How La Campana became Mighty Corp

It was 70 years ago when Chinese migrant Wong Chu King and his partners Ong Lowa, Baa Dy, and Ong Pay set up La Campana Fabrica de Tabacos Inc., the country’s oldest tobacco manufacturing company.

La Campana, which had it first factory in Tayabas St. Manila, specialized in Philippine-style cigars known as cortos and regaliz. These two brands were made from a blend of dark, air-cured Philippine tobaccos sourced from Cagayan and Isabela provinces in Northern Philippines. A second factory was built in 1948 in Pasong Tamo, Makati, and in 1951, the company acquired the present site of its head office.

In 1963, Wong Chu King founded the Tobacco Industries of the Philippines (TIP) in a nine-hectare property in Baranggay Tikay, Malolos, Bulacan. In 1964, the company produced American blended cigarettes using the brand names Duke, Windsor, and Tricycle.

The 1965-1982 proved to be difficult years for the company but through the perseverance and ingenuity of its founder, Wong Chu King, it was able to reestablish itself and in 1985, Mighty Corp. was set up to produce American-blended Virginia cigarettes. La Campana, meanwhile, cornered the native cigarettes industry by buying in 1993 the trademarks from Alhambra Industries, its main competitor that produced La Dicha, Rosalina, and Malaya.

In 2001, the company entered into a cigarette-manufacturing agreement with Sterling Tobacco to produce the latter’s brands.

Mighty Corp. then established its own filter rod production in 2001, built up its American blended filtered cigarettes, acquired its first Protos machine to boost production in 2003, modernized and upgraded its entire Lamina and Stem lines in 2005; and purchases its first GD packing machine in 2007.

Today, Mighty Corp. boasts of a fully integrated production and packing facility in Malolos, Bulacan.

Wong Chu King remained active in the management and day-to-day operations of Mighty Corp. until he passed away in August 1987, but the company remained in able hands. Mighty is now chaired by his widow, Nelia Wongchuking (the children sit in the board), while the firm is run by Edilberto Adan, president and chief executive officer, and retired Judge Oscar Barrientos who sits as executive vice president.

Congratulations and here is to many more decades and generations of business success.

Mighty Corp aimed for expansion of their tobacco products

For the past 70 years, Filipino-owned tobacco company Mighty Corp vowed for expanding their product line.

 

Established in 1945, La Campana Fabrica de Tabacos, Inc. founded by Wong Chu King and started out with a small cigarette factory in Manila producing native cigarettes known as “matamis.” Then, the second factory was built in Pasong Tamo, Makati in 1948.

 

In 1963, the company constructed which became a facility for tobacco threshing and redrying in Malolos, Bulacan. 22 years later, it was renamed Mighty Corp. in 1985 and bought the trademarks of Alhambra Industries in 1993.

 

During the 2000s, Mighty’s expansion continued all throughout the decade as it purchased and upgraded its production and packing facilities.

 

The re-launching of the company’s oldest and flagship brands such as La Campana Ringing Bell and Alhambra cigarettes, known as “Matamis” and “Regaliz” blend lines, re-engineered and reblended to cater to today’s consumers, also highlighted MC’s remarkable years in business.

 

Last year, they launched two types in the premium category: King and Chelsea. And these two brands are now categorized in the highest tax bracket for cigarettes.

 

 

For the past 70 years, Filipino-owned tobacco company Mighty Corp vowed for expanding their product line.

 

Established in 1945, La Campana Fabrica de Tabacos, Inc. founded by Wong Chu King and started out with a small cigarette factory in Manila producing native cigarettes known as “matamis.” Then, the second factory was built in Pasong Tamo, Makati in 1948.

 

In 1963, the company constructed which became a facility for tobacco threshing and redrying in Malolos, Bulacan. 22 years later, it was renamed Mighty Corp. in 1985 and bought the trademarks of Alhambra Industries in 1993.

 

During the 2000s, Mighty’s expansion continued all throughout the decade as it purchased and upgraded its production and packing facilities.

