Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Almost always, when asked what I wanted from Manila, I'd excitedly say a Crispa T-shirt. Visiting friends and relatives would then be too happy to oblige because not only were these easy to throw into one's luggage, but quite affordable to boot. And once these folks arrived in New York, I couldn't wait for the customary beso-beso and small talk to be over with so they could dig in their pasalubong bags and hand over my much-awaited Crispa T-shirts.

Sadly, there came the day when I was told that Crispa had closed its store on Bustos Street near Santa Cruz Church, and that they've become hard to find.

When I came back to Manila, one of the very first things I did was search for this brand of T-shirts that I've worn throughout my teenage years. It took some tenacity, but imagine the smile on my face when I found them on the main floor of Isetann Department Store on Carriedo Street in Quiapo.

From what I understand, Crispa got more into producing for other fashion companies, while their own brand of T-shirts have been minimally marketed -- basically to serve a remaining, though ageing, die-hard customers.

So while friends and relatives appreciate those Banana Republic, Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch pasalubong T-shirts I gave them, I, on the other hand, will always be a nostalgic fool and remain loyal to my Crispas.


posted by Señor Enrique at 6:16 AM


Blogger JayAshKal said...

I love those Crispa Tees as well. They are well-made in comparison to what's available in the market at the time. I am sure Crispa will make a killing with the resurgence of the retro-look. Make more of those T's and print the green Crispa logo on them!


November 20, 2007 7:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

nalala ko tuloy ang Crispa Redmanizers na basketball players. Meron pa palang ganyang shirt, oks na oks talaga texture ng t-shirt na gawa ng Crispa

November 20, 2007 7:06 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Tis wonderful to have found a kindred spirit, Mario!

Yes, not too many people these days do not realize how well-made these Crispa T-shirts are, and that their cotton is heavier and of much better quality than those found in today's popular brands. In addition, they're quite affordable -- the whites are about 200 pesos, while the colored ones are 250.

November 20, 2007 7:15 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Tama ka nga, Iskoo ... maganda din texture ng Crispa T-shrts :)

Nasa States na ata ako ng kapanahonan ng Crispa Redmanizers.

November 20, 2007 7:25 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ay, Crispa Redmanizers! I swooned over Bogs Adornado! I never missed watching those PBA games on TV, basta nandun siya. Haha! Tapos may mga malisyosong nagbalita na gay daw siya. Inaway ko sila!

Crispa t-shirts fit very well, and very comfortable because it is all cotton.

Hey, everyone, Senor Enrique's MANILA BULLETIN INTERVIEW IS ONLINE. Check it out here:


November 20, 2007 7:46 AM  

Blogger Sidney said...

Never heard about Crispa T-shirts but it is again a nice story!
Is there anything you can't find in Quiapo?

November 20, 2007 8:48 AM  

Blogger carlotta1924 said...

my tita used to work for crispa and she used to give us shirts from there. was too young though to appreciate the texture but i did like the designs :)

November 20, 2007 8:54 AM  

Blogger Photo Cache said...

I was a die-hard Crispanatic during my time. I remember that at a very young age, I got to fall in love with Atoy Co, and I wished I was much much much older so I may have a chance (the nerve). I did not encounter the tees though. I could use one now. Maybe I check online for them. Thanks for the nostalgia, Eric. You just made my day.

November 20, 2007 9:28 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

The only PBA player I know of is a cousin, Leo Isaac, who supposedly play as a second string to Jaworski. He now coaches the MIT college team.

Thanks for the cheer, Rhoda ... hehehe!

November 20, 2007 9:56 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Okay, there is one item I'm looking for, Sidney, in which those I found in Quiapo, I'm afraid might be fakes -- knee protectors like those used by skateboarders or line skaters; not the cloth with cushion knee pads. I can use these when shooting street festivals.

Many thanks, Sidney!

November 20, 2007 9:59 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Please tell your tita, Carla, that a blogger friend of yours, to this day, admire the Crispa brand ... hehehe!

