Camarines Norte Commemorative Stamp Issued by PHLPOST

Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPOST) issued last September 14, 2020 a commemorative stamp and first day cover (FDC) commemorating the 100 anniversary of the province of Camarines Norte.

Camarines Norte 100th Anniversary

Camarines Norte is the northernmost province of Region V (Bicol Region). It was part of and separate from “Ambos Camarines” with Camarines Sur in different periods from 1573. The official date of the organization of the province as separate from Camarines Sur is 15 April 1920, following Executive Order No. 22.

The Php12.00 denomination commemorative stamp prominently displays the first monument dedicated to Jose Rizal located in Daet, the Camarines Norte Provincial Capitol Building, and the images of Jose Rizal, Jose Maria Panganiban, and Wenceslao Q. Vinzons Sr. (whose birth anniversary yesterday is now a special non-working holiday in the province). It features the centennial anniversary logo and the provincial seal of Camarines Norte on the right.


The Women of Rizal exhibit

SM North EDSA – The Block, Quezon City

SM Super malls  in cooperation with Yuchengco Museum7 Castle CorporationNational Commission for the Culture and the Arts, Goethe Institut and the descendants of Dr. Jose P. Rizal  opened a  week- long exhibit which is  will be held in SM North EDSA and SM  Biñan in Laguna . The event is open to the public during mall hours.

Crowd during the opening

The author was fortunate to be invited and as  Rizal’s  150th birthday celebration draws to a close , The exhibit  will highlight the significant events in Rizal’s life and our country’s history . The exhibit was segmented into 4 themes  Rizal in Europe , The Women of Rizal , The Rizal family ancestry and descendants ,  The Rizal monument in Luneta   . There are also several huge building replica’s  of various places, buildings, monuments that were visited by Dr. Jose Rizal during his various trip abroad.

replica of the buildings in France as viewed from the balcony

These  replica’s were strategically placed  so that visitors in the exhibition site can have the feeling and  have an opportunity to pose for a souvenir shot at the places that were visited by Rizal.

replica of Arch di Triomphe

Visitors will be  able to follow Rizal’s footsteps in Europe with replicas of the places he lived and visited.  These included the Blaue Stern Hotel in Czechoslovakia where Rizal met visited in 1887 to meet Professor  Ferdinand Blumentritt in 1887.

replica of St. Stephen Cathedral in Austria

St.Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, Austria where he prayed ; the University of Eye Clinic in Heidelberg where he completed his ophthalmologist studies; the Rizal monument in the Avenida de Filipinas, Madrid, Spain and the view of Rizal’s hotel room and Arch di Triomphe in France.

Ferdinand Blumentritt sketch by Juan Luna

There will also be storytelling sessions called “Mga Kuwento ni Pepe,” were to be held at SM City Calamba and SM City North EDSA. The roving exhibit aims to provide more awareness to the public.

The exhibit features portraits of women who have been part of our National Hero’s life –his mother Teodora Alonso y Realonda , as well as the women he has been romantically linked with beginning with Ms. Segunda Katigbak to his great love Ms. Leonor Rivera, and  Josephine Bracken.

Ms. Leonor Rivera- Kipping ( August 11, 1967 to August 28, 1893 )

She is considered as the childhood sweetheart . He romantic links to Dr. Rizal is said to have lasted 8 years. She was immortalized  as the character Maria Clara in Noli Me Tangere.

Her original hometown  is  in Camiling , Tarlac  and the daughter of Antonio Rivera and Silvestra Bauzon.  She studied in La Concordia College.

Ms. Rivera was later married a British engineer,  Mr. Henry Kipping . She died in August 28, 1893 from complications of childbirth .

These are  tarpaulin print  reproduction of oil on canvas portraits painted by renowned priest-artist Fr. Armand Tangi of the Society of Saint Paul for the Yuchengco Museum’s Loves of Rizal Exhibition in 2011.

family tree linage of Jose Rizal

The exhibit also gives a rare glimpse of Rizal’s other women, descendants of his brother Paciano and sisters Saturnina, Narcisa, Olympia, Lucia, Maria, and Soledad in beautiful black and white portraits by photographer Mr. Raymund Isaac.