 

The re-launching of the company’s oldest and flagship brands such as La Campana Ringing Bell and Alhambra cigarettes, known as “Matamis” and “Regaliz” blend lines, re-engineered and reblended to cater to today’s consumers, also highlighted MC’s remarkable years in business.

 

Last year, they launched two types in the premium category: King and Chelsea. And these two brands are now categorized in the highest tax bracket for cigarettes.

 

Local tobacco firm Mighty Corp on their advocacies

Filipino-owned tobacco company Mighty Corp has been supportive of the local tobacco industry. As the company growing with their premium cigarettes and continuing their advocacy for the Filipino people, Mighty also focused on the tobacco leaves that they provide livelihood programs, especially to those farmers from the North.

In a statement made by Mighty Corp., the company’s share of the domestic market increased from 5 percent in 2012 to 20 percent in 2013.

“We have earned our fair share of the market by making quality but affordable cigarettes that were smartly packaged, creatively and ingenuously sold to the mass market. That is the secret of our success in breaking the cigarette monopoly in this country and we’re mighty proud of our modest success coming from a homegrown and Filipino-owned cigarette company.” according to Mighty Corp., spokesperson.

They gave farmers fair share on what they earned in producing tobacco leaves for Mighty. The company has purchased a larger share of the low-grade tobacco leaves at good prices.

Did you know that aside from the tobacco farmers who were benefiting from Mighty’s growth, the country helped them thru paying taxes from the sale of cigarettes? With bigger contribution, Mighty was also expanding its corporate social responsibility projects to help tobacco cooperatives increase their production.

The company does have a long-term plan to further improve its market share and help hundreds of thousands of tobacco leaf growers’ workers. And despite of the fact that negative issues against the company, they continued to stay positive in sharing their blessings and gave hope to the needy.

History of Mighty Corp: From La Campana and beyond

It was 70 years ago when Chinese migrant Wong Chu King and his partners Ong Lowa, Baa Dy, and Ong Pay set up La Campana Fabrica de Tabacos Inc., the country’s oldest tobacco manufacturing company.

La Campana, which had it first factory in Tayabas St. Manila, specialized in Philippine-style cigars known as cortos and regaliz. These two brands were made from a blend of dark, air-cured Philippine tobaccos sourced from Cagayan and Isabela provinces in Northern Philippines. A second factory was built in 1948 in Pasong Tamo, Makati, and in 1951, the company acquired the present site of its head office.

In 1963, Wong Chu King founded the Tobacco Industries of the Philippines (TIP) in a nine-hectare property in Baranggay Tikay, Malolos, Bulacan. In 1964, the company produced American blended cigarettes using the brand names Duke, Windsor, and Tricycle.

The 1965-1982 proved to be difficult years for the company but through the perseverance and ingenuity of its founder, Wong Chu King, it was able to reestablish itself and in 1985, Mighty Corp. was set up to produce American-blended Virginia cigarettes. La Campana, meanwhile, cornered the native cigarettes industry by buying in 1993 the trademarks from Alhambra Industries, its main competitor that produced La Dicha, Rosalina, and Malaya.

In 2001, the company entered into a cigarette-manufacturing agreement with Sterling Tobacco to produce the latter’s brands.

Mighty Corp. then established its own filter rod production in 2001, built up its American blended filtered cigarettes, acquired its first Protos machine to boost production in 2003, modernized and upgraded its entire Lamina and Stem lines in 2005; and purchases its first GD packing machine in 2007.

Today, Mighty Corp. boasts of a fully integrated production and packing facility in Malolos, Bulacan.

Wong Chu King remained active in the management and day-to-day operations of Mighty Corp. until he passed away in August 1987, but the company remained in able hands. Mighty is now chaired by his widow, Nelia Wongchuking (the children sit in the board), while the firm is run by Edilberto Adan, president and chief executive officer, and retired Judge Oscar Barrientos who sits as executive vice president.

Congratulations and here is to many more decades and generations of business success.

Mighty Corp on seven decade of good tobacco products

When local cigarette maker La Campana, which later became Mighty Corp., now turning 70 this 20th day of the month and remarkably going strong, responded to allegations regarding its business practices, it did not only answer its rivals’ odious and malicious allegations point-by-point, but also rightfully played the nationalist card.

