President Noynoy Aquino inagural stamp cover

Last June 30, 2010 I was one of the few very lucky individual who bravely went to the Philippine Postal Corporation office at Liwasang Bonifacio  ( Despite being declared as holiday and the philatelic section might not sell any stamps ) to buy some commemorative first day cover of the much anticipated P-NOY Commemorative stamps. Unlike any other occasion, This is the inauguration of the 15th President of the Republic.

A limited commemorative inaugural stamp with serial number 1979 and a memorial stamp of former president Corazon Cojuangco Aquino issued last June 30, 2010

Braving the heat of the day , I arrived past 8:30 am at the Philatelic section of the Philpost , die-hard philatelists from all over the country and the world are awaiting for this special event in our country’s history.  I though that i was one of the early ones, but there are already several dealers and enthusiast who also went to the office even earlier.

Crowd buying the special commemorative cover

The Philatelic chief told me that , they are maintaining a skeletal staffs in order to sell these limited edition stamps.

In keeping with tradition, the Philippine Postal Corp. (Philpost) is issuing a a commemorative stamps  of president-elect Mr. Benigno “Noynoy”Aquino III. It has been part of Philippine Postal Corporation tradition that when there is a new president, Philpost  would come out with a new stamp issue.

Philatelic tellers ( in yellow t-shirt and Professor Marlon Vicente wearing orange t-shirt,  selling commemorative P-NOY stamps)

The 50-year-old Aquino was officially proclaimed by Congress as the country’s 15th president yesterday. He will take his oath as president on June 30.The stamp might be issued after Aquino’s oath taking. “There is a protocol that we have to follow. The pictures of Senator Aquino that would be used in the stamp would depend on the photos that would be provided by president-elect Aquino’s staff.

Philpost employees enjoying a brisk sales from souvenir hunters, philatelists and even balikbayans

He believes the Aquino stamp would be a hit among stamp collectors, like the commemorative stamp for the 25 death anniversary of Aquino’s father, former Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. issued on Nov. 27, 2008 and the collectible stamps for his mother, former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino issued on Sept. 8 last year.

The stamps bearing the image of boxing legend Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and the late Iglesia ni Cristo head Eraño Manalo were also sought after. Carlos said they even had to reprint copies of the Manalo stamp.

Then, including a few employees of the Philpost, our group quickly hitch a ride  from a small van toward the postal station at the Luneta postal detachment (  near the Quirino grandstand where the Presidential inauguration )  .  We then quickly unloaded all the First Day cover and started helping the  employees  to sell their commemorative stamps.

Zen Hernandez of ABS-CBN channel 2 reporter with the author and employees of Philpost

A lot of souvenirs sellers from caps, button pins, umbrella, t-shirt , dolls etc… There are also some die-hard stamp hunters too! I was  still amazed that people still collect stamps . One of Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club officer Professor Marlon Vicente of Bulacan  took some respite and even joined the group , But before helping to sell the commemorative stamp cover . He quickly bought 20 pieces of FDC. According to him , He do not want to be left out in history.

Some present generation students which are used in the e-mail and texting though that we were selling stickers. It took us some time to convince these people. In fact the  Philpost issued only 2,000 pieces on these stamp. I was still wondering “why” limit these inaugural stamp covers to just merely 2,000 copies???? In fact during the past Presidential inauguration in the 1990’s the postal corporation would issue at least 50,000 to 100,000 sets????

Although this is a special issue, Issuing a very low quantity of these commemorative covers could even create a black market were the original Php 15.00 value of the cover may increase several times over!

This is a good news to the speculators and dealers, Since the issuance  of the limited edition cover. The price had already increase by at least  twenty (20) fold. However, For everyone to enjoy this so-called dying hobby . The stamp advisory committee should likewise refrain from issuing a very low quantity issue. In other South -East Asian countries like Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam ( I am limiting  my comparison to South East Asia )  Selling special commemorative  and thematic issues are a Big Big business bringing Million of Dollars in revenues !

But here in the Philippines ? From what we have learned from an insider of the Philpost , a government corporation. The last time they got a hefty earning was in 2004 ????

