Who’s Who in Bataan

Written by
  • 1 Bataan .
  • 8 years ago

Starting today, we are running a new series, this time, it’s about illustrious and brilliant Bataenos, men of great worth and character who successfully overcame poverty and ignorance through sheer self-reliance, thrift, industry and self-perseverance. Others simply showcased their serene wisdom and great courage and spirit of self-sacrifice. And even though they cannot be compared with our national heroes, still their stories all deserve to be shared.

The individuals featured come from the 12 towns in Bataan who are involved in various areas of interest: sciences, literature and the arts, religion, education, sports, etc. This is actually a record or journal of people and events that affected our lives.

The entries, arranged alphabeticaly, complemented with photos (if available) and fascinating yet related information were taken from the book of the same title, by Mr. Danilo Nisay.

We at 1Bataan decided to start this series not simply for the sake of history but more so to serve as an inspiration and encouragement for all of us, especially the young ones.

The Editor

EUGENIO ABELLA of Samal was a pioneering entrepreneur in Bataan who was involved in the manufacture of locally-made softdrinks. He was the owner of the Mabuhay Soft Drinks Bottling Company, one of the two beverage companies established in Samal in 1933.

Eugenio and his wife Conrada Diwa-Abella of West Daan Bago (then called Poblacion), in Samal, were the grandparents of former Vice Mayor Romeo S. Abella (1992-1995) and former Councilor Clemente Abella Jr.

Sarsaparilya was Mabuhay’s initial beverage flavor. The owners used a plain paper printed with the label “Mabuhay” and pasted it on the bottle. Unfortunately, the company’s pre-war operation was not on a regular basis due to the shortage of sarsaparilya fluid extracts as well as the bottles.

The softdrinks company, located in the vicinity of the old Samal Public Market, made a successful comeback after the Liberation. They initiated a full-blown operation and even introduced new flavors such as lemonade, orange, strawberry and cream soda. The flavors were bought by the Abellas from the MICO Trading in Manila.

The bottled products were initially distributed to neighboring towns of Samal using caretelas and other available transport mode. In time, the products were also made available in Bagac and Morong, and even in Lubao, Pampanga.

The bottled softdrinks, in 207 c.c. and 267 c.c., were delivered and sold primarily at various retail stores. A 267 c.c. bottle of Mabuhay softdrink was sold at five centavos each. The cost per bottled softdrink jumped to ten centavos at the start of the 1960s or before the company closed shop.


The ‘Deliciosa’ soft drink was the first local beverage manufactured and bottled in Samal. The softdrink company was owned by Elias Abella, the older brother of Eugenio. The bottling plant was located in Sta. Lucia. The company started its operation during the American period. After Elias’ death, Eliseo continued the beverage business introducing a new product labeled ‘Mabuhay’ softdrink. It captured a bigger market than the Deliciosa.

Article Categories:
Who's Who in Bataan

Comments are closed.