A Celebration of Rizal Memorial Stadium Thru Postcards and Commemorative Covers

Rizal Memorial Tennis Stadium is a complex of sports facilities built during for the hosting of the Far Eastern Games in 1934. The sporting event is the precursor of today’s Asian Games.

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 Rizal Memorial Tennis Stadium facade which buds of sampaguita- the unopened buds symbolizes coming of age

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Rizal Memorial Coliseum facade ( taken last November 20,2019)

The area in which the current sport complex stands which also included the Harrison plaza and adjacent area were supposed to be a park or green area according to the architectural masterpiece by Architect Daniel Burnham. However most of the planned green space or zones were not properly executed.

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Rizal Memorial Baseball stadium postcard

Currently it is located along Pablo Ocampo St. (formerly Vito Cruz St.) the Rizal memorial sports complex  was built was donated by the family of Vito Cruz.

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Rizal Baseball stadium facade

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Far Eastern Games

A total of four nations (China, Dutch East Indies, Japan, and host Philippines) participated in a total of eight different sports. The event also highlighted the 10th anniversary of the games.

World’s First Basketball and Baseball Stamps

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2 centavos, 6 centavos and 16 centavos commemorative stamps

The commemorative stamps and covers were issued which featured three sports baseball, tennis and basketball. The 2 centavos face value is the “ world’s first baseball stamp” issued by any country. While 16 centavos face value with basketball featured was the “world first basketball” stamps.

While the first baseball stamp in the United States was issued 5 years later in 1939, commemorating what was believed to be the centennial anniversary of the introduction and invention of the baseball in Cooperstown, New York in 1839.

The stamp were issued on April 14, 1934. All the three set of stamps were designed by Fernando Amorsolo ( future national artist for painting in the Philippines 1972) and printed in panes of 50, ( either 5×10, or 10×5) depending upon whether vertical or horizontal format of particular stamp) by Philippine Bureau of Printing with perforated 12. No watermarks.

2 centavos- yellow-brown 9 baseball players) -971,414 pieces . There were some color and printing varieties which old catalogs categorized them into U160a,b and c.

6 centavos ultramarine ( tennis player) -800,000 all shades of color. This also comes with 3 color and printing varieties.

16 centavos -violet (basketball players) -500,000 all shades of color. This comes with 162 a ( dark violet) and U162b ( variety -horizonal pair, imperforate)

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2nd  Asian Games from May 1 to 9, 1954 first day cover with Rizal Memorial Tennis Stadium on the left cache design.

Postcards

Postcards were popular method of promoting local tourist spots and man- made structures.

The postcards were printed in the United States and sold in bookstores in the country.  Architect Juan M. Arellano which designed the structure following the Art Deco and Streamline modern design. Some parts of the tennis court look like steam rudder of ships and train parts. Geometric pattern can also be seen in walkways and lobby of the stadium.

Ships and trains were some of the fastest form of transportation way back then.  It is good that the historic sports complex is getting a new lease in life. These stamps, postcards and first day covers issued to commemorate Far Eastern Games and Asian Games were celebration of our nation’s sports heritage.

Bibliography and References:

AFF Magazine ( Asociacion Filatelica de Filipinas )

Gibbons Stamp Monthly

Harrandine, Peter W.A. , Mc Farland and Company :Philippine Postage Stamp Handbook, 1854-1982:pages, 116 to 117. ISBN 0-89950-178-8

Palmer, F.L. The Postage Stamps of the Philippines. New York 1912

Scott Standard Postage and Stamp Catalogue

 

Jose B. Laurel 100th birth anniversary stamp issue

Villa Paciencia , 515 S. Laurel Street corner Shaw Boulevard , Mandaluyong City , Metro Manila – Philippines

entrance arch

This estate which is located within Shaw boulevard in Mandaluyong City was originally built in 1957 by President Jose P. Laurel . The Laurel estate  is called Villa Paciencia in honor of the late President’s wife, Pacienca Hidalgo, the Shaw Boulevard house is the biggest of the three residences that Laurel built. The mansion is said to rushed in time for the arrival of the New Hampshire newspaper publisher, James Langley. Laurel and Langley headed a group that forged what would be known as the Laurel-Langley Agreement of 1956, which extended parity rights to Americans. When Langley came in 1957, Laurel hosted a luncheon in his honor at the mansion.

entrance of the Laurel mansion with 2 commemorative plaque to mark some historical events which happened in this house

The Laurel mansion in shaw boulevard  sits on 1,000 square meter property of a total 6,000 square meter lot which was formerly a cogon areas.   He also built a house in Tanauan, which the Laurels consider their ancestral home, and another in Paco, Manila, called the Villa Peñafrancia.

members of the Laurel clan, invited guests and Japanese ambassador to the Philippines

Now, beside it is presently being utilized as Senator Manny Villar’s campaign headquarters was bought in the later part of 2007  . Although this is not my first time to set foot inside the mansion, ( I used to work in an event company  nearby , hence was able to take a few snapshots of the facade few years ago )

tarpaulin poster is hung in front of the perimeter wall of the property

Development plan from the area

 Crown Asia Residence :

http://luxurymanila.com/2012/07/crown-asia-residences-wack-wack/

It will very soon be the site of a new condominium complex.  The plan is said to built 4  building  complex in which the old mansion will serve as a focal point of the project .

