Monday, January 30, 2012

Puerto Princesa Underground River Is Among The New7Wonders of Nature

Filipinos have something to be proud again after the official announcement that the Philippine's Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) is among the World's New7Wonders of Nature. Earlier, the PPUR was also included as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco).

Bernard Weber, the president of the New7Wonders based in Zurich (Switzerland) made the announcement in a press conference last Saturday.

The PPUR and South Korea's Jeju Island have been validated and proclaimed while the Amazon (South America), Halong Bay (Vietnam), Iguazu Falls (Argentina), Komodo (Indonesia), and Table Mountain (South Africa) are still being tabulated and verified.

The quest for the New7Wonders of Nature began in 2007 with 220 countries sending in around 440 entries. Initially, the votes were for the top 77 and was narrowed down to the shortlist of the top 28 then to the provisional 7.

One person who played an important role for the success of this extraordinary endeavor is President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III. His issuance of Presidential Proclamation No. 182 in 2011 that calls for a promotional campaign for the PPUR was a tremendous success. Filipinos heeded his call! One tv news I watched mentioned that there were more than 20 million Filipinos who voted for the inclusion of the PPUR.

The Puerto Princesa Underground River is the longest navigable underground river in the World and is located some 50km north of the city of Puerto Princesa, Palawan. It consists of a limestone karst mountain landscape, several large chambers containing significant formations of stalactites and stalagmites, and an 8.2 km. navigable underground river that winds through a cave before flowing directly into the West Philippine Sea. At the exit, a flawless lagoon is framed by ancient trees growing right to the water’s edge.

The photo above is borrowed from the New7Wonders of Nature website. Click here to see the site.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's Cory's Birthday Today!

If former president Corazon "Cory" Aquino is alive today, she would have been celebrating her 79th birthday and it would have been a wonderful scene to see two presidents in the family celebrating a special occasion.

I wouldn't have remembered Cory's birthday today if I had missed for a minute the short video clip honoring her that was aired this morning in Kris TV, an ABS CBN morning show hosted by her daughter Kris Aquino.

The late president was born on January 25, 1933 and passed away on August 1, 2009. She became the first woman leader of the country after the EDSA People Power Revolution in 1986 ousted President Ferdinand Marcos.

She is the wife of former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. and the mother of the country's incumbent president, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.

In 2009, I came up for Cebu Stamp Club the unique exhibit, A Tribute To Cory Aquino that honored this great lady using stamps and photos of her. I have long considered her as God's greatest gift to the Filipino nation.

The photo above features the September 18, 2009 se -tenant pair stamps, the cachet of the January 25, 2010 Cory Aquino 77th Birth Anniversary limited edition commemorative cover and the August 1, 2011 EDSA People Power Revolution souvenir sheet.

Happy Birthday Cory Aquino! My prayers are with you..

50 Years of the Diocese of Malolos

A set of stamps composing of a 7p se-tenant pair and a 40p souvenir sheet is issued by the Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost) on January 25, 2012 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Diocese of Malolos.

The first stamp shows the image of the Virgen Inmaculada Concepcion de Malolos and the anniversary logo while the second stamp features the façade of the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral and Minor Basilica.

Jesus Alfredo Delos Santo did the stamps layout with Rex Mangalindan and Victorino Serevo as design coordinators. Rev. Fr. Jay Lina, Chairman of the Cultural Heritage Committee supplied the photos.

The Diocese of Malolos that has jurisdiction over the entire Province of Bulacan and the City of Valenzuela in Metropolitan Manila and an Archdiocese of Manila suffragan was created on March 11, 1962 by Pope John XXIII. Rev. Manuel del Rosario was installed by Papal Nuncio Salvatore Siino as the first bishop of the Diocese. Most Rev. Jose F. Oliveros, D.D. is the current and 4th Bishop of Malolos.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Personalized 2011 Philippine Stamp Album Pages (2012 Edition)

I am just done creating my latest personalized 2011 Republic of the Philippines stamp album that consists of 42 pages and features the complete stamps, souvenir sheets, miniature sheets and pre-stamped envelopes issued by the Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost).

