Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Exhibit Opening Was A Blast!

August 26, 2009 at 9:00pm, a group from the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission arrived at my house to get the materials of the "Tribute to Cory Aquino" stamp and photo exhibit. My house is just an 8 minute ride to the mall so in a few minutes, we were all busy setting up and mounting the exhibit materials. By 11:30pm, we were all done.

Exhibit opening day - August 27, 2009, we were adding some finishing touches. The opening program which the Cebu City Government through the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission painstakingly organized was scheduled to start at 5:00pm. I have to take my hat off to CHAC for a job well done in the preparation of the program. They have come up with a 3 day cultural presentation starting from August 27 to 29.

At exactly 5:00pm, the program began. My friend Romualdo "Algen" Generalao was tasked to be the master of ceremony and he sure lived up to everyone's expectation. The Pardo Children's Rondalla treated everyone to a repertoire of songs. The Abellana Dance Troupe presented a variety of cultural dances that awed and captivated the crowd, me included.

Cebu City Councilor Arsenio Pacaña gave his welcome remarks while Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña inspired us with his speech.

Soon after, we went to the second level to formally open the exhibit. Councilor Manuel Legaspi, my colleague in the Cebu Jaycees (JCI Cebu) who is a past president led the ribbon cutting ceremony together with CHAC Commissioner Osman Jumalon. Cebuano historian and CHAC Commissioner Dionisio Sy and yours truly assisted them. Wow! I am glad that everything went well and was more than I expected. It was indeed a blast!

The "Selyo At Kasaysayan 2009... A Tribute to Cory Aquino" would never have been a success without the support of Ayala Center Cebu, Cebu Stamp Club Incorporated members and officers, CHAC, Himlayang Pilipino Plans Inc., STRADCOM, Cebu Star Wars Club, Governor Jurdin Jesus M. Romualdo of the Province of Camiguin, Emie Patalagsa, Atty. Maria Lynna P. Adviento, Ricardo Teves, Edwin Al Cuizon, Richard Beethoven Uy, Edwin Uy, Reina Tugot, Jerald Kervin Uy, Charles Mark Uybengkee, and Eyan Yu.

This exhibit will be in selected schools here in Cebu and will culminate in SM City Cebu in December to coincide with the death anniversary celebration of Dr. Jose Rizal.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Collecting Star Wars Books and Comic Books

Still talking about Star Wars, I collect Star Wars Books and Comics too! I can't help myself buy these items in bookstores here and in eBay.

Although at present I don't have the time to read all of them, just by looking at them transports me to a galaxy far, far away..

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The 2009 Philippine Stamps (2nd Quarter)

Here is the second installment of the 2009 Philippine stamp issues released by Philpost. The second quarter issues include:
  • Augustinian Recollect Sisters (April 28)
  • Architectural Heritage: Art Deco Theatre-Cinemas (May 8)
  • Rodolfo S. Cornejo (May 15)
  • Philippine Birds (May 25)
  • Philippine Birds (June 2)
  • Taguig, The Global City (June 5)
  • Ateneo de Manila University, 150 years (June 14)
  • Philippines-Thailand, 60 Years of Diplomatic Relations (June 14)
  • Baler, 400th Centenary (June 30)

The 3rd quarter issues coming soon...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My First Star Wars Diorama

Aside from collecting stamps, I love to acquire Star Wars items. My passion for Star Wars inspired me to found Cebu Star Wars Club.

I enjoy creating dioramas for my Star Wars figures. Featured here is the first Star Wars diorama I made. I call this "Darth Vader's Dramatic Entrance".

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Making a Tribute to Cory Aquino Using Stamps

It is almost August 27 but I haven't started the main exhibit pages for the "Selyo At Kasaysayan 2009... A Tribute to Cory Aquino" as of last night. Knowing that it is crunch time, I had to wake up early this morning and began working on the 8-page exhibit. Cory and Ninoy stamps, first day covers and references were scattered all over my work table. After creating the layout and the text in my PC, I came out with the printed pages and mounted the stamps and the FDCs. Finally, I am done with it!

All the materials are now set for Thursday's event. The award winning "Las Islas Filipinas", a 64-page philatelic essay on the history of the Philippines has been prepared months before together with the 40-page "Philippine Presidents on Stamps". Other collections include "The Tres de Abril Stamp" (8 pages), "Philippine Heroes in Masonry" (16 pages), "Rizal, Bonifacio and Aguinaldo.. A Tale of Three Heroes" (16 pages) and a lot more.

