Tales of 1971 Piso Coin

A good feature story aired last sunday by Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho at GMA channel 7 featured some FB group buying sites and some coin collectors looking for the rare 1971 1 peso coin.

This trigger some online debates and discussion about this rare coin in circulation.  The 1970’s coins were in general use up until the early 1990’s before the coins were demonetized by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas along with the Ang Bagong Lipunan bills. They are used for payments in jeepney fares and loose change in small sari-sari stores.

Started collecting these types of coins whenever i had a chance to see them, most are in poor condition and an aunt even gave me over a dozen pieces of the 1972 1 peso coin as some sort of Christmas gift. ( also in circulated condition )

The coins are larger compared to the flora and fauna series issued by BSP in the 1980’s and a smaller coin series ( flora and fauna series 1994)  which is very unpopular among collectors and masses since they are quite small.

There were some rumors way back in the late 1990’s that some of the 1970’s  Marcos era coins are worth something and they have some gold content. The uncirculated ones and the ones that were polished with modern metal polish would have a yellowish color glow that makes people believed that it had gold or had white gold content. Some gullible people began hoarding them. People believed in the story, since there are some sidewalk vendors making them as rings or accessories, soaking them in calamansi solution. Some of them are still around Recto, Divisoria and provinces until now peddling items made from these coins.  I should have taken some photos for record purposes.

Metallic Content

“All the coins issued by then Central Bank of the Philippines and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas do not contain precious metals particularly, silver and gold. Moreover, the value of the metallic contents of the BSP coins is determined by world market prices of metals.” – Page 5, Item #20, Banknotes and Coins March 2015.

At the height of the frenzy, Some people began spreading rumors in some buy and sell sites that each coin can be bought around Php 100 each regardless of the condition to as much as Php 1,000 each or even more !

NOLI Me Tangere Obverse

Another rumor that circulated for decades was the rare 1971 1 peso series with a Noli Me Tangere obverse and such coins are worth at least Php 200 to 1 million pesos . I have seen a couple of these coins being sold before in Recto at a local coin dealer way back in 1999 . I always do some researches later to found out that there are some private individuals and unscrupulous coin dealers or medal makers that would counter stamp or re-strike these coins to sell maybe to unsuspecting local or foreign collectors who would collect these kinds of novelty items, some say fantasy issue. Banking on the so called rarity, exclusiveness of the issuance.

This is not a rare case for coins but for stamps and other items that are collectible.   P.D No. 247  and BSP Circular No 61

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution as Commander-in-Chief of all the Armed Forces of the Philippines and pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081 dated September 21, 1972, Proclamation No. 1104 dated January 17, 1973, and General Order No. 1 dated September 22, 1972, and in order to effect the desired changes and reforms in the social, economic and political structure of our society, do hereby order and decree:

1. That it shall be unlawful for any person to willfully deface, mutilate, tear, burn or destroy, in any manner whatsoever, currency notes and coins issued by the Central Bank of the Philippines; and

2. That any person who shall violate this Decree shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than twenty thousand pesos and/or by imprisonment of not more than five years.

Reason : Sales Gimmick or Failure to Issue on Time ?

The law created which does not have a fang. I have seen some banknotes overprinted with the Pope Francis visit.  Which is not an official souvenir item issued by the BSP ( I think some private individual issued these so-called fantasy or  counter-stamping issues for remembrance of the occasion and failure of BSP and even Post Office to issue sufficient number of stamps and coins during the visit of Pope Francis in 2015) or delayed issuance?

The BSP flawed online registration drew some negative comments especially among old time collectors which are not tech savy and does not have any email accounts. Worst case scenario is that it took several months before the coins from BSP were sold to en-mass. Even until 2017( two years after the Pope Francis visit) and with a new BSP head. Some of those who ordered via email still have to receive the coins.

For stamps, People had to wait for long lines at the Manila Central Post office for long hours and the delivery for the Pope Francis stamps and souvenir sheet was even delayed or several hours during the first day. The author is one of the several hundreds or even thousands of people who lined -up just to purchase the commemorative stamps.  Taking a leave of absence for two days and loss of productive time.

