Traditional Philippine Games issued by PHLPOST

Philippine traditional games which are dubbed called “Larong Atin!. The stamps were designed by graphic artists Mr. Rodine Teodoro and Ms. Eunice Beatrix Dabu, features traditional games such as bato-bato-pik or jack-en-poy (rock-paper-scissors), bahay-bahayan (play house), luksong tinik (thorn hurdles) and trumpo (spinning top). These are commonly played by many Filipino kids all over the country.

The stamps were issued by Philippine Postal Corporation in celebration with Filipino Heritage Festival.

Significance of Larong Atin Stamps

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We also share the advocacy of preserving Filipino heritage in collaboration with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the Filipino Heritage Festival, Inc.,” Postmaster General Joel Otarra said.

Technical Description

The postal service printed 100,000 copies sold for P12 to P17 each. 5,000 pieces of limited souvenir sheets were printed, which were priced at P100 each. There will be a first day cover too available.

Stamp collectors can order online at http://www.phlpost.gov.ph or 8527-0132/85270108.

8 Practical Tips For Caring Hibiscus During Rainy Season

Hibiscus locally called as Gumamela is one of the top 10 all time favorite flowering shrub in the country. Growers can encounter some problems during rainy or wet season in the Philippines.

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The most common colors are red, pink, yellow,magenta and intermediate colors. There are some native hibiscus in the country, While hundreds of hybrids origin being cultivated in many homes, public parks, cemeteries, schools, resorts and estates. The flowers does not last long, most of the hybrid cultivars only last for a day or so.

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Hibiscus rosa-sinensis hybrid or Gumamelang Pula planted as hedge plant within Manila Memorial Park

Some Feng Shui practitioners recommend planting reddish color, bright yellow color gumamela. Depending on the position of one’s property to create harmony in colors and balance within the household.

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double petal pink Gumamela  ( photo courtesy of King Louis Farm and Sir Lebon Ong)

8 Practical Tips for Caring Hibiscus /Gumamela

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yellow color 

8.) One can grow their gumamela / hibiscus directly on garden plot or in potted terracotta/ plastic containers. This allows growers to move the containers in ideal location or focal point in one’s home or office when the plant is in bloom. Providing at between 6 to 8 hours of sunlight.

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Hibiscus Taiwan Cloud Cotton

7.) Gumamela requires 50% loam/garden/brown soil with combination of 20% sandy mix, 30% compost, aged cow or carabao manure, aged rice hull, coco coir and vermicast for the rest of the potting mixture. Mulching is recommended for gumamela planted outdoors because it not only provides a lot of protection for the roots, but it also helps the plant retain the moisture, especially if grown in garden type setting.

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peach color

6.) Fertilize weekly using a variety of water soluble fertilizer 20N, 20P, 20K or 10N-10P-10K, (whichever is available) diluted into 1/2 or 1/4 strength during its growing season or flowering season. One may add few teaspoon of slow release fertilizer or compost mixture as fertilizer for the plant. For blooming gumamela plants, a ratio of 20N-30P-30K water soluble fertilizer, trace elements, calcium nitrate, epson salt can also be applied alternately.

Another good brand is Naturamin which enables hibiscus or gumamela to absorb the nutrients. This is also good in other plants like Syngonium podophyllum, flowering plants, orchids, crops and fruits trees.

Avoid using skim milk, beer, Monosodium glutamate (MSG), urine or any home base fertilizer mixture as these can eventually kill your Gumamela or Hibiscus in no time.

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tangerine color

5.) Regular pruning is also required when the shrub grow lush during rainy season. One can schedule a monthly pruning period. Try to sterilize your pruning shears, knife or cutter before using them.

4.) Try to regular check for pest such as aphids, white flies, scale insects, mealybugs, caterpillars, thrips or even spider mites. These insects can eat parts of the flowers, leaves or stems of gumamela.

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3.) Potted hibiscus / gumamela plant with flowers can be enjoyed for a limited time period. Interior decorator suggest that one can put them inside their homes between 1 to 3 days. Near windows where there is bright light.

a humidity tray if you have dry air conditions inside of your house to ensure the plant is getting all of the moisture it needs to thrive.

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single petal yellow variety

2.) Propagation is quite easy. One can propagate via cuttings, air layering or seeds during the onset of the rainy season, or when one prunes their gumamela shrub. Find a node and cut about six-inches below that and then remove everything except the very top leaves. Another way is to graft different colored gumamela.

1.) Avoid over watering, Especially during this rainy season. This can cause a lot of problems like root rotting and fungal problems. When in doubt, one can forgo watering for at least a day or so. Gumamela needed well- drained soil if planted in garden type setting.