A few weeks ago , opportunity arose when Mrs. Elenita San Diego ( Head- Philatelic and Postage Department ) , Speaker  Laurel Foundation and  Villar Foundation  invited selected group of people , stamp enthusiasts,   the press for the stamp launching and an evening meal  at this house.

historical marker

Built in 1957, Villa Pacencia stood amidst grasslands by then former President Jose P. Laurel, President of the second Philippine Republic. He  used it as his official residence and as a political hub .

historical marker of President Sukarno stay in this house

The house had its share of distinguished guests; US Senator Brian Langley and Indonesia’s first President Sukarno, to name just a few.

The patio area was extended and used as a function place for the event

The place later came to be referred to as the “Nacionalista Party house.”  It was at this residence where several of the country’s leaders and public officials were honed and produced.

Villar Foundation and Speaker Jose B. Laurel book

The  special function area can accommodate up to 300 people and is an ideal place to hold special functions like corporate meetings, weddings , debuts and political conventions.

L-R Mr. Rey Ong De Jesus ( stamp advisory committee member) Mrs. Linda Jandoc, Mrs. Elenita San Diego ( Head – Philatelic and Postage Department ) , Postmaster General Mrs. Maria Josefina Dela Cruz , Mrs. Lucy Aroajo , Mr. Romeo C. Ranjo ( APO Philatelic President 1991-1993)

When we toured the place, we went up the original spiral staircase, walked through the arched hallways, look up at its vaulted ceiling and inspected the original wood used when the house was constructed 55 years ago. According to one of the Laurel clan member, There used to be a  third storey ( watch tower ) where they would come and play whenever they would visit the old-house.

spiral stairways leading to the second floor of the house , a grand piano and a live flowering potted phalaenopsis hybrid orchid served as a flower arrangement

Its wide windows offer a view of the Japanese-inspired zen garden, live potted flowering orchid display  and fishpond . Several birds were gracefully gliding within this open space. This part of the house brought us back to a time long forgotten but there also was a room that looked modern.

current Postmaster General Mrs.  Maria Josefina Dela Cruz and former postmaster general Mr. Hector R. Villanueva  ( term 2006 to 2010) enjoying a light conversation

Postmaster General Mrs. Maria Josefina Dela Cruz in her key note address to the crowd present during the unveiling ceremonies

In her keynote speech in Filipino ” Kaya naman sa hangaring kilalanin ang kanyang naiambag sa kasaysayan ng pamamahala sa bansa , kasabay ng pagdiriwang ng kanyang ika-100 taon kaarawan , atin pong bubuksan ang mga selyong  pang-alaala o commemorative stamps para kay Speaker Pepito Laurel.

Ang mga selyong ito ay sisimbolo sa ipinamalas na kagitingan at kagalingan ni Speaker Laurel sa kanyang piniling larangan  ” .

Senator Manuel Villar ( President of Nacionalista party and Speaker Jose B. Laurel Foundation chairman of the board ) Postmaster General Maria Josefina Dela Cruz , Ambassador  Jose Marario B. Laurel,  IV

Speaker Jose B. Laurel honored :

During President Corazon Aquino’s presidency, he was appointed to the Constitutional Commission that drafted the 1987 Constitution. He is recognized as one of the co-authors of the “Filipino First” policy in the constitution. He died on March 11, 1998 at the age of 85.

Senator Manuel Villar, Postmaster General Mrs. Maria Josefina Dela Cruz and Ambassador Jose Macario B. Laurel IV

ceremonial signing of First Day Issue of  Speaker Jose B. Laurel commemorative stamp

In his honor, Villar authored Senate Bill No. 1217 which seeks to name the strip of national highway connecting the towns of Talisay, Laurel and Agoncillo in Batangas as the “Speaker Jose B. Laurel Jr. Highway.”

website link : http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2012/0829_villar1.asp

Mr. Cocoy Laurel serenade the crowd after the unveiling ceremonies

Congresswoman Lally Laurel-Trinidad

I must commend the Vista Land, Jose B. Laurel Foundation , Senator Manuel Villar for preserving this historical house  with  its semi-restored condition, the winds of change would completely take over the mansion. Vista Land, known to be the biggest horizontal home developer in the country.  This house which is dubbed as  “The Laurel House – A Living Legacy.” the leaflets  extols and details the rich history of this residence.

Technical Description of the Stamp :

Speaker Jose B. Laurel 100th birthday 1912-2012

Denominations and Quantity: Php 9.00   / 64,000 pieces

Date of Issue: August 27, 2012

Last date of Sale: August 26, 2013 (as stocks allow)

Sheet Composition: 40

Size: 30 mm x 40 mm

Perforation: 14

Printing Litho offset (4 colors)

Paper: Imported Unwatermarked

Printer: Amstar Company, Inc.

Lay out Artist: Victorino Serevo

Design Coordinators: Ambassador Jose Macario Laurel IV & Elenita D.L. San Diego

Design: Portrait of Speaker Jose B. Laurel, Jr. by Fernando Cueto Amorsolo (National Museum of the Philippines)

Sources:

Press kit from Philpost, Villar Foundation and Speaker Jose B. Laurel

Philippine Postal Corporation: http://www.phlpost.gov.ph/web/speaker-jose-b-laurel-jr-commemorative-stamp/

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