Friday, November 09, 2007


Seeing a bunch of children's slippers evokes fond childhood memories. Foremost is the word pamato, used to knock down the empty can of milk in the game called tumbang preso. Another was our playmate who lived next door whose parents were the first in the neighborhood to buy a television set. A group of us kids would take off our slippers and leave them by the front door as we huddled in front of the TV to watch the Uncle Bob's Lucky Seven Club on Channel 7 (now GMA-7 network).

Uncle Bob was Bob Stewart, an American who owned Channel 7. I've lost count of the number of times he had bid us all goodbye because of some guy in the government tried to kick him out of the country. Our group of playmates even created a farewell card for him and were thrilled when Uncle Bob held it in front of the camera and read our goodbye on the air. However, just like the previous times, Uncle Bob would somehow end up resolving his immigration dilemma and not have to leave at all.

Although Uncle Bob's TV station featured other wonderful programs for children like Eskuwelahang Munti, he may have not realized that his constant shedding of tears in front of the camera while saying goodbye was quite traumatizing for us kids. It was actually akin to watching a relative die a lingering death that stretched for decades. Anyway, it came to the point when we were all graduating from grade school and about ready to attend high school, yet there was Uncle Bob still going strong, though every now and then, would be once again teary-eyed and bidding everyone goodbye.

"So leave already!" a couple of childhood friends once yelled.

If I'm not mistaken, when I graduated from high school and left for New York, Uncle Bob was still around in Manila busily producing and starring in his afternoon TV show. Nonetheless, I sometimes wonder whatever became of him.



posted by Señor Enrique at 10:09 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric, Uncle Bob has passed away last year.

He spent his old age in the States but when GMA7 celebrated its 50th year anniversary, the network wrote him a letter and sent him video clips, etc. He was even interviewed through phone patch. He was given a befitting tribute as founder of Channel 7. :)

Going through this coffeetable book of GMA 7 here, I found out Bob Stewart was an American war correspondent who married a Filipina, a Pampaguena. He first tinkered with an old radio transmitter and thus was born DZBB. Then later on - RBS Channel 7, described to have started on a mom-and-pop operation. But look at this network now...

November 09, 2007 11:15 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What pretty colours! Here at home naman, when my nephews and nieces come over to play with my kids, there would be a pile of shoes near our door.

I don't think I've ever watched Uncle Bob. But the name of that show sounds familiar.

November 09, 2007 12:41 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Childhood memories are always fond to remember.


November 09, 2007 3:58 PM  

Blogger ScroochChronicles said...

My sisters and I used to watch Uncle Bob's show religiously. Remember his trademark, "Pancit Mahlahbone"..hehehe. Siya yung Peewee Herman nung time natin.

On a more serious note, I went to school with one of his apos. I failed to even ask her what happened to Uncle Bob but whenever we would have parties at his house in La Vista he was never around. I believe his son Leslie had a similar show later on but it didn't catch on.

November 09, 2007 4:47 PM  

Blogger jon go said...

very nice photo eric! i also used to watch uncle bob on tv.. unfortunately, he passed away while he was in the US.. i think last year.. it was on the news..

November 09, 2007 4:50 PM  

Blogger mgaputonimimi said...

hang kyut naman!! nalala ko tuoly ang kabataan ko.. ^_^

November 09, 2007 6:23 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

This picture always bring a smile to my face, too, Mimi, because of the wonderful memories it evokes :)

November 09, 2007 8:06 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thank you, Jon.

I'm sorry to hear that Uncle Bob had passed away. I'm sure, in retrospect, he had bittersweet sentiments about Channel 7.

November 09, 2007 8:07 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I must admit, Scrooch, Uncle Bob really loved kids and made sure they were entertained every afternoon. We also signed up for the Dick Tracy Club. We got a watch!

November 09, 2007 8:09 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Nothing can beat the wonder years, Kyels! :)

November 09, 2007 8:09 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Aren't they, Irene? Yes, even in NYC, the kids often wear sneakers even during the summer months. I can visualize those shoes you mentioned by the front door :)

November 09, 2007 8:11 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thanks much for the brief rundown on Uncle Bob and GMA-7, Rhoda. Really appreciate it :)

I bet Uncle Bob had his disappointments for having been booted out eventually from the radio/TV station he founded.

November 09, 2007 8:12 PM  

Blogger Photo Cache said...

I vaguely remember uncle bob, but the tumbang preso I remember very fondly. Yeah, tsinelas is the only pamato we knew. I hope kids are still playing this under the moonlight.