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pale pink form

Economic Importance and Ethno Botanical Uses

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Hibiscus Red Double

Hibiscus syriacus is the national flower of South Korea while Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is the national flower of Malaysia. Hibiscus brackenridgei is the state flower of Hawaii, While it is a national symbol in Haiti, Solomon and Niue.

Hibiscus, Gumamela, Rose Mallow or Rose of Sharon and hybrids are commonly use to beautify the landscape.  Blooming gumamela can also serves as focal point in one’s office or public area.

The flowers is used by children in many parts of the country as part of a bubble-making pastime. The flowers and leaves are crushed until the sticky juices come out, adding 1 tablespoon detergent to make bubble.

Some would use the flowers to make edible flower salad. Flowers and young leaves are also use by some for their medicinal properties. In some parts of the country, flowers are use for offering in home altars and as lei for welcoming guests.

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Hibiscus manihot or Abelmoschus manihot

Abelmoschus manihot formerly known as Hibiscus manihot is eaten in ( Quezon / Tayabas area) called Sapinit, Lagikuway. Bicol region and some parts of Ilocos region. Some Visayan provinces also use the flowers for souring agent in soup. In Surigao provinces it is called Lagikway, Lagikuway,Baniwayun. It is called Malaguhon / Malaguhun ( Han.) and Linikway/ Barakue ( Bng) Glikway/ Gikugguse (Sub) in other Philippine languages.

The flower is used as souring ingredient or add on for local vegetables, soup or meat dishes. The dish had a slippery texture like okra.

Although not so common within Metro Manila region. This species grow in semi-wild state in open grassland,cultivated fields and in rural areas all throughout the country.

University of the Philippines Los Baños had been active in breeding hibiscus and came up with several series which pay tributes to great women of the country.

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Php 8.00 block of 4, Gumamela flowers issued by Philippine Postal Corporation in 1991

Philippine Postal Corporation released several definitive and special stamps in 1991, 2015 and 2018. This is a proof that gumamela or hibiscus is popular among thematic stamp collectors. Some mural painters also painted on the long perimeter wall of Manila North Cemetery last October 2019 dubbed as ” Flores para Los Muertos“.

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yellow with red center

Hibiscus tea is an herbal tea made as an infusion from crimson or deep magenta-colored calyces (sepals) of the roselle or Hibiscus sabdariffa flower. Sometimes called Karkade tea or Jamaica tea.

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Hibiscus sabdariffa popularly known as Roselle- grown by the author from seeds

There are also several Fb groups which specializes in Hibiscus or Gumamela.

Gumamela plants and hybrids are commonly available in many garden centers like in Tabang, Guiguinto,Bulacan Garden,Bay,Calamba,Los Baños in Laguna, Silang, Cavite province, Mindanao Avenue Garden Center, Araneta Farmer’s Garden, Quezon City Memorial Circle,White Plains garden center,Neopolitan, Fairview, Rona’s Garden in Visayas Avenue,Cartimar Garden Center in Pasay, Centris Sunday Market, neighborhood homes and backyard nationwide.

Some big time propagators includes Pagsolingan Garden, Arids and Aroid, Bulacan Garden, Mr. Rey Tester among others.

References, Sources, Bibliography:

Interview and photo courtesy of the following: King Louis, Mr. Rodrigo Joseph Bautista, Mr.Lebon Ong, Arids Aroid, Mac Pagsolingan,Mr. Rey Tester, Ms. Naida Delma and the author

Personal interview with backyard growers, hobbyists and farm owners.

Wonning, Paul R. (March 3, 2014) Gardener’s Guide To The Hibiscus: Perennial Hibiscus Flower Care ( ( Gardener”s Guide to the Full Sun Perennial Flower Garden Book 12) Mossy Feet Books.

V. M. Jadhav et al. / Journal of Pharmacy Research 2009, 2(8),1220-1222

University of the Philippines Los Baños : https://ovcre.uplb.edu.ph/

Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607

Steiner, Mona Lisa, PHD;Care, M &L Licudine Enterprises, First Edition 1952, Second Edition 1960, Third Edition 1986, Atlag, Malolos , Bulacan. Gumamela Family (Malvaceae) pages 173 to 174, Philippine Ornamental Plants And Their Care.

Madulid, Domingo; Winner, National Book Award, Science, 1995. Revised Edition, 2000 with 388 pages. Malvaceae pages 240 to 244 Bookmark, Makati, A Pictorial Cyclopedia of Philippine Ornamental Plants.

Lawton, Barbara Perry (2004). Hibiscus: Hardy and Tropical Plants for the Garden. Timber Press. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-88192-65-45.

