Monday, November 3, 2008

Fine Philippine Premium Cigars

The world knows about Cuban cigars but outside of the cigar connoisseur circles, hardly anyone knows that the Philippines produces equally fine premium cigars. One big advantage, at least for cigar lovers living in the United States, is that you can legally buy Philippine cigars online!

La Flor de la Isabela Cigars

Excellence in handmade cigars since 1881. Each cigar is painstakingly aged & every brand is expertly blended by our Master Blender to achieve the best cigar quality and consistency.
Don Juan Urquijo Rated as excellent (scale: 88) by Cigar Aficionado Magazine and described as "An easygoing cigar that will please those who like light cigars" by Smoke Magazine. Don Juan Urquijo is La Flor de La Isabela's newest brand and most premium blend. Filler from the Dominican Republic and Brazil, combined with a Philippine binder and Connecticut wrapper create a medium-mild aroma with a smooth creamy, and sweet taste. This brand has been noted by some connoisseurs as "the perfect morning cigar."
Tabacalera Tabacalera is the Philippines' oldest and most popular brand. This is the flagship brand of La Flor de La Isabela. Tabacalera is credited as the brand that made Philippine cigars world-famous, and represents close to three hundred years of cigar production. Tabacalera is noted for its mild, sweet, and very slightly spicy taste that has for so many years defined the "Manila Cigar."
1881 The 1881 blend was created in 1981 in celebration of La Flor de La Isabela's centennial. Today, the "Traditional" vitola or cigar size, is the Philippines' top-selling cigar; and incidentally, the overwhelming favorite among the employees of La Flor de La Isabela. This cigar combines some of the finest Philippine filler with some Brazilian tobacco for added robustness. This is a light and yet a spicy cigar that is very actively growing in popularity.
Alhambra The Alhambra blend is the mildest among the La Flor de La Isabela line of premium quality cigars. It is noted for its light, sweet, and clean taste. Alhambra has its roots as a Swiss company founded in Manila's port area in 1898. For many years the Alhambra brand provided Tabacalera with a close but friendly competition. The Alhambra name continues to enjoy an avid following in Switzerland and Germany.
Humidors & Narra Boxes: Classy Gift Idea Cigars in gift humidor and narra boxes make elegant gifts. They look so gorgeous, even non-smokers will love them.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Home-grown Philippine Bands: Still Making Waves

It was in the 1990's when home-grown bands emerged in the forefront of the Philippine music scene, gaining unprecedented support from Filipino music afficionados. Groups such as Eraserheads, Rivermaya, Wolfgang, Fatal Posporos, Keltscross, Color it Red, Sugar Hiccup, and Put3ska to name a few have found steady and strong following among the locals. This is evidenced by the flourishing number of venues for live gigs such as Club Dredd and Mayric’s. The new crop of music fans have shaken the traditional mindset of the older generations whose taste in music favored bands from other countries.

Perhaps the Philippine music band has finally gained its due respect and appreciation. Their music evokes real and contemporary Filipino experience that makes it easy to embrace.

For a time the music scene was engulfed by international artists at the turn of the millennium. The advent of foreign boy bands with clear skins and shrill melodies and girl groups with matching sexually provocative outfits and coordinated names have reigned over music channels, radio airwaves, record stores, and, tragically the Filipino youths' imagination. Soon the boy bands broke up, the girl bands grew older and fatter, and the fad faced a natural demise as the Filipino listeners' taste evolved, craving for real music closer to their reality. Timely as well, were musicians who have stepped beyond the ordinary and became daring in their creativity.

By 2003, sales of music CD made by local artists have outsold those of foreign artists by 2-to-1. For the first time, local music talents and artists have wrestled the Filipino music fans attention from the allure of foreign music. The success of Filipino music is also evidenced by the flood of the airwaves, their adoptation into soundtracks for movies, computer games, TV series, commercials and sporting events. Local artists and their music are continuously featured in music channels here and abroad. Many have won prestigious international music awards and competitions. Many have been featured in international magazines as well. Truly, Filipino Music is accepted and widely supported at home and across the oceans.

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