Philippine Tuberculosis Society launched its 2015 Pope Francis Overprint on TB SEAL

Julia Vargas Hall, Quezon Institute ,E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Quezon City – Philippines

Mr. Benjamin  Q .Avanceña, Mrs. Nelia T. Gonzalez , Mr. Larry Peralta and Ms. Shyla De Vera ( Union Bank partner )

Philippine Tuberculosis Society together with partner artists launched a few hours ago the 2015 Philippine Tuberculosis seal with Pope Francis silver special overprint from 3 sheets

Pasko sa Ating Bayan issued in 2002 with  overprint Pope Francis 2015 visit

Pasko Sa Ating Bayan  by well-known Filipino artists (2002) ,  Mr. Manuel D. Baldemor’s Mabuhay Philippines (2003) and One Hundred Years of Scouting painting by Mr. Nemi Miranda ( 2007 ) .

L-R Dr. Ngo Tiong Tak ( TB seal committee member) , Mr. Robert V. Araos ( TB seal committee member ) Engineer Romeo C. Ranjo ( TB seal committe member) Mr. Ysmael Inductivo ( Apo Philatelic Club ) Mr. Reynaldo Ong de Jesus ( Phlpost stamp advisory committee member and TB seal collector ) , Standing Dr. Elizabeth V. Cadena ( Executive Director )

PTV channel 4  reporter Mr. Joseph Parafina interviewed Dr. Elizabeth V. Cadena

The Philippine Tuberculosis Society, Inc. (PTSI) is a non-stock, non-profit, non-government organization whose advocacy is towards the prevention, treatment, and control of tuberculosis in the Philippines.

Mr. Lorezo Miguel Fresnoza , Mr. Edward Martinez and Ms. Samatha Sales

Before the ceremonial autograph signing , Design For Tomorrow partnered with PTSI to enhanced their existing website . They got their inspiration from The ” La Belle Epoque” aesthetics  which envisioning the classics  , combining confidence and applicability, a nod to print publication.  The group showed to the crowd an art -nouveau  era type of poster .

Website :

Mr. AL S. Perez

We were seated together with well-known painter and artist Mr. Al S. Perez , He gladly pose for a souvenir shot and we got his signed autograph. He had a lot of his part works that were featured in Philippine TB seals.

Philippine Tuberculosis Society , Inc Presidents  photo gallery  dating back to 1910.

Ms. Evelyn Paloga – Pangasinan Chest Clinic and Dispensary

The event also highlighted the loyalty award and tenure service among PTSI employees. Ms. Evelyn Paloga had served 40 years in her community .


According to Mr. Benjamin  Q .Avanceña , When he arrived in the  Philippines five years ago, tuberculosis is still one of the leading causes of death in the country, with 27,000 death recorded every year and at least 74 die per day , It is also the 6th leading causes of fatalities in the country.

The role of PTSI is not what is used to be , It would focus on 4 Important Pillars

1.) Research 2.) Field Operation 3.) Training of Personnel  4.) Innovative Quezon Institute and its Facilities

ceremonial autograph signature

I have some relatives which contracted tuberculosis and on how they overcome the illness with proper detection, early medication and having clean lifestyles.


2015 to 2016 Philippines TB seal

Importance of TB seal and its Role in Fund Raising:

TB seal is also called ” Charity Stamps “,  ” Fund Raising Stamps” or ” Christmas FUND Raising Stamps“. They are usually added to all letters and even parcels when the ” BER ” season arrived . They are added to the letters , some stamp collectors would still collect commercially used envelopes with TB seals .

group photo


In 1904, a postal employee named Einar Holboell saw a poor penniless waif shuffling outside the window of the postal office where he worked one dark Christmas Eve. He wondered if there was some way he could help such kids. Perhaps he was looking at the Christmas letters he was sorting when an idea struck him. Suppose people bought an extra stamp every time they mailed a letter or parcel? And suppose the money went to a special fund for the children? With thousands of people sending letters and parcels at Christmas, the fund would quickly grow to mammoth proportions. Very excited at the idea, he introduced it to his fellow postmen who received it enthusiastically.

The King of Denmark Christian IX, upon hearing the idea, embraced it wholeheartedly and requested the people of Denmark to buy the new Christmas seals. Being a popular ruler, his portrait, along with the queen became the first seal design. Combined with the warm-hearten nature of the Danes, it conclusively netted four million seal purchases the following Christmas.

NE Catering Services

After the ceremony, the group were treated to a sumptuous lunch catered by NE catering

Those who wanted to help the society and collect Philippine TB Seals , You can try to visit the PTS office at the Julia Vargas Hall within Quezon Institute compound located along E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue .

For inquiries and Those who wish to help the Philippine Tuberculosis Society , try to visit them .

P.O. Box 281, MANILA  

Direct Line: 781-3761 Loc. 132

Address : Quezon Institute – Julia Vargas Building along E. Rodriguez Avenue in Quezon City . It is just beside Puregold .  

Operating Hours: 8:00am to 4:00pm – Mondays to Fridays


Link to last year’s launching :

Note : I would like to ” Thank” the PTSI  TB seal committee members, Ms. Argentina Morata and Mr. Manni Coloma for the warm accommodation extended.


Pope Francis Memorabilia and Souvenir Items a Big Hit among Afficionados

University of Santo Tomas , Manila-Philippines

Pope Francis visit to the University of Santo Tomas

When the pastoral visit of Pope Francis was announced in the last quarter of 2014,  People from all walks of life started to look for  Pope-related memorabilia or would just like a memento of Pope Francis’s upcoming visit, vendors and shops have plenty of items for you. Catholic Trade in Tayuman started selling Pope Francis calendars, t-shirts and books became popular items.

