King Alfonso XIII of Spain Tarjeta Postal

King Alfonso XIII (17 May 1886 – 28 February 1941) was the Spanish monarch who was born in 1886. He was immediately proclaimed king under the regency of Maria Cristina ( his mother). In 1902, on his 16th birthday, he assumed full authority as king until his abdication in 1931.

Tarjeta Postal – Postal Card/ Postcard

King Alfonso XIII postcard commercially used dated January 17,1906 by Pototipia de Hauser V Menet Undivided Back (c. 1901-1907) Madrid

He was the ruler of the country, when Cuba gained their independence, Philippine, Guam, Puerto Rico were sold to the United States of the treaty of Paris in 1898. The remaining islands of Caroline islands ( Islas de Carolinas) formerly part of Spanish East Indies were eventually sold to Germany in 1899 for 25 million pesetas or 17 million golds mark. Spain only remaining colonies are the Spanish Sahara in Northern Africa and some enclaves.

Aside from the decline of Spain as a world power, This was also one of the most turbulent episodes in Spanish history.

back portion of the tarjeta postal – the postcard was send from Spain to England with King Alfonso XIII stamp

Popular Myths Behind King Alfonso XIII coins and stamps

There are coins, banknotes, postage stamps, telegraph stamps and tarjeta postal issued during the Spanish regime in the country which bore his portrait – Almost same design were also issued in Puerto Rico, Guam, Cuba with few minor differences. When the coins were minted in Madrid and issued in Manila for general use, They were not so popular compared to Queen Isabel 2 and King Alfonso XII.

The XIII or number 13 was sometimes considered “unlucky” to those people collecting them. There are some old time collectors who recounted their stories , that some do not even dared to touch the coins due to the fear of getting “unlucky” (malas).

As years passed by, The coins, stamps and ephemera of King Alfonso XIII became popular because a lot of the items were destroyed during the Spanish civil war during the middle part of 1936 to early 1939. Some of the local collection were lost during the last world war, natural calamities, fires and even neglect by their owners.

Some of the coins were eventually remelted down after the war up to the 1980’s for the use in different local silversmith ateliers, altar pieces or reselling them. Those are just some of the contributing of the scarcity of the coin.

There are still some King Alfonso XIII or King Alphonse XIII stamps and postcards that are still affordable for sale in popular online auction sites or local stamp collecting bourse.

It had been more than 1 year since the last local stamp club held their local bourse due to IATF and enhanced community quarantine restriction.

Bought this postcard in an online auction site, few months ago for a price of a fast food burger meal. It was quite rare to find this in local stamp bourse/ auction club meeting.

King Alfonso XIII Abdication and Death

He left Spain voluntarily after the municipal elections of April 1931, which were taken as a plebiscite on abolishing the monarchy. Alfonso XIII renounced his rights to the defunct Spanish throne on June 15, 1941 in favor of Juan. He died of a heart attack in Rome on 28 February of that year. He was buried in Spanish National Church of Santiago and Montserrat (Santa Maria in Monserrato degli Spagnoli) in Rome before his body was repatriated in 1980.

He was re interred in El Escorial in Spain.

New Star Trek Stamps to be Issued by Royal Mail

Royal Mail will be issuing a set of 12 stamps to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the world wide science fiction hit television series.

The long-running space adventure has so far produced more than 780 TV episodes and 13 movies after its first broadcast in the UK in 1969.

photo courtesy of Royal Mail

Star Trek Stamps

The set comprises 12 stamps depicting the captains from six principle TV series, plus additional crew members: Captain James T Kirk, Spock, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Commander Deanna Troi, Captain Benjamin Sisko, Doctor Julian Bashir, Captain Kathryn Janeway, Captain Jonathan Archer, Lieutenant Malcolm Reed, Captain Gabriel Lorca, Lieutenant Ash Tyler and Commander Michael Burnham.

A further six stamps, presented in a miniature sheet, feature characters from across Star Trek movies, all played by British actors: Montgomery Scott, Shinzon, Tolian Soran, Klingon Chancellor Gorkon, Carol Marcus, and Krall.

The 12 main character stamps are new illustrations by London-based artist Freya Betts.

