Year of the Horse 2014 ( Gold Foil ) Stamp Launching at the Philpost

3rd Floor, Manila Central Post office- Liwasang Bonifacio, Ermita, Manila, Philippines

Year of the Horse 2014 ( Gold Foil embossed ) edition

I got a call from Philippine Philatelic Federation outgoing president Mr. Robert Tan about the stamp unveiling ceremony a day before ( January 29, 2014 ) ” Year of the Horse – Gold Foil” edition launching .¬† The event will coincide¬† on the eve of the¬† Chinese New Year 4711 which celebrates the coming of¬† ( Year of the Horse ) .¬†¬† I do not have an idea ‘why’ Philpost issues a gold foil edition souvenir stamp which is intended for¬† worldwide stamp collectors .¬† The face value of the souvenir sheet is Php 200 which is a bit on the high end of the pricing range – Some countries like Australia , Thailand or even Republic of China ( Taiwan) which also issued a “gold foil” edition sells them at a much lower price at higher quantity.

lion dance

I woke -up past 6:00am and went to the Manila Central Post office . Traffic was standstill at the Rizal Avenue ( Avenida Rizal) due to ongoing road repairs  that i had to walk from Doroteo Jose street passing the Santa Cruz Church , crossing the Mac Arthur bridge then to the Manila Central Post Office.

signage posted at the ground floor 

There was a sudden change of venue and the organizers moved the stamp unveiling ceremonies at the 3rd floor , The original plan was at the lobby area.

L-R Miss Maura , Postmaster General Maria Josefina Dela Cruz , Mr. Mama Lalanto Al Haj , Mr. Rey Ong de Jesus ( stamp advisory representative)

The program started past 10:30am with Mr. Enrique V. Tagle ( manager -Business Line Department)  While Ms. Via Carla San Agustin and Mr. Joseph Fernandez were the masters of the ceremony

Postmaster General Maria Josefina Dela Cruz  short but meaningful speech

The event was well covered by the top Philippine media television stations , ABS-CBN Kapamilya channel 2 , GMA Kapuso channel 7, TV Kapatid channel 5 and some broad sheet newspaper.  I was thinking of contributing an article or so in a local newspaper but i do not think that our editor in chief would approve an article in such a short notice, better write them in my blog .

Mrs. Josie Dela Cruz together with Ms. Tina Panganiban-Perez of GMA channel 7

dragon and lion dancers performed during the unveiling of stamp ceremonies within the Philpost atrium area . The festivities is a symbol of good luck and start of the auspicious year for everyone.

ceremonial autograph signing

Postmaster General and CEO Ms. Maria  Josefina Dela Cruz holds the Year of the Horse- Gold Foil edition

a early luncheon was served courtesy of the Philippine Postal Corporation which consists of popular Chinese delicacies

Technical Description

Purpose: Special Gold Foil ( embossed )- Year of the Horse

Date of Issuance: January 30, 2014 ( soft launching)

February 12, 2014 ( public )

Printer : Thailand

Quantity: 7,500 copies total

3,500 pieces First Day Covers

Artist: Jaime Jose and Mr. Victor Serevo

Denomination: Php 200.00

Souvenir sheets of 3

First Day Cover: Manila Cancellation

Note: I do not have an idea on what was the special role of Dr. Ngo Tiong Tak ( self- acclaimed Philippine republic stamp expert) But we saw him  with a folder with a list of 2014  upcoming stamp releases .   A short power- point presentation of the upcoming issues was presented by the Philatelic unit head .  Much to our dismay, that they did not gave us any sample copies of the technical description which is very very important to update all the stamp collectors from all over the country and international stamp collectors.  Why only give preference to just one person?

Some of the disappointed stamp collectors who were there at the stamp launching  were not able to buy even a single one.  ( since there were only 130 pieces of the gold foil souvenir sheet stamp which only arrived the night before , January 29, 2014) Most of the souvenir sheets were given as a token gifts  by Philpost marketing and corporate media affairs to the traditional  media that were present during the unveiling ceremonies .