The "Tribute to Cory Aquino" collection is a short essay on how Cory became the icon of democracy. It includes a page where Ninoy Aquino's poem "I Have Fallen In Love" was featured. He dedicated the poem to Cory and was made into a song by Filipino balladeer Jose Marie Chan.

Monday, August 24, 2009

August Stamp Meetup

Yesterday was Cebu Stamp Club, Incorporated's regular monthly stamp meetup at the 2nd floor of McDonalds Jones, Cebu City. It was a rainy Sunday but I braved the rain just to be with my fellow stamp collectors. We talked about the upcoming Cory Aquino stamp exhibit this Thursday at the Ayala Center Cebu and shared news and ideas on stamp collecting. Of course, stamps exchanged hands in the course of the meeting.

My friend Eyan Yu donated some U.S. stamps for everyone and signed in as a sponsor for the Ayala exhibit. I thank Eyan, Sharee Ann Trapa, Richard Guimbarda, Dinah Potolin, Janice Benolerao and Janus Bariñan for the unselfish dedication and support for club.

Stamp collectors like them make Cebu Stamp Club, Incorporated what it is today.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The 2009 Philippine Stamp Issues (1st Quarter)

You won't believe it but I keep meeting a lot of people who tell me that they continue to collect stamps. This just proves that the stamp collecting hobby here in the Philippines is very much alive in spite of the advancement in technology and communication.

A very useful guide for us who collect Philippine Stamps is Cebu Stamp Club, Incorporated's "Philippine Stamps" e-magazine. This new quarterly publication launched early this year for CSCI members is in pdf format and features the complete issues of Philippine stamps by year and showcases the different stamps and philatelic info taken from the philatelic bulletins released by Philpost.

This year, the Philippine Postal Corporation released beautiful stamps for collectors to enjoy and more are coming. I am posting here the first of a 4-part series featuring the 2009 Philippine stamp issues.

The first quarter issues are as follows:
  • Dr. Manuel S. Enverga Birth Centenary (January 1)
  • Valentine's Day (February 2)
  • Philippine International Arts Festival (February 16)
  • Philippines - South Korea, 60 years of Diplomatic Relations (March 3)
  • Philippine Birds (March 9)
  • Philippine Birds (March 13)
  • Philippine Birds (March 23)
  • Philippine Minerals (March 30)

Watch for the 2nd quarter issues soon..

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ninoy Aquino Day

The whole nation celebrates today the martyrdom of Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino. I am glad that it's a holiday! Lots of things need to be finished for my exhibit, "A Tribute to Cory Aquino" which opens on August 27, 2009 at the 2nd level of Ayala Center Cebu Mall.

Ninoy Aquino Day is held annually to commemmorate the assassination of Ninoy on August 21, 1983. His death marked the beginning of the end of the Marcos dictatorship. It was his martyrdom that led to the ouster of President Ferdinand Marcos and catapulted his wife Cory to become the first woman president.

The death of Cory Aquino on the first day of this month has aroused public interest on the Aquino couple. As people came to know the real Cory, they also found themselves rediscovering Ninoy.

The Ninoy stamps featured above were issued on different dates by the Philippine Postal Corporation. The latest Ninoy stamps were issued on November 27, 2008. The complete Ninoy Aquino stamp issues will be on display in Cebu Stamp Club, Incorporated's "Selyo At Kasaysayan 2009.. A Tribute to Cory Aquino" photo and stamp exhibit.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Araw ng Dilaw

Tomorrow August 21, 2009 is Ninoy Aquino Day. Everyone who loves freedom and democracy is enjoined to wear something yellow. I will surely wear one and light a yellow candle. The organizers call it "Araw ng Dilaw" or Day of Yellow.

Above photo is from Cory Aquino's website. Click here to be taken to the site.

Rat-eating Plant Discovered

I never thought that a plant could eat a rat. It's usually the other way around but lately, a group of scientists discovered such a plant at Mount Victoria in the municipality of Narra, Palawan.

Botanists called the carnivorous pitcher plant Nepenthes attenboroughii. It is said to be the largest meat-eating plant in the world and not just feeds on rats but on insects as well.

Other species were also found by the scientists led by Britons Alastair Robinson and Stewart McPherson. These include new species of sundew, strange pink ferns and blue mushrooms, and a long thought extinct plant, Nepenthes deaniana.
Only in the Philippines, is what I can say about these new discoveries.

Click here to read more on the rat-eating plant from an Abs-cbn report.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Best Bet for the Miss Universe Pageant

It's the Miss Universe Beauty Pageant season once again. The world's most beautiful women will be vying for the most coveted Miss Universe crown in the Bahamas.