Bonsai and Suseiki Alliance Show at the Circle

Last June 25 , 2010 , The newly formed  Bonsai and Suiseki Alliance of the Philippines (BSAPI), in cooperation with the Quezon Morial Circle Administration, the Legend Hotel Palawan and the Lacelli International Corporation held a special opening rites on June 25 for special guests, members and media representatives , The show was officially opened to the public  from June 26 to July 11, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.

poster of the show at the Quezon Memorial Circle

With the theme, “Nature’s Best at the Comfort of Your Home,” the show will also feature lecture-demonstrations on various aspects of plant arts and environmental concerns, a bonsai challenge, on-the-spot painting contest
exhibit, a bonsai workshop,  a flower and garden bazaar. Quezon City is a favorite show site for most plant associations which included the newly formed society.

a Japanese style landscape garden complete with waterfall and wooden bridge

The show attracted several thousand of people from all walks of life while  the bonsai and garden show will last for about 15 days .

officers , members,   international bonsai judges, media  during the formal opening

Notable guests include former QC councilor Hon. Jeorge Banal Sr.,  Supreme Court Justice Hon. Conchita  Carpio – Morales, Dr. Elenita Binay wife of Vice -President -elect Jejomar Binay, Mrs, Joyce Kato , Mrs. Adoracion S. Bernabe, Professor Serapion Metilla, Mrs. Leticia Ligon , Mr. Nonito Dolera – President Fern and Nature Society of the Philippines, International Bonsai and Suseiki Judges Li Tiong Hong, Li Quo An,Cham Yeon Sien.

The lecture-demos are as follows: “Introduction to Suiseki and Biseki” by Dr. E. Villareal, and “Basic Bonsai Culture Techniques” by engineer A. Villareal, June 28; “Logical Guide to Raising Bonsai” by David Du, and “Bonsai Making with Power Tools” by Mody Manglicmot, June 29; “Miniature Tray landscaping  (Penjing)” by Vic de Rona, June 30; “Anthurium Culture and Hybrids” by Vangie Go, July 1; “Cultural Guide to Growing Sympodial and Monopodial Orchids” by Norby Bautista, July 2; “Benefits of Rock Salt” by Jaime Dyliaco, July 3; “What’s New in Exotic Fruit Trees” by Zac Sarian, July 4; “Gamma Radiation to Produce Mutant Ornamental Plants” by Nanding Aurigue, July 5; “Flower Setting for Wedding Occasions” by Tony Padilla, July 6; “Basic Fern Gardening” by Anthony Arbias, July 7; “The Bounty and Plight of Philippine Hoyas” by Wendy Regalado, July 2 and 8; “Landscaping Using Native Trees” by Patrick Joson, July 9; and “Ikebana for All Occasions” by Ikebana professor Serapion Metilla on July 10.

a mother and child suseiki

Four international members of the board of judges from Taiwan have been invited. They are Li Tiong Hong, director of Bonsai Education of the National Bonsai Association of Taiwan; and NBAT certified judges Li Quo An and Cham Yeon Sien. Chong Hwa Stone Society president Lu Sam Tien will judge the suiseki.

a bonsai tree with several ribbons

Suseiki is an ancient art of natural stone appreciation and collection in which started from China and spreading to Japan where it was improved  . Sometimes gathering stones from the wild  can be illegal or ecologically damaging to take large rocks from the natural environment or national parks. Many landscape supply centers sell large rocks, although you may have to spend time picking through them to find ones with character. Some curious rocks shaped like snakes, dogs, cats and animals were an instant hit among suseiki fanciers and collectors. Unique pieces are eagerly  sought after by collectors .

Natural stones neatly arranged and labeled  for judging

One day after the show opening,  The author hosted a group of photographers from Marikina and also toured students from the Far Eastern University about one  week later.

a group of  tourism students of Far Eastern University toured the show last July 4, 2010

Winners  received the Mody Manglicmot Bonsai and Suiseki Cups.

