Christmas Wear Your Mask Slogan and Special Date Cancel

Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPOST) issues a special slogan and special date cancel for December 12, 2020- This is quite significant as it marks 12.12.20-20 this is a double date and is considered as auspicious date among slogan cancel collectors, postcrossers, stamp and first day collectors, numerology and feng shui afficionados not just in the Philippines but this is a world wide trend !

Special Date Cancellation for 12.12.2020

This idea was brought up by stamp, slogan, postcard collectors in an FB group and chat group few months ago. The collectors are also buyers in several leading online sites which had a successful double digit date sales campaign at their site. Example of the double dated sale are 6.6, 7.7, 8.8, 9.9. 10.10 , 11.11 and 12.12.

These online selling sites are even hiring well-known brand ambassadors that are quite active in all forms of media promotion. In return, Their SALES are raking million of pesos during these special dates.

Countries like Taiwan, Singapore and China are known to issue special slogan cancel marks or special date cancellation for these auspicious dates.

This is not the first time that this special date cancellation mark was propose. If my memory serves correct. it was proposed way back on 08.08.2008, 12-12,2012 which was unanimously approved by the stamp advisory board led by Postmaster General Hector Villanueva in 2008 and Postmaster General Maria Josefina Dela Cruz in 2012.

Philippine Philatelic Federation club members are all quite supportive to the slogan cancel and auspicious date that the representative Mrs. Josefina T. Cura had proposed during the stamp advisory committee member board meeting last month. Let us also “Thank” Mr. Maximo “Maxi” Santa Maria III -Business Line Manager for leading the way.

For those who have not yet, purchased the Christmas 2020 stamp and first day cover, It was already out in the market.

Special Cancellation Slogan

“Spread Christmas Spirit, Not the Virus Always Wear a Mask !” 12.12. 2020

With the issuance of these special slogan and special date cancellation, This will help boost the sales of postal company and quench the thirst of the general collecting public.

PHLPOST Issues President Corazon Aquino Second Series Floral Paintings with Scent Stamps

Boracay Room- Sofitel Luxury Hotel , Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex, Pasay City – Philippines

Ms. Ballsy Aquino-Cruz , Ms. Pinky Aquino -Abellada and Ms. Deedee Siytangco

The Philippine Postal Corporation in observance of former President Corazon ” Cory ” Aquino sixth death anniversary on August 1, A second series of special scented stamps which depicted her lifeworks on her favorite subject matter ” flowers ” was finally launched on July 29, 2015 at the Boracay Room of Hotel Sofitel in Pasay City.

There was a small gallery of stamps and first day covers from the past issuance of PHLPOST. There were 11 such stamps that depicted President Corazon Aquino from 1986 People Power stamps to the current scented paintings on stamps.

As her duties in Malacañang Palace ended in 1992 , a new journey for President Corazon Aquino was invited by a group of friends to join a painting class. She hesitated because , she said, she could not even draw. Ms. Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, the eldest child of Cory and the late senator Benigno Aquino Jr. prodded her mother to pursue painting.

painting featured in stamps

” I told her , Come on mom, they’ll make nice gifts’ . It’s not so much the painting but the one who painted it. A painting is also something that you can leave to your children ; it becomes a treasure . Because of my persistence , she finally gave in , ” Ballsy told SELYO ( official magazine of PHLPOST )  in an interview.

SELYO Magazine – July, August , September 2015 issue

A GIFT that MONEY Cannot BUY :

Cory would paint on different surfaces and materials including trays , flat stones , porcelain, canvas and even bags. Painting relaxed her, and it brought her closer to her family. Soon she became enamored with the craft , Cory started giving them away her paintings as gifts to family members, close friends, colleagues in politics and wedding godchildren.

MMDA Chairperson Mr. Francis Tolentino

We also saw Mr. Francis Tolentino during the lunch, he just stayed for a few minutes

According to Ms. Deedee Siytangco, They received their first and only painting by Cory in 1999 when her daughter Ms.Sandeee Marasigan , gave birth to daughter Amanda on January 24- which also was the birthday of Cory Aquino .

