Alhambra Manila Cigar


When my kid was born, a friend of mine asked me if I have a cigar to celebrate the occasion. So I ended up learning late how to smoke.

I could only remember Kultura or the local souvenir section of SM having cigars. So I picked the cheaper one by Tabacalera. In short, I found some ways to justify my smoking habit until hyperacidity kicked in.

While indulging myself on this endeavor, the Alhambra brand is always available.

Alhambra from Manila. Such brand is available 40 years back in Sorsogon.

Alhambra from Manila. Such brand is available 40 years back in Sorsogon. Image is via Pinoy Kollektor Collection.

This reminded me that during my kiddie days, Alhambra cigarillos were available in Shopping Center (where SM SaveMore is presently located). One friend would always quip that his grandmother doesn’t smoke the likes of Marlboro or Philip, but rather the unfiltered Alhambra cigar. I am sure there were bigger sizes than cigarillos available in plasa. But I can’t remember if stores were selling them at all.

My grandmas from Batangas could actually flip the cigarillo with their tounge having the lighted end inside their mouth. It was an exercise that never failed to amaze me when I was with them. Though I have no idea if it was Alhambra. This was in the early 80s.

Late in my elementary years, I can’t remember anyone still selling the cigarillos. It just disappeared. I guess old folks were not able to influence the younger generation. The strong aroma from the lighted cigar can be too much even with chain smokers.  The smoking generation is changing as well – from the real cigarettes to e-cigar.

While composing this article, I could still picture old folks (mostly women) smoking the cigarillos in the old Shopping Center.

Nowadays, if one smoke a cigar, it can mean your old or you are old enough that you can afford to burn (almost literally) that money.

Note: The author doesn’t encourage smoking – it definitely kills!

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