Friday, June 10, 2011

23. Vintage PHILIPPINE CIGARETTE WRAPPERS

I got this article “History, Culture Preserved In Old Cigarette Wrappers” by Ambeth Ocampo from Philippine Daily Inquirer dated Dec 2, 1999 and it fully described the fun of collecting cigarette wrappers.

CAZADOR, Betis Pampanga
According to Ambeth,  CIGARETTE smoking, can be dangerous to our health. But it will surprise most Filipinos to know that part  of their history is on cigarette labels.  Thousands of cigarette wrappers have been  preserved from the late 1800s to the 1930s that have outlived their specific function and are now a record of Philippine graphic art. Cigarette labels are basically marketing tools advertising a specific brand of cigarettes. Through the lithographic process cigarette labels were used to express the signs of the times and various sentiments including patriotism.

At the tail-end of the 19th century, the Spanish secret police kept close watch over a cigarette factory in Binondo because its cigarette labels contained "subversive" designs.

FILIPINAS Para FILIPINOS
 During the early American period, when it was illegal to display the Philippine flag, express patriotic sentiments, or even make references to the Philippine Revolution, Republic or Independence, a factory in Binondo made 'cigarettes called "Filipinas para Filipinos" (The Philippines for Filipinos). Filipinas or Inang Bayan was depicted pointing a Filipino to the dawn of independence and progress. Such subversive sentiments were expressed on ordinary cigarette wrappers.

Filipinos have always been smokers. Early photographs of the Philippines show men, women, and even children puffing on crude "cigars of rolled tobacco leaves longer than their arms. Taxes from tobacco supplemented government revenues from the Spanish colonial period to our day. Tobacco actually saved the post-galleon trade economy in the early 19th- century.

KALAYAAN Cigarette with patriotic message:  "Halina kababayan at siya nating bilhin cigarrillong laruan ng KALAYAAN natin"

Coping mechanism
The account books of the First Philippine Republic reveal a budget for cigarettes distributed to the weary soldiers and revolucionarios to help them cope with their struggle for independence and nationhood. Cigars and cigarettes are part of Philippine history.  

Cigar and cigarette smoking was so popular in the Philippines that before the war there were hundreds,if not thousands, of cigarette factories in Binondo employing hundreds of women who would deftly roll cured tobacco into cigars and cigarettes by the  thousands. Cigarretas were the first women laborers.Does this explain why the Filipina as a motif appears in many of the labels?
PINAG-PALA
Normally, a label carried the brand or trade name of the cigarette and a colored illustration that could be related to the trade name. The label also carried the address of the factory and a taxation number. But then labels went further than mere brand names.  Certain elements on the cigarette labels helped to identify the period they were produced. The simple linguistic shift from Islas Filipinas to P.I (Philippine Islands) in reference to the country reveals whether the cigarette was manufactured before or after the turnover from the Spanish to the American colonial period.  
LA ASEMBLEA - Featuring Hon. Sergio Osmena and Manuel L. Quezon

Art nouveau motifs appear in many labels thus dating these cigarettes to be made after 1910. Jose Rizal's face appears in numerous labels. During the 1930s, politicians like Manuel Luis Quezon and Sergio Osmena also appeared on cigarette labels, no doubt to draw the votes of the smoking electorate .

Ideals were expressed in brand names like Pagkakaisa (unity) or Magkaibigan (Friendship).

ANG ILAO SA ANTIPOLO
 Scenes of Antipolo and Mayon found their way on labels. So did Japanese geishas with one breast exposed, war planes, and even a hot air balloon.

Today's cigarette wrappers are without aesthetic merits and are quickly disposed of. But the Filipino cigarettes of old are visual fragments of Philippine history, taste, culture and values.

KATIPUNAN - KAPISANANG PILIPINO, Clavel, Manila

K.K.K. - Ang marcang nang tatlong K, Manila


EL FILIPINO, Rosario, Binondo
TAGA-YLOG
BIAK-NA-BATO
KATAGALUGAN - Patriotic Narration on Label, Manila
ANG KATOTO, Laveres, Binodo
ZORRILLA, Plaza Binondo, Manila
BANDA NG ANGELES, Pampanga
LA ARTILLERA, Manila
EL LUCERO, Sacristia, Manila
LA CAROLINA, Binondo
EL CUBANO DULCE, Paseo Azcarraga
EL AVISO, Rosario, Manila
EL CONSUELA, Isabela Cagayan
EL GLADIATOR, Sta. Cruz, Manila
HOTA FUERTE, Binondo
LA AMAZONA, Calle Tetuan, Manila
EL PORVENIR
LA AURORA, Manila
LA ADALIA, Rosario, Manila
LA ARPISTA. Norzagaray
TABACALERA
EL SALERO, Manila
EL BRILLANTE, Manila
LA ANTIGUA MARINA, Manila
LA CHIARINI, Guagua Pampanga




11 comments:

  1. Quality collection, as always. Amazing!

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  2. gusto ko po sanang magkaroon ng picture nitong mga ito sa facebook ko para maishare ko sa mga friends ko.sadyang nakamamangha po talaga salamat po!BILLVEX PUNO

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  3. Hi Billvex you can use the pictures but give due credit the my site.

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  4. wow...very spectacular collection..im proud you have this...congrats....

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  5. I am currently doing a research on old Philippines photos, sketches, drawings, images that depict our heritage, culinary traditions. Can you help find great sites or even places where i can obtain amazing materials just like what you have in this site?
    thank you very much

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  6. Just sharing this email to me

    Hello,

    I live in California and my wife's family is from Betis, Pampanga. While doing some family history research for my in-laws, a search for the name "Simeon Roque" led me to your amazing Pinoy Kollektor site.

    We already knew that Simeon Roque had a tobacco factory in Betis - the only one in northern Luzon, I am told - but were surprised to see the beautiful artwork on the wrappers of "Maniaman" and the rest.

    Do you ever sell any of the items you highlight on your website? My father-in-law, a grandson of Mr. Roque, is fiercely proud of his family (as are all Kapampangans!) and if we could give him an 88th birthday present that would evoke his grandfather's memory, he would be delighted.

    I'd greatly appreciate it if you could either let me know about purchasing one of these labels, or suggest other sources.

    Thank you in advance for your response, and for all the work you've done in showing unique Philippine items that have low visibility in the United States. With the plethora of design books featuring graphic design from Italian, Scandinavian, and French sources and the like, I'd love to see a book featuring some of your Pinoy Kollektor material.

    Best regards,
    DI

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  7. Should be "LARAUAN" or picture, not "LARUAN".

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  8. Unique collection. May I ask for your email add? I would like to ask something about the "Ang Ilao sa Antipolo"? Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. my email add is mikedlr@yahoo.com

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