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Information about Tobacco Monopoly Monument

19 Google reviews
Tourist Attraction
Tobacco Monopoly Monument, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Philippines
Distance from center
143 m
High season
Average rating
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Tobacco Monopoly Monument

Tobacco Monopoly Monument

The Tobacco Monopoly Monument in Ilocos Norte is a historical landmark commemorating an important era in Philippine history. It is a brick obelisk in Aurora Park in Laoag City, which stands as a testament to the significant role tobacco played during the Spanish colonial period when the government monopolized the cultivation and sale of tobacco. It commemorates the abolition of the tobacco monopoly, which forced farmers into abusive labor. An inscription on the obelisk reads, “erected by the people as an expression of joy” over the termination of the monopoly. 

The colonizing Spaniards found that the land and climate of Ilocos is very suitable for growing tobacco. And so, by royal decree of King Carlos III in February 1780, the Spanish government established the monopoly of the tobacco industry in Ilocos and the northern region. It was to position the Philippines as a leading tobacco producer in the world.

The monopoly resulted in great revenue but fueled corruption by the authorities against the Filipino farmers. They forced the townsfolk to plant no other crop but tobacco and sell only to the Spanish government. All the products were strictly controlled in warehouses like the Tabacalera building in Laoag. The building still stands to this day as Museo Ilocos Norte.

The monopoly was abolished a hundred years later by King Alfonso XII, who was eventually bestowed the name the Peacemaker. In gratitude, the people of Ilocos constructed the monument in November 1882.

Monuments like these are usually important to local culture and might be protected by local authorities as heritage sites or landmarks. They also act as educational tools and reminders of the region's historical struggles and achievements.

How to get there

You can get to the Tobacco Monopoly Monument in several ways. If you're coming from Manila, you can take a bus to Laoag City. You can find several bus companies in Manila that operate daily trips to Ilocos Norte. When you reach Laoag City, you can hire a taxi to go to the Tobacco Monopoly Monument. You can also take a bus or jeepney from Laoag. The monument is in Aurora Park, directly opposite the Marcos Hall of Justice in Laoag City.

If you're coming from Vigan, you can also take a bus or jeepney going to Laoag City. 

Another option is to book Ilocos tours or Laoag tours, so you can visit the Tobacco Monopoly Monument hassle-free since tours already come with a tour guide and transportation. Additionally, you can visit other Ilocos tourist attractions and Laoag tourist spots.

Best time to visit

The ideal time to visit the Tobacco Monopoly Monument in Ilocos is during the dry season, from November to April. During these months, the weather is more pleasant, making it ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities. 

Avoid the months of July to October, as this is usually a rainy period for Laoag. November to February are usually the dry but cool months and the best time to visit the monument and the rest of the city. 
You can still enjoy the monument and park any time from March to June but wear light clothing and bring drinking water as these are usually the hottest months of the year. 


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