John en Marsha

Jem title card

Created for Television by
Ading Fernando
Situational Comedy(sitcom)
Directed by
Ading Fernando(1973-1984) and Al Quinn(1984-1990)
Dolphy Quizon, Nida Blanca, Rolly Quizon, Maricel Soriano, Dely Atay-Atayan, Matutina, Ryan "Atong" Redillas, Sheryl Cruz
No of episodes
Running Time
1 hour
Original Channel
Picture Format
480i SDTV
Original run
November, 1973 – July 30, 1990
Related Television Shows
John En Shirley; Puruntong

John en MarshaEdit

John en marsha title card

John en Marsha titlecard

John en Marsha(English: John and Marsha) was the longest-running and most-watched prime time comedy sitcom in Philippine television during the 1972-86 era that aired on KBS(Kanlaon Broadcasting System) then re-launched as RPN(Radio Broadcasting Network).The show ran for almost 17 years from November 1973 to July 30, 1990. It ran weekly creating never-ending battles between poor John Puruntong (Dolphy) and his very wealthy and stagerringly large mother-in-law, Doña Delilah Jones(Dely Atay-Atayan) that keeps him nagging to strive hard for Marsha(Nida Blanca), Rolando(Rolly Quizon), Shirley(Maricel Soriano) and John-John(Ryan "Atong" Redillas). From small screen, it translated into big screen producing 9 movies(1974-1991). Because of the sweeping effect of the sitcom, John's trademark "Purúntong short", a soft-clothed and knee-length short became a fashion trend. Signature lines and expressions from the series translated into sitcom magic and became part of everyday life of Filipinos. A spin-off from the series, John en Shirley, aired on ABS-CBN in 2006 with only two returning cast members, Dolphy and Maricel Soriano, reprising their old roles. John's surname, Puruntong became the title of a television show in RPN 9 that portrays satiric displays of different characters from all walks of life.


Marsha Jones marries the impoverished John Purúntong much to the dismay of her wealthy mother, Doña Delilah. Although her daughter married the unemployed John, Doña Delilah often paid a visit to their house along with her maid, Matutína. When money was required, she would tell her maid Matutína to go sweep peso bills off the floor. Despite this, John rejects all the financial help Doña Delilah offers his family, the result of which is a hilarious exchange of insults between the two. The show ends with Doña Delilah's loud catchphrase "Kayà ikáw, John, magsumíkap ka!" ("Therefore you, John, have to work hard!") to insult John's capability as the father of the household. They end up making amends, giving each other abrupt hugs with Doña Delilah exclaiming, "Peace man!" to proclaim peace.


Wayback in Alto Broadcasting System, Ading Fernando was thinking a television show that would fit Dolphy and Nida. One night, Dolphy went to a club along Roxas Boulevard. A little later, Ading arrived. He wanted to pair Dolphy in a sitcom with Nida. The first title Ading thought of was "Walang Tiyaga, Walang Nilaga." Dolphy didn't like it. He suggested "John en Marsha." He agreed. As the two friends conferrred, they agreed that John Puruntong would be a poor but good natured man married to the loving Marsha, the daughter of the haughty Doña Delilah. Nida was initially reluctant to accept the offer, since she had an ongoing obligation to "Wala Kang Paki" on IBC-13. But she eventually said yes. Ading's sister Dely Atay-Atayan got the role of Doña Delilah after the first choice Chichay opted to stay as "Ginang Milyonarya" on IBC-13. Dolphy's son Rolly Quizon was cast as his son in the show. The schreechy-voiced Matutina(Evelyn Bontogon-Guererro), a former ABS-CBN radio talent and the wife of a former ABS-CBN station manager, Doña Delilah's maid. Dolphy also suggested the casting of Maricel Soriano as his daughter.During its first six years(1973-1979), the show was shot in the Broadcast Center at Studio 5. They transferred eventually to Broadcast City. John en Marsha premiered on Channel 9 in November 1973 running on Thursdays at 8P.M. This sitcom was the biggest show of the 1972-86 era. Dolphy said the show took a while to catch on:"Noong una(English:At first), I couldn't see the effect on people. But eventually ordinary people began saying the lines that would say on the show like 'Magsumikap ka!' or 'Ang tapang ng apog mo!' These lines became bywords, and that was when I knew we really were making a mark." Together, Dolphy, Nida and Ading created a huge hit. From television, it translated into 9 movies.The story evolved into greater situations like the addition of Ben Tisoy, the store of Isko and his friends, the wife(Madel) and children(Joanna Marie and Joey) of Rolly and the addition of the 2 siblings of John Puruntong, John-John(Ryan "Atong" Redillas). Finally, the show went off air on July 30, 1990. On 2006, the classic 60's sitcom was revived on ABS-CBN under the new title, John En Shirley (John, En for Encarnacion, Shirley). Dolphy,Maricel and Isko were the only ones remained from the original cast. Matutina as one of the original cast member made a guest appearance on the show.


  • Dolphy Quizon as John H. Purúntong
  • Nida Blanca† as Marsha J. Purúntong (John's wife)
  • Dely Atay-Atayan† as Doña Delilah G. Jones (John's mother-in-law)
  • Evelyn Bontogon- Guererro as Matutína (Doña Delilah's maid and sidekick)
  • Rolly Quizon as Rolando J. Purúntong (eldest son)
  • Maricel Soriano as Shirley J. Purúntong (daughter)
  • Madel de Leon as Madél Purúntong (daughter-in-law)
  • Ryan "Atong" Redillas as John-John J. Purúntong (son)
  • Isko Salvador as Franciscô or Iskô (the neighborhood storekeeper and Shirley's suitor)


  • Rolly Quizon is the real-life son of Dolphy was mostly unseen in the movies due to his departures and new life away from showbiz.
  • Sheryl Cruz was also part of "John en Marsha", where she played Shirley and replaced Maricel Soriano in the late '80's.
  • The show was re-aired after the death of Nida Blanca from 2002-2003 on the cable channel, Flip TV.
  • John's trademark knee-length shorts became popularly known in the Philippines as "Purúntong shorts".
  • On May 2008, Paragon Home Video released 18 volumes containing 72 episodes of John en Marsha DVD.