L-R Ms. Zyann Ambrosio ( ABS-CBN channel 2) , Ms. Sandra Aguinaldo -(GMA channel 7 ) and Ms. Ina Andolong ( CNN-Philippines)

The event is well covered by major television station and broad sheet like Philippine Star, Manila Bulletin and Philippine Daily Inquirer. I am quite lucky together with Ms. Jimmy Ang ( APO Philatelic Society ) to have the privilege to cover the event .

Ms. Rina Jimenez-David and Ms. Julie Yap -Daza

The former President stood as sponsor at the wedding of Sandee and husband Andrew . She gave them an oil on wood painting of flowers . Famous People like Mr. George Schultz , a former Secretary of State of US President Ronald Regan , remarried , Cory gave him a painting on wood . He send Cory A wonderful “thank you ” note.

Mrs. Teena Sarino and Mr. Jeffrey Consumo

Mr. Jeffrey Consumo is the art instructor for former President Corazon Aquino and her friends. While Mrs. Teena Sarino is one of Mrs. Cory Aquino friends and classmate in painting sessions.

Ms. Ms. Lilia de Lima, Ms. Teena Sarino, Mr. Aniceto “Chito” Sobrepeña , Mr. Ceasar Sarino with Ms. Deedee Siyangco  and Ms. Macaria Leonardo ( standing )

Mr. Aniceto “Chito” Sobrepeña, Metrobank Foundation president, former Cabinet Secretary, said: “Tita Cory played a pivotal role in the development of our country even after her presidential term. She served as Metrobank Foundation chairperson in our board of advisers from 1993 until the time of her demise.  The foundation had purchased Php 100,000 worth of stamps and First Day Covers.
 a short press conference and q and a portion was held Bulong Pulugan sa Sofitel 

Another prominent figure , Brunei royalty , invited Cory to visit even after her presidency . ” She brought him , ” Your Majesty , I know you can buy anything you want but I’m into painting now and I thought I’d give you something that’s not for sale.” She presented him with her painting. They were pleased , and it made mom happy” This was according to Ms. Ballsy Aquino -Cruz. recalled.

ceremonial autograph signing

Cory’s subjects revolved around faces, landscapes, rosaries and most notably flowers.Her favorite subject was flowers. People would say , Your mom really likes flowers ! Yes, she did but she always said she painted flowers because it was the only thing she could paint” ! Ms. Ballsy Aquino -Cruz recalled.

complete set of stamp souvenir, sheetlet and first day cover with cancellation marks

Five different paintings of ” Tita Cory” is included at the special block of 4 stamp and a souvenir sheet. About 400,000 copies in four design of the special scented stamps is printed using imported unwatermarked paper and floral scented ink.  PHLPOST has also printed 50,000 copies of the souvenir sheet at Php 120 each plus 12% VAT.

Here are the link to last year’s stamp launching : https://renz15.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/phlpost-launched-the-flower-paintings-of-president-corazon-aquino-on-scented-stamps/

President Corazon Aquino memorabila exhibit at Glorietta

Papal Stamps Exhibit at SM North Edsa ( The Block)

The Block, SM North , EDSA, Quezon City – Philippines

SM chain of malls in partnership with Philippine Postal Corporation , Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines presents to the public an exhibition of Philippine stamps  which highlights the papal commemorative stamps issued by PHLPOST in 1970, 1981, 1995 and 2015. There are also stamps issued from other parts of the world featuring the pope .

The exhibit also highlighted the importance of stamps and its role in Philippine history. The event were attended by Architect Renee Bacani ( SM AVP for Operation ) Honorable Cesar Sarino ( Chairman -board of directors ), Postmaster General Maria Josefina M. dela Cruz ( Postmaster General and CEO ) , His Eminence Luis Antonio Tagle (  Archbishop of Manila ) Ms. Elvira Yap-Go ( publicity and promotion Eucharistic Congress 2016 -CEBU organizing committee )  , Mrs. Felicidad T. Sy  , Archbishop Lagdameo , Most Rev. Honesto F. Ongtioco, D.D ( Archibishop of Cubao) among others.

