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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Horticulture 2012 Show – New Trends and Creative Techniques

Charito Planas Garden, Quezon Memorial Circle- Quezon City L-R  Mr. Joselito ” Butch” Campos, Mrs. Cynthia A. Villar , Mrs. Adoracion S. Bernabe , Quezon City Vice- Mayor Mrs. Joy Belmonte- Alimurong

 

Landscape of King Louis Farm – a show stopper and a hall of fame awardee

It was a fine sunny afternoon last January 26, 2012 Thursday when the author was invited  to the opening of  Horticulture 2012 held at the Quezon Memorial Circle near the Commonwealth Avenue side. The venue of the show was the Bonsai / Araos Garden, it was recently renamed as Charito Planas Garden in honor of former Quezon City Vice-Mayor 1992- 1995, socio -civic and human rights leader, A former president of the Quezon City Parks Development Foundation Inc., which manages the Quezon Memorial Circle, she is also known as an advocate of women’s causes. – Atty. Charito M. Planas. She is accredited to have gradually developed the area into a horticulture and medicinal plant haven during her term as vice-mayor.

Untying of the garland  led by  board of directors of different  plant societies , members,  guests of honor , vips, and sympathizers

This is a favorite venue area  of various horticultural and bonsai shows. The location was chosen because of its accessibility to joggers, students and passersby. There is a mini cemented stage were programs are held.  There are already several members of the Philippine Horticultural Society Incorporated 1976, Philippine Bonsai Society, Fern and Nature Society of the Philippines, Philippine Native Plant Conservation Society Incorporated 2007, Ayala-Alabang Garden Club, Makati Garden Club and Las Piñas Garden Club among others.

Miss Joy Belmonte-Alimurong

This year marked the 37th year of PHSI annual horticulture show with its’ theme ” New Trends and Creative Techniques in Horticulture “ the show featured an array of multifaceted landscape exhibits which showcase some of the   youngest, best and brightest landscapers in the country.

 Mr. Modesto Manglicmot , Architect Oscar Duque,  Mr.& Mrs. Romeo Gutierrez-President of PHSI  ( wearing light green vests ) & Mrs. Adoracion S. Bernanbe in pink and Mr. Joselito Campos

There are around 75 commercial booths where one can buy plants and plant materials from the ordinary ones, to rare and collector’s item plants.

nepenthes alata / pitcher plant being sold in one of the stalls

There will also be a  daily lecture where those interested in gardening and plants can attend.  This year’s over-all show chairperson led by the tandem of  Dr. Romeo Gutierrez and Mrs. Adoracion S. Bernabe or more popularly called Tita Dorie / Dory  by almost all people in the horticultural world.

Mr. Francis Gener being interviewed by a staff and crew of PTV channel 4

Tita Dorie is very active in almost all horticultural societies in the country. She has vast collections of ferns, bonsai, cactus, succulents, orchids, exotic fruits, suseiki, antique furniture and among others, She is also well-known in other parts of the world.

Unigreen Ornamental Farm booth

There is also a member who said ” Kapag si Tita Dorie ang nag-show chairperson ng isang event, bongga ang show”   The show is quite impressive if Tita Dorie is the chairperson. Spectacular Indeed!

Quezon City band

It was around past 4:00pm when the guests of honor arrived led by Vice- Mayor Ms. Joy Belmonte, administrators of Quezon Memorial Circle, Mrs. Cynthia A. Villar and Mr. Buth Campos. They were warmly greeted by all the board members of the society and well-wishers,  from various horticultural groups. Kuratong was performed by the Boys Scouts of the Philippines that led the guests of honor in their places at the prepared garland, which was be untied.

boys scout of the Philippines with kuratong

When the guests are already properly positioned the Kuratong had stopped. After the garland was untied, the Quezon City band played a welcoming band. The sunshine ladies and gentlemen then led the guests to the exhibition site – (These are the term given to the group of usherettes and reception committee members of the society.)  After the guest had taken seats, the doxology was led by a group of kids from The Learning Tree Growth Center, Incorporated.

After the doxology , the children performed a modern song using angklung , a traditional bamboo instrument used in many Southeast Asian countries.

kids with angklung

      It was pat 5:00pm when Dr. Romeo Gutierrez -President of PHSI in his welcome addresses the need of gardening in towns and cities.   Dr. Gutierrez is a plant enthusiast, He is also a plant breeder and painting collector .    A short power point presentation was prepared before the opening speech of Mrs. Cynthia A. Villar chairperson of the Villar Foundation, This foundation is known for its meaningful community projects like assistance to OFW in distress, Skills and Livelihood assistance, various environmental projects like water hyacinth handicrafts, River Rehabilitation Programs and Social Enterprises in Las Piñas City.

