the planet now, then read on. Or better yet watch on.

A Video Is Worth A Million Words

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. And so that would make a video worth a million.

First off, this is among the few commercials from the Philippines that gives me the chills, yes even after I have seen it a thousand times.

My Favorite Grandchild

Warning: now this next one could be another tear jerker.

I can’t find one that has English subtitles, but even though it has no dialogue, the story is almost entirely in the lyrics of the background song, which is of course sang in Tagalog.

But here is a summary of the story as I understood it. This is a typical Filipino family with three kids, one who is tightly knit who eats dinner together every night. The eldest, a daughter grows up and have a disagreement with the old folks and this seems to be during the hippie days and then she left home. The second, a son joined the military and went off to war. The youngest then leaves home and the once happy home is all quiet. The last scene is the reunion (with the kids and the grandkids) at the McDonalds and you can take it from there. Yes, just like old times.

Can We Bring Back The Past?

Now, if I remember right McDonalds (at least in the Philippines) wasn’t marketed as a place to bring the family. I have always thought of that as the domain of the local or the home grown restaurants, such as Jollibee and the old time favorites, such as Max’s Fried Chicken, Goldilocks Restaurant and others.

McDonalds in the Philippines has always targeted the youth (at least back when I was still living there) and I guess that’s still their main thing today . As Jollibee (the local McDonalds) has the strangle hold on that. Now here is a short McDo commercial and until recently I didn't know that there was this series of Filipino McDo TV Ads that was about the theme "treat us to burgers because you have whatever reason we can think of".

Is That A... Bangs?

The story is if you don’t speak Tagalog is that the two guys were calling out the new hairdo (haircut) of the girl and they were bugging her to treat them for a McDo Cheeseburger, as the ad said, anything just to eat one.

Now after she paid for the burgers, she asked the guys if she looked good. But you guessed it, they were done complimenting her.

Here's on the extreme end of that "burger, burger, burger" series of tv ads.

Grandma Eats Burgers Too!

I'd admit that was a little weird, even for my weird taste.

Anyway, if you are from the Philippines or if you have seen the previous article spotlighting the Jollibee Ads, you would have no reason not to believe that Filipinos love rice and FIlipinos love desserts.

And I guess this next one is aimed at the Filipinos sweet tooth, the FIlipino youth, the hopeless romantics and I guess all those who want to have it all and still feel sexy about it. Enjoy.

Sweet Tooth

Now here is another one of those flashback and back-to-the-future McDo Commercials. This one also has the story in the song (again in Tagalog, sorry nothing with subtitles). But this one is another easy one to understand but of course a whole lot better with the interpretation. The title is I guess “First Love” and you can take if from there.

First Love Never Dies

Okay, here’s one in English.

Whew, yes don’t think I am forgetting you English only speaking people out there.

And the backdrop on this is that (please anybody out there correct me if I’m wrong) the McDonalds in the Philippines are the only McDonalds anywhere in the world to have rice in their menu.

And also they are the only McDonalds in the world to serve spaghetti, yes only in the Philippines.

Now this commercial is featuring a totally different product, something I have no idea about as I wasn’t the Philippines at the time and when I went back there last year (2010) I did not see it on the menu so it was probably only available for a short time. But steamed rice and spaghetti were still on the menu. Enjoy.


Okay here’s one that I also missed seeing because I wasn't in the Philippines at the time.

But this is the typical Bollywood style (singing-dancing type) commercial that I remember. And if you look closely enough you can see the spaghetti that is only available at McDonalds in the Philippines.

To The Left... To The Right...

Yes, thank God for youtube and all the other video sharing sites online and we can still watch the old classics, the ones we missed and the ones we loved.

Okay, we can go on and on and there will be dozens and dozens of commercials we can watch both the old and the news ones. But I will end with this last commercial, also one that I missed and although it is in Tagalog, I think you can get what it means.


Okay, if you didn’t get all of it, this is what it means:

The tween is probably going on his first date and like everyone else that age is embarrassed of his folks. He tells them to scram but they continue to hover around him. At the counter, the kid forgot his money and the parents who shouldn’t be there was still there to save the day.


Selected Filipino Commercials:


Submit a Comment
  • Ramish Ali profile image

    Muhammad Abdullah 

    7 years ago

    you are the best my friend

    I also wanna to listen some thing about this

    this is the best

  • J@ps profile imageAUTHOR


    10 years ago from Southern California

    I guess you're right. You're welcome and thanks as well.

  • ournote2self profile image


    10 years ago

    I love how you can tell a whole story in just a minute or two. Thanks for sharing!


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