At the end of our coverage , The author together with some stamp bloggers and stamp collectors went home empty handed,  Much to our dismay.

As one of my buddies,  wrote in his blog. We are still very fortunate to get exclusive invitation from Philpost while other stamp collectors in other parts of the country are still clueless on the recent issues and they never even get a chance to see and buy them at their local post offices!!!!!!!

One of the constructive criticism held by some¬† Filipino stamp collectors that are base in¬† the provinces ,¬† that recent stamp issuance do not even reach them .¬† So ‘why’ issue such a low quantity stamps and souvenir sheet at higher price ? Hindi daw nila mabenta? With proper distribution , marketing system and perhaps and little consultation with stakeholders ( not just 1 or 2 stamp experts wannabees with passe ideas and old design concept) ¬† 7,500 pieces can be easily disposed in a matter of few weeks or months if they are properly and equally distributed¬† all over the archipelago.¬† Given that 1 stamp per collector allocation is TRUE .¬† So does that mean that there are ONLY 7,500 stamp collectors in the Philippines ? with 102 million estimated population? Hard to Believe ? Or Ripley Believe or Not ?


68th Annual Orchid and Garden Show : Theme:Orchids and Greens for the Restoration of Ecological Balance

The Philippine Orchid Society together with Quezon City government, Quezon Memorial Circle administration presents to the public the first of the 2 orchid and garden shows for 2014.

poster of the event

This year theme ” Orchids and Greens for the Restoration of Ecological Balance

The author will be conducting a special guided tour for media, bloggers scheduled on march 1, 2014 at the Hardin ng Bulaklak ( HB ) Flower Garden .

There will be schedule of daily lectures and seminars

Entrance Fees: Php 30 for general public

Php 20 for students and senior citizens with valid ID’s

Horticulture 2014: List of Plant Winners

Tropical Garden, Quezon Memorial Circle, Diliman , Quezon City

Here are the list of winners in their respective category :

Category / Sub-category             Plant Name     Owner    Booth

1.) Aroid- A           


2nd – Aglaonema ” White Diamond “- Mr. Botchie¬† Canicula – 10

3rd – Aglaonema “Hybrid Boxing “- Mr. Botchie Canicula- 10

MERIT AWARD – Dieffenbachia hybrid –¬† Mrs. Remy Rodis Santelices and Ms. Edna Felipe

2.) Aroid -B                                   NO WINNER

3.) Aroid -C                               1st РNO WINNER


3rd РAnthurium Hookerii          Mr.   Botchie Canicula -10

MERIT AWARD Philodendron Martianum ” Black Marie” Mrs. Remy Rodis- Santelices

4.) Aroid-D

1st- Philodendron Martianum ” Fat Belly ” Arids and Aroids -3

2nd Philodenron ” Accutissimum ” Arids and Aroids-3

3rd Philodendron hybrid ” Hercules”¬† Arids and Aroids -3

MERIT AWARD – Variegated Philodendron Ms. Edna Felipe- 5

Palm and Cycad

5.) Palms



3rd – Rhapis humilis – Mr. Botchie Canicula -10

6.) Cycad


2nd – Taiwan cycad


7.) Bromeliad A

1st – Neoregelia Louilson – Arids and Aroids – 3

2nd Neoregeli Chili con Carne –¬† Arids and Aroids -3

3rd Neoregelia Lorena – Arids and Aroids-3

MERIT AWARD Neoregelia chili con Carne- Doreen Dofitas

8.) Bromeliad B


Quezon Heritage House

Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City

Quezon Heritage House ( ex-situ site)

The Quezon Heritage house was originally located within the residential areas of 7th and 8th Street Gilmore Avenue , Barangay Mariana ,  New Manila in Quezon City . The house was built on a 3,678-square-meter property where he lived while recovering from tuberculosis before World War II.

ambassador sala set

The lots are registered to Mrs. Zenaida ‚ÄúNini‚ÄĚ Quezon-Avance√Īa, the late President‚Äôs surviving daughter.