November 10, 2007 12:47 AM  

Blogger -= dave =- said...

Aw, di ko inabutan si Uncle Bob, hehe.

I remember another slipper game, "taratsian tsinelas," we call it in Bikol. Taught us about sacrificing for the ones we love, as well as the dynamics of someone being left behind or that of saving everyone. Nah, maybe I'm just being sentimental about it.

November 10, 2007 1:40 AM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Pom..poro..pom..pom was one of uncle Bob's intro on TV when he was in a jolly mood. I was so excited to get a reply letter from the Dick Tracy Club informing me that my badge was in the mail. The Lucky 7 Club was uncle Bob's kid show? Jody Stewart, his son started one of the rock stations that competed with DZRJ back in the 60's. It was eventually taken over by the Tuazons and became DZRT.

November 10, 2007 5:32 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I don't quite remember the radio stations back then but in high school, I used to listen to Sonia Basa's program every afternoon. She loved the Zombies. I also remember her lusting after a Shelby Cobra.

I remember it was a watch my sister and I got from being members of the Dick Tracy Club. I should ask my sister who has better memory than I do. Truth be told, blogging about childhood memories has become therapeutic for me. You see, my father's death during my mid-teens traumatized me to the point that I sometimes have a difficult time recalling some fond childhood memories, and I know I have lots more. My sister who is a year older oftentimes fills me in with the details and some others.

My friends in NYC (born and raised over there) told me it was Howdy Doody they grew up on, including the Mickey Mouse Club. They never knew Uncle Bob, of course ... hehehe.

November 10, 2007 6:54 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Taratsian Tsinelas! Now, that seems to be a very interesting game, Dave. How come we in the city never learned about it?

November 10, 2007 6:55 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Tsinelas was the only pamato our father would allow us to use, Photo Cache -- ever since he caught my older brothers using stones that would often hurt the hand of the "it." It could get bloody sometimes, hehehe.

November 10, 2007 6:57 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very colorful array of slippers! There used to me a brand of rubber tsinelas called "Smuggle" if I remember and Visayans call it "smagol" hehe :)

I remember Uncle Bob, that American who can't seem to pronouce Paranaque properly :) May he rest in Peace.

November 10, 2007 12:49 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That would be Uncle Bob, BW. He personified the kindly Yankee uncle, indeed :)

Don't think I've heard of Smuggle, but I did have my share of plastic and rubber slippers throughout my childhood. The plastic ones can be slippery.

November 10, 2007 7:43 PM  

Blogger Photowalker said...

I watched "The Uncle Bob's Lucky 7 Club" every saturday morning when I was a kid.

My favorite part is when he shows the new toys. Especially the Voltes V & Daimos Die-cast.

And best of all, his show is in English.

November 10, 2007 11:05 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Those shows, Photowalker, were after my time because we didn't have any Voltes V or Daimos back then. The only die-cast toys I had were my Matchbox car collection, which Uncle never featured.

November 11, 2007 1:53 PM  

Blogger carlotta1924 said...

e must have stayed on tv for a long time coz i also was able to watch his show. couldn't remember much of it though.


November 12, 2007 5:40 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Then he must have continued as a host of this children's show for many years, Carla. I thought he had left sometime during my high school years.

November 12, 2007 7:28 AM  

Blogger reyd said...

Uncle Bob will always be the greatest uncle of the Filipino kids in the 60s to 80s. He did pass away a year ago. I was a member of his Lucky seven club and I will always cherished our trip to Clark Air Base organized by his late brother in law, Chito Feliciano who was a member of PAF.
Uncle Bob has a very beautiful story for his love of our country and mainly to its citizens, young and old.

Anyone here remember the tv show Combat?

"pom..po pom..pom..."

He did bring joys, laughter and hope to the young kids especially those in the rural areas during his days in the media.

November 14, 2007 10:03 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ate ko dati nasa Uncle Bob's Lucky seven Club dati. Wala pa ako non pero she was around 3 years nung sumali siya sa Little Miss Magi 1990. 2nd runner-up siya at pinagmamalaki niya hehehe. 20 na siya at isa nang teacher...sayang, shows like that deserves to be produced for the next generation, ngayon kasi parang wala na... wala na ang "sparkle"/"Kinang" ng mga shows nung araw...sigh...

November 15, 2007 6:49 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Wow! She must have been a cute one! I can imagine how exciting it was for her :)

You're right! Most of today's children shows come from abroad, I think. Back then, there was even Eskwelahing Munti, although simply produced, was a delightful show. Nowadays, everything is too glitzy and geared towards instant stardom. Oh well ... those we the days.

