APO turns 60- a diamond jubilee exhibition

APO Philatelic Society 25th anniversary commemorative stamp issue in 1975


The Amateur Philatelists Organization or APO (forerunner of the APO Philatelic Society) was organized on May 28, 1950 by the triumvirate of Messrs. Francisco Arcebal, Carlos Licup, and Mamerto Gallardo. The APO was founded on the paramount objective of bringing the hobby of stamp collecting into the consciousness of beginners and amateur philatelists by motivating them, educating them with proper guidance in the different aspects of philately, and rearing them to be responsible and competitive stamp collectors.

First Meeting

The first organizational meeting of the APO was held on June 11, 1950 with twelve members in attendance. On the third meeting, with 35 members present, the following were elected as the first batch of officers of the club: Francisco Arcebal, President; Joe de Castro, Vice-President; Teodora Fuentecilla, Secretary; Luz Baking, Treasurer; Carlos Licup, Business Manager; Conchita Sigua, Auditor; and Mamerto Gallardo, PRO.

Mr. Dionisio Taeza

Mr. Taeza  is a stamp , paper bill , coin , post card and phone card collector РHis various exhibits won several awards during the past several years.A former OFW in Saudi Arabia , he was able to accumulate vast number of collections during his stay in the Middle East Kingdom.  Among his entries priced entries in this exhibition were Pope John Paul 2 stamp collections from different parts of the globe and postcards .

Mr. Dionisio Taeza pose for a souvenir shot – behind him are his collections of Pope John Paul 2 First Day Covers issued by Philippine Postal Corporation

According to Mr. Taeza,  He started  swapping  postcards and letters when  working in Saudi Arabia , It was the height of the snail mail era in order to avoid boredom and to have more friends. With three grown -up children , He  fondly remembers  good-old days of  stamp collecting  and swapping with fellow collectors from others parts of the globe

post card collection

The APO was listed on the Philippine Journal of Philately as the 29th philatelic organization in the Philippines. And this 29th stamp club is now the oldest surviving stamp club in the country today. The first APO Philatelic Exhibition (APOPEX) was held at the YMCA Camus Hall on December 10, 1950. Though modest in its inaugural exhibition, APO has consistently and faithfully put up exhibitions through these last fifty years – a feat unsurpassed by any other club.

The first issue of the APO Newsletter came out in March 1954. Mr.  Carlos Reyes was the editor; Ms. Teresita del Fierro and Mr. Bernardo Sembrano, managing editors. On January 1969, the club published its official organ, APO STAMPS, with newly elected President, Epifanio Paras, as editor.


Although there is the much older stamp-collecting club that is the Asociacion Filatelica de Filipinas organized on May 10, 1925. AFP is accredited with big stamp expositions like FEPEX in 1937, PANAPEX held in 1952, PHICIPEX was also held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first stamp of the country in 1954.According to some old time stamp collector this stamp club ceased their operations in the mid 1960’s.

The 18th APOPEX was held on November 24 to December 8, 1968 to coincide with the observance of Philatelic Week proclaimed by President Ferdinand E. Marcos in response to an APO resolution. President Marcos subsequently signed Proclamation 622, declaring the last week of November of every year as “Philatelic Week.” Hence APOPEX is always held on the last week of November.

A letter from Governor Dwight Filley Davis (birth July 5, 1879 ‚Äď death November 28, 1945) from Malaca√Īang cancelled aboard ship on November 14, 1930 to US House of Representative Hon. S.K.¬† Houston

Governor Dwight Filley Davis served as the Governor General of the Philippines from 1929‚Äď32.¬† He is best remembered for founding the Davis Cup Tennis¬† International Tournament .

The tournament was conceived in 1899 by four members of the¬† Harvard University¬† tennis team who wished to challenge the British to a tennis competition. Once their respective lawn tennis associations agreed, one of the four Harvard players, among them is Mr. Dwight F. Davis¬† who¬† designed a tournament format and ordered an appropriate sterling silver¬† trophy from Shreve, Crump and Low company¬† purchasing it from his own funds. Mr. Davis¬† is also a¬† prominent politician in the United States in the 1920s, and served as¬† US Secretary of War serving as from 1925‚Äď29 and served as Governor General¬† of the Philippines from 1929‚Äď32 under US President Herbert Clark Hoover a Republican.