Mr. Jose Arguelles

These are accomplished women and men (Soledad’s grandson Jose L. Arguelles, 94, is also included) who would have made their ancestor proud.

Lulu Hidalgo Tinio is President and Chairman of Saturnina Estate Development Corporation; Minney Reyes is a Managing Partner of Suarez and Reyes Law Offices; Tess Herbosa is the Chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission; Mia Sy-Quia Faustmann manages 7 Castles, a jewelry export business; and Barbara Gonzalez, once headed an advertising agency and now is also in the jewelry business.

The lone gentleman, Tito Pempot, as he is called, is equally distinguished. He was President of IBM Philippines, President of BenLife Insurance, and Treasurer and Board Member of National Teacher’s College.

Those who married successful men also found their voice. Concepcion Arguelles Feria or Tita Chit, wife to former Supreme Court Justice Jose Feria, is an active member of many religious societies. Marlene Lopez Jacinto, widow of steel businessman Fernando Jacinto, Jr., is an artist, graphic designer, and manages the family business.

Ms. Ana Maria Belen Bantug -Tan and Ms. Narcisa Consunji-Torres

Great granddaughters of Narcissa Rizal -(1852-1939), Mrs. Ana Maria Belen Bantug-Tan is the mother of former ABS-CBN channel 2 new reporter and current PTV channel 4  news anchor Mr. Robert Bantug- Tan.

Ms. Marilu – Bautista and Ms. Rise Fillart-Scott

Great granddaughters of  Olympia Rizal

Dr. Jose P. Rizal y Realonda  will be happy to know that many of his descendants have played an active role in nation building thru their personal advocacies . Ms. Ester Lopez Azurin is active in public service as President of Kaanak, a group of descendants of Fil-Am warriors and a barangay kagawad. Rose Filart- Scott is a psychotherapist and counselor and training consultant for In Touch Community Services. Ms. Trixie Grau is a Board Member of Binhi English Literacy Foundation, an NGO that aims to provide literacy kits to children in marginalized areas. ‘Tess Herbosa’s advocacy is the protection of children against child abuse.

I just wonder “why ” Ms. Gemma Cruz- Araneta was not included in the roster of the descendants of Rizal ? After all she also brought honors to the country by winning the prestigious Miss International pageant in 1964 . Maybe this exhibit wants to focus on the other descendants of the Rizal clan.

Ateneo de Manila University sesquicentennial

A new set of stamps was issued by the Philpost to commemorate Ateneo de Manila University 150th anniversary commemorative

Ateneo de Manila University was featured in Philippines stamps when the  university celebrated its 50th year, ( Ateneo de Davao branch ) 60th year in 2008 , 125th year in 1984  and now its 150th anniversary.

erratum: The Ateneo de Davao University (founded in 1948, conferred university status in 1977), while part of the Jesuit university consortium, is a distinct and separate university in its own right.

Apparently, unknown to many, there are a lot of Philatelists and memorabilia collectors from that University attesting to the several stamps that was issued in the past were sold-out !

The 150th commemorative stamp was issued last June 14, 2009 with a Php7.00 denomination ( 4 sets ) and a Php 28.00 denomination .

a. Ateneo de Manila sesquicentennial logo

b. Blue eagle – university logo and mascot

c.  The cross and St. Ignatius of Loyola

d. Dr. Jose Rizal –  Ateneo de Manila University- most outstanding alumni

The stamps were designed by Father Jason Dy, SJ  , Mr.Joel de Leon and Ms. Hilda Kapauan- Abola

Most of the stamps that were issued is said to have been bought by the Ateneo de Manila University .