Thanks for dropping by :)

November 16, 2007 5:46 AM  

Blogger -= dave =- said...

The game might have been called by a different name in Tagalog. Or maybe this was a relatively new game developed during my time, hehe.

November 17, 2007 11:10 PM  

Blogger sophia allendes said...

I, too, remember Uncle Bob, and I miss him and his show. I didn't know that he was the founder of Ch. 7! He never came across as a rich snob;on the contrary he was always friendly and accommodating to the kids. Didn't they give toys away in that show? Ooh, how I envied the recipients! I wish there more "Uncle Bobs" in the world... :D

March 02, 2008 10:13 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, he was a very kindly man, Sundae Cone! He delighted kids of my generation with wonderful TV programs!

March 03, 2008 7:03 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm writing this from the Phoenix, AZ area, where Uncle Bob lived the last 20 or so years of his life. I met him when he was in his 80s, but he will always have a place in my heart. The Filipino people were so fortunate to have him, he was truly one of a kind and a treasure. He was kind, humble and loved Jesus. May he be blessed in all eternity.

June 18, 2008 11:24 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Many thanks for dropping by and to share this bit of information with us, Jack.

You're right, Uncle Bob was much treasured by millions of Filipino kids, I among them.

Again, thank you.

June 19, 2008 6:34 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i lvoe this game!

August 08, 2008 2:49 PM  

Blogger Mike the Pilot said...

I met Uncle Bob late in his life in 1995. At first he was a business associate but quickly became a good friend. I met him in California but he lived in Phoenix. Bob was the real deal and a wonderful man. He was an inspiration to both me and my wife. We miss him dearly.

February 14, 2009 12:48 PM  

Blogger Unknown said...

Found this article from William Esposo about Uncle Bob. would like to share it with all of you.

October 27, 2009 11:56 PM  

Blogger moefudd said...

Hi when I was a kid I used to be one of unclebobs lucky7 club members. u may not know it bt.every sat. Iam one of those kids you used to watch ,I always bring with me my I'd and my mom usually buy me some magnolia milk....,strawberry flavor I had won lots of prices like the panini etc. It was an unforgettable memories for me.

February 03, 2010 2:09 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...


March 16, 2010 8:15 PM  

Blogger Snowblind Marine said...

I'm his grandson. In any case, before he was Uncle Bob, he was not only a war correspondent, he also served as some sort of special ops soldier who served in World War II and the Korean War. Thinking about it, I think that's why he loved children so much.

I don't have too many memories of him, but the ones I do have were happy ones.

March 05, 2011 11:38 PM  

Blogger EdgardoVOlaes said...

Dear Señor Enrique,
Re SONIA BASA, she is the most favorite female deejay of our CHS61 alumni. We are fond of listening to her program in the 60s and early 70s.
When martial law is declared, she is not around anymore. She is a mainstay of the Associated Broadcasting Corp's DZWS. She digs the hits of The Shadows, Cliff Richard, The Fabulous Echoes, The Jitterbugs, The Dave Clark Five, Herman's Hermits, The Beach Boys, Peter & Gordon, The Beatles, and The Zombies,of course. Sonia plays the tapes of Natalie Wood, Mitzi Gaynor, et al, "This is Natalie Wood from Hollywood. Listen to DZWS, the Big Sound in Radio = Mighty Ten Seventy." Miss Basa likes Cliff's HOW LONG IS FOREVER; and most of all the 2 hits of The Zombies: THE WAY I FEEL INSIDE, and her fave — I LOVE YOU. With this, Sonia says 1-4-3 and Hiligaynon phrase Palangga Ta Gid Ikaw, meaning I Love You. She REALLY is an iconic Deejay!
By Edgardo Valentino D. Olaes

November 26, 2011 2:47 PM  

Anonymous Nick L. said...

I remember listening to Sonia Basa's program religiously. Although I forgot what station it was, she loved The Zombies, and her program is not finished until she played I love You by The Zombies and say the words ' Palangga Ta Gid Ikaw '. Hah good memories. I wonder where she is now.

April 01, 2012 10:23 AM  

Blogger EdgardoVOlaes said...

Some say the deejay Sonia Basa resides in France nowadays.

July 24, 2012 9:16 PM  

Blogger EdgardoVOlaes said...

It's worth remembering those good old days, especially the radio station DZWS. I like Sonia Basa, Bing Lacson, Larry Abando Jr, Lito Gorospe, Bong Lapira, et al..

October 08, 2012 12:55 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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