Monday, July 29, 2013

Australia's The Birth of a Prince

Australia Post beat everyone by being the first to issue the stamp featuring the new Royal Baby, George Alexander Louis. The 60c stamp on a sheetlet of 10 valued at $6.00 is designed by Sonia Young of the Australia Post Design Studio. 

This instant issue celebrates the birth of a new prince to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on July 22, 2013 at 4.24pm BST. The next day, the latest addition to the Royal Family was introduced to the world on the steps of the hospital.

The stamp shows the Royal couple leaving St Mary's Hospital Paddington with their newly-born son.

Australia Post shares that "the birth of a future monarch is always a highly anticipated event and the child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who will be third in line to the throne after Prince Charles and Prince William, was no exception. 

For the first time in British history the gender of the newborn royal was irrelevant - the newly altered Act of Succession means that now the first born, whether boy or girl, will be monarch. And in another first, the birth of this royal baby saw Prince William take paternity leave from his position as a helicopter rescue pilot.

The sons of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - Charles, Andrew and Edward - were born at Buckingham Palace, while Princess Anne was born at Clarence House. Today the preferred birthing facility used by the Royal Family is the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital in Paddington. The baby's father Prince William was born there, as was his uncle Prince Harry.

A notice of the birth was attached to an ornate easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, with the media officially informed. There were royal gun salutes across London heralding the new arrival."

Interesting Items @ the Stamp Meetup

Here are two interesting philatelic items I got the other day at Cebu Stamp Club's July 27, 2013 Stamp Meetup in Catmon.  

The first is a 2011 stamp issued in Cuba commemorating the 65th Anniversary of the Diplomatic Relations between the Philippines and Cuba. 

It features Fort Santiago in Manila, and the Philippine flag and Cuba's Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro, La Havana and the Cuban flag.

The second is an envelope bearing a Poste Vaticane (Vatican Post) August 21-23, 2003 cancellation with a Pope John Paul II stamp.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cebu Stamp Club's July 2013 Meetup in Catmon


During the June meetup at Fort San Pedro, Cebu Stamp Club members decided to go out of town to hold the July 27, 2013 meetup in Ken and Gina Turner's place in Catmon.

The trip to the Turner residence almost took us two hours. We left at 10:00 a.m. and arrived at lunch time.  Immediately upon our arrival we were treated by the Australian couple delicious food that 
include veggies, chicken and fish dishes and coconut milk as well as sodas.


There were stamp freebies too. It was stamping, dining and bonding for all of us. The reason we are together for 17 years as a club is because of stamps and we went home with lots of them.

Before we left, we were treated again with some snacks. It sure was one of the great out-of-town meetups we had!

Click here for more photo at Cebu Stamp Club's official Facebook page 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

My 2012 Philippine First Day Covers


It's a great Saturday for me as I finally have the time to start mounting my 2012 Philippine First Day Covers on my customized FDC album.   

Next time around will be the 2012 Philippine stamps. It's already mid-year and I have yet to mount them to its album. 

A Philatelic Gift from Poland


I am very glad to receive this philatelic gift yesterday from Andrzej P., a philatelist friend who comes  from faraway Poland, the birthplace of the soon to be saint John Paul II. These John Paul II philatelic items released by the Polish Post Office on different dates are a welcome addition to my Pope John Paul II philatelic collection.

These materials will definitely be included in a new stamp and photo exhibit I will be presenting for Cebu Stamp Club immediately after the Pope's canonization this year.
More photos at Cebu Stamp Club's official Facebook page.

In return, I sent him philatelic items issued by the Philippine Postal Corporation featuring Pope John Paul II, San Pedro Calungsod and other Catholic-themed issues.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Cebu Stamp Club's June 2013 Picnic Meetup


This year, Cebu Stamp Club turns seventeen! It's 17 years of stamp collecting, exhibits, auctions, friendship, bonding and having fun. Under my leadership, we continue to grow through the years simply because we love stamps. Our bond become stronger every month through our meetups. 

On the 23rd of June, members gathered at Cuerpo de Guardia, Fort San Pedro, Cebu City for Cebu Stamp Club's June 2013 Picnic Stamp Meetup. This monthly meeting was unique because we held it in a very historical fort where our ongoing exhibit Selyo ug Kasaysayan sa Fort (Stamps and History @ the Fort) is held. 