Why not? It’s the only Filipino-owned cigarette company in the Philippines with no foreign partners, no expensive expat workers in its factories and offices, and pride itself as the firm with no outward remittances of income to pay royalties, existing much longer than most of the top local and multinational tobacco firms operating in the country.

As Irving Berlin once said, “A Filipino who truly possesses a nationalist bent follows the country’s laws and performs his/her duties and responsibilities as a decent citizen, like paying the correct taxes.”

It is also truly a Filipino boon if the company plays fair, creates jobs and generates activities that yield multiplier effects on the economy, and gives the government its rightful due.

Its giant multinational rivals often asked: Is Mighty not an illicit trader or tax evader?

Well, the burden of proof is on those who accused and spite it, not the other way around. To date, none of its detractors has filed a case against Mighty. Neither has the government charged or imposed a fine on it.

Indeed, Mighty’s official multibillion-peso tax records are verifiable with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs.

Its roots

Mighty traces its beginning to La Campana Fabrica de Tabacos Inc., which was established by Wong Chu King and his partners Ong Lowa, Baa Dy and Ong Pay, as World War II approached to an end in 1945.

Undeterred by the devastation of war, they built their first factory that year on Tayabas Street, Manila, and produced native cigarettes. La Campana then specialized in Philippine-style cigars, known as matamis and regaliz. These two brands were made from a blend of dark, air-cured Philippine tobaccos sourced from Cagayan and Isabela provinces in Northern Philippines.

In 1948 they established their second factory in Pasong Tamo, Makati. Acquisition began on 1951 of the present site of the company head office at 39 Sultana Street, Makati, Rizal, which is now 9110 Sultana Street, Olympia, Makati City.

In 1963 Wong Chu King founded the Tobacco Industries of the Philippines and, in 1995, transferred its manufacturing operation in a 9-hectare property in Baranggay Tikay, Malolos, Bulacan, as the high “labor-cost” in Makati City continued to increase.

The years 1965 to 1982 were, however, difficult for the company but, through the perseverance and ingenuity of Wong Chu King, it was able to reestablish its niche. In 1985 Mighty was set up to produce low-priced, aromatic and smooth-blend brands. La Campana, meanwhile, expanded and cornered the native tobacco industry by buying the trademarks from Alhambra Industries, its main competitor that produced La Dicha, Rosalina and Malaya.

Between 2001 and 2007, the company expanded with the creation of its own filter-rod production; the building of its American blended filtered cigarettes; the acquisition of its first Protos machine to boost production; the modernization and upgrading of its entire Lamina and Stem lines; the purchase of its first modern GD packing machine that turn the firm into a fully integrated production facility in its Bulacan complex; and the first company that set up closed-circuit television cameras to closely monitor its operations in compliance with the Bureau of Internal Revenue requirements.

Management

WongChuKing remained active in the management and day-to-day operations of the company until his death in August 1987. The board of trustees is now headed by his widow, Nelia D. Wongchuking, a philanthropist, who sits as chairman of the board, together with their children Helen Wongchuking-Chua, Marietta Wongchuking-Co Chien, Alexander D. Wongchuking. Edilberto Adan, a retired lieutenant general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, is the president, while retired regional trial court Judge Oscar P. Barrientos sits as the executive vice president.

Economy of scales

Mighty produces 12 brands, competing in both high- and low-end variants against its multinational and monopolist rivals.

If its rivals often wondered how it can sell its products cheaply, it’s because of its excellent practice in the economy of scales, which means, among other microeconomic variables, the reduction in the per-unit cost of production as the volume of production increases.

Corporate social responsibility

Mighty maintains its own CSR program anchored on charity and cultural work mainly through the Wong Chu King Foundation that is managed by the children, their relatives and volunteers. Lately, it granted 200 scholarships to the country’s deserving dependents and beneficiaries of the tobacco growers.

The foundation works closely with religious, educational and non-governmental organizations, and has donated immensely to restore historical churches and those that were damaged by the recent typhoons.

