Friday, January 29, 2010

Cebu Stamp Club's CSCI Newsletter January 2010 Issue

2010's first issue of Cebu Stamp Club, Incorporated's CSCI Newsletter is now available.

The January 2010 Newsletter issue comes in 8 pages of beautiful features and issues about stamps and Cebu Stamp Club activities.

The e-newsletter is available for free to Cebu Stamp Club members and non-members who love stamps.

Just send an email to to receive a pdf copy of the newsletter every month.

Cebu Stamp Club Turns 13!

Yes, Cebu Stamp Club will be 13 years old tomorrow!

I still recall the day when I founded the club on August 24, 1996. There were only a few of us then that included Ricky Teves, Salvador Toong Jr., Patricia Perez, Teresita Caballero, Venezia Milan Uy, Rachel Betos, Ma. Luisa Potian, Fabiolita Ferraris, Erwin Allan Orosco, Anna Lisa Visda, and Virginia Cabaong-Ople.

The first stamp exhibit we had was on December 18-31, 1996. It coincided with the celebration of Jose Rizal's Martyrdom Centennial. The venue was at the Rizal Museum and was later brought to Ayala Center Cebu from January 04-13, 1997.

On January 30, 1997, Cebu Stamp Club, Incorporated was granted it's full charter and immediately began full operations.

The cooperation and dedication of different chairpersons and members composed of young professionals, businessmen, politicians and students as well as reputable institutions such as the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (CHAC) of the City of Cebu, the University of Southern Philippines Foundation, Philippine Postal Corporation, Ayala Center Cebu, SM City Cebu, Cebu Association of Museums Inc., Cebu Jaycees Inc. (JCI Cebu), along with various media institutions here in Cebu have made the different civic and philatelic projects and presentations of CSCI successful through the years

To all of them, I extend my sincere gratitude.

Visit Cebu Stamp Club's official website by clicking here. Check out the club's WikiPilipinas site here.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Israel's "Past and Future in Our Hands" stamp

The United Nations General Assembly issued Resolution 30/7 on November 1, 2005 designating January 27 as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

To highlight the occasion, Israel released the "Past and Future in Our Hands" stamp from a photo by Karen Gillerman-Harel that won the "My Flag" photo contest during Israel's 60th anniversary celebration.

Included in the stamp sheet is Holocaust Survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Eli Wiesel's quote, "Remember the past for the sake of the future and may the past of the old not become the future of the young."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A New Acquaintance from Austria

After our visit to Eyan Yu's house yesterday, Edmund Gruenbaum and I went to see Helmut, an Austrian whom Ed introduced to me the day before.

The three of us gathered at Bo's Coffee in Sm City Cebu where we talked about stamps and a lot of things over cups of cappuccino.

We later transferred to Earthweb Cafe where we had two rounds of San Miguel beer. At around 3:00 p.m., we parted ways and wished them a happy trip. Helmut lives in Ormoc City, Leyte.

The two of them will be back in Cebu City to attend Cebu Stamp Club's February 2010 meetup.

A Visit to a Fellow Stamp Collector

It is a rare occasion to get invited to a house of a stamp collector and see all his beautiful collections. Yesterday was one of those times.

Together with Edmund Gruenbaum, Cebu Stamp Club's official representative to Germany and Europe, we went to Cebu Stamp Club Board of Trustee Eyan Yu's house in Talamban, Cebu City to see his treasures.

Eyan Yu gave us an extra-ordinary treat to view his various collections of stamps, coins, die cast cars, model airplanes and choppers.

It was a very interactive morning as he talked about his collections, how he acquired them and what his expensive collections are.

A few hours after the interesting conversations on stamps and coins, it was time for us to leave. Of course, we didn't go home empty handed. Eyan gave me some U.S. stamps to add to my American Presidents on stamps collection. He also gave both of us a copy of the Kenmore Collectors Catalog 2009 Edition.

Photo #1 shows me with Edmund Gruenbaum at Eyan Yu's house, while photo #2 features Edmund and Eyan Yu.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cebu's Dancing Inmates Appear In Michael Jackson's DVD

The inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) are once again making waves.

