Lotus Garden Hotel , A Mabini corner Padre Faura street , Ermita, Manila-Philippines
I was invited by Mr. Reynaldo Ong de Jesus and Mr. Hans Becker after the stamp awareness exhibition at the Saint Stephen High School last November 9, 2015 . He just told me that an important stamp collector is in town and a well-known local philatelist is also visiting .
collectors had fun time chatting
I quickly joined the impromtu meet-up at the Lotus City Garden Hotel. This is also the place where Mr. Hans Becker is staying until his departure for Cebu the following day. When we arrived at the hotel lobby, Sir Rey told us that we are going to meet Mr. Nigel Gooding and his wife Velda together with local philatelist and stamp book author Mr. Jorge H. Cuyugan of Pampanga .
Mr. Jorge H. Cuyugan holding one of his books published in the mid-1990’s
Mr. Cuyugan is author of several philatelic and numismatic books which were published in the mid -1990’s and early 2000. I have featured him conducting free public lectures at the PHLPOST vicinity way back in 2011.
The hotel lobby had a mini-collection of dolls from the Philippines and from other countries affix on a doll case. The dolls are some sort of attractions to the visitors of the hotel and restaurant.
There is also a breakfast buffet which only cost Php 300 per head, however we were not able to catch -up since we arrived past 11:00am
chicken and pork adobo meal -good for 2 person
The group just ordered a-la carte meals and desserts by Cilantro restaurant.
I have tasted better and more tender adobo compared to the ones being served at the hotel, Perhaps they are catering to the foreign guests at the hotel which does like the strong vinegar taste.
pork tocino meal
Collectively , the hotel had an interesting Filipino ala carte breakfast meal served to their guests, each plate cost Php 250 had a combination of beef tapa/ boneless bangus , longganisa / pork tocino / corned beef , served with garlic fried rice and pickled papaya ( atchara ) with coffee or tea or sliced fresh fruit in season.
pork adobo meal
I have the privilege of speaking and meeting with Mr. Nigel Gooding, This is my first time to meet him in person. I have seen his vast collection of Spanish- Philippines stamps ( via internet and some publication of IPPS) and on covers . I must say it is quite impressive. He started his stamp collecting when he was studying in Xavier School way back in the mid- 1970’s. He was born in the Philippines and stayed for several years before studying in Australia and now staying in England .
blueberry cheese cake
He is quite fluent in Filipino and got a chance to ask him about stamp clubs that he joined when he was still in the Philippines. He told me that there used to be more stamp clubs when he started collecting them.
He met a lot of old -time stamp collectors and dealers which were quite helpful . Prices of Spanish-Philippines stamp and on covers were not that expensive when he started collecting. He began with mostly Philippine republic stamps and FDC ( First Day Covers) which were quite cheap and can easily be bought with pocket change or school allowance then gradually moving to the more difficult covers and Spanish era .
The group had quite a good long chat before we parted ways, Mr. Robert Tan ( former President of Philippine Philatelic Federation ) joined then in the late afternoon . Mr. Reynaldo Ong de Jesus, Mr. Jorge Cuyugan and the author had to rush for our afternoon appointments and we had to go before Mr. Tan arrived at the hotel.
It was a good meeting and i learn a lot of things from these people whom i consider as pillars of philately ( stamp collecting) in the Philippines. They tirelessly promote stamp collecting . It is quite rare now a days that people would really concentrate on these things. We bid farewell to one another and hope that we will have another fruitful acquaintances in the future.
Nigel Gooding : http://www.nigelgooding.co.uk/