In essence, Mighty proudly represents itself as a nationalist beacon of hope for others competing in modern business environment largely dominated by monopolists and other foreign economic interests.

Know about Mighty Corp’s successful story

In this particular company, the most senior employee happened to have an impressive service record of 58 years, which would definitely be uncommon in this country where people would rather look for jobs abroad as OFWs.

The firm is none other than Mighty Corp., which claims to be the country’s oldest tobacco manufacturer, celebrating its 70th anniversary this month, based on its press release.

 

One of the Wongchuking brothers who now manage the company said the most senior employee in the company started when he was in his pre-teens at a time when child labor was not yet prohibited by law. It was then normal to see whole families employed in its factories.

 

Mighty also claims to be the largest independent family-owned business in the country, tracing its roots to the old La Campana Fabrica de Tabacos, founded in 1945 by the Wongchuking family patriarch, Wong Chu King.

 

From what I gathered, he was a Chinese immigrant who worked as a salesman in a cigarette company making local brands before he started La Campana. His first factory producing native cigarettes and cigars known as Cortos and Regaliz was located on Tayabas street in Manila. In a span of three years, the old man Wong Chu King built a second factory in Pasong Tamo, Makati, which he later expanded to another site that became the present day location of its head office on Sultana street in Makati.

 

Wong Chu King founded the Tobacco Industries of the Philippines (TIP) several years later in a 9-hectare property in Malolos, Bulacan to manufacture American blended cigarettes using the brand names Duke, Windsor and Tricycle.

 

The founder remained active in the management of the cigarette company until he passed away in August 1987. Its board is now headed by his widow, Nelia D. Wongchuking, now about 90 years old, a pure Filipina whom the old man Wong Chu King met in Batangas when he was still a traveling salesman of a cigarette company.

 

Anyway, the expansion of the company in the 1960s to 1980s was perhaps aided by the continuous growth of the old company La Campana, which at that time was able to corner the native cigarettes market, acquiring the brands and the trademarks from another familiar company called Alhambra, maker of La Dicha, Rosalina and Malaya brands of native cigarettes.

 

In 1985, it was it finally set to produce American blended Virginia cigarettes, but the diversification was somewhat stymied by the rising cost of labor in Metro Manila. This prompted the company to shift all its manufacturing operations to the Malolos factory.

 

In 2001, the company entered into a manufacturing agreement with Sterling Tobacco to produce the latter’s brands, which provided the impetus for its shift to American blended cigarettes with the establishment of its own filter rod production, the acquisition of its first modern machinery to boost production, including some heavy duty packing machines.

 

About eight years ago the company completed its fully integrated production and packing facility in Malolos.

 

Then and only then, after undertaking a modernization program, was the company ready

 

Mighty Corp on initiatives made for seven decades

 

In this particular company, the most senior employee happened to have an impressive service record of 58 years, which would definitely be uncommon in this country where people would rather look for jobs abroad as OFWs.

The firm is none other than Mighty Corp., which claims to be the country’s oldest tobacco manufacturer, celebrating its 70th anniversary this month, based on its press release.

 

One of the Wongchuking brothers who now manage the company said the most senior employee in the company started when he was in his pre-teens at a time when child labor was not yet prohibited by law. It was then normal to see whole families employed in its factories.

 

Mighty also claims to be the largest independent family-owned business in the country, tracing its roots to the old La Campana Fabrica de Tabacos, founded in 1945 by the Wongchuking family patriarch, Wong Chu King.

 

From what I gathered, he was a Chinese immigrant who worked as a salesman in a cigarette company making local brands before he started La Campana. His first factory producing native cigarettes and cigars known as Cortos and Regaliz was located on Tayabas street in Manila. In a span of three years, the old man Wong Chu King built a second factory in Pasong Tamo, Makati, which he later expanded to another site that became the present day location of its head office on Sultana street in Makati.

 

Wong Chu King founded the Tobacco Industries of the Philippines (TIP) several years later in a 9-hectare property in Malolos, Bulacan to manufacture American blended cigarettes using the brand names Duke, Windsor and Tricycle.