As I watched last night's news, ABS-CBN's TV Patrol News Anchor Karen Davila revealed that Michael Jackson's choreographer Trevor Payne together with two back-up dancers from the "This Is It" movie were in town to choreograph a new dance move for the Cebu inmates using the King of Pop's song "They Don't Really Care About Us". It only took the inmates two days to perfect the choreography.

The dance is part of the Press Kit content for the DVD launching of "This Is It" and will be featured in CNN's AC 360 by Anderson Cooper

Watching the dancing inmates in the video wearing a black shirt with Michael Jackson's silhoutte print in front and their orange pants is a great sight to see. The shirts were Payne and dancers Ricardo “Dres” Reid and Daniel Celebre gift to them.

See them at Byron Garcia's YouTube channel by clicking here.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Happy 77th Birthday President Cory!

My favorite president the late Cory Aquino is 77 today!

Catholic Churches all over the country honored her through different Masses while her children Viel Dee, Pinky Abellada and Ballsy Cruz led the prayer at the Aquino mausoleum in Manila Memorial Park.

The highlight of her birth anniversary is the unveiling of a 15-foot monument by the City Government of Manila. The bronze statue was sculpted by Eduardo Castrillo and stands beside Ninoy Aquino along Padre Burgos Drive and Roxas Boulevard.

Presidential candidate and Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III was the guest of honor for the occasion while Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim led the unveiling ceremonies.
All the days activities were beautiful birthday presents for the most loved president of the Philippines.

Happy birthday to you Madame President!

The stamp I featured above was released on June 30, 1992 and depicts Presidents Cory Aquino and Fidel Ramos.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cebu Stamp Club's January 2010 Meetup

Usually, Cebu Stamp Club never holds a stamp meetup in January owing to the various activities such as the Sinulog and the Feast of the Sto. Niño.

This year was different as we decided to hold the January 2010 Stamp Meetup and agreed to be at the 2nd floor of McDonald's Jones on January 24, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.

I arrived exactly at the scheduled time but was amazed to see Edmund Gruenbaum, David Taylor, Richard Guimbarda, Dinah Potolin, Janice Benolerao, and Eyan Yu already there ahead of me. Sharee Ann Trapa and Marichu Taylor came some minutes later.

Just as in the previous meetups, David gave the club and those who came lots of stamps. The stamps kept everyone busy. He informed the group that he won't be around in the next meetings as he will be leaving for Spain or Portugal before returning to the United Kingdom.

David is Cebu Stamp Club's official representative to the United Kingdom. He mentioned to the club that he will be glad to send some stamps to the members through the want list they will be giving to the club.

Everyone left McDonald's happy with more stamps to add to each one's collections.

France Issues Avatar Stamp

While watching the movie AVATAR together with my son Jerald Kervin, I recall that I read somewhere in the net that an Avatar stamp was released sometime last year.

I found out that it was France that came out with the stamp on December 16, 2009.

AVATAR is James Cameron's newest action/adventure film.

AVATAR is now the highest grossing film of all time. The movie surpassed TITANIC, a movie also directed by James Cameron. AVATAR raked in $1.859 billion compared to TITANIC's $1.843 billion.

Click here to read more.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Hungary's Michael Jackson Souvenir Sheet

One of the best souvenir sheets issued in 2009 is that of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson that was released in Hungary by Magyar Posta. The sheet features Jackson in his Budapest concert.

Only 5,000 copies were printed in perforated and imperforated colour, and in perforated and imperforated black proof versions.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Goodbye Press Secretary Cerge Remonde

Philippine Press Secretary Cerge Remonde's sudden demise today is a huge loss to Cebuanos and to the local media of Cebu.

I still recall the day when me and Ricky Teves, Cebu Stamp Club's vice president were personally invited to his birthday party in his house in 1998. He was very involved with the Knights of Rizal that most of those who came were KOR members. Both me and Ricky got invited to join the KOR but got our hands full running Cebu Stamp Club.