The 24 year old Cornwall based illustrator initially worked in the film industry, artworking and designing campaigns for Universal, Paramount, Warner Bros and Disney. Now, freelance and represented by illustration agency Jelly, the Star Trek stamps are her latest commission.

The images portray the characters alongside reflective details, including starships, in the background of their respective series.

The stamps are on sale on November 13.

8 Practical Tips For Caring Hibiscus During Rainy Season

Hibiscus locally called as Gumamela is one of the top 10 all time favorite flowering shrub in the country. Growers can encounter some problems during rainy or wet season in the Philippines.

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The most common colors are red, pink, yellow,magenta and intermediate colors. There are some native hibiscus in the country, While hundreds of hybrids origin being cultivated in many homes, public parks, cemeteries, schools, resorts and estates. The flowers does not last long, most of the hybrid cultivars only last for a day or so.

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Hibiscus rosa-sinensis hybrid or Gumamelang Pula planted as hedge plant within Manila Memorial Park

Some Feng Shui practitioners recommend planting reddish color, bright yellow color gumamela. Depending on the position of one’s property to create harmony in colors and balance within the household.

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double petal pink Gumamela  ( photo courtesy of King Louis Farm and Sir Lebon Ong)

8 Practical Tips for Caring Hibiscus /Gumamela

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yellow color 

8.) One can grow their gumamela / hibiscus directly on garden plot or in potted terracotta/ plastic containers. This allows growers to move the containers in ideal location or focal point in one’s home or office when the plant is in bloom. Providing at between 6 to 8 hours of sunlight.

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Hibiscus Taiwan Cloud Cotton

7.) Gumamela requires 50% loam/garden/brown soil with combination of 20% sandy mix, 30% compost, aged cow or carabao manure, aged rice hull, coco coir and vermicast for the rest of the potting mixture. Mulching is recommended for gumamela planted outdoors because it not only provides a lot of protection for the roots, but it also helps the plant retain the moisture, especially if grown in garden type setting.

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peach color

6.) Fertilize weekly using a variety of water soluble fertilizer 20N, 20P, 20K or 10N-10P-10K, (whichever is available) diluted into 1/2 or 1/4 strength during its growing season or flowering season. One may add few teaspoon of slow release fertilizer or compost mixture as fertilizer for the plant. For blooming gumamela plants, a ratio of 20N-30P-30K water soluble fertilizer, trace elements, calcium nitrate, epson salt can also be applied alternately.

Another good brand is Naturamin which enables hibiscus or gumamela to absorb the nutrients. This is also good in other plants like Syngonium podophyllum, flowering plants, orchids, crops and fruits trees.

Avoid using skim milk, beer, Monosodium glutamate (MSG), urine or any home base fertilizer mixture as these can eventually kill your Gumamela or Hibiscus in no time.

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tangerine color

5.) Regular pruning is also required when the shrub grow lush during rainy season. One can schedule a monthly pruning period. Try to sterilize your pruning shears, knife or cutter before using them.

4.) Try to regular check for pest such as aphids, white flies, scale insects, mealybugs, caterpillars, thrips or even spider mites. These insects can eat parts of the flowers, leaves or stems of gumamela.

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3.) Potted hibiscus / gumamela plant with flowers can be enjoyed for a limited time period. Interior decorator suggest that one can put them inside their homes between 1 to 3 days. Near windows where there is bright light.

a humidity tray if you have dry air conditions inside of your house to ensure the plant is getting all of the moisture it needs to thrive.

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single petal yellow variety

2.) Propagation is quite easy. One can propagate via cuttings, air layering or seeds during the onset of the rainy season, or when one prunes their gumamela shrub. Find a node and cut about six-inches below that and then remove everything except the very top leaves. Another way is to graft different colored gumamela.

1.) Avoid over watering, Especially during this rainy season. This can cause a lot of problems like root rotting and fungal problems. When in doubt, one can forgo watering for at least a day or so. Gumamela needed well- drained soil if planted in garden type setting.

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pale pink form

Economic Importance and Ethno Botanical Uses

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Hibiscus Red Double

Hibiscus syriacus is the national flower of South Korea while Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is the national flower of Malaysia. Hibiscus brackenridgei is the state flower of Hawaii, While it is a national symbol in Haiti, Solomon and Niue.

