Perhaps the most important company in the Philippines at the end of the nineteenth century and until mid-twentieth century and certainly the main tobacco company in the country, the Compañía General de Tabacos de Filipinas, more popularly known as Tabacalera, is still a stranger to many of us.
However, having existed for more than a century, the history of Tabacalera plays a significant role in the economic history of the Philippines and in Philippine-Spanish relations.
For the very first time, the Embassy of Spain in the Philippines, in partnership with the Ayala Museum, and with the sponsorship of S & R presents Beyond Tobacco: Tabacalera – A bridge between the Philippines and Spain, a glimpse to the past through the history of Spain´s very first multinational company based in the Philippines in 1882. Curated by Prof. Martín Rodrigo, historian from the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain, the exhibit will be open to the public from the April 21 until July 6 at the Ayala Museum in Makati City.
The exhibit retraces the history of the company through a selection of images, maps, books, art objects and antiques that have been loaned by Spanish and Philippine institutions as well as private collectors. It showcases the luxury of its offices in Manila and Barcelona, the life in its haciendas in Ilocos, Tarlac and Negros; the variety of its businesses (tobacco, sugar, alcohol, maritime transport, etc.) and its cultural legacy; over a hundred years of history of a company that was able to survive deep historical, political and social changes both in the Philippines and Spain.