Photo courtesy of : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwight_F._Davis

The APO Philatelic Society has secured its place in Philippine philately with the leadership and governance of its past presidents, carrying the colors of the club on their shoulders through several decades  Рbringing joy and happiness to countless member-collectors, who had provided the inspiration and motivation for the club to strive further.

On 1999 APO Philatelic Society elected its female president led by Mrs. Paulina Calinawan , Then together with Philippine Postal Corporation¬† held a Thematic ‚Äú Flowers on Stamp ‚ÄĚ exhibit¬† at the third level on EDSA Shangri-LA Mall in Mandaluyong City on August 27 to September¬† 12, 1999.

APO Philatelic Society golden anniversary stamp issue

The Philatelic exhibition also coincided with the 53rd Mid-Year Orchid Show of the Philippine Orchid Society. Aside from philately, paintings , photographs and landscaped exhibits¬† of orchids and flowers were displayed and focused on the rare and exotic Vanda sanderiana or Waling-waling. A slogan canceller was also issued to coincide the event.¬†¬† ‚Äú 50 years of stamp Collecting‚ÄĚ was approved by the Philippine Postal Corporation on all outgoing mails at the post offices of Bacolod, San Fernando City, Batangas, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Manila, San Fernando City in Pampanga from May 24 to 31, 1999. This was to commemorate the 49th founding anniversary of the organization.

Apo Philatelic Society celebrated its 60th Anniversary last May 2010 with a luncheon buffet with their outgoing president Mr. Ignacio Tuazon,  a position that he held for almost 10 years. With the election of the new president led by Mr. Jimmy Ang   the organization is expected to be the forefront in Philippine Philately.

L-R Mr. Lawrence Chan ,Mr. Dionisio Taeza, Mr. Jimmy Ang ( President of APO Philatelic¬† Society) , Mr. Rey Ong de Jesus , Mr. Luis D. Carlos ( Philippine Postal Corporation’s Assistant Postmaster General for Marketing) (fifth from left)¬†¬†¬† Mrs. Elenita San Diego, Manager, Postage and Philatelic Department and the staff of Philatelic Division and Philpost employees graces the opening ceremony of the APO Philatelic Society’s APO @60 Philatelic Exhibition last May 9, 2011 at the Main Lobby of the PhilPost Building in Liwasang Bonifacio, Manila.¬†

At the tail end of their celebration, APO Philatelic Society held a stamp exhibit within the Manila Central Post Office from May 9, 2011 to May 22, 2011. Among the most popular exhibit topics  are  the Pope John Paul 2 exhibit, Dr.  Jose Rizal and President Noynoy Aquino ..

a luncheon was hosted by Mrs. Elenita San Diego( Head of  Postage and Philatelic Department)   second from left , together with Mr. Dionisio Taeza after the opening 

On its Diamond Jubilee Year,  APO will continue to commit itself to be at the forefront of Philippine philately Рpropagating the hobby to the next generation of stamp collectors and preparing them to be useful citizens of our country.

The exhibit runs until May 20, 2011. Everyone is encouraged to view the exhibit that features winning philatelic collections here and abroad.




Bonsai show at SM North EDSA sky garden

SM City North EDSA

Philippine Bonsai Society Incorporated in cooperation with SM City North EDSA mall in  Quezon City  presents the  national bonsai exhibition and competition  from  May 6 to 30, 2011 at the  SM sky garden.