Toy exhibit at SM North EDSA

Tarpaulin poster with Die-cast model facts and trivias

Last June 19 and 20, 2010 . There was an exhibit of various toy collections at SM North EDSA . The show is quite similar with the ongoing Toy convention at SM megamall, minus the cos-players, daily raffles  and commerical sellers. The exhibit also coincide with ‘ Fathers’ day . with a short trivias on toy collectibles in the country.

mustang toy car collection , some still in pristine condition

Most of the collectors used their aliases rather than their real names, mostly known by their peers in the internet and cyber peers. This add mystery to their collections.

Ghostbuster famous Ectomobile -1 with Slimer

Just like in any other exhibit , proper labeling and presentation  is  important especially if you want to let observers  and masses  convey a sense of history or a bit of an info about your collection . Or maybe brag that it’s a complete set or it was sourced from far away wherever. The exhibitor  may also  want to answer all queries from onlookers. But since the exhibitor  can’t stay with your display all the time, these labels will help your admirers to learn more about your collection and answer some of their questions . Some exhibitor  also leave their contact numbers  maybe if they wanted to answer the questions of the people or just wanted to sell some of their excess collection.

sports  toy cars

Dozens of collectors from different parts of the country showcased their collection of toys , action figure among others.

Co -organized by Diecast  Car Collectors of the Philippines (DCPH).  The exhibit aim to generate awareness on this kind of hobby . Although there are a lot of collectors of die-cast models and cars in the Philippines .

The country still lagged behind some of Southeast Asia’s powerhouse like Thailand , Malaysia , Singapore. But there are a lot of serious collectors from the country whom are at par or even had better collections than their ASEAN counterparts! One example is Mjoinir V. Ong known to DCPH as Mechajol  that over 500 die-cast car model , 90% percent of which are beetle collectors’ item. On the  centerpiece of his assortments is his classic drag bus worth around 2,000.

Aside from maintaining an informative forum site, the club also organizes a swap meet among members and sympathizers of die-cast toys , This enable some collectors to meet members and have a chance to sell or swap their collections.

Congratulations !

Shanghai World Exposition : Commemorative stamps and coins

The Shanghai Philatelic Corporation has issued a set of Expo 2010 gold and silver commemorative stamps which feature the emblem and mascot for the 2010 event.

set of stamps issued by China Post :

The site of Shanghai Expo spans both sides of the Huangpu River between the Nan Pu Bridge and the Lupu Bridge., As the most important area of exhibition and landscapes, World Expo Centre, China Pavilion, Expo Performance Centre, Theme Pavilions, Expo Boulevard will be reserved permanently after Expo Shanghai.

World Expo Centre will serve as the center for ceremonies and conferences, press conferences and various forums during Expo Shanghai. China Pavilion is designed with the concept of “Oriental Crown”, which represents the Chinese wisdom of the urban development. Expo Performance Centre will serve for major performances and exhibiting activities during Expo Shanghai. The Theme Pavilions will be built with a theme of “City, Make Life Better”, The Expo Boulevard will act as the main axis for human traffic flow and sightseeing at the Expo Site during Expo Shanghai.

China National Philatelic Corporation  issued five FDCs and commemorative cancellations respectively..

The first two gold stamps of the set were issued on December 19, 2007, to mark the debut of Haibao. The others were issued on May 1 to mark the one-year countdown to the opening of the Expo and embody the theme “China and Expo.” A total of 20,100 sets will be issued.

The stamps, depicting the Expo Center, China Pavilion, Performance Center, Theme Pavilion and Expo Boulevard, will be sold at post offices across China for the next six months.
Sales of silver stamps for Expo 2010’s China Pavilion have started.

A set of five World Expo stamps went on sale , with many stamp collectors queuing outside city post offices overnight to snap up the coveted commemorative.

commemorative set of coins on display

The series of 99.9% pure silver stamps feature four categories of 88 grams, 188g, 388g, and 688g, with in limited editions of 200,000, 10,000, 6,000 and 2,010 respectively.

Hai Bao the official mascot of the Shanghai World Exposition

The name of the mascot of World Expo 2010 Shanghai China is Hai Bao, which means the treasure of the sea. The name of Hai Bao is easy to remember, echoes with the color of its body and is a typical lucky name in Chinese tradition.

Hai Bao is the good well ambassador of Shanghai Expo. He is embracing friends from all over the world with his arms and confident smile.

