31 December, 1882


The government tobacco monopoly ceased, when the tobacco cultivation and trade were handed over to private enterprise. At that date there were five Government Cigar and Cigarette Factories, viz. Malabon, Arroceros, Meisig, El Fortin, and Cavite, giving employment to about 20,000 operatives.

A small tax on the cigar and tobacco-leaf trade, officially announced in August 1883, had the beneficial effect of causing the closure of some of the very small manufactories, and reduced the probability of a large over-supply of an almost worthless article.

As to the relative quality of Philippine tobacco, there are very divided opinions. Decidedly the best Manila cigars cannot compare with those made from the famous leaf of the Vuelta de Abajo (Cuba), and in the European markets they have very justly failed to meet with the same favorable reception as the Cuban cigars generally.

(Ref: The Philippine Islands, pages 347-349, John Foreman, New York: C. Scribner’s sons, 1899; Photo from thepinoywarrior.com/2011/11/taste-of-philippine-cigars.html)

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