Hibiscus, Gumamela, Rose Mallow or Rose of Sharon and hybrids are commonly use to beautify the landscape.  Blooming gumamela can also serves as focal point in one’s office or public area.

The flowers is used by children in many parts of the country as part of a bubble-making pastime. The flowers and leaves are crushed until the sticky juices come out, adding 1 tablespoon detergent to make bubble.

Some would use the flowers to make edible flower salad. Flowers and young leaves are also use by some for their medicinal properties. In some parts of the country, flowers are use for offering in home altars and as lei for welcoming guests.

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Hibiscus manihot or Abelmoschus manihot

Abelmoschus manihot formerly known as Hibiscus manihot is eaten in ( Quezon / Tayabas area) called Sapinit, Lagikuway. Bicol region and some parts of Ilocos region. Some Visayan provinces also use the flowers for souring agent in soup. In Surigao provinces it is called Lagikway, Lagikuway,Baniwayun. It is called Malaguhon / Malaguhun ( Han.) and Linikway/ Barakue ( Bng) Glikway/ Gikugguse (Sub) in other Philippine languages.

The flower is used as souring ingredient or add on for local vegetables, soup or meat dishes. The dish had a slippery texture like okra.

Although not so common within Metro Manila region. This species grow in semi-wild state in open grassland,cultivated fields and in rural areas all throughout the country.

University of the Philippines Los Baños had been active in breeding hibiscus and came up with several series which pay tributes to great women of the country.

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Php 8.00 block of 4, Gumamela flowers issued by Philippine Postal Corporation in 1991

Philippine Postal Corporation released several definitive and special stamps in 1991, 2015 and 2018. This is a proof that gumamela or hibiscus is popular among thematic stamp collectors. Some mural painters also painted on the long perimeter wall of Manila North Cemetery last October 2019 dubbed as ” Flores para Los Muertos“.

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yellow with red center

Hibiscus tea is an herbal tea made as an infusion from crimson or deep magenta-colored calyces (sepals) of the roselle or Hibiscus sabdariffa flower. Sometimes called Karkade tea or Jamaica tea.

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Hibiscus sabdariffa popularly known as Roselle- grown by the author from seeds

There are also several Fb groups which specializes in Hibiscus or Gumamela.

Gumamela plants and hybrids are commonly available in many garden centers like in Tabang, Guiguinto,Bulacan Garden,Bay,Calamba,Los Baños in Laguna, Silang, Cavite province, Mindanao Avenue Garden Center, Araneta Farmer’s Garden, Quezon City Memorial Circle,White Plains garden center,Neopolitan, Fairview, Rona’s Garden in Visayas Avenue,Cartimar Garden Center in Pasay, Centris Sunday Market, neighborhood homes and backyard nationwide.

Some big time propagators includes Pagsolingan Garden, Arids and Aroid, Bulacan Garden, Mr. Rey Tester among others.

References, Sources, Bibliography:

Interview and photo courtesy of the following: King Louis, Mr. Rodrigo Joseph Bautista, Mr.Lebon Ong, Arids Aroid, Mac Pagsolingan,Mr. Rey Tester, Ms. Naida Delma and the author

Personal interview with backyard growers, hobbyists and farm owners.

Wonning, Paul R. (March 3, 2014) Gardener’s Guide To The Hibiscus: Perennial Hibiscus Flower Care ( ( Gardener”s Guide to the Full Sun Perennial Flower Garden Book 12) Mossy Feet Books.

V. M. Jadhav et al. / Journal of Pharmacy Research 2009, 2(8),1220-1222

University of the Philippines Los Baños : https://ovcre.uplb.edu.ph/

Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607

Steiner, Mona Lisa, PHD;Care, M &L Licudine Enterprises, First Edition 1952, Second Edition 1960, Third Edition 1986, Atlag, Malolos , Bulacan. Gumamela Family (Malvaceae) pages 173 to 174, Philippine Ornamental Plants And Their Care.

Madulid, Domingo; Winner, National Book Award, Science, 1995. Revised Edition, 2000 with 388 pages. Malvaceae pages 240 to 244 Bookmark, Makati, A Pictorial Cyclopedia of Philippine Ornamental Plants.