SM Sky Garden was inaugurated last 2009 and is continuously being used as an art exhibition area and as a venue for live plant exhibition.  the garden has  an elevated curvilinear park with a 400-meter canopied walkway cutting across manicured lawns, ponds,trees about 35 retail shops ranging from t-shirt store, ice cream house, international and local restaurants which lined the greenery. SM City North Edsa, which now has a gross lease-able area of 445,000 square meters including the Sky Garden and SM Annex redevelopment.

tarpaulin poster of the event

There is also a gallery where bonsai trees are exhibited and bonsai critique Professor Amy Liang will share her vast knowledge of bonsai culture and the art of making bonsai. There were at  least 40 bonsai were exhibited at the venue , which were also judged by Professor Amy Liang along  with bonsai masters Mr. Chew Yu Xian and Mr. Kuo An Li from Taiwan .

Mr.Roberto ‚ÄúBobby‚ÄĚ P. Gopiao( President of Philippine Bonsai Society) , Mrs. Fely Gupit, Architect Patricia ” Wendy” Fernando- Regalado ( President of Philippine Horticulture Society) and representatives of SM North EDSA Mall , members and VIPs grace the opening and¬† ribbon cutting ceremonies

Roberto ‚ÄúBobby‚ÄĚ P. Gopiao is a versatile designer and bonsai enthusiast whose love for plants started in an early childhood. He was exposed to nature‚Äôs beauty and bounty in the home farms of his maternal grandparents who hail from Angeles City and Mexico, Pampanga. The varied plant collection of his mother, Corazon Panlilio-Gopiao also contributed to Bobby‚Äôs interest in horticulture and gardening.

Bobby has been president of the Philippine Bonsai Society since 2003, where he provides leadership to a growing number of bonsai hobbyists and connoisseurs. Aside from winning numerous Best in Show awards locally, he has the unique distinction of winning the Grand Prize and Saburo Kato Award from Nippon Bonsai Club in 2006. He is the only Filipino invited to judge the prestigious First BCI Bonsai Photo Competition sponsored by Bonsai Club International in 2010. He is also the Non-Taiwanese to be invited as judge to the Hua Fong International Bonsai exhibition in Taiwan.

Bonsai  are traditionally an artistic form of horticulture from Japan and China . The concept is to create miniature trees in trays or pots using aesthetic techniques that highlight the tree or shrub’s beauty. Usually, the trees used for bonsai are ficus, kalyos, orange jasmin , bantigue, podocorpus,  lantana,  kamagong, camachile, mulawin aso, mulawin daga,  some unconventional ones are ixora ( santan/ tangpupo ) , hibiscus, tamarind , bougainvillea and even guava can be used as materials for making bonsai.

Bougainvillea bonsai


Although the word ‚ÄėBon-sai‚Äô is Japanese, the art it describes originated in the Chinese empire.¬† By the year 700 AD the Chinese had started the art of ‚Äėpun-sai‚Äô using special techniques to grow dwarf trees in containers.¬† Originally only the elite of the society practiced pun-tsai with native-collected specimens and the trees where spread throughout China as luxurious gifts. During the Kamakura period, the period in which Japan adopted most of China‚Äôs cultural trademarks, the art of growing trees in containers was introduced into Japan. The Japanese developed Bonsai along certain lines due to the influence of Zen Buddhism.

 Podocarpus / Bhuddist Pine 

Over the centuries, different regional styles would be developed throughout the large country with its many varied landscapes; earthenware and ceramic containers would replace the porcelain ones displayed on wooden stands; and attempts would be made to shape the trees with bamboo frameworks or brass wire or lead strips.¬† Many poets and writers each made at least one description of tree and/or mountainous miniature landscapes, and many painters included a dwarfed potted tree as a symbol of a cultivated man’s lifestyle.¬† After the 16th century these were called pun tsai or ‚Äútray planting.‚Ä̬† The term pun ching (“tray landscape,” now called¬† Penjing¬†) didn’t actually come into usage until the 17th century.

Source: http://www.bonsaiempire.com/bonsai-history

Some historical records would also reveal that the art of bonsai were introduced to the country even before the arrival of the Spaniards  in the 16th century . In 1604, there was a description in Spanish of how Chinese immigrants in the tropical islands of the Philippines were growing small ficus trees onto hand-sized pieces of coral.