Ateneo de Manila souvenir sheet ( note : the stamp was sold at a higher price)

Se-tenant Blocks of Four (34,000)
7p Sesquicentennial logo
7p Blue Eagle
7p At. Ignatius de Loyola
7p Dr. Jose Rizal

Souvenir Sheets of Four (7,000)
7p Blue Eagle
7p St. Ignatius de Loyola
7p Dr. Jose Rizal
7p Sesquicentennial logo

First Day Covers: Manila
Official FDCs: 4 different designs, 12,200 issued
Official Souvenir Folders: 3,200 issued

In 1959 , Ateneo de Manila issued their 100th anniversary stamp on the occasion of their centenary.

Paco Park centuries-old trees

Paco Park is a 4,114.80 square meter recreational garden area and was once Manila   municipal cemetery during the Spanish colonial period. It is located along General Luna St. and at the east end of Padre Faura street in Paco district  of the southern  part of Manila.

The park  was originally planned as a municipal cemetery of the rich and established aristocratic Spanish  families  who resided in the old Manila, or the city within the walls of Intramuros  during the Spanish colonial era.  Most of the wealthy families interred the remains of their loved ones inside the municipal cemetery in what was once the district of Dilao (former name for Paco). The cemetery was built in the late 1700s but was completed several decades later and in 1822.  The inner wall erected according to the plan of Maestro de Obras Nicolas Ruiz was originally constructed exclusively for the Iberian dead . The cemetery was used to inter victims of a cholera epidemic that swept across the city. The cemetery was enlarged in 1859.

The cemetery is circular in shape, with an inner circular fort that was the original cemetery and with the niches that were placed or located within the hollow walls. As the population continued to grow, a second outer wall was built with the thick adobe walls were hollowed as niches and the top of the walls were made into pathways for promenades. A Roman Catholic chapel was built inside the walls of the Paco Park and it was dedicated to Saint Pancratius.

Governor General  Ramon Solano was   interred at the chapel inside the Saint Pancratius .

Century-old acacia trees within Paco Park in Paco , Manila

Acacia ( Samanea saman) trees were planted in the park in the later half of the 19th century imported from South America were added in order to further beautify the park. These trees witness the interment of Dr. Jose Protacio Rizal y Realonda days after his execution at Bagumbayan ( Rizal Park). Relatives of Dr. Jose Rizal  purposely inverted his name to avoid the Spanish officials to detect  his whereabouts . 2 years later , his remains were exhumed and placed in an urn kept in his mother’s home in Calle Magdalena  Binondo.

inverted name of Jose P. Rizal inside the Paco Park

In 1912, burial or interment at the Paco Park ceased. It had been the burial ground for several generations and descendants of those who were buried in the park had the remains of their ancestors transferred. During the  outbreak of the second world war , Japanese forces used Paco Park as a central supply and ammunition depot. The high thick adobe walls around the park was ideal for defensive positions of the Japanese. The Japanese just before the liberation of Manila in 1945 , dug several trenches and pill boxes around and within the Park with three 75 millimeter guns to defend their fortification . The park was converted into a national park in 1965 during the term of President Diosdado Macapagal . Paco Park’s grandeur was slowly restored after the war and since then has remained as a public park and promenade for many teen age sweethearts who could spend quiet moments along the park’s benches and private alcoves.

Dendrobium orchids mounted on a live  tree

Paco Park and its care was placed under the responsibility of the National Park’s Development Committee (NPDC) during the regime of President Ferdinand E. Marcos , through the efforts of former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos, culture  and arts was given emphasis and priority in the country and Paco Park was one of the few venues chosen to host events related to culture. On February 29, 1980 , then Press and Cultural Attache of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in the Philippines, Dr. Christoph Jessen with then NPDC Vice-Chairperson Mr. Teodoro Valencia started a classical concert within Paco Park as part of the celebrations for the “Philippine-German Month,” and the program became a tradition, a weekly fare held every Friday afternoons and called the, “Paco Park Presents.

native Dischidia ionantha drapped the trunks of this tree

Some of the historical trees were eventually toppled  down by  Bagyong Rosing (Typhoon Angela)in 1995 and Bagyong Milenyo ( Typhoon Xangsane) in 2006.

What remains of the old heritage trees inside the park needed rehabilitation.

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