Shanghai World Expo Commemorative Coins issued in 2010

The theme of Expo 2010 is “Better City, Better Life,” representing the common wish of the whole humankind for a better living in future urban environments. This theme represents a central concern of the international community for future policy making, urban strategies and sustainable development. In 1800, 2% of the global population lived in cities. In 1950, the figure raised to 29%, in 2000, almost half the world population moved into cities, and by 2010, as estimated by the United Nations, the urban population will account for 55% of the total human population.

The face of the stamps is watermarked with the design of “China Pavilion of Expo 2010,” while the back features lilies and bats, indicating the all-inclusive Shanghai spirit, harmonious Expo 2010 and blooming nation. All these products are marked with the World Expo anti-counterfeit labels.

The stamps are authorized by the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, approved by China Post Group, produced by Shanghai Stamp Collection Corporation, and distributed by Expo 2010 franchise dealer Shanghai Chang Yu Investment Co Ltd.

commemorative coins issued in 2009 set 1

Products are available at all outlets of Shanghai Chang Yu Gold, Shanghai Old Temple Gold, designated outlets of the Bank of Communications and Shanghai Post Offices and Expo 2010 retail franchises.

commemorative  coins issued in 2009 set 2

There are different countries in the world which issued commemorative stamps, coins, postcards and other collectibles specifically to promote the event.

Website links:
http://en.expo2010.cn/
http://www.chinapost.com.cn/36/175/182/4152.html

Flora and Fauna of Manila Exhibit

There was an exhibit of various Flora and Fauna at the Manila City hall lobby  from June 18 to June 30, 2010.  This was to highlight the founding date of the city of Manila.

Mr. Jeremy Barns- Director IV- National Museum, Mr. Larry Henares  – National Museum Chairman , Hon. Alfredo S. Lim -Mayor of Manila, Ms. Gemma Cruz de Araneta – Manila Historical and Heritage Commission during the cutting of ribbon last June 18, 2010 .

Ideopsis juventa manillana, Moore 1883

This butterfly species was first described by Moore in 1883 . This dried taxonomic butterfly specimen was exhibited by the Philippines National Museum . The butterfly species had the word Manila .

Cinnamomum manillarum ( Lauaceae)

Fr. Manuel Blanco (1779-1837), who developed a botanical research garden at the church celebrating its 400th birthday today. Blanco’s Flora de Filipinas, first printed in 1837, has served as a guide to the islands’ plants ever since.

Fr. Blanco described Scyphiphora hydrophyllaces, locally known as nilad: a tree with white star-shaped flowers. He wrote, “Manila denotes a place where there are many of this tree and from this, great Manila derived its name.”

Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea (common names: nilad in Tagalog; chengam in Singapore and Peranakan communities of Malaysia) is a mangrove species  that is about 3 m (10 ft) tall.


It is often found in mangrove forests or sandy beaches. Its leaves are opposite. The leaf blades are broad and drop-shaped. Its terminal buds and young leaves are coated with a varnish -like substance. The flowers have four white lobes that are tinged in pink. They are arranged in dense clusters.

The fruits are elliptic and deeply ridged, becoming light brown and buoyant when ripe. Its dark brown wood can be used to craft small objects. Leaf extracts are known to be helpful for stomach aches. The flowers can be used as a cleansing or whitening laundry agent.

Capital city of the country ( Manila) , got its name from the nilad because the shores of Manila Bay are teeming with this shrub. The place was called “Maynila”, which means “There is nilad” or “Where is Nilad”  . The Capital city’s name   was also probably derived from the Indian – Sanskrit  word “nila” (नील) which means “indigo tree.” but still is subject for scholarly debate on the origin of the etymology.

Caprimulgus manillensis

The Philippine Nightjar (Caprimulgus manillensis) is a species of nightjar   in the Caprimulgidae  family. It is considered as an endemic species found only in the Philippines.

Its natural habitats  are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, subtropical or tropical mangrove forests, and subtropical or tropical moist montanes.

The aim of this exhibit was to create awareness that a significant number of plant and animal species that were named after the capital city of the Philippines which is ” Manila “.