November 20, 2007 10:00 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Oh, my pleasure, Photo Cache :)

Crispa ought to revive its line of well-made tees and other garments, as well as build another PBA team. It seems quite adept in signing up good-looking (heart throbs) and highly-talented players ... hehehe!

November 20, 2007 10:02 AM  

Blogger ScroochChronicles said...

There used to be a Crispa outlet in Buendia near the riles. It was beside the Tropical Hut branch near the Cityland condos. I'm not sure if it's still there, though.

I remember using white Crispa shirts for PE. Maganda kasi mag-absorb ng pawis. And they retain their shape not like the other brands. I also like Guitar brand. They make nice camisa de chino :)

November 20, 2007 10:19 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always thought that people associated Manila with Banana Republic because a few of my friends wanted Banana Republic tees when I went to Pinas pero too bad their requests were too late because I was already back in my home country when they asked for it.

Crispa; never heard of this brand but the tees sure is decent looking.


November 20, 2007 10:32 AM  

Blogger pusa said...

huwaw! cousin mo si leo isaac! one of my fave players ng anejo!!!! ;)

i was addicted to basketball too during their anejo and ginebra days

love the shirt as well, un nga lang un mga nabibigay sa kin dati malaki ang sizes =)

@sidney - you're right! need anything and you'll find it at carriedo/quiapo

November 20, 2007 10:38 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, Pusa, but never got to see him play -- I was already in the States by that time. I got more into NBA games.

I wish they'd do more colors besides the basic loud ones they have now. :0

November 20, 2007 11:08 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Banana Republic is often used to describe a third world country, Kyels, but I think there is now a Banana Republic clothing store branch in Makati. :)

Your lolo might have known about Crispa ... hehehe.

November 20, 2007 11:10 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've this lone Crispa shirt that's over twenty years old na, yet has retained its vivid apple-green color. it's got a tiny handstitch (to repair a tiny tear) on the front, but i still wear it outside the house. peybrit eh!

i don't like keeping old clothes, but this one seemed to have lodged itself quite securely in my heart's endearment department. while obviously sturdy, the shirt fabric has got this soft, nice feel that lightly clings (contours) to the body. i'd say it's one of those rarely perfect shirts! 'don't think i'll ever part with it...:)

got it from the Crispa outlet in Makati, I wonder if it's still around?

November 20, 2007 11:13 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I'm actually looking for a camisa de chino to wear with my baromng tagalog, Scrooch. Would SM carry Guitar tees?

I'll check out the Crispa outlet near Buendia. Isn't that the San Antonio Village area you described?

November 20, 2007 11:13 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When hubby and I were newly married and still with no kids, we made a sort of "fashion statement" by wearing long sleeved colored camisa chino. E, masarap isuot because it's very light and comfy. We paired it with faded Levi's jeans (yup, nothing but Levi's for us then) and with matching belts to boot. hehe. When he wore blue, I wore yellow. Para tuloy kaming sasayaw sa school program. But oh, well - that was some 40 pounds ago... LOL!

November 20, 2007 11:30 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I, too, have one or two really old and kinda tattered at the seams T-shirts that for some odd reason cannot let go, Cacofonix. I guess, they're like security blankets ... hehehe.

Hopefully, many others will discover how wonderful Crispa T-shirts are; not to mention how affordable as well :)

November 20, 2007 1:34 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

And I'm sure, Rhoda, you guys looked wonderful in those matching outfits ... hehehe.

Come to think of it, I enjoy enjoy looking at couples in similar or complimenting outfits -- they tend to demonstrate with their fashion statement just how much in love they are :)

November 20, 2007 1:36 PM  

Blogger Oman said...

I do remember those crispa shirts my father used to wear. I think ang equivalent nya ngayon is Fruit of the Looms na eh, yung basic white cotton tees na lumuluwang ang neckline pag nilaban. Pero mas comfortable talaga sila isuot lalo na pang-undershirt sa polo.

November 20, 2007 1:54 PM  

Blogger Unknown said...

I love those crispa tees! Sort of my 'pang-rampa' uniform in high school, white crispa shirt and levi's jeans. In college, I trimmed the neckline of my crispa tees to match the faded levi's.

