Originally posted 03 October 2012
I have been unable to find much information about the evolution of rum in the Philippines – it was made there for at least a hundred years by small distllers who left no trace save in court records when they were caught evading taxes. The industry giant is now Tanduay Distillers, which was established in 1854 and has become so dominant that the company name is almost the synonym for rum in that country. In the 1950’s a prohibitionist group took advantage of this when some poetic genius among their membership wrote the words “TANDUAY RUM” vertically and constructed a sentence in the Filipino language Tagalog horizontally. Roughly translated, the sentence reads “To drink this is to invite into your family sickness, illness, leprosy, strife, divorce, death and the destruction of your soul.” As a non-Tagalog speaker I can’t vouch for the artfulness of the phrasing, but I am impressed that somebody did it at all.Whether it convinced any Filipino rum drinkers to stop imibing has not been recorded..