December 23, 2009

Pagoda Brand White T-shirt

Today my thoughts are with men wearing white T shirts like in our grandfather's days.

You might like to guess who he is. Is he the Towkay Huang from Little Nyonya? Photo shot in Miri.

Here's a good shot of a nice man wearing Pagoda brand white T-shirt.

Nostalgic about those Pagoda brand white T-shirts? Those original t-shirts won by our elders?

I grabbed some photos from the Net here below for you. Follow through to see my photo of a jovial KL man.....

                                                       Chinese shopkeeper in Kuala Lumpur.

 A clerk doing accounts.

It is not easy to ask men to be the subject of your photography in my experience.

After observing the owner of the B and Best Seafood Restaurant for a while and already half through the bowl of delicious bee hoon I gathered enough courage to ask him if I could take a photo of him.

He replied" Wow you want to make me film star ka?"

He was just so full of jokes! I like this towkay . He sells one of the best fish mee hoon I have ever eaten in KL and may be the whole of Malaysia. So do go to the B and Best Seafood Restaurant at Kelana Jaya in PJ and have a good breakfast there.

But what I like most that day was his white Pagoda Brand t-shirt - the father of all t-shirts!!

My father and all his contemporaries wore this kind of T-shirts in Sibu and so did the Hajis and elders in Kampong Nyabor and the other kampongs when they were relaxing around the house.  However in Chop Ching Chiong 7 High Street the Accounts Clerk Mr. Sia  wore this white T-shirt as a sort of uniform to work. I would therefore remember from those days that brilliant accountants wore simple white T-shirts as uniform!!

This is COOL in the real sense of the word. My youngest aunt (sister of my mum) wears it every day with her batik slacks. And she looks really charming and pretty.

If you watched "The Little Nyonya" you would have seen the Towkay Huang wearing it in most episodes.

By the way this towkay of B and B is a great fisherman and has landed many garoupa weighing more than 20 kg!! There is a photo of him in his shop with a giant garoupa he caught actually.

Perhaps wearing white t-shirts like this brings him a lot of luck!


Bengbeng said...

Merry Xmas. About Hua Kong I am probably unable to record the cantata for you. I will be outstation for a few days :)

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi...I was just teasing Benghui...don't worry. It is just that I miss the Church choir and especially the alto parts.

And definitely I shall miss the Cantata...

Have a good trip....God bless

Merry Christmas to you and Mrs. and Benghui

Free Bird said...

Isn't that Uncle Kuntai? He's getting stylish haha. I see Ian in the background.

Pagoda shirts are definitely the best tshirts to wear in the hot weather of Malaysia. I've always wondered if Hanes tried to emulate the comfort of the Pagoda shirts

Anonymous said...

Stumbled upon your blog regarding "Chong Jin Soon " your grandma. Chong Jin Bok happens to be my grandfather. Well, I never met him. I started to dig on family histroy after my father's passing. My aunty the matriarch now lives in a house very near to that street.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Free Bird
Thanks for writing and recognising the subject of my photography (lst Picture).

The Kuntais celebrated their 40th Wedding anniversary 5 years ago. This year they quietly let the day pass because the children were not around. May they celebrate more new years and anniversaries...

They miss all of you.

The Pagoda T shirts and the other brands like Chili Brand are sold locally since time immemorial.

Have a good week.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Anonymous...It is nice of you to write a note.

I am sorry we have not met before. Aunty Meng Toh (whom I have written a few times : Ciku) lives in Sibu. I might like to guess that you would know my siblings living in Kuching!

I wrote about your grandfather very earlier on. (

Your cousin Chong Pek Lin and I were in the Maktab together. Samuel was my classmate from primary school! But unfortunately I have not met you.

And when Aunty Betty came I was not in Sibu. Have you met her?

Hope to know all my cousins from the Chong side.

Would be glad to know more about your grand dad too.

Thanks for stopping. Hope you will remain in touch with this branch of the family.

Merry Christmas.

Ann said...

Hi CY,

You are very brave to ask the men if you can take their photo.

My Dad wore the sleeveless singlets. My Ah Kung might have worn the Pagoda Tees.

Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Nice of you to post this article about white t shirts and old men /towkay wearing them.

Brings back mmany memories of Sibu. I remember seeing these men in Rajang Park and in some coffee shops . May be it is time for me to wear some too....

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Ann

Various experiences have taught me to ask permission if I am very near the subject. Usually in the longhouses and kampong I find men only to happy to oblige. One even showed me some very special plants to photograph during one of my trips and I learned a lot from him because he was so knowledgeable. Recently I approached some taxi drivers who refused to be photographed...

In Sibu some women have learned to ask for some angpow already...

It is really touch and go nowadays...have to study them first....but the easiest way is first to ask them to take a photo with you.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Mike

Thanks for dropping by. Yes these T shirts are very comfortable and casual...

Nice looking too.

Happy memories.

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