For the 2011 individual pages, I designed a header that featured the seal of the Republic of the Philippines and the inauguration as well as the oath taking of Philippine President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III. 

After having printed the pages on a high resolution printer using a high gloss waterproof A4 paper,  I mounted them carefully on a clear book. 

Check out the photos above on how I presented the stamps as they are beautifully placed in the album.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Creating Personalized Philippine Stamp Album Pages

Specializing in Philippine stamps is no joke. Aside from acquiring the complete stamps every year, there is really a need to mount them on albums nicely and beautifully. I have come across one or two Philippine stamp albums before but I was not satisfied with the presentations on the pages. It was then that I decided to come up with my own personalized stamp album pages for every year and in every era (e.g. spanish, american, commonwealth and republic period).

Conceptualizing and making the designs of the pages myself was no joke. It consumed a lot of my spare time not to mention the stamps that I placed on them cost a lot. All of the Philippine stamps I collect are mint except the Spanish and the American periods where most are used ones.

For the pages, I decided that the headings carry the year and photos of the inauguration and oath-taking of an incumbent Philippine president during that particular year. So for my 2010 and 2011 stamp albums and until the term of President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino ends, he will be the main design of my pages.

The next task was to individually measure the different stamp issues of a particular year on the pages and then added the write-ups such as the name of the stamp, date of issue, name of printer etc.

With everything done, my stamp pages are now ready for printing. There are more than forty issues of Philippine Republic stamps for every year so the pages I make usually would reach more than forty pages too.

After printing the pages, I painstakingly mounted the stamps in their respective places then put them on a clear book. The end result? I got very positive feedback for my albums. Thanks guys for the compliments! You know who you are...

The photos above are the first two pages of my 2011, 2010 and Japanese occupation stamps.

Friday, January 20, 2012

100 Years of The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines

The Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost) released on January 19, 2012 a se-tenant pair commemorating 100 years of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines.

Stamp #1 on 7p highlights the Grand Lodge of the Philippines Building and President Manuel L. Quezon. Stamp #2 also on 7p, shows the Plaridel Masonic Temple with Dr. Jose Rizal, Marcel H. del Pilar and Mariano Ponce.

Photo above shows the 7p se-tenant pair and the official First Day Cover.

In one of my exhibits featuring the Philippine Heroes for Cebu Stamp Club, I included a complete collection of stamps featuring the personalities involved in Philippine Freemasonry.
Philippine Masonry's beginnings is similar to the history of the first Grand Lodge. It was in 1717 during the Feast of St. John the Baptist that four masonic lodges in Great Britain formed the first Grand Lodge of the world.

The idea of organizing Freemasonry in the country was conceived by Marcelo H. del Pilar and Dr. Jose P. Rizal. In 1891, with the consent of the Grand Oriente Español, Nilad Lodge No. 144 was established. With this accomplishment, M.H. del Pilar otherwise known as "Plaridel" in the Philippine Revolutionary movement gained the honor of being called the Father of Philippine Masonry. 

Prominent Filipinos who were against the Spanish colonial rule were masons. These include Marcelo H. del Pilar (Bulacan), Jose Rizal (Laguna), Mariano Ponce (Bulacan), Graciano Lopez Jaena (Iloilo), Juan Luna (Ilocos), Antonio Luna (Ilocos), Galicano Apacible (Batangas), Domingo Panganiban (Camarines Norte), Jose Alejandrino (Pampanga), Tomas Arejola (Camarines Sur), Ariston Bautista (Manila), Julio Llorente (Cebu), Andres Bonifacio (Tondo) and Emilio Aguinaldo (Cavite).

On December 19, 1912, three lodges that were chartered under the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of California were successful in establishing the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippine Islands (now known as the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines). 