Kiwi stamp freebies courtesy of CSCI member Dr. May Belarmino from New Zealand were distributed to those who came. CSCI Lifetime member Ken Turner who hails from Australia brought along many stamp freebies to everyone's delight. 

There were lots of food too brought by all members who came for the picnic stamp meetup! Come July 27, we will  be going to hold the meetup at Ken Turner's place in Catmon which is an hour and a half ride from the city.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rizal is 152

The whole country celebrates today Dr. Jose P. Rizal's 152th birth anniversary.  Different activities are lined up in all parts of the Philippines to honor him.

I have featured stamps and philatelic items on the national hero for Cebu Stamp Club's Selyo ug Kasaysayan sa Fort (Stamps and History @ the Fort) Stamp and Photo Exhibit @ Cuerpo de Guardia, Fort San Pedro, Cebu City. The exhibit is extended until July 31, 2013.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

2013 Philippine Stamp: Malacañan Palace 150 Years

The Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) came up with a new issue on June 11, 2013 to commemorate the Sesquicentennial (150th) Anniversary (1863-2013) of Malacañan Palace. 

The 10-peso stamp shows the facade of Malacañan Palace from the view across the Pasig River. Shown on the stamp is the official government seal of the Republic of the Philippines with the text "Sesquicentennial, 1863-2013". 

A  total of 500,000 pcs. were printed with the design provided by the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office, Office of Undersecretary Manuel L. Quezon III. Jose Antonio A. Jayme did the lay-out.
Malacañan Palace is the official residence of the President of the Philippines and is situated in the old Manila district of San Miguel. Records reveal that the property was owned by Luis Rocha, a Spaniard in the galleon trade. It was described as made of stone and a modest country house. 

In 1802, Rocha sold the property to Colonel Jose Miguel Fomento of the Spanish Army. With Fomento's death in 1825, the government bought it and made it as the temporary residence of outgoing Spanish Governors-General who were waiting for the next ship to Spain.

On June 3, 1863, a great earthquake destroyed the Palacio in Intramuros which was then the seat of power of the Spaniards. This prompted the Spanish Governor-General to move to Malacañan Palace. By virtue of a Superior Decree issued on June 11, 1863, it became the official residence of the Governor-General. 

When the Americans occupied the country, it continued to be the official residence of the American Governors-General. From 1935 until the time of the Presidents of the Republic, buildings were added, remodeled, expanded, demolished and rebuilt while adjoining lands were acquired. The years 1978 and 1979 saw the most grandiose renovation of the palace by former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos. 

Malacañan Palace continues to be the symbol of political power in the country. It is the official office of President Benigno S. Aquino III, the 15th President of the Philippines.  

Since 1969, Malacañan Palace has been featured in the PhP 20.00 bill. It used to be at the reverse/back side but in 2010, it was moved from the reverse to the bottom center of the obverse/front.

Happy 115th Independence Day

Happy Independence Day Philippines!

Today is a very special day for us Filipinos. It is a day of rejoicing as we celebrate 115 years of freedom.
The story featuring this event is highlighted in my Selyo ug Kasaysayan sa Fort (Stamps and History @ the Fort) Stamp and Photo Exhibit for Cebu Stamp Club held @ Cuerpo de Guardia, Fort San Pedro.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, Quezon Service Cross Awardee

The Philippine Postal Corporation issued on May 27, 2013 a special stamp honoring the late Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, a Quezon Service Cross Awardee.

The stamp with a denomination of PhP 10.00 and a quantity of 400,000 recognizes the late secretary's contribution to nation building. The release of the stamp coincides with his 55th birthday. The stamp's design bears a profile photo of Secretary Robredo and a photo of President Manuel L. Quezon and the Quezon Service Cross as background.

The photo was provided by the Office of Atty. Leni Robredo, the secretary's wife and courtesy of Ms. Joan Dela Cruz, Chief of Staff of the Office of the Secretary, DILG.

 Widely known as a "government man", Jesus "Jesse" Manalastas Robredo (May 27, 1958 - August 18, 2012) was born in Naga City, Camarines Sur. He was the third of five children of Jose Chan Robredo Sr. and Marcelina Manalastas - Robredo.