 Dapitan street  crowd

I woke -up early at around past 3:30am and commuted from Quezon City to Dimasalang street. When i arrived past 5:00am , long lines already greeted me. Some of the eager crowd where already camping along the vicinity of University of Santo Tomas the day before , while pension houses and dormitories are also cramped with visiting pilgrims and relatives .

Mr. Alfonso Cruz together with his family

I accidentally met Mr. Alfonso Cruz ( stamp and memorabilia collector) . He left his home at around past 2:00am in Malabon City together with almost all the members of his family. He wanted to be blessed by the Pope.

University of Santo Tomas campus ( Gate 10)

Ordinary people had to fall in line along Dapitan street and long line that stretches for more more than a kilometer-long.

a devotee holding santo niño

An ambulant vendor selling Pope Francis key chain

Pope Francis button pins

There are so many kinds of button pins for sale along the Papal route. They are priced between Php 20 to Php 30 each depending on the area .

Some vendors would sell them at a slightly discounted rate of 3 button pins for Php 50 .

calendars and towels

Calendars are being sold from Php 30 to Php 100 depending on the size and materials

Pope Francis t-shirts

In this part of the Sampaloc , T-shirts were selling from Php 150 to Php 300 depending on the sizes and quality of the shirt.

Pope Francis T-shirts

Pope Francis towels and handkerchiefs

Pope Francis busts, key chains and rosaries

Pope Francis foldable fans

Pope Francis calendars

special response unit

Unlike the 1995 Papal visit of then Pope John Paul 2 , the security protocols are quite strict.  Even the nearby condominium units and residential areas were not spared from the inspection and manning by the security forces by PNP, baranggay and volunteer groups.


I met a group of students waiting patiently in line and using their mobile camera to record everything. They are standing along España corner Moret street  in Sampaloc.

army in fatigue uniforms

Despite the large crowds and strict security protocols , Some still manage to brought umbrellas and pointed objects .

crowd eagerly waiting for the arrival of the pope

It was very festive and almost everyone is very happy . I met a small contingent from San Mateo , Rizal

Mr. Angelo Diego Castro

I also met some celebrities along the papal route, One of them is Mr. Angelo Diego Castro , a popular teenage celebrity in the mid 1990’s . His daily show and weekly shows includes GimikEsperanza and TGIS in ABS-CBN channel 2  and GMA channel 7. He is the son of ABS-CBN channel 2 anchor Mr. Angelo Castro, Jr and EDSA People Power  1986 radio announcer Ms. June Keithley Castro.  I think he is together with his wife and immediate friends.

University of Santo Tomas -Gate # 4

It started to rain by the time Pope Francis and his convoy entered the main gate , Everybody shouted on top of their lungs and took their gadgets to record the momentous occasion. Some older people even started crying, It was not in despair or anguish . But it was tears of joy and celebration.

We waited for more several hours and under the rains. Nobody complained , But i saw several people that fainted . According to one devotee ” Para kang nakarating sa Roma” It is like you have went to Rome .

people walked from UST en-route to Luneta via Quezon Avenue underpass

I was able to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis visit to the University of Santo Tomas and his route along Quirino Avenue . The busy street of Manila is a beehive of people. My.conservative crowd estimate within UST , Dapitan, Lacson , España and Governor Forbes would easily be more than 200,000 from 5:00am to past 12noon.

The problem with big events like Papal visit , transportation like LRT is full to its capacity and LRT Quirino station is – NO loading and Unloading zone ( for security purposes). We have to wait for more than 30 minutes at the Doroteo station , so we decided to walk the Rizal Avenue going to Luneta.

Santa Cruz bridge or Mac Arthur bridge

Alternative transportation such as tricycles, pedicabs, kalesas ( horse drawn carriage) became a hit, normally they are banned from plying major street thoroughfares .

message to Pope Francis collage within Plaza Lawton / Liwasang Bonifacio

The rains are not strong but the cool air Northeast Monsoon  ( Amihan ) that worries some people.

News 9 crew stationed near Finance  Building ( National Museum for Filipino People )

Poncho type raincoats were also a big- hit among the rain drench crowd. They are sold between Php 35 ( ordinary ones ) to Php 200 .

crowd waiting near LRT Quirino station

Pope Francis block of 4 Php 10 each

Philippine Postal Corporation and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas also started to sell commemorative stamps and coins to mark the special occasion.

Pope Francis coinage stamps with face value of Php 200

This is a collective voice from a lot of ordinary stamp , coin and memorabilia collectors , We had to endure long lines just to buy stamps at the main post office, We have to wait for several days from January 12,13, 14  just to purchase the much coveted coinage stamp from Manila Central Post Office . We also had to endure a non-responsive email from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for our short list of orders .  While the author got several hundreds of email from fellow stamp and even coin collectors asking where to buy or asking the author to buy for them .

Php 50 coin being sold at Php 100 and Php 500 being sold at Php 1,000 by BSP

I also got some angry responses from fellow stamp collectors residing even in Metro Manila that their local post offices did not even have the Pope Francis stamps.  We all know that there is already a steady decline in the stamp collectors nationwide. BUT this is different , I personally believe that distribution to local post offices is the key to the solution . MORE stamp printed , the More people from all walks of life can enjoy the hobby.

In a recent television interview by a well-known stamp collector/ dealer  ( one at ANC channel and another one at Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho ) . The prices of the stamps had already doubled and even tripled from the face value of the item.  ( Some greedy bunch of grumpy people )

* Note: With the mad frenzy for Pope Francis memorabilia items , We collectors must always remember that the main purpose of his visit to the country is Mercy and  Compassion .  Learn to share whatever small items and blessing that we received .

Website Links:

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas :

Philippine Postal Corporation :

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