Founded in 1952 by Pacific Mills, a clothing company in California, the pageant became part of Kayser-Roth and then Gulf and Western Industries. In 1996, Donald Trump acquired it.

Last night was the first time I saw Miss Philippines Pamela Bianca Manalo on tv. She looks very promising for the crown and has a mesmerizing stage presence. Her catwalk skills cannot be denied. Those who saw her as she projected herself would agree that she is our best bet for the crown.

Gloria Diaz was the first Filipina to win the crown in 1969. In 1973, Margie Moran came home as Miss Universe. From that time on, the Miss Universe crown seems to have evaded us. Just like her family name "Manalo", I hope Pamela Bianca Manalo wins it this time. "Manalo" means "to win" in Tagalog.

It was on May 5, 1994 when the Philippine Postal Corporation issued stamps featuring Gloria Diaz and Margie Moran. The stamps coincided with the Philippine hosting of the 1994 Miss Universe Pageant held in Manila.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Charter Change

The death of Cory may have postponed moves by the House of Representatives in its bid to amend the Constitution but in the coming days or weeks, I have this feeling that Congress will go full blast with it. At the moment, House Resolution No. 1109 hasn't been withdrawn yet.

HR No. 1109 seeks to make amendments to the Constitution through the convening of a constituent assembly (Con-ass). It aims to make the House and the Senate as one body, not separate, and voting as one. The Senate is against this and wants to vote as a separate body.

Critics claim that the main agenda of Con-ass is to change the present form of government to a parliamentary one to extend President Arroyo's stay in the Palace.

I wish Congress would end its bid for charter change and heed Cory's strongest message against it, a few months before she passed away.

“Here we are again in the midst of the shameful abuses of the powerful that seek to destroy our sacred laws. Over the years, I have learned to endure pain and sadness,” Cory said. “But perhaps, there is nothing that causes me greater pain than to see our people betrayed again and again by those they have elected to lead and serve them. To those of us who fought long and hard to restore our democracy, the pain deepens at the thought that all our gains have so quickly been eroded.”

In a few months, we will be voting again for the next president. I believe that President Arroyo has done her best for this country in her incumbency. I thank her in advance for everything she has done for us and believe that she will hand over the presidency to the new president who will be serving under the 1987 Constitution.

Cory's Honor Guards

During Cory Aquino's funeral cortege, I was among those who can't help but admire the dedication and discipline of the four honor guards who remained motionless in front of President Cory Aquino's casket for nine hours in spite of the heat, the rain and multitudes of people who I believe took turns taunting them. I am reminded of a scene from an old Mr. Bean show where he plays around with his camera infront of a Royal guard but still the guard remained motionless.

The Fantastic Four, as they are now popularly known are PO1 Danilo Malab, Pfc. Antonio Cadiente, Airman 2nd Class Gener Laguindam, and Navy Petty Officer 3 Edgardo Rodriguez. These gentlemen earned the respect from all of us and they surely deserve the commendations, the rewards and promotions that they got.

Congratulations to the four of you! You make us more proud to be called Filipinos!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Darna Flies Again But Landed Earlier On Stamps!

Darna, a comic book super heroine created by Mars Ravelo first appeared as Varga in 1947 in Bulaklak magazine. Owing to some differences with the editors of Bulaklak magazine, Ravelo relaunched the character in 1950 in Pilipino Komiks. The name "Varga" was changed to "Darna".

This August, Darna flies anew in Philippine television with actress Marian Rivera playing the role of the famous heroine. I just read that GMA 7's pilot episode of the new series got a high viewership. Angel Locsin who earllier played the role of Darna got high ratings too.

While everyone is talking about Marian's Darna outfit, I saw myself browsing through my collections to view again the Darna stamps released by Philpost on November 15, 2004. Who would ever thought that Darna would land in our stamps?

Did You Know That Carlo J. Caparas Is On Stamps?

Most people may not know it but Philippine movie director Carlo J. Caparas recently appeared on Philippine stamps released by the Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost) last November 18, 2008.

This former security guard who became a famous comic strip creator, writer, director and producer is best known for his popular Filipino superheroes and comic book personalities such as Panday, Totoy Bato, Joaquin Bordado, Bakekang, Kamandag, Angela Markado, Kamagong, Pieta, Gagambino, Tasya Fantasya and many more. He was the recipient of the 2008 Sagisag Balagtas Award.

In July this year, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo picked him as one among seven National Artist of the Philippines under the new category, 'Visual Arts and Film" which started a very hot controversy.