Personal Letter to BSP Governor Amando Tetangco

I personally wrote a letter address to the former BSP governor Amando Tetangco way back in 2015 for some of the old members who cannot order online – the limited Pope Francis coins ( we only ordered just few coins for our old members from the provinces and those who do not have access to internet ) ONLY to be rejected few months later, after BSP staffs have assured us of having the priority order. Even personally going to the office of the governor of the BSP in Manila. Sadly two died without even seeing the commemorative coin.

I would have shrug off the story aired by KMJS last sunday. I think it was more of an information dissemination to create a decent rating out of ONE in a Million or Treasure Hunting stories which surely will create some noise. Got several emails and inquiries in this blog about the coin.

Wrote this short article to inform people that there is no such truth about the rare 1971 issuance for those who wanted to know the number of coins that were made.

Technical Description 

Obverse : Shield of the Republic of the Philippines, Lettering:
REPUBLIKA NG PILIPINAS , REPUBLIKA NG PILIPINAS , * BANGKO 1972 SENTRAL *

Translation: Republic of the Philippines

Central Bank of the Philippines : 1972

Reverse : Head of Jose Rizal left 

Lettering: P I S O 1 JOSE RIZAL

Translation: 1 Piso Jose Rizal

Edge

Reeded

Quantities ( Number of Coins Made or Minted)

1972 -121,821,000

1974- 10,000 -proof set

1974- 45,631,000

 

President Corazon Aquino tribute

President Corazon Aquino tribute exhibit booth landscaped by Mr. Kelvin Manubay, Mr. Jun Golamco, Mr. Rommel Arriola, Mr. Lawrence Chan with the help of Mr. Edilberto Capague Jr. and Mr. Jiffy Alegre  during the 63rd Mid-Year Orchid & Garden Show last August 27 to September 7 , 2009 at Quezon Cityhall grounds

Maria Corazon “Cory” Sumulong Cojuangco Aquino (January 25, 1933 – August 1, 2009) was the President of the Philippines and is considered as  “Mother of Democracy” in the Philippines. Serving from 1986 to 1992, she was the first female president of the Philippines and the first female president of any country in Asia.

Unknown to many, she is a nature and an orchid lover. In 1989, in response to government’s encouragement to develop the ornamental, floriculture and horticulture industry, many members of the Orchid Society of Davao, Inc. (OSDI) shifted to orchid growing as a business venture. This was fully endorsed by then President Corazon C. Aquino when she declared Davao City as the Orchid Center of the Philippines in 1992 through Proclamation No. 886.

During the incumbency of President Corazon “Cory” Aquino, several orchid genus and ornamental plant cultivars were named after her.  Dr. Romeo Gutierrez a well-known plant breeder, a three term president of Philippine Horticultural Society,  antique collector  , art collector and also a painter  bred Aglaonema Cory, a cultivar of the aglaonema that was named after former President Corazon Aquino. Its broad, dark green leaves consist of a herringbone pattern of grayish-silver,with yellow marks along the midrib. Like the sunburst, the yellow coloration of the young leaves becomes conspicuous through proper light conditions. It has white petioles and many suckers.

Aglaonema Corazon Aquino bred by Dr. Romeo Gutierrez
Aglaonema Corazon Aquino bred by Dr. Romeo Gutierrez

This  Aglaonema won the ” Best Ornamental Plant in Show” of the Philippine Horticultural Society show held on February 10 to 17, 1990 at the Manila Seedling Bank Foundation .  Coincidentally the plaque was donated by house majority floor leader Mr. and Mrs. Francisco Sumulong  a relative of Mrs. Aquino maternal side.

Photo Courtesy of Singapore Botanic Gardens by: Mr. Whang Lay Keng – Head Living Collection

On the occasion of her state visit and the ASEAN head of state meeting in the island state of Singapore on August  26 , 1986 the Singapore Botanic Garden named Dendrobium Corazon Aquino (Parentage:  Dendrobium Tien Soeharto x Dendrobium Noor Aishah) an orchid hybrid after the incumbent leader.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society of London this orchid was registered on January 1, 1986 in their list.  SGB institute had the tradition of breeding and naming new orchid cultivars after famous world leaders, politicians, and celebrities.