Avance√Īa, now in her 90s, lived in the house for 62 years. She has been living in Ayala Alabang since 2006.The property was rumored to be for sale¬† in 2008 .

machuca tiles

The original house had tiles made by prominent Machuca tiles company Website :

The lot was sold by one of the descendants of the Quezon family  sometime in 2011 and the family offered the house . The property alone is worth between Php 110 million to Php 125 million .

¬†National Historical Commission of the Philippines¬† ( NHCP) to determine the historical significance of the Quezon Residence which was reportedly purchased in the 1930s as a “summer house” of the affluent Quezon family. The family remembers the house as something ” special ” and “lucky”.

The small pocket garden had Mussaenda philippica variety  aurorae

Aurora an endemic Philippine flowering shrub that was found  in 1915 in the vicinity of Mt. Makiling, Laguna  as a spontaneous mutant of the species Mussaenda philippica variety aurorae was named after the former first lady.

plant box was given as a gift to Do√Īa Aurora Aragon Quezon by the Tapia family

The Quezon City government offered a 700 square meter lot within the Quezon Memorial Circle . The architects and engineers of Quezon City were able to save between 60% to 65% of the original structure .

dining area

The house was transferred sometime in 2011 within the Quezon Memorial Circle and will form part of the ambitious plan of a museum complex ( Quezon Heritage House ) ( Quezon Memorial Circle ) and ( Quezon City Museum ) . The Quezon Heritage house was opened last October 2013 as part of the  founding celebrations of the city.

 intricate grill works Рwhich is a fire escape

I have visited the museum several times during the construction and after its soft opening last October 2013 .¬† I must say that the Quezon City had saved one of the city’s valuable cultural treasures. Although not all heritage advocate will agree with what the city government .

group photo with bloggers , photojournalists

When I was appointed part of the Horticulture 2014 special committee on media and promotion by Mrs. Adoracion S. Bernabe ( PHSI president) , My keen interest about the recent development within area led me to organize a special tour within the Quezon Memorial Circle .

Note’ I would like to ” Thank” the office of Vice Mayor Maria Josefina Belmonte for the accommodation and the curator of the museum .

Museum Operation: Tuesdays to Sunday

Time: 9:00am to 4:00pm

Horticulture 2014 Conference ( Day 2)

Bureau of Soils and Water Management , Ellipical corner Visayas Avenue , Diliman , Quezon City 

Philippine Horticulture Society Incorporation together with Quezon City government, Department of Agriculture and its attached agencies , Department of Tourism , Department of Labor and Employment ( DOLE), OWWA presented to the public the second day of the conference.

Mrs. Anita Are together with Dr. Jaime Galvez -Tan

Dr. Jaime Galvez -Tan is one of the speakers during the Horticulture 2014 ( Day 2)

conference speakers and participants

After the start of the conference , The participants was divided  into the 2 group . one group stayed at the Convention Hall and other participants joined the speakers at the  Lecture Room 2 for a parallel session.

sumptuous lunch provided by Mama Ely’s Catering Services of Department of Agriculture

what i liked about conferences and technical symposium is the wealth of information that one can get by just attending . The speakers are very capable and are experts in their own fields .

Professor Elena Ragrario

Professor Elena Ragrario – topic : Lesser Known Plants of the Philippines for Health and Wealth

One of her advocacy is the propagation of native trees and its importance

East -West Seed Company

Ms. Marilou Escubi , East-West Seed Company was the guest speaker during the conference.

The company had evolved as one of the biggest seed producer and supplier in the country. They also gave colorful leaflets and sample packs of seeds.

Ms. Adoracion S. Bernabe , Ms. Marilou Escubi and Mr. Fernando B. Aurigue

Horticulture 2014 Conference ( Day 1)

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