He introduced to us his wife Marit, who in the later part of the evening gave Ricky some treasured stamps.

Humble, vibrant and charismatic, Cerge was destined to make the people of Cebu proud. When President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo won the presidency, she appointed him press undersecretary in 2001. Soon he found himself heading the presidential management staff. He was then appointed press secretary in 2009.

To the family of Cerge, I offer my condolences.

Above photo is from SunStar Cebu website.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo conferred the Order of Lakandula with the rank of Grand Cross (Bayani) to the late Cerge Remonde on January 21, 2009. Marit Stinus-Remonde received the posthumous award that was given “for his outstanding service to the Republic of the Philippines and in recognition of his life as an exemplary media man and public servant.”

Cebu's Sinulog 2010 Attracts 8 Million

The Sinulog, Cebu's grand festival that coincides with the Feast of Señor Sto. Niño of Cebu every third Sunday of January never ceases to draw crowds not just from the different parts of the Philippines but from other countries as well.

This year's Sinulog attendees reached a high of 8 milliion according to the local police authorities. Can you just imagine the streets all over the parade route filled with multitudes of people dancing to the beat of the drums and singing Pit Señor?

David "Boy" Odilao, started the Sinulog festival 30 years ago and he continues to be amazed at the increasing number of people who come to enjoy and watch the parade every year.

The Sinulog festival is also featured on Philippine stamps on March 1, 1989.

Click here to read more about Sinulog 2010. Photo above is from

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Feast of the Señor Sto. Niño of Cebu

As one visits Cebu this time of year, expect both local and foreign tourists flocking the city just to join the celebration of the Feast of the Señor Sto. Niño of Cebu.

The Sto. Niño (Holy Child Jesus) was Ferdinand Magellan's gift to Queen Juana, the wife of Rajah Humabon of Cebu on April 14, 1521 after their baptism to Christianity. Years later, the image was found inside a wooden chest in one of the burned huts of the natives by Juan de Camus, a Spanish soldier under Miguel Lopez de Legaspi's expedition on April 28, 1565. This discovery was mentioned by Legaspi to the Spanish king Philip II in one of his letters.

From that time on, the devotion to the Sto. Niño spread from Cebu to all parts of the Philippines. The image is housed at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.

This year's celebration is filled with religious and cultural activities. A daily novena started from January 7 to 15. A fluvial procession took place on January 16 where a re-enactment of the arrival of the image to the Philippines and the Mass and baptism of the natives took place.

His Eminence Ricardo Cardinal Vidal of Cebu officiates the Pontifical Mass on January 17. The Thanksgiving Mass will be held tomorrow January 18 followed by the traditional Hubo on January 22. The Hubo is a ceremony where the Sto. Niño's garments are replaced with a new one.

Along with the religious celebration is the Cebu City government's Sinulog 2010 activities that highlights the grand parade today. Millions of people are expected to join the revelry.

The Philippine stamp above features the Señor Sto. Niño of Cebu and the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño released on June 4, 1985.

The First Circumnavigation of the World

January is synonymous to the feast of the Santo Niño of Cebu. When we talk about the child Jesus, we cannot take out Ferdinand Magellan, the person responsible for bringing the sacred image to Philippine shores in 1521.

Magellan, a Portuguese, led the first circumnavigation of the world after convincing King Charles I of Spain to grant him funds for his expedition on March 22, 1518. He obtained five ships and named them Trinidad, San Antonio, Concepcion, Victoria and Santiago. With 270 men, he set sail in September. On March 16, 1521, Magellan arrived in the Philippines and the rest is history.

Antonio Pigafetta, an Italian crewmember kept a diary that chronicled Magellan's voyage. After Magellan's death in Mactan, Juan Sebastian Elcano took over the remaining three ships along with 115 survivors and left the Philippines for the Moluccas (Spice Islands). They arrived back to Spain in 1522.