The nominating committee composed of representatives from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) revealed that Caparas and three other personalities were not in the list to be proclaimed to the Order of National Artist. It was President Arroyo's "presidential prerogative" to include them and bypassed some names that the committee gave. This angered a lot of artists which include National Artists proclaimed in the past. Last August 7, the Concerned Artists of the Philippines staged a protest rally at the CCP.
Amidst the controversy he is in, I would still say that the Carlo J. Caparas stamps are worth collecting.

All Systems Go!

It's exhibit time once again for my group, the Cebu Stamp Club, Incorporated (CSCI). We see ourselves busy preparing for the upcoming event on August 27, 2009 for our tribute to Cory Aquino. Lots of things have to be done at such a short time.

I remember the same time last year when we were also very busy setting up the mega exhibits in Silliman University, Dumaguete City and at SM City Cebu. The result was a tremendous success. Two grand exhibits in a week. Whew... we never did it in all the 13 years of Cebu Stamp Club's operation but we surely did it last year. To top it all, Postmaster General Hector RR Villanueva of the Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost) dropped by to grace the event. He even stayed for an hour after the program just to have a casual talk with me and the group about stamps and the postal system. What more can we ask for?

Come August 27, 2009, our event will be attended by top Cebu City officials led by Mayor Tomas R. Osmeña and Vice Mayor Michael L. Rama.

Photo below features Postmaster General Hector RR Villanueva (in black shirt and khaki pants) with (from left) Benito Quiros, Aidalyn Arabe, Monserrat Magbanua, Sharee Ann Trapa and yours truly.

Friday, August 14, 2009

New Cory Stamps Soon?

The late president Corazon "Cory" Cojuangco Aquino was featured several times on Philippine stamps. Most of these issues were released during her incumbency.

Unlike in the United States where there is a law that prohibits a living person to be featured on a US stamp, the Philippine Postal Corporation has issued stamps of famous personalities such as boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, former Miss Universe Gloria Diaz and Margie Moran, and incumbent presidents.

With the passing away of Cory last August 1, 2009, there is a clamor to make her a national hero and a saint. Some people want her portrait to be placed beside her husband Ninoy on the 500 peso bill. Of course, I believe that Philpost will be coming out soon with a new Cory Aquino commemorative stamp. Last November 27, 2008, two new Ninoy Aquino stamps were issued. Click here to view the Ninoy stamps.

The new Cory Aquino stamps will surely be a big hit among collectors. I can't wait to get my hands on them once Philpost decides to come out with these stamps!

The photo featured above are just some of the Cory stamps Philpost released years ago. Check out for the complete set.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Tribute to Cory Aquino

Now it's final. I just got the confirmation today from the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission of the Cebu City Government that we will have a joint exhibit again this August.

Cebu Stamp Club, Incorporated's major philatelic event this month will open at the 2nd floor of Ayala Center Cebu Mall on August 27-29, 2009 in cooperation with the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (CHAC) and Cebu Star Wars Club.

The exhibit titled ”Selyo at Kasaysayan 2009.. A Tribute to Cory Aquino” coincides with the country’s celebration of the Philippine Heroes month and highlights stamps and philatelic materials that feature Cory Aquino, our heroes, presidents and our country’s history with some stamps dating as far back as 1898 and 1906.

This is our tribute to the late president and to the men and women who made this country great.

New Justice League Promotional Toys

While watching tv last night, my 5 year old son Jerald Kervin excitedly informed me that a new set of Justice League toys are now available through Jollibee's Kids Meal. The toys feature Superman in a Disc Action Launcher, The Flash in Stamp Roller and Green Lantern's Beam Pen.

Later in the afternoon after his kinder class, both me and the kid will be going to the nearest Jollibee store to avail of the three toys. These items will surely add up to our Justice League collection!

Star Wars: My Obsession

Collecting Star Wars items has always been a challenge for me. I collect anything that is Star Wars!

I still remember the first Star Wars memorabilia I had that include movie posters and promotional pictures. Of course, I got this from our moviehouse in 1977. I also had a large comic book of “The Empire Strikes Back” and a Marvel issue of the movie. It was in the late 90s that I started buying Star Wars items.

Presently, my Star Wars collection has grown, and it includes books published by Bantam, DelRey, Scholastic, Skylark and even Lucas Books. I have SW mugs, post cards, calendars, posters, videos, magazines and trading cards, and more than a handred action figures and vehicles. Lucky for me, I was able to get hold of the Star Wars stamps a few days after they were released by the US Postal Service in May 25, 2007. To date, Ebay sellers are selling this for Php 1000.00 per sheet.