On numerous occasions she would be invited to come, as guest of honor during various orchid & garden shows held by different garden clubs from all over the country.  She was one of the  guest of honor on the 46th annual orchid and garden show of the Philippine Orchid Society held at the Makati SM Car Park  compound in  February 1992.

Several years later, Atty. Hernando Perez, one of her former cabinet secretaries, developed a new breed of orchid and named it after her. He thought it was just right to breed BLC. Benigno Aquino an inter-generic yellow colored orchid variety. The good quality traits of the orchid made it a desirable breeding parent material for developing new breeds of orchid.

The orchid hybrid took 5 years to grow, using cross-pollination methods. Its “mother and father” plants are a variety of yellow orchid named BLC. Benigno Aquino (pod parent) and the greenish BLC. Malvarosa Jade ( pollen parent).

The Blc Cory Aquino orchid (Brassolaeliocattleya Cory Aquino) with code name HC – 547 -, bred by former Justice Secretary Hernando B. Perez, is a graceful but sturdy plant with yellow and green varieties.

Because of the breeding traits of BLC. Malvarosa Jade, there are 2 color forms of  the BLC. Cory Aquino that can be found.  One is yellow and the other is greenish yellow. All forms are highly sought after by orchid and plant collectors worldwide.

63rd Mid-Year Orchid & Garden Show poster

The color yellow is widely associated with both Sen. Ninoy and Cory Aquino, since they used this color in clothes or campaign paraphernalia. In retirement, in fact, the former president took up painting, with flowers as her chosen still life subjects. Flowers were also one of former President Aquino’s favorite painting subjects finding the task a form of relaxation and a way of relieving stress. Having stepped down from office in 1992, Tita Cory, as she is fondly remembered, was quite content at becoming an ordinary citizen once again, but remained active in social work, and in wielding her undiminished moral authority whenever the democratic institutions she helped restore came under threat.

Unlike most orchids that need to be propped up, the Blc Cory Aquino stands erect and proud, much like the ideologies of the late former president.

According to Nani Perez, “This orchid hybrid symbolizes strength of her character because it is a sturdy plant. Pirmeng naka-tindig yun eh. Pirmeng proud.” It is also feminine-looking but with a strong bearing. Its petals are light yellow which means it is long-lasting,” he added.

In the last quarter of 2004, Perez said he was able to give her a pot of his best Blc. Cory Aquino and the plant’s registry certificate from the Royal Horticultural Society, a London-based international group that registers orchid hybrids.

Atty. Perez was also featured in the “orchid episode” of “ Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho” aired last February 23, 2008 on GMA channel 7. The episode featured him as an orchid and a plant breeder since 1974 and among the orchid hybrids featured in the episode was the BLC. Cory Aquino, Blc. Ninoy Aquino among others. A portion of the episode was uploaded in the KMJS website.

In a recent television guest interview on ABS-CBN channel 2- top rated morning show  “ Umagang Kay Ganda” last August 4, 2009 with Ms. Donita Rose, He was also able to present the original Royal Horticultural Society certificate of orchid registration with frame and potted flowering orchid to the late president, this gesture made her very happy.

In the Flora Filipina Expo 2006 held from February 24 to March 5,2006  jointly organized by the Philippine Orchid Society (POS) and Philippine Horticultural Society (PHS) within the ruins of San Ignacio in Intramuros.  In this international event,  the winning orchid ( BLC. Cory Aquino) brought attention of the orchid breeders around the world that the Philippines had orchid hybidizers like Mr. Perez which breeds award winning orchids.

In the 61st Mid-Year Orchid and Garden Show held from Aug. 29 to Sept. 10, 2007, the same orchid cultivar’s won the  “Best Philippine Hybrid” award one of the highest recognition that a breeder can get. – Perez said Aquino sent him a text message congratulating him for the “prize-winning orchid.” He still keeps the text message on his phone to this day.

Breeders from Japan, Thailand , United Kingdom, USA  and local orchid collectors were very eager to have a division or sample of this award winning orchid hybrid.

Cory Aquino’s big role, not only for the restoration of the democracy in the Philippines, but also for the development of the local horticulture industry, cannot be underestimated. With the whole world paying homage to the former president, this is a small gratitude that any horticulturist or plant lover from all over the world can give.