President Manuel L. Quezon who was initiated at Sinukuan Lodge No. 16, Free and Accepted Masons, Manila was a driving force in unifying the Filipino and American Lodges on February 13, 1917. He came to be known as the first Filipino Grandmaster of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Mason of the Philippines.

Monday, January 16, 2012

2011 Philippine Stamp Issues (4th Quarter)

The last quarter saw four releases of the Philippine Marine Biodiversity series. The October 17, 2011 issue featured the 1p Picasso Trigger, 2p Marmorated Cone, 5p Copper-band Butterflyfish, 10p Triton Trumpet, 20p Bennett's Feather Star, and the 30p Eibl's Angelfish.

October 25, 2011 saw the issuance of the second set of definitives. These were the 4p Blue-faced Angelfish, 7p Murex Shell and the 100p Regal Tang.

The third was on November 4, 2011 that featured the 9p Polyclad Flatworm, 25p Oriental Sweetlips, and the 35p Kunie's Chromodoria.

The last set came out on November 11, 2011 and featured the 13p Valentine Puffer, 17p Polka-dot Grouper, and the 40p Royal Empress Angelfish.

To celebrate the United Nations Day, Philpost came out on October 24, 2011 stamps that highlighted the International Year of the Forests. The stamps were valued at 7p each and in a se-tenant pair.

The design featured Batlag Falls and a big tree in Pansol, Laguna.

On November 10, 2011 the second issue showcasing Dia Del Galleon was released. The stamps came out on a se-tenant strip of 3 valued at 7p each. A 28p souvenir sheet and an 84p miniature sheet of 12 added to the set. The stamps featured a galleon ship with a map of the Philippines, a galleon ship with a map of Mexico and a galleon ship with a map of Spain.

The following day, to celebrate the 2011 National Stamp Collecting Month, a se-tenant block of 4 stamps valued at 7p each came out together with a 28p souvenir sheet. The stamps highlighted the works of Filipino Artist Hernando R. Ocampo. The stamps showed the following paintings:
Homage to Jose Rizal (1976), Break of Day (1948), Summer in September (1975), Mother and Child (1954), Fiesta (1957), Abstraction #15, 17 (1976), Kasaysayan ng Lahi (1974), and Abstraction #22, 26 (1976).

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) celebrated its 75th year in 2011. To commemorate the event, Philpost issued a se-tenant block of 4 stamps with a value of 7p each on November 14, 2011. The designs featured the o
fficial seal of the NBI, Justice Yulo and President Manuel L. Quezon (Forefathers of NBI), President Manuel Roxas With First NBI Director, J. Pardo de Tavera, a magnifying glass and a laptop.

The traditional Pasko (Christmas) stamps were issued on November 25, 2011.
The se-tenant block of 4 stamps were valued at 7p each. The stamps depicted Christmas bells, Christmas flowers, toys and gifts and a Christmas lantern (Parol).

On December 5, 2011 Philpost released the 2012 Year of the Dragon stamp set. The set included two stamps valued at 7p and 30p, an 84p souvenir sheet, a 70p miniature sheet of 10, a 300p miniature sheet of 10 and a 74p souvenir sheet.

A 7p stamp commemorating the 110th anniversary of the Office of the Solicitor General was issued on December 15, 2011. The design showed the official seal of the Office of the Solicitor General.

Also on the same day, the Philippine Endemic Frogs set was also issued. A se-tenant block of 4 stamps, a 28p souvenir sheet and a 112p miniature sheet of 18 completed the collection. The stamps featured the
Philippine Spiny Cinnamon Frog, Philippine Pygmy Forest Frog, Philippine Flat-headed Frog, Luzon Limestone Forest Frog, Gliding Tree Frog, Northern Luzon Tree-hole Frog, Taylor's Igorot Frog, and Mary Inger's Wart Frog.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

2011 Philippine Stamp Issues (3rd Quarter)

The third quarter issues supposedly cover the stamps issued from July to September but the Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost) did not release any stamps for the month of September. Featured here are the complete listings of the stamps.

