Friday, April 20, 2012

68. COMPANIA GENERAL DE TABACOS DE FILIPINAS - TABACALERA Memorabilia



The history of Cornpania General de Tabacos de Filipinas, more popularly known as Tabacalera, is linked to a significant stage in Philippine history - the abolition of the tobacco monopoly. Instituted by Governor Basco y Vargas, the monopoly was an instantaneous success in generating income for the government but it also spawned abuses and anomalies. 

 1908 Compania General De Tabacos De Filipinas Postcard

The tobacco factories of the Spanish government were then set up for bidding. Against British and French firms which competed, Tabacalera won the bid. Incorporated in Barcelona, Spain on November 16, 1881, it had for its prestigious incorporators the first Marquis of Comillas, His Excellency Don Antonio Lopez y Lopez and the Banco Hispano Colonial, the Sociedad General de Credito Inmobilario Espanol and the Banco de Paris y de los Paises Bajos.

1898 Private Mailing Postcard featuring the Iron Skeleton Building ,
New Office of
Compania General De Tabacos De Filipinas, Manila - San Marcelino

 Thus, Tabacalera not only rented the five Spanish Government factories but also set up its own factory in 1895 in one big block - Marques de Comillas (now Norberto Romualdez Street), between Isaac Peral (now United Nations Avenue) and estero de Balete. Once one of the world's largest tobacco factories, Tabacalera housed thousands of  employees who rolled "La Flor de la lsabela" cigars and cigarettes - smoked throughout the world for its fine, mild blend.

1882 Compania General De Tabacos De Filipinas Stocks Certificate


It was through a systematized process of growing, manufacturing and exporting of the finest tobacco leaves from Cagayan and Isabela that the company soon became a byword. Its continued development brought about its consolidation during the first few years of the First World War when sugar, copra and hemp were included in its umbrella of products for purchase and export. 

Beautiful LA FLOR DE LA ISABELA Hebra Superior Cigarette label,
brand for the product of CGTF

To facilitate transport of its products, the company formed its own fleet of steamships which was used till just before the outbreak of the Second World War. After the war, the company's factories and other business concerns had to be rehabilitated and reanimated. And even as Spanish products and goods exported to the Philippines were channeled through this company, it also created contacts for other Philippine goods (hemp and sugar) in the European market.

At the third floor of the pre-war Tabacalera building, there was a room the bachelor expatriates dubbed the "Republica", which President Manuel Quezon frequented and where he enjoyed some hearty moments. And by way of citing more interesting tidbits, Land Reform was practiced by President Quezon when about 300 to 500 hectares of land in Arayat, Pampanga was divided among the people, Other Philippine presidents followed and each time, Tabacalera gave and sold pieces of land at extremely low prices.

A cigarette wrapper showing ESCOLTA. 
Isaac Peral 851, Manila was the factory address of
Compania General De Tabacos De Filipinas


It will be remembered too that this premier tobacco company once gifted the country, through President Quezon, with an ornate Spanish chest (delicately filigreed with steel, gold and marble by master craftsmen) to be the repository of the Philippine Constitution. Another valuable piece of Filipiniana added to the country's collection donated by Tabacalera to the Philippine Government through President Ramon Magsaysay are the rare six volumes of Fr. Manuel Blanco's Flora de Filipinas.

1882 Compania General De Tabacos De Filipinas
Cedula De Fundador Certificate
Compania General De Tabacos De Filipinas
Cedula De Fundador Coupon

Tabacalera celebrated its 130th centennial last 2011.  As to its other commercial activities, it continues to do business with Indonesia, Japan, Latin America, North America and Europe, ranging from tobacco to sugar to consumer goods from Spain and other parts of the world. The country benefits tremendously from these contacts since indirectly the Philippines is brought to focus. And all because of that tobacco leaf.

Source: Landmarks of Manila by Visitacion De La Torre

 LA FLOR DE LA ISABELA Cigarette label, brand for the product of CGTF
 ANG TALA  Compania General De Tabacos De Filipinas / EL LUCERO La Flor De La Isabela


LA FILIPINA  LA FLOR DE LA ISABELA  Cigarette label


HEBRA FUERTE Compania General De Tabacos De Filipinas, Fabrica La Flor De La Isabela
Cigarette label
ORIENTALES Compania General De Tabacos De Filipinas, Fabrica La Flor De La Isabela
Cigarette label.


ULILA Compania General De Tabacos De Filipinas

PAGKAKAISA Hebra Superior Cigar Label 

PAGKAKAISA Hebra Superior Cigarette Label
Cigarilyo ng Sarap, Bango at Lasa

ARAYAT MATAMIS TABACALERA Cigarette Label

ESCUDO La Flor De La Isabela Cigarette Label


La Flor De La Isabela Cigar label, brand for the product of CGTF
ARROZ LA FLOR DE LA ISABELA  Cigarette label


GRANDES TABACALERA REGALIZ


TABACALERA Boquilla De Corcho

CHUMS CIGARETTE , La Flor De La Isabela Manila

ROSITAS Compania General De Tabacos De Filipinas
Hebra De Las Mejores Vegas De La Isabela



Art Deco cigar envelope of La Flor De La Isabela, Manille

 Compania General De Tabacos De Filipinas cigar envelope in Italy 

 Spanish Cigarette Cards SERIES A,  of Compania General De Tabacos De Filipinas
featuring Movie Stars in late 1910

 Spanish Cigarette Cards SERIES D,  of Compania General De Tabacos De Filipinas
featuring Movie Stars in late 1910
 Spanish Cigarette Cards SERIES C,  of Compania General De Tabacos De Filipinas
featuring scenic landscapes and landmark in Spain

Medal in Commemoration of  Compania General De Tabacos De Filipinas
Centenary 1881-1981
TABACALERA advertisement in the 1950s 



Today, the company has reverted back to its old name, TABACALERA. Their tradition is more than a name. Each cigar they make is work of art, and a product of impeccable quality. Their cigar undergo strict quality control measure to ensure consistency in appearance, fermentation, draw, smell,  and taste. Their goal remains to deliver the best smoking experience you will ever have.


For more information about TABACALERA visit : www.tacalerainc.com



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