 

The founder remained active in the management of the cigarette company until he passed away in August 1987. Its board is now headed by his widow, Nelia D. Wongchuking, now about 90 years old, a pure Filipina whom the old man Wong Chu King met in Batangas when he was still a traveling salesman of a cigarette company.

 

Anyway, the expansion of the company in the 1960s to 1980s was perhaps aided by the continuous growth of the old company La Campana, which at that time was able to corner the native cigarettes market, acquiring the brands and the trademarks from another familiar company called Alhambra, maker of La Dicha, Rosalina and Malaya brands of native cigarettes.

 

In 1985, it was it finally set to produce American blended Virginia cigarettes, but the diversification was somewhat stymied by the rising cost of labor in Metro Manila. This prompted the company to shift all its manufacturing operations to the Malolos factory.

 

In 2001, the company entered into a manufacturing agreement with Sterling Tobacco to produce the latter’s brands, which provided the impetus for its shift to American blended cigarettes with the establishment of its own filter rod production, the acquisition of its first modern machinery to boost production, including some heavy duty packing machines.

 

About eight years ago the company completed its fully integrated production and packing facility in Malolos.

 

Then and only then, after undertaking a modernization program, was the company ready

 

The evolution of Mighty Corp through the years

When local cigarette maker La Campana, which later became Mighty Corp., now turning 70 this 20th day of the month and remarkably going strong, responded to allegations regarding its business practices, it did not only answer its rivals’ odious and malicious allegations point-by-point, but also rightfully played the nationalist card.

Why not? It’s the only Filipino-owned cigarette company in the Philippines with no foreign partners, no expensive expat workers in its factories and offices, and pride itself as the firm with no outward remittances of income to pay royalties, existing much longer than most of the top local and multinational tobacco firms operating in the country.

As Irving Berlin once said, “A Filipino who truly possesses a nationalist bent follows the country’s laws and performs his/her duties and responsibilities as a decent citizen, like paying the correct taxes.”

It is also truly a Filipino boon if the company plays fair, creates jobs and generates activities that yield multiplier effects on the economy, and gives the government its rightful due.

Its giant multinational rivals often asked: Is Mighty not an illicit trader or tax evader?

Well, the burden of proof is on those who accused and spite it, not the other way around. To date, none of its detractors has filed a case against Mighty. Neither has the government charged or imposed a fine on it.

Indeed, Mighty’s official multibillion-peso tax records are verifiable with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs.

Its roots

Mighty traces its beginning to La Campana Fabrica de Tabacos Inc., which was established by Wong Chu King and his partners Ong Lowa, Baa Dy and Ong Pay, as World War II approached to an end in 1945.

Undeterred by the devastation of war, they built their first factory that year on Tayabas Street, Manila, and produced native cigarettes. La Campana then specialized in Philippine-style cigars, known as matamis and regaliz. These two brands were made from a blend of dark, air-cured Philippine tobaccos sourced from Cagayan and Isabela provinces in Northern Philippines.

In 1948 they established their second factory in Pasong Tamo, Makati. Acquisition began on 1951 of the present site of the company head office at 39 Sultana Street, Makati, Rizal, which is now 9110 Sultana Street, Olympia, Makati City.

In 1963 Wong Chu King founded the Tobacco Industries of the Philippines and, in 1995, transferred its manufacturing operation in a 9-hectare property in Baranggay Tikay, Malolos, Bulacan, as the high “labor-cost” in Makati City continued to increase.

The years 1965 to 1982 were, however, difficult for the company but, through the perseverance and ingenuity of Wong Chu King, it was able to reestablish its niche. In 1985 Mighty was set up to produce low-priced, aromatic and smooth-blend brands. La Campana, meanwhile, expanded and cornered the native tobacco industry by buying the trademarks from Alhambra Industries, its main competitor that produced La Dicha, Rosalina and Malaya.

Between 2001 and 2007, the company expanded with the creation of its own filter-rod production; the building of its American blended filtered cigarettes; the acquisition of its first Protos machine to boost production; the modernization and upgrading of its entire Lamina and Stem lines; the purchase of its first modern GD packing machine that turn the firm into a fully integrated production facility in its Bulacan complex; and the first company that set up closed-circuit television cameras to closely monitor its operations in compliance with the Bureau of Internal Revenue requirements.