Postmaster General Maria Josefina dela Cruz

I was seated just a few feet away from his Eminence Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle and He gamely posed with a fellow stamp collector having his own selfie.

 a stamp collector happily pose for a souvenir shot with his eminence

He gave a short but very meaningful message about the importance of letter writing, usage of stamps and his own story on how he would got letters with some complains. He told the crowd that someone send him a short messaging service ( sms) telling him that he was featured in the Philippine stamps few days ago. He was later given a sample of the said stamp issue.  Much to his delight and admiration.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle – Archbishop of Manila

He also told the crowd that his mother kept a letter during his childhood days . A letter whenever he could not answer his assignments in school.

Mrs. Felicidad T. Sy and Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle

After the short speeches , the papal stamps were unveiled to the public and a ceremonial autograph signing from the invited special guests.

Pope Francis stamp exhibition

The ceremony started a little over 11:00am with almost everyone admiring the stamp exhibit. There are some stamp collectors who came from the Manila Central Post Office and brought the recently issued Pope Francis commemorative stamps and first day covers with them. They are eager to let their FDC’s and other memorabilia items autographed by the VIP invited .

His Eminence Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle  together  with  the children choir from Mandaluyong City

The exhibit also revolves on the theme Mercy and Compassion , and will run until the end of the Papal visit.

Year of the Horse 2014 ( Gold Foil ) Stamp Launching at the Philpost

3rd Floor, Manila Central Post office- Liwasang Bonifacio, Ermita, Manila, Philippines

Year of the Horse 2014 ( Gold Foil embossed ) edition

I got a call from Philippine Philatelic Federation outgoing president Mr. Robert Tan about the stamp unveiling ceremony a day before ( January 29, 2014 ) ” Year of the Horse – Gold Foil” edition launching .  The event will coincide  on the eve of the  Chinese New Year 4711 which celebrates the coming of  ( Year of the Horse ) .   I do not have an idea ‘why’ Philpost issues a gold foil edition souvenir stamp which is intended for  worldwide stamp collectors .  The face value of the souvenir sheet is Php 200 which is a bit on the high end of the pricing range – Some countries like Australia , Thailand or even Republic of China ( Taiwan) which also issued a “gold foil” edition sells them at a much lower price at higher quantity.

lion dance

I woke -up past 6:00am and went to the Manila Central Post office . Traffic was standstill at the Rizal Avenue ( Avenida Rizal) due to ongoing road repairs  that i had to walk from Doroteo Jose street passing the Santa Cruz Church , crossing the Mac Arthur bridge then to the Manila Central Post Office.

signage posted at the ground floor 

There was a sudden change of venue and the organizers moved the stamp unveiling ceremonies at the 3rd floor , The original plan was at the lobby area.

L-R Miss Maura , Postmaster General Maria Josefina Dela Cruz , Mr. Mama Lalanto Al Haj , Mr. Rey Ong de Jesus ( stamp advisory representative)

The program started past 10:30am with Mr. Enrique V. Tagle ( manager -Business Line Department)  While Ms. Via Carla San Agustin and Mr. Joseph Fernandez were the masters of the ceremony

Postmaster General Maria Josefina Dela Cruz  short but meaningful speech

The event was well covered by the top Philippine media television stations , ABS-CBN Kapamilya channel 2 , GMA Kapuso channel 7, TV Kapatid channel 5 and some broad sheet newspaper.  I was thinking of contributing an article or so in a local newspaper but i do not think that our editor in chief would approve an article in such a short notice, better write them in my blog .