Lawton, Barbara Perry (2004). Hibiscus: Hardy and Tropical Plants for the Garden. Timber Press. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-88192-65-45.

International Hibiscus Society

C Les Beers & Jim Howie: Growing Hibiscus (1985 and 1990), Reprinted 1986, 1987
Second edition published 1990, First published in 1985 by Kangaroo Press Pty Ltd
3 Whitehall Road (P. 0. Box 75) Kenthurst 2156, Typeset by G. T Setters Pty Limited
Printed in Hong Kong by Colorcraft Ltd, ISBN 0 86417 278 8

Brickell, Christopher, ed. (2008). The Royal Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 534. ISBN 978-14053329-65

Bulacan Garden Corporation

American Hibiscus Society

Filipino Frontliners on Stamps Featured by PHLPOST

Filipino front line workers like nurses, doctors, army, police, postal workers were featured in the current stamps issuance. The stamps and first day covers were supposed to be release last April 2020 but since the Enhance Community Quarantine (ECQ) had taken effect last March 15 it was further moved to July 13, 2020 ( Monday).

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Filipino Frontliners on Stamp and First Day Cover

PHLPost is also committed to fulfill its universal mandate of continuous delivery of important mails from various government and private sectors who are important clients of the agency.

The stamps, first day cover will be available in Manila Central Post Office and other major post office nationwide.

They will also launch the “Stamps on Wheels” program which enables roving van from PHLPOST to sell new stamps, first day covers and other collectibles to far flung areas of Metro Manila and other areas of the country.

Rare Hauls at Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club Meeting

Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club meets every third sunday of the month at the main lobby of the Manila Central Post Office within Philippine Postal Corporation compound.

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Manila Central Post Office with OFW bank ( formerly called Postal Saving Bank )

The club usually host a small bourse or auction. Prices may vary, Most of the items starts with Php 10.00 starting bid, While some have posted prices. The general public together with the members have a chance to browse through the list of items most of which are philatelic items like packets of stamps, first day covers, commemorative issues, stamp from around the world are auction off.

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commercial shoot at the entrance of the post office

Got a chance to visit the meeting after the eyeball of Bottle Collectors of the Philippines  (Mga Lumang Bote)FB group held at the Calvo Memorabilia and Bottle Museum in Escolta.

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Filipinas Stamp Collectors Club Bourse

Some items may also includes banknotes, ephemeras, photos, postcards, books, toys, bottles, phone cards sometimes a host of other curio stuffs like dolls, die cast cars, medals, coin holders.

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University of the Philippines certificate of matriculation

University of the Philippines ( College of Law)  certificate of matriculation is just Php 50.00. This could be e around the late 1950’s. The item starting bid was just Php 50.00 with Mr. Harandi won the bid.

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De La Salle University first day cover block of four ( circa June 16, 1961)

De La Salle University first day cover issued in 1961 ( block of four stamps) starting bid was just Php 50 and did not went up. The item bid won by Mr. Reuben Bala Jr.

BPI 150th anniversary FDC

Bank of the Philippine Islands first day cover 150th anniversary

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Philippine Orchids imperforate sheet circa 1960


Philippine Orchids imperforate sheet start bid at Php 50 but went up to Php 250

Between 450 to 520 items were auctioned off to the general audience. Despite the gloomy weather, more than 40 participants came at the meeting. There was a rare chance of watching over a commercial shooting.

The shooting started during the morning and according to the guards, the commercial team schedule is until past night time.

Most of the items consigned at the bourse are from old and serious collectors, some of which have accumulated tons of stamps and other stuff over the years or decades. There were a couple of participants who came all the way from San Pedro and San Pablo Laguna province, I also saw Mr. Reuben Bala Jr. and Mr. Dionisio Taeza who hails from Cavite province.

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Php 10 emergency banknote from Mindanao issued from 1944 to early 1946

We also managed to meet Mr. Boy Francisco, who sold some excess emergency banknotes from Mindanao and commonwealth era paper bills.

The club’s next meeting will be held on October 20 Third Sunday of the month from 1:00 pm to past 4:00 pm.

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