Management

WongChuKing remained active in the management and day-to-day operations of the company until his death in August 1987. The board of trustees is now headed by his widow, Nelia D. Wongchuking, a philanthropist, who sits as chairman of the board, together with their children Helen Wongchuking-Chua, Marietta Wongchuking-Co Chien, Alexander D. Wongchuking. Edilberto Adan, a retired lieutenant general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, is the president, while retired regional trial court Judge Oscar P. Barrientos sits as the executive vice president.

Economy of scales

Mighty produces 12 brands, competing in both high- and low-end variants against its multinational and monopolist rivals.

If its rivals often wondered how it can sell its products cheaply, it’s because of its excellent practice in the economy of scales, which means, among other microeconomic variables, the reduction in the per-unit cost of production as the volume of production increases.

Corporate social responsibility

Mighty maintains its own CSR program anchored on charity and cultural work mainly through the Wong Chu King Foundation that is managed by the children, their relatives and volunteers. Lately, it granted 200 scholarships to the country’s deserving dependents and beneficiaries of the tobacco growers.

The foundation works closely with religious, educational and non-governmental organizations, and has donated immensely to restore historical churches and those that were damaged by the recent typhoons.

In essence, Mighty proudly represents itself as a nationalist beacon of hope for others competing in modern business environment largely dominated by monopolists and other foreign economic interests.

Contribution of Mighty Corp in PH tobacco industry

It was 70 years ago when Chinese migrant Wong Chu King and his partners Ong Lowa, Baa Dy, and Ong Pay set up La Campana Fabrica de Tabacos Inc., the country’s oldest tobacco manufacturing company.

La Campana, which had it first factory in Tayabas St. Manila, specialized in Philippine-style cigars known as cortos and regaliz. These two brands were made from a blend of dark, air-cured Philippine tobaccos sourced from Cagayan and Isabela provinces in Northern Philippines. A second factory was built in 1948 in Pasong Tamo, Makati, and in 1951, the company acquired the present site of its head office.

In 1963, Wong Chu King founded the Tobacco Industries of the Philippines (TIP) in a nine-hectare property in Baranggay Tikay, Malolos, Bulacan. In 1964, the company produced American blended cigarettes using the brand names Duke, Windsor, and Tricycle.

The 1965-1982 proved to be difficult years for the company but through the perseverance and ingenuity of its founder, Wong Chu King, it was able to reestablish itself and in 1985, Mighty Corp. was set up to produce American-blended Virginia cigarettes. La Campana, meanwhile, cornered the native cigarettes industry by buying in 1993 the trademarks from Alhambra Industries, its main competitor that produced La Dicha, Rosalina, and Malaya.

In 2001, the company entered into a cigarette-manufacturing agreement with Sterling Tobacco to produce the latter’s brands.

Mighty Corp. then established its own filter rod production in 2001, built up its American blended filtered cigarettes, acquired its first Protos machine to boost production in 2003, modernized and upgraded its entire Lamina and Stem lines in 2005; and purchases its first GD packing machine in 2007.

Today, Mighty Corp. boasts of a fully integrated production and packing facility in Malolos, Bulacan.

Wong Chu King remained active in the management and day-to-day operations of Mighty Corp. until he passed away in August 1987, but the company remained in able hands. Mighty is now chaired by his widow, Nelia Wongchuking (the children sit in the board), while the firm is run by Edilberto Adan, president and chief executive officer, and retired Judge Oscar Barrientos who sits as executive vice president.

Congratulations and here is to many more decades and generations of business success.

The evolution of 70 years of Mighty Corp

 

When local cigarette maker La Campana, which later became Mighty Corp., now turning 70 this 20th day of the month and remarkably going strong, responded to allegations regarding its business practices, it did not only answer its rivals’ odious and malicious allegations point-by-point, but also rightfully played the nationalist card.