Mrs. Josie Dela Cruz together with Ms. Tina Panganiban-Perez of GMA channel 7

dragon and lion dancers performed during the unveiling of stamp ceremonies within the Philpost atrium area . The festivities is a symbol of good luck and start of the auspicious year for everyone.

ceremonial autograph signing

Postmaster General and CEO Ms. Maria  Josefina Dela Cruz holds the Year of the Horse- Gold Foil edition

a early luncheon was served courtesy of the Philippine Postal Corporation which consists of popular Chinese delicacies

Technical Description

Purpose: Special Gold Foil ( embossed )- Year of the Horse

Date of Issuance: January 30, 2014 ( soft launching)

February 12, 2014 ( public )

Printer : Thailand

Quantity: 7,500 copies total

3,500 pieces First Day Covers

Artist: Jaime Jose and Mr. Victor Serevo

Denomination: Php 200.00

Souvenir sheets of 3

First Day Cover: Manila Cancellation

Note: I do not have an idea on what was the special role of Dr. Ngo Tiong Tak ( self- acclaimed Philippine republic stamp expert) But we saw him  with a folder with a list of 2014  upcoming stamp releases .   A short power- point presentation of the upcoming issues was presented by the Philatelic unit head .  Much to our dismay, that they did not gave us any sample copies of the technical description which is very very important to update all the stamp collectors from all over the country and international stamp collectors.  Why only give preference to just one person?

Some of the disappointed stamp collectors who were there at the stamp launching  were not able to buy even a single one.  ( since there were only 130 pieces of the gold foil souvenir sheet stamp which only arrived the night before , January 29, 2014) Most of the souvenir sheets were given as a token gifts  by Philpost marketing and corporate media affairs to the traditional  media that were present during the unveiling ceremonies .

At the end of our coverage , The author together with some stamp bloggers and stamp collectors went home empty handed,  Much to our dismay.

As one of my buddies,  wrote in his blog. We are still very fortunate to get exclusive invitation from Philpost while other stamp collectors in other parts of the country are still clueless on the recent issues and they never even get a chance to see and buy them at their local post offices!!!!!!!

One of the constructive criticism held by some  Filipino stamp collectors that are base in  the provinces ,  that recent stamp issuance do not even reach them .  So ‘why’ issue such a low quantity stamps and souvenir sheet at higher price ? Hindi daw nila mabenta? With proper distribution , marketing system and perhaps and little consultation with stakeholders ( not just 1 or 2 stamp experts wannabees with passe ideas and old design concept)   7,500 pieces can be easily disposed in a matter of few weeks or months if they are properly and equally distributed  all over the archipelago.  Given that 1 stamp per collector allocation is TRUE .  So does that mean that there are ONLY 7,500 stamp collectors in the Philippines ? with 102 million estimated population? Hard to Believe ? Or Ripley Believe or Not ?

Mrs.Teresita “Mama Sita” Reyes Stamp Launching

Old Senate Session Hall , National Arts Gallery – Padre Burgos street, Manila- Philippines

Doña Engracia Cruz-Reyes together with Mrs. Teresita ” Mama  Sita” -Reyes -photo is courtesy of Mama Sita foundation

Life  : Teresita “Mama Sita” Reyes  was born on May 11, 1917 . She is the third of  Aling Asiang and  Mr. Alex Reyes’ 13 children, and was the one who got her mother’s features. She is  well known for her extraordinary gift with food- cooking, incorporating even selecting ingredients that really make our favorite food taste even better.  She is the eldest daughter of Doña Engracia Cruz- Reyes . Food wasn’t her only interest. She was also very business-minded. She would wake up early in the morning and would go to markets such as Divisoria and Nepa Q-Mart now ( Mega Q-Mart) to check out the items they offered.

Doña Engracia Cruz-Reyes was featured in a definitive stamp series of the Philippine Postal Corporation in 1992 ( Decade of Filipino Nationalism IV)  to mark the 100th anniversary of her birth .  Litho is by Amstar Printing Company . Perforation of 13 3/4  x 13 1/2 , Watermark .3 . 

