The Philippines has been producing cigar for quite some time and is one of the largest producing in Asia.Â The introduction of tobacco in the Philippines is credited to Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer who brought tobacco seeds from Cuba to Spanish missionaries staying in the Philippines.Â The cultivation of these seeds paved the way for the birth of what would be a successful cigar industry.
The Spaniards chose to cultivate these seeds in the Philippine soil which was a colony during that time.Â Thus it came to pass that Spaniards propagated the commercialization of tobacco production while spreading the Christian faith.Â The tobacco had a ready market in Spain and other countries and was so much in demand that Filipinos had to suffer through forced production of tobacco to meet the high demand.Â Filipino tobacco farmers eventually found the chance to produce tobacco voluntarily and under better conditions.
There are at least 27 tobacco-producing provinces at present offering four types of tobacco including the native variant, Virginia, Turkish, and burley.Â It is the Virginia tobacco which is the most prevalent in the country.Â Most are grown in the province of Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, Abra, and La Union.
Some of the Philippine cigar brands include the Alhambra, Calixto Lopez, Flor de Filipinas, Fighting Cock, Independencia 1898, La Tabacalera, and 1881, among others.Â La Flor de la Isabela and Tabaquena de Filipinas were among the more reliable cigar producers in the Philippines.Â A cheap variant was made available through local cigars manually done by individual tobacco farmers. Although they do not offer much in looks, they still offer good taste and flavor.