The Yuchengco Group of Companies (YGC) celebrated their centennial with a stamp released on July 20, 2011 with the design featuring the old and new YGC complex and their centennial logo.

After the release of the EDSA @ 25 pre-stamped envelopes some months earlier, Philpost finally came up with stamps to highlight the said event. The EDSA People Power Revolution 25th Anniversary stamps were issued on August 1, 2011. The 7p se-tenant block of 4 stamps highlight former president Corazon Aquino and Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin. A 56p souvenir sheet completes the set.

On August 15, 2011, a se-tenant block of 4 stamps were issued to highlight the 60th anniversary of Holy Cross of Davao College Inc. The designs featured the Bajada Campus Facade, Grade School and High School Buildings, Palma Gil and Mabutas Halls, and lastly, the Babak and Camudmud Campuses.

Two days later, a new set of definitives featuring the Philippine Marine Biodiversity series was released by Philpost. The August 17, 2011 stamps showcased the 1p Dendronepthya Soft Coral, 5p Sea Apple, 7p Spotted Boxfish, and the 9p Broadclub Cuttlefish.

The 300th Death Anniversary of Mother Francisca del Espiritu Santo de Fuentes was celebrated on a 7p stamp that came out on August 24, 2011. The nun and her various works were highlighted on the stamps.

The last stamp for the quarter showcased the Philippine Endemic Lizards. The 7p se-tenant block of 4 stamps feature the Luzon Giant Forest Skink, Luzon Karst Gecko, Southern Philippine Bent-toed Gecko and Luzon White-Spotted Forest Skink. The 28p souvenir sheet featured the Philippine Forest Dragon, Philippine Spring Stream Skink, Philippine Sailfin Lizard and Cordilleras Slender Skink. A miniature sheet of 16 valued at 112p is also available,

Saturday, January 14, 2012

2011 Philippine Stamp Issues (2nd Quarter)

We stamp collectors were very glad when Philpost resumed coming out with stamps. We were afraid then that the number of issues will dwindle and pre-stamped envelopes (PSE) will come out more often.

The period starting April to June saw a lot of releases once again. The fist release for the quarter was the University of the Philippines College of Law se-tenant pair valued at 7p each. The April 11, 2011 stamp highlighted the centennial celebration with the design showcasing the Malcolm Hall and the UP College of Law logo and the UP College of Law centennial logo.

On April 25, 2011 two stamps were released by Philpost. The first issue celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), a 7p stamp was issued with the design featuring the DBM Complex, DBM Logo and DBM Anniversary Logo. The next one highlighted the 25th anniversary of the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Mutually Reinforcing Institutions(CARD MRI). The 7p stamp has for its design the exchange of money and the CARD MRI anniversary logo.

Wenceslao Vinzons, a politician and leader of the armed resistance against the Japanese occupying forces during World War II was featured on a 7p stamp released on May 3, 2011.

Another set of definitives on Philippine Marine Biodiversity was issued on May 5, 2011. These are the 2p Yellowstripe Snapper, 20p Two banded Anemone Fish, 30p Lipstick Tang, and the 40p Yellow-backed Damselfish.

New pre-stamped envelopes highlighting Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines, Inc. came out on the same day. The set of 2 pse's were priced at 17p and 20p.

On May 10, 2011, the second printing of the Grace Christian College, 60th Anniversary issue was released. The set included a 7p se-tenant block of 4 and 28p souvenir sheet.

A new set of Philippine Marine Biodiversity definitives was issued on May 12, 2011. The stamps feature the 4p Banded Vexillum, 10p Mushroom Coral, 17p Cowfish and 100p Pink Tube Sponge.

Philpost released the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Featuring Philippine Crocodiles on May 16, 2011. The set included a 7p se-tenant block of 4, miniature sheets of 8 in four designs and miniature sheets of 16.

For the sports on stamps enthusiasts, the Arnis, New National Sport stamp set was issued on May 25, 2011. 7p se-tenant pair feature arnis players in colorful uniform and in white uniform. A 28p souvenir sheet featured the similar designs.