International Hibiscus Society

C Les Beers & Jim Howie: Growing Hibiscus (1985 and 1990), Reprinted 1986, 1987
Second edition published 1990, First published in 1985 by Kangaroo Press Pty Ltd
3 Whitehall Road (P. 0. Box 75) Kenthurst 2156, Typeset by G. T Setters Pty Limited
Printed in Hong Kong by Colorcraft Ltd, ISBN 0 86417 278 8

Brickell, Christopher, ed. (2008). The Royal Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 534. ISBN 978-14053329-65

Bulacan Garden Corporation

American Hibiscus Society

Filipino Frontliners on Stamps Featured by PHLPOST

Filipino front line workers like nurses, doctors, army, police, postal workers were featured in the current stamps issuance. The stamps and first day covers were supposed to be release last April 2020 but since the Enhance Community Quarantine (ECQ) had taken effect last March 15 it was further moved to July 13, 2020 ( Monday).

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Filipino Frontliners on Stamp and First Day Cover

PHLPost is also committed to fulfill its universal mandate of continuous delivery of important mails from various government and private sectors who are important clients of the agency.

The stamps, first day cover will be available in Manila Central Post Office and other major post office nationwide.

They will also launch the “Stamps on Wheels” program which enables roving van from PHLPOST to sell new stamps, first day covers and other collectibles to far flung areas of Metro Manila and other areas of the country.

PostcrossingPH Leap Year Meet-UP at Manila Central Post Office

PostcrossingPH had a special leap year meet-up get together at the Philatelic and Resource Center within the Manila Central Post Office.

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PostcrossingPH members

A special postcard was created by some members of the group to commemorate the special meet-up with thousands of postcards send to friends and postcard collectors in every corner of the globe.

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February 29, 2020 is a leap year and it only occurs once every four years. Some of the members came all the way from Laguna, Antipolo, Bulacan and other parts of Metro Manila.

In this age of internet and social media, There are still people who still cherish getting a postcard or greeting card with all the traditional hand writings, stamps and postmarks.

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 PostcrossingPH Meet-Up

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courtesy of Ms. Ali Lao

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Prof. Wil Monzon together with Ms. Ali Lao

There were at least 35 members who came in full force and a traditional jack en poy contest was held.  At the end of the game Ms. Ali Lao from Binondo won the postcards.

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Ms. Erika Jacolo

I also met Ms. Erika Jacolo who sells different kinds of postcards and other collectibles.

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Mr. Xian Lim

There was also a television series shooting entitled ” Love Thy Woman”  inside the post office lobby were celebrity Mr. Xian Lim was there.

Universal Love on Valentine’s Day 2020 Stamps Issued by PHLPOST

4 new set of stamps were issued by Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPOST) last February 6, 2020 to commemorate the Valentine’s Day for 2020.

The stamps were  titled “Valentine’s Day 2020 – The Love We Deserve” with a theme that PHLPost says promotes universal love.

Valentine’s Day Stamps 2020

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PHLPost’s new special stamps feature digital art using the popular character of the human heart bearing four types of love.

The four heart-shaped designs show the values important to contemporary society, focusing on current issues and are intended to touch on subjects the public – especially the youth – can both relate to and reflect about.

“We see the familiar symbol of love everywhere — from eating heart-shaped chocolates to sending text messages to a special someone with the iconic heart of the popular ’emoji’ or symbols,” says PHLPost referring to the symbols of love used in digital platforms such as the internet.

Each stamp denomination is Php 12.00 while block of 4 stamp would cost Php 48.00 for the entire set.

The four topics in the Valentine’s Day stamps are:

  • Love Nature in the color green, with a background of a tree that symbolizes life
  • Love for Country in a nationalistic theme where the color and design of the Philippine flag and map are reflected in the background while little doves fly around to symbolize peace and love
  • Love Knows No Gender theme indicates that Love has no sexuality, race, skin tone, color or gender
  • Love Yourself inspires people to have self-respect, a positive self-image, and unconditional self-acceptance. The magenta/purple inspired color illustrates a person holding one’s head high.

Considered as one of the most awaited Philatelic releases, this year’s Valentine’s Day stamps were designed by PHLPost in-house graphic artist Ms. Irma Jane Junio, deviating from the usual romance theme but focused more on the universality of love.

The 2020 Valentine’s Day Stamps, Souvenir Sheets, and Official First Day Covers are available starting February 06, 2020 at the Philatelic Counter, Manila Central Post Office, all Mega Manila Post Offices, Postal Area 2, San Fernando, La Union, Postal Area 4, San Pablo, Postal Area 5, Mandaue, Postal Area 7, Davao, and Postal Area 8, Cagayan de Oro”. Go to Pilipinas Philately for the latest update.

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