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!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Royal Mail Highlights World Stamp Expo 2013

Royal Mail comes up with a special issue celebrating the World Stamp Expo 2013 that opened on May 10, 2013 at Melbourne, Australia.

This event is highlighted on a special exhibition sheet featuring 20 iconic images of famous building, locations and events celebrating the city of Melbourne alongside 20 ‘Hello’ 1st Class stamps. 

The sheet features the show’s logo together with a background image of Melbourne and a traditional Australian ‘G’day’ greeting. 

The images on the found on the stamps are: Royal Exhibition Building, Brighton Beach, Degraves Street, Melbourne Cup, Parliament House, Melbourne Cricket Ground, W-Class Tram, Yarra River, Flinders Street Station, National Gallery of Victoria, Luna Park, Hosier Lane, Royal Botanic Gardens, Australian Open, Shrine of Remembrance, Queen Victoria Market, Webb Bridge, Federation Square, Royal Arcade and Twelve Apostles.

As well as offering stamp collectors the opportunity to buy old and new stamps from across the globe, The World Stamp Expo 2013 provides a meeting point for postal administrations, distributors, printers and other third parties involved in the stamp industry.
Andrew Hammond, Royal Mail Stamps spokesperson, said: “The Australia 2013 show is one of the best exhibitions in the philatelic calendar and we hope this sheet of stamps will provide a fitting celebration. These stamps will be available to purchase at the exhibition itself giving collectors both young and old the opportunity to take home our tribute to the best of Melbourne, right in the heart of the city itself.”

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Royal Mail's Football Heroes

Here's an interesting  new release from Royal Mail that features football heroes. This issue celebrates the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the rules of Association Football and also coincides with the 150th anniversary of the Football Association and the 140th anniversary of the Scottish Football Association.

The 1st Class stamps feature eleven (11) talented individual footballers from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales who stood out above the rest.  All of these players are included in the National Football Museum's Hall of Fame. 

Stamp 1: Gordon Banks, the greatest keeper to ever play for England.
Stamp 2: Bobby Moore, the legendary English World Cup winning captain.
Stamp 3: John Charles, the finest Welsh player of all time.
Stamp 4: Dave Mackay, a Scottish legend in the field of football.
Stamp 5: Bryan Robson, England's Captain Marvel.
Stamp 6: Bobby Charlton, considered as one of the greatest English footballers of all time.
Stamp 7: Kevin Keegan, two-time European Footballer of the Year.
Stamp 8: John Barnes, a great English winger.
Stamp 9: George Best, a Northern Irish football genius.
Stamp 10: Jimmy Greaves, known as one of the most instinctively gifted footballers in the game's history.
Stamp 11: Dennis Law, the Scottish Football Association’s outstanding player for the past 50 years. 

The stamps were illustrated by Andrew Kinsman who did a great job in creating a composite artwork by placing the players together to achieve a traditional team shot.  

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Fall of Corregidor

On May 6, 1942, Lieutenant General Jonathan Wainwright surrendered all his forces to General Masaharu Homma of the Imperial Japanese Army. This is now known in history as the Fall of Corregidor.

General Wainwright has this to say of his decision to surrender... "There is a limit of human endurance, and that point has long been passed."

Though Wainwright only wished to surrender the soldiers in Corregidor, Japanese General Homma insisted he surrender all US and Filipino forces in the Philippines which Wainwright complied. As a result, Major General William Sharp's Visayan-Mindanao Forces were forced to surrender without having played a role in the campaign.

The Japanese issued stamps to commemorate their victory in Corregidor as well as in Bataan. 

See the Japanese Occupation stamps of this historic event and other World War II themed stamps featuring my collections at Cebu Stamp Club's ongoing historical philatelic exhibit, Selyo ug Kasaysayan sa Fort at Cuerpo de Guardia, Fort San Pedro, Cebu City.