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.
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.
|FILIPINAS Para FILIPINOS|
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"|
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?
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).
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.
|ANG ILAO SA ANTIPOLO|
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|
|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|
|LA AURORA, Manila|
|LA ADALIA, Rosario, Manila|
|LA ARPISTA. Norzagaray|
|EL SALERO, Manila|
|EL BRILLANTE, Manila|
|LA ANTIGUA MARINA, Manila|
|LA CHIARINI, Guagua Pampanga|