Can P100 really go far in today’s world?
On a daily basis, maybe. P100 could be used to buy small but useful items, or a budget fast food meal. For street-smarts, it’s possible you can get a couple more stuff.
Truth be told, 100 pesos isn’t a very big amount. You can’t do much with it, especially with today’s prices.
But, believe it or not, 100 pesos enabled a man to run a business. To be exact, a pharmaceutical enterprise that would soon become a trusted name in the country.
In post-World War II Manila, what former drugstore employee Mariano Que did with his 100 pesos was to buy a bottle of Sulfathiazole tablets, deemed a “miracle” drug for its ability to cure many diseases, realizing his countrymen’s need for it, according to a Rappler article.
The same report also noted that this drug was rarely sold during that time. So where did he get them?
Que sourced the authentic medicine from a Bambang peddler, according to Philippine Primer.
Corporate information also said that the peddler agreed to sell it to him at 100 pesos instead of a higher price, because it was all Que had at that time.
In an effort to provide these tablets at an affordable price, he sold them per piece, as stated in his company’s website.
Soon, he was selling a variety of medicine on a pushcart, which was eventually followed by the opening of the first store of his business in March 1, 1945.
The name? Mercury Drug.
More branches came after, including Mercury Drug’s second store, located in Makati, where the company’s “self-service concept” was first introduced, and the Quiapo Plaza Miranda branch, the first one with the 24-hour operations, according to Rappler, and Mercury Drug.
As of April 2017, Mercury Drug stands strong as one of the trusted pharmacies in the Philippines with over 1000 branches, Rappler said in a report.
Aside from the pharmacy chain, Que also founded Mercury Drug Foundation (MDF) as his way of giving back to the community, Philippine Primer mentioned.
In 2012, he was awarded as the “Father of Philippine Health and Wellness Retailing” by the Philippine Retailer’s Association.
Rappler also reported that Que was conferred an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree by the University of Santo Tomas in 2015.
The Mercury Drug founder has passed away in 2017, but Mr. Mariano Que lived a full life in enriching Filipinos’ health and wellness through his business and philanthropy.
Logo from Mercury Drug Corporation’s Facebook page