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.
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
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 ?