November 20, 2007 3:48 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I knew it! I'm not the only soul that appreciates the fine quality of a Crispa shirt ... hehehe.

Quite creative of you Miranda! I bet you were a big hit on the ramp. Cool :)

November 20, 2007 4:16 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

The cotton weight of the Fruit of the Loom shirts are not of the same quality, though, Lawstude. Nagbi-bacon pa ata minsan ang leeg ng mga shirts ng Fruit of the Loom.

Yes, Crispas are much more comfortable and durable :)

November 20, 2007 4:21 PM  

Blogger mgaputonimimi said...

magandang t-shirt daw ito at isang team ng pba dati..

ung lang sabi ng mga adult sakin.. wla akong naabutan kasi.. ^_^

November 20, 2007 5:22 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Talagang mahusay na klase ang mga T-shirt na ito, Mimi -- tama mga matatanda na nagsabi sa iyo :)

Pero and Crispa PBA team naman ay di ko na nadatnan o naaalala kasi nasa New York na ako ng mga panahon na 'yon.

November 20, 2007 5:55 PM  

Blogger Unknown said...

Older generation na lang pala nakaka-recognize sa crispa t-shirts.:-) I suddenly feel my age! hahahaha There was a crispa store at Buendia Avenue, reason why that bus stop is called Crispa.

A crispa t-shirt was like today's flip flops. It denotes simplicity and comfort.

November 20, 2007 7:42 PM  

Blogger armovil said...

I do have also a green crispa t-shirt bought in one of the stores in avenida, opposite metropole.

comfortable at durable talaga.

November 21, 2007 12:09 AM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

CRISPA T-shirts are da best in the west! Like you, yan ang hinihingi kong pasalubong galing sa Maynila from my friends coming to America..of course, besides the plastic garapons of ROMANA Peanut Brittle.

I went to school here and became really good friends with Wendy Basilio. Her mom's family owns CRISPA.

I don't know if she moved back to Manila. She's a very creative photographer.

I wore CRISPA T-shirts and Kamisa de chinos during my senior years in college. I used to make tie dyed Crispa t-shirts to give away to all my hippie friends.

Eric, Do you remember the pinoy denim brand "McComber Jeans"? with the red stitches on them? Or the legendary pantalon ng masa in khaki and maong "Dan Gulapa Jeans? Or the Classic "Sabalvaro" brand trousers in German khaki, black and blue sold in Central Market and Divisoria?

November 21, 2007 12:24 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

McComber Jeans I remember well, Pete -- the first ready-to-wear jean company that I know of here in Manila. Pero, mas mura pa din ata noon bumili ng mga corduroy fabric sa Central Market at patahi sa tailoring shop -- fit na fit pa. I don't remember the other two jean companies you mentioned. By the way, remember the stretch fabrics that came out around that time that became popular, too?

They really ought to revive Crispa, Pete. Hanggang ngayon, galing pa din ng fabric nila. Namili na naman nga ako ng dalawang puting T-shirts noong nakaraang araw.

But here's a funny anecdote: I noticed this woman buying a dozen of those bright yellow ones and I asked if they were for her sons' dance team or something. She said, "Hindi, binibenta ko ito sa city jail!"

Turns out those guys prefer the durable Crispas in which they could just have someone inside imprint the word "detainee" or "Manila City Jail" on them so they could wear them when being transported to and from the courts. :)

November 21, 2007 4:02 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Opposite Metropole (across the street), Armovil? I will definitely check it out. I'm looking for black. Isetann only has it small and medium kasi.

Maraming salamat!

November 21, 2007 4:04 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Kaya ko naman nasabi na para sa mga senior lang ito, Miranda, kasi lahat ng kabataan na tanungin ko ang sagot lagi, eh, "Crispa? Ano 'yon?" Hehehe!

Nonetheless, favorite ko pa din itong brand na ito kahit tawagin mo na akong isang "old man" ... hahaha.

