Photo of ‘John en Marsha’ cast brings back memories of well-loved sitcom

Do you still remember the Puruntong family?

A member of the Facebook page Nostalgia PH, Lechhtan Nartleb, shared a photo of the Puruntong family – John, Marsha, Rolly and Shirley, and the maternal grandmother Doña Delilah.

Of course, many would still remember the cast of John En Marsha, especially as it was  the longest-running and most-watched prime time comedy sitcom in the country during the 70s and 80s.

It was a well-loved local television sitcom which aired on the Radio Philippines Network (RPN 9) from May 1973 to July 30, 1990.  The series was created by Adíng Fernando and starred Dolphy, Nida Blanca, Rolly Quizon, Maricel Soriano and Dely Atay-Atayan.

Dolphy and Nida were 44 and 37,  respectively, when they started the sitcom. Cutie and talented Maricel was only 8 years old and Rolly was 14. Lola Dely was 59 when they started the sitcom. Well, let us not forget Evelyn Bontogon who played the role of funny Matutina; Doña Delilah’s maid and sidekick.

They portrayed the day-to-day life of a regular Filipino family which includes daily challenges, simple joys and failures (which they overcame). It was a very inspiring and entertaining sitcom. They had timely and relatable scenes which made the series more popular and loved.

“Kaya ikaw John magsumikap ka”

Looking back, the show usually ends with Doña Delilah screaming her catchphrase “Kaya ikaw, John, magsumikap ka!” Well, it became a common household phrase, too. Lol

Moreover, the series became so popular it spawned multiple movie incarnations from 1974 to 1991, namely: John & Marsha (1974), John & Marsha sa Amerika (Part Two) (1975), John & Marsha ’77 (1977), John & Marsha ’80 (1980), Da Best of John en Marsha sa Pelikula (1983), Da Best of John & Marsha sa Pelikula Part II (1984), John & Marsha ’85 (Sa Probinsya) (1985), John & Marsha ’86: TNT sa Amerika (1986), and John en Marsha Ngayon ’91 (1991).

In 2006, a spin-off from the series, John en Shirley, was aired on ABS-CBN with Dolphy and Maricel Soriano, aged 77 and 41 back then, reprising their old roles as father and daughter.

FYI, John en Marsha sa Probinsiya was digitally restored by the Kapamilya Network via ABS-CBN Film Restoration Project,  also known as Sagip Pelikula. It is a digital film restoration project of ABS-CBN Corporation in partnership with Central Digital Lab. The goal of the project which started in 2011 is to digitally restore and remaster select Filipino films from the archives of ABS-CBN.

The project has successfully digitized, restored, and remastered over one hundred Filipino films. You may visit their Facebook page ABS-CBN Film Restoration for updates.