native baskets  made from water hyacinth with organic compost packs

Horticulturists and environmentalists across the country would always remember the Villars as big players in the horticultural industry; plants are needed to beautify their real estate projects.  Mrs. Villar is very friendly and down to earth person,  Her passion and love for the environment truly reflected on her glowing presence.   ” Iba ang aura ni Mrs. Villar ”  . Mrs. Villar had a different aura, this was according to one of the on-lookers.  Eager members and invited guests requested her to have a photo opportunity. The foundation also gave away native handbags with compost soil packs as a started kit! For those who wanted to know more about the advocacy  and projects of the Villar Foundation here is the link:

Website: http://www.villarfoundation.org/

Another guest of honor is Mr. Joselito ” Buth ” Campos Jr. of  Del Monte Pacific LTD. Philippines and chairperson of Evergreen Holdings,  He also pledge to donate an undetermined amount of money for the Philippine Horticultural Society various projects. He is also known to be a  koi breeder, animal lover, furniture collector and specializes in collecting of rare plants from all over the world.

 Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society Inc. members and board of directors

Not to be outdone was wives of former ambassadors, members  various NGO and cause- oriented groups which  donated the trophies to the winners of the show.

Among the exhibitors is Mr. Yuyung LaO who is well known for his many exotic ornamental plant collections  from all over the world . He is also considered as one of the most-in-demand landscaper  not only  in this country but also in other Asian countries.  Mr. LaO  long list of  clientele  included  dignitaries, politicians, resorts ,  well-known celebrities, businessmen and even royalties !  Another exhibitor is  Mr. Boyet Ganigan of Aroids and Arids. He has a big collection of rare plants in Silang, Cavite.  A frequent winner in the field of landscaping and plants , His  fame led him to be featured in some of the country’s top newspaper and blogs .

Landscape booth executed by internationally known landscaper Mr. Yuyong La’O – this exhibit won third prize.

Other exhibitors were Mr. Fred Salud, Professor Serapion Metilla in tandem with Dr. Romeo Gutierrez, Mr. Francis Gener of King Louis Flowers and Ornamental Plants.  Mr. Gener has been a frequent winner in landscape exhibits both local and international.

L-R Mr. Botchie Canicula  , Mrs. Siony Ng , Ms. Rebecca C. Buenaventura &  Ms.Myrna Magalong

  Mr. Noel Vincent ” Botchie ” Canicula which specializes in fern, variegated plants, anthuriums, cactus , succulents , bromeliads, native plants  and among others.  An entrepreneur at heart , He converted their family  garden into a thematic NVC garden restaurant in San Mateo , Rizal . He was featured in some television shows like Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho ( cactus episode aired last January 10, 2009) on  GMA Kapuso channel 7  and Umagang Kay Ganda of ABS-CBN channel 2 .

Mr. George Mendoza  have their exhibit booths. While, the Philippine Bonsai Society will  exhibit their prized bonsai trees, Natural Stone Society will also display their stone collections.

Best Landscape in Show Award – executed by the tandem of  Mr. Lardy Abundo, Mrs. Teresa Baldonado and Ms. Marilois Estrella

There are also exhibits by Mr. Lardy Abundo, Tess Baldonado and Marilois Estrella, the World Flower Council,  Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society Incorporated , Cactus and Succulent Society, the group of Wendy-Fern Study Group or FSG and Ariod Study Group or ASTIG , Mett’s Plant Arts and a community booth for members of the society which displayed their prized collections of plants .

The plants in this landscape exhibit had numerous awards  – executed by Mr. Noel Vincent ” Botchie ” Canicula

The Horticulture 2012 committee heads  :  Dr. Romeo Gutierrez and Ms. Dorie S. Bernabe, co-chairpersons; Mrs. Teresa Baldonado, commercial; Dr. Romeo Gutierrez, exhibits; Mr. Modesto Manglicmot, physical arrangements; Architect Oscar Duque, security; Mrs. Felicidad S. Gupit, invitation; Mr. Fernando Aurigue Jr., judging and awards; Architect Patricia Regalado, lectures and program; Professor Serapion Metilla, publicity; Mrs. Norma Villanueva, secretariat and raffle; Mr. Anthony Arbias, registration; Mrs. Rosita Yu, officers of the day; Mrs. Dorie S. Bernabe, ways and means and reception; and Mr. Vincent Canicula, finance.

Pastor Mike Lacanilao

Another media and radio personality is Pastor Mike Lacanilao a prime time news co-anchor of Ms. Helen Vela of GMA-  Balita ( 1986 to 1995 ) of GMA channel 7.

He is now a bible preacher and his passion over plants and gardening led him to become a member of the Philippine Horticultural Society.

After all the fanfare and impressive opening, the winners were finally announced, the official cater provider Ms. Baby De Leon is also on hand to supervise her staff.

Variegated Tupidanthus ” Best Plant in Show”

Hoya siarae 

Philippine hoyas was exhibited in memory of Dr. Simeona” Monina ” Siar 1962-2011 , She was accredited in identification and naming of new hoya species .