Her mother, Doña Engracia Cruz-Reyes, is known as the “Mother of Filipino Cooking”. Through her parents, Mama Sita first learned that nothing could compare to the goodness of Filipino cooking. Her family ran the restaurant Aristocrat, which is why at an early age, her life already revolved around the world of food.

This is a  se-tenant strips of 5,  Sheets of 200 with total of 5,280,000 or 1,056,000 pieces per ( featured Filipino icon )

The set also includes President Manuel Roxas, Mrs. Natividad-Lopez,  National Artist Fernando Amorsolo and Mr. Roman O. Ozaeta (He was a former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines (June 24, 1941 – May 16, 1950). Justice Ozaeta was born on February 28, 1891 in San Jose, Batangas to Julian and Florencia Ozaeta. ).  The stamp was issued on June 1, 1992

Highlights of Mrs. Teresita Reyes achievements was posted near the main entrance of the old session hall of the Senate during the stamp unveiling ceremony

Businesswoman :

When it came to buying things, Mama Sita was number one. As soon as someone would offer her products at a discounted price, she couldn’t stop herself from buying them. From sacks of rice to a dozen cans of evaporated milk, or ten baskets of mangos, she really would not let the opportunity pass. As long as she was able to buy something, anything at all, she would go home satisfied, and with a smile on her face.

Mrs. Amelita Cunanan , Mr. Reynaldo Ong de Jesus  and Ms. Macaria J. Leonardo ( Chief ) Postage Division -Philippine Postal Corporation

Passion :

Her hard-working efforts were not only seen in her traveling to so many places just to gather delectable and reasonably priced food. It was also apparent in the kitchen, of course.

traditional Filipino kitchen utensils and handicrafts

Mother : Mama Sita when she married Mr. Fidel Reyes and bore 11 children. She was able to come up with countless recipes and innovative ways of preparing food, due to her productive ethics. She never got tired of experimenting with different ingredients. Writing her new found recipes and discoveries on her diaries and journals also became a hobby of hers, which lead to us finding out fascinating secrets and tips on cooking!

The daughters of Mrs. Teresita -Reyes were introduced to the crowd

Another thing that stood out about Mama Sita was her character. Those who were fortunate enough to have met her can still remember her laugh. They also recall how she would pick on lansones and butong pakuan ( dried watermelon seeds)  even her habit of going to places that were far, just so she could taste the food they were well known for.

Postmaster General Maria Josefina Dela Cruz caught in a light moment  was shaking hands with Dr. Bartolome B. Lapus ( looking in the middle ) is Atty. Constantino de Jesus

Stamp Unveiling Ceremony:

The preparations of the stamp unveiling ceremony was initiated by the Mama Sita Foundation and the Reyes family clan members after the approval of the stamp design by the stamp advisory committee sometime last year.  The author got an invitation via  email from the foundation more than a month prior to the stamp launching.

National Museum Assistant Director Ana Labrador in her welcome address

Preparation was meticulously handled by the foundation .  Finally, on February 11, 2013,   the stamps and First Cover were issued by the Philippine Postal Corporation , the stamp unveiling ceremonies is set at  at the old session hall of the National Arts Gallery. The unveiling ceremony was set  for March 14, 2013 . Coincidentally , March was declared ” National Women’s Month ” .

Mr. Victor Reyes ( lone surviving brother of Mama Sita ) and Postmaster General Maria Josefina Dela Cruz

Mr. Victor Reyes together with Postmaster General Josie Dela Cruz after the ceremonial unveiling of stamps and commemorative First Day Cover

Invited guests , media and vips came dressed in their best Filipinana outfit. Then a short program was initiated by the intimidate family members of the Reyes clan. There is a table set up of traditional utensils and native crafts , rondalla playing traditional Filipino music .

ceremonial signing of Mama Sita’s First Day Cover

after the ceremonial signing of the First Day Cover , Mr. Victor Reyes and Mrs. Josefina Dela Cruz  shakes their hands and showed the media and writers the signed copies

The organizing committee of the stamp launching event was led by Mama Sita group of companies and part of the Reyes family running famous restaurants such as Aristocrat, Chateau 1771, El Pueblo, Reyes Barbecue and Serye Cafe. Mama Sita Foundation led by Mrs. Clara Reyes-Lapus organized the event in cooperation with the National Museum and the Philippine Postal Corporation.