One of my favorite issues is the May 30, 2011 Beatification of Pope John Paul II set. The 7p se-tenant block of four shows the Pope at the grandstand in Rizal Park, the Pope at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Main Building, the Pope at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), and the Pope with the Popemobile along Roxas Boulevard. All the designs were Pope John Paul II's 1995 Visit to the Philippines. A 40p souvenir sheet and a 112p miniature sheet of 16 completes the collection.

The Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) – June as National ICT Month issue came out on June 13, 2011. The 7p se-tenant block of four designs feature all the industries that are involved in the information and communications technology such as the Community e-Center, Nationwide Automated Election, Creative Content Industry and the Business Process Outsourcing.

Security Bank celebrated its 60th anniversary through the June 18, 2011 10p se-tenant pair. The designs showcase the corporate headquarters of Security Bank located at Plaza Goiti, Manila in 1951 and its present location at Ayala Avenue, Makati City and the evolution of the corporate logo through the years.

The whole nation celebrated the 150th birth anniversary of the national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal on June 19, 2011. The Jose Rizal @ 150 stamps were released on the same day to commemorate the event. The 7p se-tenant pairs feature Rizal while the 150p souvenir sheet shows the different Rizal monuments here and abroad.

The last issue for the quarter was the Goethe Institut Philippinen, 50th anniversary stamps. Also released on June 19, 2011, the 7p se-tenant block of four stamps feature Jose Rizal's statue in Wilhelmsfeld, Germany; the fountain donated by the German government now found at the Luneta Park; the house where Rizal lived when he was in Germany and the street was named after him “Jose Rizal StraBe; and the colors of the German and Philippine flags, celebrating the deep and continuing friendship between the two countries whose cultural ties have remained strong for more a century.

Friday, January 13, 2012

2011 Philippine Stamp Issues (1st Quarter)

2011 was an exciting year for Philippine philately. Wonderful issues were released that commemorated great people such as Jose Rizal and Pope John Paul II and events such as the EDSA People Power Revolution. The beautiful marine life through the Philippine Marine Biodiversity series showcased the marine life found in Philippine waters.

This compilation I did is aimed to enjoin people to take a look at our beautiful stamps and get hooked with the hobby once again.

To open the year, the Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost) released the January 14, 2011 Valentine's Day 7p se-tenant pair stamps. The stamps highlighted the Philpost mascot Pheepoy delivering chocolates and flowers for the special occasion.

On January 20, 2011 the first stamp for the year featuring the Philippine Marine Biodiversity series was released featuring the 3p Striped Surgeonfish.

The following day, a 7p stamp came out featuring the Kiwanis Club of Manila. The stamp design shows a photo of a child and the logo of the Kiwanis Club of Manila.

The 4th centennial celebration of the University of Sto. Tomas was commemorated on the January 25, 2011 issue. The set consists of a 7p se-tenant block of 4 and a 37p souvenir sheet. The designs show the Main Building, Central Seminary, Arch of Centules, "The Foundation of the University of Santo Tomas" Painting, Benavides Monument by Tony Noel (1889) and the
Quattro Mondial Monument by Ramon Orlina.

The St. Stephen's High School Class of 1966 was featured on two pre-stamped envelopes valued at 15p each. The designs featured the school's insignia but varied in their background colors. One has a white background while the other one has a violet background.

The People Power Revolution's 25th Anniversary was highlighted through the release of two pre-stamped envelopes valued at 15p each. The design featured Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino and his wife Corazon "Cory" Cojuangco Aquino.

On March 8, 2011. the Philippine Hoyas was featured on a 7p se-tenant block of 4 and a 28p souvenir sheet. The stamps showcased the Mindoro Hoya, Grandmother's Wax Plant, Summer Hoya, Benito Tan's Hoya, Siar's Hoya, Shooting Star Hoya, Imperial Hoya and Buot's Hoya.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Commissioner General David Figg at Cebu Stamp Club Events

Mr. David Figg, the Commissioner General of Australia 2013 World Stamp Exhibition came to Cebu and was the guest of honor at the Cebu Stamp Club @ 15 Anniversary Culmination Events held at Montebello Villa Hotel and Cebu City Museum on December 28, 2012. 