In the Philippines , bonsai was later known as Bansoy. Which is is taken from two Filipino word Bansot ( small/ miniature¬† ) and Kahoy ( tree) . Which literally called ” bansot na halamang kahoy” or ” makahoy ” .

yellow -flowering ixora or santan used as a bonsai material

replica of  Paoay Church in Ilocos serves as a backdrop for the bonsai exhibit

Judging System

This year, Philippine Bonsai Society has adopted the Taiwan system of judging which  is divided into two categories, bantigue and non-bantigue, to encourage more entries . So  for every 15  bonsai trees there is a gold prize, two silvers and three bronzes.  About 30 to 40 percent of the entries can win a prize .  So everybody is happy , this was according to the president of PBS.

Prof. Chew Yu Xian and Prof. Kuo An Li – Taiwanese international bonsai masters

Philippine Bonsai Techniques

According to the Taiwanese judges ,” Filipino bonsai hobyists had gradually evolve . The people¬† are fine-tuning their aesthetics. Tree and the pot create one harmonious relationship¬†, where in height , shape, color , texture and neatly glazed container pots complement each other. In the past, they merely cultivated a dwarf tree in a pot without much thought. Today, they understand the importance of the pot size, shape and depth in relation to the tree.”

Mr.Pablo Dichitan award winning bonsai

Bonsai Towns

There are towns in the Philippines that thrive in bonsai growing and collecting like San Mateo , Baras, Angono  in  Rizal province, Bamban and Gerona in Tarlac had its own bonsai association , Guiguinto ,Tabang , San Miguel , Baliuag in  Bulacan , Cabanatuan in Nueva Ecija,  Sagay City in Negros Occidental , Mt. Apo in Davao, Cebu , La Union and Pangasinan.


Mr. David and Mrs. Belinda Lim pose for a souvenir shoot at their  first prize winning bonsai entry


While there are still people who collects bonsai in the wild,  Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR ) with the enactment of Wildlife Act strictly prohibits the collections, sale, trade of bonsai taken in the wild.

According to one of the board of director of PBS, the National Bonsai Association of Taiwan had developed a curriculum for Mariano Marcos University which can properly train future bonsai artist or students.  With proper guidance and growing technique, it is believed that in the near future , Filipino bonsai hobbyists would not take bonsai from the wilderness,  Which like in Taiwan and other Asian countries  bonsai trees are scientifically propagated.

Los Ba√Īos Horticulture Society -summer show 2011

The Los Ba√Īos Horticulture¬†Society (LBHS) show was formally open last April 29, 2011 and will last until May 8, 2011 at the UPLB Seniors Social Garden. Rows of flowering orchids, medinillas, mussaendas,¬† annuals and perennials covered the UPLB campus.

poster of the show

Like Bulacan, Laguna is the horticulture capital in the southern part of Luzon. Growers from as far as Mindoro, Cavite, Batangas, Quezon, Bicol and even Mindanao would come and visit the place in order to buy some of the exotic ornamental plants, fruit trees and hybrids.

Landscape exhibit executed by well-known landscaper , horticulturist and restauranteur  Mr. Vicente Chin Jr.

Mr. Vicente Chin Jr. had executed the landscape on the main exhibit outside the center hall to emphasize the openness of the area. He is known as the ‚Äú Wonderboy ” of Philippine¬† Horticulture. His vast experience in growing a lot of plants and winning awards from local as well as international horticulture shows earned him this distinction.

Medinilla magnifica or locally called Kapa- Kapa because of the cape -like covering its peduncle . This is an endemic Philippine flowering plant is popular garden plant in the United States , Europe and Asia.

Medinilla is a genus of about 150 species of flowering plants  in the family Melastomataceae, native to tropical regions of the Old World from Africa with  (two species) east through Madagascar  (about 70 species) and southern Asia to the western Pacific Ocean islands. The genus was named after Juan de Medinilla , governor of the Marianas Islands in 1820.

The Philippines had more or less 100 species of this genus represented .