He became the youngest mayor in Philippine history after he won the seat in 1988 at the age of 29. His law-adhering style of governance at city hall earned for him the respect of his constituents. He got the people's participation and stakeholdership in governance that catapulted Naga City to become the premier city of the Bicol Region. He transformed the once dull and lethargic city to become one of the "Most Improved Cities in Asia" in an Asiaweek Magazine report in 1999.

For his skills and competence as a leader, he was elected as President of the League of Cities in the Philippines in 1995. From 1992 until 1998, he served as chair of the Bicol Regional Development Council that is composed of six provinces and seven cities.

After serving as Mayor of Naga City for 19 years, he was appointed by President Benigno S. Aquino III to serve as Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

On August 18, 2012, while on his way back to Naga City after an official agency engagement in Cebu City, the Piper Aircraft he boarded crashed into the off shore of Masbate. The government immediately conducted a search and rescue operation. Three days after, his body was retrieved.

The country mourned the untimely passing of an icon of good governance. He was accorded a state funeral and conferred with different posthumous awards. Among them is the Quezon Service Cross, the highest recognition given by the Republic of the Philippines to an individual. 

The Quezon Service Cross is a decoration conferred by the President of the Philippines with the concurrence of the Congress of the Philippines to Filipino citizens for exemplary service to the nation in such a manner and degree as to add great prestige to the Republic of the Philippines, or as to contribute to the lasting benefit of its people.

Secretary Jesse Robredo is one of five recipients of the award since its creation in 1946. The other four recipients were Carlos P. Romulo, the President of the United Nations General Assembly; President Emilio Aguinaldo; President Ramon Magsaysay and Sen. Benigno S. Aquino Jr. (posthumous).

Secretary Robredo's wife Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo a reluctant candidate for congressman now sits as the Representative of the 3rd District of Camarines Sur after winning a landslide victory over her opponent on May 16, 2013.

Monday, May 13, 2013

My Election Day Experience

It's election day once again! Filipinos take time to go to the different polling centers in the country to vote for their choice of senators, congressmen, governor, vice governor, provincial board members, mayor, vice mayor, councilors, and party list representative.

At exactly 7:15 AM, me and my brother arrived at the school where we were going to cast our vote. The school is just at the back of our compound but we had to walk for ten minutes to enter the front gate located at the main road. One half of the school's lot was donated by my great grandfather Isidro Velasquez in the old days that's the reason why we live adjacent to the school. His generosity was acknowledged by the government when a street was named after him.

There were already a lot of people at this time. We wasted no time in finding our names in the list of voters then hurriedly proceeded to our assigned precinct. Once there, we were told to get inside a jam-packed room where we waited for our turn to vote. 

The waiting was not a comfortable one as we had to endure the room's heat. All four electric fans were turned off except for the two lighted 40w florescent lamps that emitted heat that added to our inconvenience. As expected in this situation, all of us were sweating profusely.

After waiting for an hour, we were finally told to step out. I was glad that I am out of this room and be able to vote. My relief turned into dismay the moment we stepped out of the room. We were once again told to sit down in the chairs outside the polling precinct and had to wait again for another half hour. 

When our turn came, me and my brother knew that finally this is it! Inside the room, we were given our ballots that were placed inside a folder with a Commission on Elections (Comelec) seal. The ballot is a long piece of paper that bears the names of all the candidates. All we had to do was to shade the oval beside the name of our preferred candidate.

It took me less than five minutes to finish shading all my candidates. I was guided to the PCOS machine where my ballot was fed. Three tries proved unsuccessful and I was a little bit concerned that my vote will not be counted.

On the fourth attempt, another election personnel approached and assisted me. This time, she inverted the paper. At last, it was a success!

Immediately thereafter, to complete the process, an election personnel placed a drop of indelible ink on my pointing finger. Comelec have continued this practice of placing indelible inks as a deterrent for people not to be able to vote more than once.   

I am very glad that it's over! I have once again done my share in nation building by choosing the right people to sit in government.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Thank you mothers for your unselfish love and devotion.. For just being there to console and lift us up when times are rough..  and for making sure that we become good citizens of the world. 

Happy Mother's Day!