What occupies me lately is the completion of my Star Wars Japan Pepsi Cola bottle caps collection. Just last month, I was able to complete Episode I which has 52 figures and Episode II which also comes with 52 figures. My Episode III composed of 60 figures still lacks 11 pieces. I see myself like a treasure hunter hunting for a long lost treasure. In due time, I believe I will be able to complete what's lacking. In my future blogs, I will be featuring these beautiful bottle cap figures.

Looking at my collection, I see myself transported to a galaxy far, far, away...

Click here for Sun Star Daily Cebu's article featuring my collections.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Erap Answers Back

Browsing through the net, I came across the website of former president Joseph "Erap" Ejercito Estrada. What aroused my interest was his reply to an email I sent months ago.

"Thank you for your e-mail, Richard. Your letter was like a very brief history of the movie theater industry in Cebu and other key cities in the South. I owe your grandfather a debt of gratitude –perhaps he was instrumental in having my movies shown there, which means he helped immensely in introducing Erap to the movie going public there.
It was a pleasure to hear from you, and I thank you for your good wishes, support and prayers.

My warmest regards to you and your family."

Check out his official site at

The Philippine Presidents on Stamps Website

As a collector of Philippine philately, one of my favorite topics is the Philippine Presidents on Stamps. I tried searching the net for such subject but got frustrated. It was then that I decided to make a unique website featuring the Philippine Presidency.

It was not an easy task. I see myself at work for days and nights. I had to scan my stamps one by one and come up with the necessary info. Weeks passed until I was satisfied with the concept and the design of the site I created.

Seeing the site published gives me a sense of fulfillment. It is another legacy I will share to those who collect Philippine stamps.

The Philippine Presidency on Stamps website is an interactive site that features the complete stamps of all the presidents of the Philippines. This includes their videos, biography, signature, flags, presidential seals and banners. All the stamps are from my years of collecting Philippine stamps.

Feel free to visit this new website at

Farewell Cory Aquino

Among my favorite presidents is Corazon Cojuangco Aquino. Popularly called Cory, she was a symbol of democracy here in the Philippines. Her bout with colon cancer eventually led to her demise today, August 1, 2009. She is one person that the world will surely miss..

I will never forget the day I approached her in one of her campaign visits here in Cebu sometime in April 1998 while she was campaigning for Alfredo Lim who was running for President. I was very privileged to have her sign a Cebu Stamp Club cover which bears her different stamps. I will always treasure that uncancelled cover with her signature.

Farewell Madame President! Our prayers will always be with you...

My Grandfather and My Guerrilla Stamp

After years of collecting stamps, I was able to acquire a most treasured mint label that is known as the Guerrilla stamp of 1943. It was printed in Australia for the use of the resistance forces in Mindanao, some say that it is considered as one of the most expensive labels owing to the fact that the mere possession of the stamp during that time means automatic execution by the Japanese soldiers. The guerrillas have to dispose the envelopes bearing the stamps so as to avoid detection. This makes the stamp more hard to find nowadays.

Months ago, a cousin informed me that she has some documents owned by my late grandfather Paulino Neri Baz. As I browsed through my grandpa's things, I was excited to find an identification card and his guerrilla i.d.

Knowing that my grandpa was once a guerrilla member gave a new meaning to the guerrilla stamp I own. This also led me to complete my mint Japanese Occupation stamps!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Proudly a Cebu Jaycee!

It's almost election time again for the JCI-Cebu or the Cebu Jaycees. My good friend Edwin Al Cuizon who was my buddy during my Jaycee years took the time to inform me that the group will be electing a new set of Board of Directors and officers. JCI Cebu has always lived up to the expectation of molding great leaders in business and politics in the Philippines.

Cebu Stamp Club's success can be credited to my Cebu Jaycees training. The leadership style, the management and operations along with the external activities such as stamp exhibits are all applied learnings from the Jaycees.

I still vividly recall the first time I joined the Cebu Jaycees in 1999 under the leadership of then Cordova Mayor Arleigh Sitoy. I had to balance my time with my family and the organization. As the years went by, the things I learned from the organization (LOM in the Jaycee parlance) made me a better individual. My writing and editorial career took to a new level when I sat as the Editor-in-Chief of the club's publication, Nucleus for a couple of years.

I miss those Jaycees days! The fun, the parties, the politics and the friendships as well as the different projects and activities are forever etched in my memory. Maybe one of these days, I will be able to have the time to mingle again with my Jaycee buddies and help the Lom in my own little way regardless who sits as president.

The Cebu Jaycees will always be a part of me and I am proud to be called one!

Check out this link for more Cebu Jaycees and Cebu Stamp Club joint activity photos..