Here is another article of my favorite columnist and historian Ambeth Ocampo about “Cigarettes and Filipino nationalism” on the Philippine Daily Inquirer dated September 20th, 2011.
Overheard this joke about a man who returned a freshly bought pack of cigarettes that had the warning: “Smoking causes impotence.” He handed it back to the tindera saying, “give me the one that causes lung cancer.” This made me wonder why some “pasaway” are contesting No Smoking ordinances enforced by MMDA, but do not contest the same in Makati. Tobacco was introduced into the Philippines from Mexico and became so lucrative a cash crop that a “Tobacco Monopoly” was established in the 18th century to maximize revenue. This explains why some areas in Luzon like the Ilocos and Cagayan were planted to tobacco instead of staples like rice and sugar.
|EL 87, A Revolutionary Officer on Aguinaldo's Army|
|EL PACIFICADOR, TAMPOY, Islas Filipinas 1898, Malolos|
|LA FAISANA, featuring a half naked Japanese Geisha|
|LA ESTRELLA DE ANTIPOLO|
I once collected Filipino cigarette labels, hoping to write a source book on early Philippine design, but when I was refused a feature in an inflight magazine on the basis of their no-smoking-in-the-cabin policy, I gave up and sold my collection. Quite sad really because today’s cigarette packages are not as aesthetic as the old ones. Vintage cigar and cigarette labels are visual fragments of Philippine history, taste and culture.
|ANG KAIBIGAN NG BAYAN|
|KAISAHAN NANG FILIPINO|
|LA ASAMBLEA FILIPINAS|
|MITHI NG BAYAN|