East-West Seed Company exhibit 

The center featured annuals flowering plants and vegetables by the East-West Seed Company to show case their plant products. This is also to promote the company among the visitors of the place. The other area is to show case the Horticulture Cluster of UPLB.¬† The company had showcased the company ‚Äės new line of flower varieties such the celosia, marigold, pentas, petunia, zinnia, and vinca plants . Most of the seeds are imported from Netherlands, Thailand and USA.

native products like woven mats, hats, native bags on sale

The theme of the show is ‚ÄúFiesta sa Laguna‚ÄĚ where different landscape designs of the exhibitors had featured important products, fiesta celebrations or features of a town in Laguna. The show also had an individual plant and orchid competition where some of the growers and hobbyists competed for the ‚Äú Best Plant in the Show‚ÄĚ.

Grammatophyllum multiflorum exhibited by Malvarosa Orchids , this orchid species won ” Best Plant in Show” with over 1,000 blooming flowers !

‚ÄúFiesta sa Laguna,‚ÄĚ theme highlighted the province‚Äôs popular fiesta culture. Aside from horticulture and hot springs, the province of Laguna also boast of popular delicacies such as buko pie, buko candies, Gen-Randy‚Äôs popular tarts which had tasty fillings like Buko, Langka, Cheese, Macapuno and Cashew, fresh carabao milk, quesong puti, cassava cake, oraro biscuits, mangoes, sweetened pili nuts, cashew nuts among others.¬†¬† There is also a section were popular religious and charismatic songs are played.

Rancher’s Club arch erected in 1924

old dairy station

UPLB Dairy bar- This is where freshly pasteurized carabao’s milk and cheese are sold to the general public

Milk Reception Room  Рmilk from carabao are received in this area

 Philippine Council for Agriculture , Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development or  PCARRD  or  had an interesting booth where various instructional materials are sold to the general public.

booth of PCARRD

Try to visit their website: www.pcarrd.dost.gov.ph/

There is also a public lecture held on April 30, 2011 where Mr. Vicente Chin had lectured ‚ÄúCooking with Herbs‚ÄĚ and on May 7,2011 Ms. Irene Ba√Īez will lecture ‚Äú How to Make Accessories using Clay‚ÄĚ.¬† Unlike its Metro Manila counterparts, public lectures in Los Ba√Īos are only held on Saturdays. According to the organizers, this is to cut down the cost of lecture, since there are very few people who attend lectures held during ordinary days.

Malvarosa Farm landscape exhibit booth

This year‚Äôs landscape booths carried a theme and the atmosphere of a particular town in Laguna. The landscape exhibit of Gintong Talulot featured Los Ba√Īos while designer Tony Pajaro focused on the town of Calauan.

Second Prize in Booth Construction executed by Gintong Talulot

The town of Pagsanjan is the theme of Mr. Carlos Valeriano Lazaro. Mrs. Mable Chua had featured the products of Liliw and Exotica Garden of Mr. Ben Vergara  Р(National Scientist ) had presented the different colorful bougainvilleas of Bay.

Exotica Garden exhibited different varieties of bougainvilleas earning¬† the award ” Most Colorful Booth”

VS Orchid landscape exhibit booth showing native woven mats, hats  and decorated with buntings

 The towns of Louisiana and San Pablo Laguna was represented in the landscape designs of VS Orchids and Robel Garden

Forest Wood Garden of Myrna Frago had featured one of Laguna’s main produce that is coconut.  Mrs. Myrna Frago landscape exhibit also won several accolades like “ Most Creative, Most Outstanding Booth, First Prize in Booth Construction and First Prize in Booth Competition.

Forest Wood Garden landscaped exhibit

This exhibit booth included pineapples and mangoes as part of the landscape 

The show’s cast of thousands includes flowering plants such as orchids, African daisies, chrysanthemums, bougainvilleas, medinillas, ferns, bromeliads, anthuriums, tillandsias, and a lot of annuals.

crop science cluster tarpaulin exhibit  featuring modern techniques in horticulture and hybridization process

There is a commercial section were over 50 stallholders from different parts of the country sell their products.

The author together with some friends went to the show last May 1, 2011; humid weather and rains shorten the visit of the group.

For more information, kindly visit the LBHS website at http://www.lbhs-ph.org

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