The Reyes family clan capping the night with traditional Filipino songs and medley

Advocacies:

Mama Sita is known for her passion of spreading the art of Filipino cooking not only in the Philippines but also the rest of the world.  Mama Sita’s “Mga Kuwentong Pagkain” is a nationwide contest launched to encourage everyone to share authentic, one-of-a-kind and little known stories on Filipino cuisine and cooking. These stories correspond to Teresita “Mama Sita” Reyes’s own commitment to celebrate the cuisine and culinary heritage of the Philippines. Another cooking festival,  Kulinarya at Saya Local Food Cooking Contest was also sponsored by the foundation and was held in Puerto Gallera , Mindoro.

Mama Sita’s famous mixes, sauces , condiments and samalamig

Natural Ingredient

Mama Sita’s policy to use only natural ingredients has also led to helping small agricultural -industrial business in the countryside. MCC through its Mama Sita Foundation assists farmers in planting crops that can be dried and processed. Thus, the abundant produce of the season like chilis, tomatoes, onions are not wasted and instead can be sold to companies like MCC.

sumptuous late afternoon meal provided by Mama Sita’s Foundation, Aristocrat and Reyes family  to all the invited  participants , vips, guests and media

Farmer Project

Mama Sita Foundation is also helping small farmers thru their several projects  like producing Siling Labuyo ( chili peppers) for Marigold Commodities, The maker of the famous Mama Sita sauces and condiments. Siling Labuyo is one of the the smallest among hot peppers grown in the country. It has the hotness and the  flavor desired by Mama Sita.

Ms. Chuchay V. Andrada  together with Mr. Renz Emmanuel Raquion ( writer contributor of Manila Bulletin and a stamp collector )

Mama Sita’s First Day Covers ( FDC) and stamps  issued by Philippine Postal Corporation last February 11, 2013

Technical Description of the Stamps

Kind of Issue : Commemorative

Printer: Amstar Company , Incorporated

Printing Process: Litho- Offset ( 4 colors ).

Perforation : 14

Paper : Imported Unwatermarked

Singles,  Souvenir Sheets of One 10p   Teresita Reyes – Portrait  (105,000)

Sheet composition : 40 (10x 40)

Size of stamp : 30mm x 40mm

Size of souvenir sheet: 120mm x 85mm

Souvenir sheet Php 10 with Php 40.00 premium (8,000 pieces )

Mama Sita face illustrator :Ms. Chuchay V.Andrada

Design coordinator: Susan Ada Veneracion

Designers: Ms. Criselda Santos , Mr. Ian Aycocho and Mr. Christian Molina

 Note: My heartfelt ” Thanks” to all the people behind Mama Sita Foundation for the warm accommodation extended to me during and after the stamp launching . All the photos are taken by the author during the event, for those who wanted to use the photos for any purpose , please try to link this page .  The stamps are from the personal collection of the author.

References and Bibliography:

Artistocrat Restaurant : http://www.aristocrat.com.ph/

Engracia Cruz- Reyes, Filipinos in History Vol. III. Manila, Philippines: National Historical Institute. 1996. pp. 228–230.

Mama Sita Foundation : http://www.msita.com/

Philippine Postal Corporation : http://philpost.gov.ph/web/category/stamp-releases/

1997 Ngo’s Catalogue of Philippine Republic Stamps & Postal Stationaries . page 137.

2012 Scott’s Stamp Catalog of Philippine stamps

Souvenir Program / Presentation pack : Mrs. Teresita ” Mama Sita ” Reyes

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