Why not? It’s the only Filipino-owned cigarette company in the Philippines with no foreign partners, no expensive expat workers in its factories and offices, and pride itself as the firm with no outward remittances of income to pay royalties, existing much longer than most of the top local and multinational tobacco firms operating in the country.

As Irving Berlin once said, “A Filipino who truly possesses a nationalist bent follows the country’s laws and performs his/her duties and responsibilities as a decent citizen, like paying the correct taxes.”

It is also truly a Filipino boon if the company plays fair, creates jobs and generates activities that yield multiplier effects on the economy, and gives the government its rightful due.

Its giant multinational rivals often asked: Is Mighty not an illicit trader or tax evader?

Well, the burden of proof is on those who accused and spite it, not the other way around. To date, none of its detractors has filed a case against Mighty. Neither has the government charged or imposed a fine on it.

Indeed, Mighty’s official multibillion-peso tax records are verifiable with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs.

Its roots

Mighty traces its beginning to La Campana Fabrica de Tabacos Inc., which was established by Wong Chu King and his partners Ong Lowa, Baa Dy and Ong Pay, as World War II approached to an end in 1945.

Undeterred by the devastation of war, they built their first factory that year on Tayabas Street, Manila, and produced native cigarettes. La Campana then specialized in Philippine-style cigars, known as matamis and regaliz. These two brands were made from a blend of dark, air-cured Philippine tobaccos sourced from Cagayan and Isabela provinces in Northern Philippines.

In 1948 they established their second factory in Pasong Tamo, Makati. Acquisition began on 1951 of the present site of the company head office at 39 Sultana Street, Makati, Rizal, which is now 9110 Sultana Street, Olympia, Makati City.

In 1963 Wong Chu King founded the Tobacco Industries of the Philippines and, in 1995, transferred its manufacturing operation in a 9-hectare property in Baranggay Tikay, Malolos, Bulacan, as the high “labor-cost” in Makati City continued to increase.

The years 1965 to 1982 were, however, difficult for the company but, through the perseverance and ingenuity of Wong Chu King, it was able to reestablish its niche. In 1985 Mighty was set up to produce low-priced, aromatic and smooth-blend brands. La Campana, meanwhile, expanded and cornered the native tobacco industry by buying the trademarks from Alhambra Industries, its main competitor that produced La Dicha, Rosalina and Malaya.

Between 2001 and 2007, the company expanded with the creation of its own filter-rod production; the building of its American blended filtered cigarettes; the acquisition of its first Protos machine to boost production; the modernization and upgrading of its entire Lamina and Stem lines; the purchase of its first modern GD packing machine that turn the firm into a fully integrated production facility in its Bulacan complex; and the first company that set up closed-circuit television cameras to closely monitor its operations in compliance with the Bureau of Internal Revenue requirements.

Management

WongChuKing remained active in the management and day-to-day operations of the company until his death in August 1987. The board of trustees is now headed by his widow, Nelia D. Wongchuking, a philanthropist, who sits as chairman of the board, together with their children Helen Wongchuking-Chua, Marietta Wongchuking-Co Chien, Alexander D. Wongchuking. Edilberto Adan, a retired lieutenant general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, is the president, while retired regional trial court Judge Oscar P. Barrientos sits as the executive vice president.

Economy of scales

Mighty produces 12 brands, competing in both high- and low-end variants against its multinational and monopolist rivals.

If its rivals often wondered how it can sell its products cheaply, it’s because of its excellent practice in the economy of scales, which means, among other microeconomic variables, the reduction in the per-unit cost of production as the volume of production increases.

Corporate social responsibility

Mighty maintains its own CSR program anchored on charity and cultural work mainly through the Wong Chu King Foundation that is managed by the children, their relatives and volunteers. Lately, it granted 200 scholarships to the country’s deserving dependents and beneficiaries of the tobacco growers.

The foundation works closely with religious, educational and non-governmental organizations, and has donated immensely to restore historical churches and those that were damaged by the recent typhoons.

In essence, Mighty proudly represents itself as a nationalist beacon of hope for others competing in modern business environment largely dominated by monopolists and other foreign economic interests.