This historical event is beautifully captured on Philippine stamps released by the Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost) on November 11, 2002. The four stamps feature Antonio Pigafetta, Ferdinand Magellan, King Charles I of Spain, and Juan Sebastian Elcano. A souvenir sheet is also issued that shows King Charles I and a world map.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Two Philippine Presidents on PCSO stamp

The latest Philippine stamp issue featuring the 75th anniversary of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) shows two Philippine presidents.

This is the second time that two presidents are shown together in a stamp. The first was the issue released on June 12, 1992 that featured President Corazon Aquino and President Fidel Ramos.

The December 18, 2009 PCSO stamp features President Manuel Quezon and President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. This is another welcome addition to those who collect Philippine Presidents on stamps.

Since 1934, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office has "lived up to the challenge of its mandated mission and purpose and has remained unwavering in carrying out its vision of uplifting the quality of life of the Filipino people. The agency has well established itself as a model government institution with its unquestioned dedication to serve the disadvantaged sectors of society. With these, the PCSO has developed a strong credence and incontestable acceptance from Filipinos who have all come to believe and get comfort on the fact that the PCSO will always be there for them, as long as needs need to be satisfied and hopes and dreams need to be given life and fulfilment."

Visit my Philippine Presidents on stamps website by clicking here.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Feast of the Black Nazarene

Around 3 million devotees are expected to join today's celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila.

I haven't had the opportunity to be at the actual procession but the different scenes shown on tv every year picturing millions of people crowding, pushing and shoving their way just to touch the statue always amazes me.

The Black Nazarene, a black image of Jesus Christ carrying a cross is the patron saint of Quiapo, Manila. The Archdiocese of Manila reveals that the image was brought to the Philippines by a Spanish priest in 1607. The ship that carried the image caught fire but despite it's burnt condition, the people decided to honor it. Soon miraculous healings were reported by those who touched it.

Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales will lead the Mass at the Quirino Grandstand at 8:00 a.m. The procession that covers 6.3 km is expected to pass 30 streets in Manila mostly in the Quiapo district.

Millions of people annually join the procession as a way of strengthening their faith or fulfilling their vow. Some also believe that touching the Nazarene will bring them luck.

A Philippine stamp featuring the Black Nazarene was released on August 29, 1986. This issue also includes the Quiapo Church.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

China Lunar New Year 2010 Stamp

China issues it's latest stamp that highlights the 2010 lunar new year featuring the Year of the Tiger.

Released on January 5, 2010, the stamp shows a lovely tiger figure with a traditional red Chinese character called "Fu" that means "luck".

The stamp depicts the tiger bringing luck and happiness to the people in the approaching lunar new year.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

South Africa's 3D Dinosaurs Stamps

Among my favorite collections is that of dinosaurs on stamps which I handed over recently to my son Jerald Kervin who has a penchant for anything dinosaurs. The latest news about another technological first in the world of stamps got me excited.

On November 2, 2009, South Africa came out with a set of ten dinosaur stamps with a 3D effect using anaglyphs. The South African Post website says that "an anaglyph is a stereo image that requires special glasses with red and green (or blue) lenses for 3D viewing. To achieve the effect, two views of a picture are printed in two colours, usually red for the left eye and blue or green for the right eye."

They called the stamps as 3D Dinosaur Stamps: Where Pre-history Meets Modern Technology. Visit their site and see the 3D animation effect by clicking here. Just move the mouse cursor on the dinosaur image once you are there.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome 2010!

To most of us, the new year brings a new hope, new challenges and new opportunities. This is the year where we all have a fresh start to make our lives better.

Today is also my dad and Bob, my younger brother's birthday. Both of them were born on the same day. A party is expected to be held later in the day with invited friends and relatives attending the joint celebration.

Although it is a rainy new year's day here in Cebu, we won't allow it to spoil our day. The rain hasn't stopped since it started yesterday.

For Cebu Stamp Club, we have come up with activities and projects that will surpass what we did last year. We also expect an increase in new membership and renewals.

Let's welcome 2010 and may all of us have new friends, good health, good luck and good things... Happy New Year!