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Culture agencies block ‘Intramuros,’ ‘Rizal,’ as liquor labels

History and “hic!”-tory can’t mix this way.

The Intramuros Administration (IA) and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) expressed their opposition to a liquor company’s plan to use “Intramuros” and other names of historic figures and places in the country as brands for alcoholic beverages.

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In a statement on Friday, NCCA Chair Felipe de Leon Jr. said the commission was strongly against the trademark application of Destileria Limtuaco Inc. (DLI) to make “Intramuros” one of its liquor brands. De Leon noted that this particular application had already been approved by the Intellectual Property Office.

IA, an attached agency of the Department of Tourism in charge of the restoration, development and promotion of the Walled City in Manila, shared the same view, noting that Destileria has pending trademark applications for the names “Rizal,” “Bonifacio,” and “Gomburza” (patriots during the Spanish colonial rule) and “Tacloban,” the Visayan city that made international headlines last year after being devastated by Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”

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“Historic persons, national heroes and heritage sites are given the highest level of recognition and dignity by the state and imbued with public interest,” De Leon stressed.

The “misappropriation” of these names for commercial enterprises and products not only distracts from the achievements of historic persons and importance of heritage sites, he said, but also sends out the message that their names can be “desacralized, privately owned and used to enrich private interests.”

“No person or corporation should or ought to have any rights of ownership or other such congruent rights over them,” the NCCA chair said.

He added that the commission was calling the attention of concerned government agencies and the general public on this issue.

Reached on the phone, DLI president Olive Limpe Aw agreed to take questions from the Inquirer through email. She has yet to send a reply at press time.

Established in the 1850s, Destileria Limtuaco Inc. is a Filipino-owned company based in Quezon City. The oldest of its kind in Southeast Asia, it became known for its medicinal wines like Sioktong.

In 2004, the company also drew flak mainly from women’s groups for its ad tagline “Nakatikim ka na ba ng Kinse-Anyos? (Have you tasted a 15-year-old?),” as critics noted the sexual innuendo.

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TAGS: Alcoholic Beverages, IA, Intramuros, Intramuros Administration, liquor, Liquor Labels, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, NCCA, Rizal
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