November 21, 2007 4:07 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There used to be a Crispa store near Pasong Tamo and Ayala and they sold all their models but geez, I was never into the Crispa bandwagon coz I was a die hard Tanduay fan. I hated Crispa to my guts hehehe :)

November 22, 2007 12:02 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That goes to show how a company's basketball team could make the rival team's fans boycott its products, BW ... hehehe. Maybe this is why other firms stay away from sports.

November 22, 2007 5:47 PM  

Blogger -= dave =- said...

What I know about Crispa was the PBA team. Hindi ko na rin sila inabutan, but I hear they are legendary. My favorite team, San Miguel only matched their championships by sheer longevity.

Interesting that these shirts last long too. I like that.

November 25, 2007 5:37 PM  

Blogger grumpyurbanslacker said...

there used to be a Crispa store along C. Raymundo Ave. in Pasig, i think it was a commercial building with a supermarket as well as Crispa's office as well...not sure if its still there though.

i was a kid during the height of the Crispa-Toyota rivalry, and i hope the present generation of Floros would somehow revitalize this brand.

one of the other posters was quite correct, if Crispa came up with more colors/retro look and an print ad campaign, i'm sure lots of people would buy their shirts....

November 25, 2007 7:11 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I agree with Mario as well, Grumpy -- check out the Izod label. I used to wear their tennis shirts way back when I started playing tennis in New York. It then died when Ralph Lauren's Polo label came to the scene. And a couple of years ago, Izod was revived and now back in full swing.

Just the same, Crispa is worth reviving :)

November 26, 2007 5:16 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I'm totally ignorant of those classic PBA teams, Dave, but I can assure you that you'll be getting your money's worth if you bought a Crispa T-shirt. Talagang mahusay ito!

November 26, 2007 5:17 AM  

Blogger reyd said...

Funny to think about the good ol' days, we had a contract to make those BVD t-shirts, all imported materials just the labor and ship them back to the US. :lol: Tapos ang suot ko parati is Crispa t-shirt since the Floros are family friends. Kaya ang tinda sa mga stores namin around Metro-Manila are made by Crispa, since we can not sell those US brand Tees. :)
Parating Crispa t-shirts ang mga pasalubong ko dito sa US sa mga barkada ko sa Tennis, until I told them, wala na akong makitang tinda sa Pinas... hahaha, actually the schedule was very tight, mostly devoted to pasyal and eating. :)

November 29, 2007 1:39 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You friends were indeed lucky to have you bring them some Crispa T-shirts, Reyd :)

Yes, I've worn some of those BVD as undershirts, but would take a Crispa anytime ... hehehe.

Perhaps, you can persuade the Floros to revive this bramd once more.

November 29, 2007 9:15 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm also an avid crispa tshirt user. Its available at all Shpwise branch. Meron din sa Landmark and Isetann. By the way they have their factory outlet along Eagle St. along Sandoval Bridge Ugong Pasig City. Very comfy and durable.

November 29, 2007 2:00 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I may be in Makati so will try to check out Landmark if they have any black Crispa Tees which I desperately need.

Many thanks, Anonymous ... truly appreciate your tips :)

November 29, 2007 2:40 PM  

Blogger grumpyurbanslacker said...

hey senor enrique,

i was clearing out my old files, and found the contact info of the maker of Crispa T-shirts.

here goes:

Star Textiles Mfg. and Trading Inc.
"Exclusive Manufacturer of CRISPA T-shirt"

3/F, Danny Floro Bldg.
C. Raymundo Ave.,
Pasig City

Tel: 642 6285 / 641 5457
Fax: 641 2625

Hope they can supply all the Crispa tshirts you want!! :d


December 20, 2007 7:44 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Wow! Many thanks, Peter! Really appreciate it :)

December 20, 2007 9:00 PM  

Blogger CRISPA SHIRTS said...


visit this!

July 07, 2010 5:01 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

kabibili ko lang kahapon ng dalawa...crispa 400 pero limited nalang kasi meron na silang crispa 2000...sadly, dalawang tindahan na lang nagbebenta nito ngayon...sa may madison sa sta cruz near national bookstore at tsaka sa may unimart sa may greenhills...

July 05, 2012 12:18 PM  

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