As a token of the club’s gratitude, a Certificate of Appreciation along with the Lifetime Member (M120002) distinction was bestowed to him by President Richard Allan Uy for his invaluable support to Cebu Stamp Club in a ceremony held at the Montebello Villa Hotel, Cebu City, Philippines.

Featured in the photo are Dianne and David Figg, Richard Allan Uy, Edwin Uy and Charles Mark Uybengkee.   

My personal thanks to David and his wife Dianne for coming over to our events. More power to you both! 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI's Apostolic Travels on Stamps

Just recently my postman came to the house to hand in some materials from the Vatican Postal Service. The mail included the Apostolic Journeys of His Holiness Benedict XVI - 2010.

The beautiful stamps released on November 18, 2011 featured the different pastoral journeys of the Holy Father outside of Italy in 2010.

The first stamp shows the Pope in his April travel to Malta for the 195th anniversary of the shipwreck of Paul of Tarsus.

The following month, he went to Portugal for the 10th anniversary of the beatification of two of the three visionaries of Our Lady of Fatima. His itinerary included visits to the cities of Lisbon, Fatima, and Porto. On May 13, he celebrated the Mass to highlight the anniversary of the first apparition at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima where 500 thousand people came to attend.

The third stamp showcases His visit to Cyprus, the first Pope to come to this island where he met with the Archbishop of the Orthodox Church to renew and strengthen Catholic-Orthodox relations.

His fourth journey that took place in September features the stamp highlighting his trip to the United Kingdom where he met with the Archbishop of Canterbury. During his England travel, he beatified Cardinal John Henry Newman, an Anglican priest who became a Catholic.

The last stamp depicts the Pope's last journey for the year where he went to Spain and took a pilgrimage to the Shrine at Santiago de Compostela then to Barcelona where he consecrated the Sagrada Familia church thereby elevating it to a minor basilica.

The five stamps done by Giorgio Borghesani are valued at 0.60, 0.75, 1.40, 1.60 and 2.00. All the stamps are in Euro.

Lyceum of the Philippines University Celebrates 60 Years

The Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost) comes out with its first stamp for 2012 that commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Lyceum of the Philippines University.

Founded by Jose P. Laurel on July 7, 1952, the university's educational vision was based on the principles set by its founder. The school derived its name from lykeion, the grove in ancient Athens where Aristotle taught his students.

Foreign service is the flagship course of the school and is considered to be the best in the country. A lot of graduates from Lyceum became leaders and officials in the public service and in the foreign affairs department.

The Lyceum of the Philippines University commemorative stamp is released today, January 2, 2012 with a value of Php 7.00.

Prominent on the stamp is the magnificent tower of the LPU that has survived the test of time. The number 60 on golden yellow represents the anniversary celebration with the Philippine map in the background. Also shown is the inscription on white, "A Jose P. Laurel Legacy" which immortalizes the man who has inspired the university to achieve academic excellence through the years.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Good bye 2011 and hello 2012! I open my first blog for the year with a prayer to the Almighty for all the wonderful blessings that have come my way and to my family.

Thanks also to everyone who take time to read my articles and send in positive comments. You guys rock!

One more reason that makes every new year significant to me is that this is the day my dad and my brother Bob were born.

This 2012, Chinese astrology calls this the Year of the Dragon. The dragon year is always considered special and significant by the Chinese owing to the fact that this is the only animal in the zodiac year that is fictitious. The Chinese dragon is a combination of a tiger, snake, eagle and a fish. It is a symbol of power, rule and superiority.

Featured in today's blog is a souvenir sheet of the 2012 Year of the Dragon, Chinese New Year stamp issue released by the Philippine Postal Corporation on December 5, 2011 to usher in the new year. Also included in the issue are stamps valued at Php 7.00 and Php 30.00.