As early as the latter part of the Spanish regime to the early American period, MALABON was already home not only to its bustling “patis” industry but also to the rapidly-developing manufacture of cigar and cigarettes.
The town became the favorite home to several tobacco factories, the largest of which were the La Princesa and the Insular-Yabena factories, whose products were marketed throughout the country.
What appealed to most local collectors of paper ephemera were some of the local cigar and cigarette wrappers or labels because of their very colorful and imaginative designs many of which advertised the products of their respective localities, while others portrayed the good qualities and patriotism of the Filipinos, the beauty and modesty of local belles, and also show-cased some places of interest and tourist destinations in the country.
Thus, according to historian Ambeth Ocampo, since majority of Filipinos are smokers, cigars and cigarettes may be considered part of our history, and that fortunately our country’s culture and heritage are somehow preserved in our cigar and cigarette wrappers. - JORGE DELOS SANTOS