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by Arturo B.

del Ayre

Philately, a word coined in 1864 from the French philatélie which


originated from the combination of two Greek words philos , loving +
ateleia , exemption from tax, taken as equivalent of "postage prepaid", is
the collection and study of postage stamps, covers, and other postal
documents.

Stamp collecting is only the other half of philately. There are a number
of stamp collectors, but only few philatelists. Usually the most dedicated
stamp collector metamorphoses into a dedicated philatelist due to a
fascination of the search for information, on the excitement of a rare
discovery, the satisfaction of completing an album or simply that an
absorbing hobby has become both a pleasure and relaxation.

England issued the first adhesive postal stamp in 1840


aside from various types of postal systems long before that,
these items are considered pre-philatelic issues. In the
Philippines, the first set of stamps was of Spanish origin.
Scott listed the very first issue as No. 1, the 5c orange. From
then on, Philippine stamp issues bore Spanish, Japanese and American
markings until 1946. With the declaration of independence in July 4,
1946, Philippine philately commenced.
At present, there is a
clamor for new Philippine
stamps due to the
proliferation of topical
issue as well as
multicolored souvenir and
miniature sheets.
Previously, philatelist have
been more keen in
collecting pre-Republic
issues like the Spanish
Classics, Japanese
Occupation and American
Commonwealth issues.
Present vignettes deal more on Philippine revolutionary personages,
events and monuments, in the advent of the independence centennial,
with highlights on nationalism, flora and fauna, as well as the usual
commemorative and special issues.
Dr. Ngo Tiong Tak , the author of 1997 Ngo's
Catalogue of Philippine Republic Stamps and
Postal Stationeries published by The Stamp
Shop, elevated the hobby to its all-time high.
The catalogue listed all postage stamps issued
since July 4, 1946 and included all souvenir
and miniature sheets; airmail, semi-postal,
official and special delivery stamps as well as
postage dues. Dr. Ngo has since published two
supplements which covers the 1997 and 1998
stamps.

In June 26, 1998, the Regional Philatelic Center [RPC] was inaugurated
in the Angeles City Post Office, Angeles City Pampanga. The vision of
RPC is to cater to the needs of collectors and enthusiasts, cultivate
philatelic knowledge, and publicize interest on personal stamp
collections and other philatelic items.

The Regional Philatelic Center will host monthly exhibition


showcases as well as conferences and workshops where
philatelists, stamp collectors and enthusiasts can meet,
exchange information and ideas, conduct research, trade
stamps, acquire and procure new collections. A Philatelic
Library is also planned to become a repository of diverse
national and international philatelic information. The
Center for Philatelic Research and Studies, Inc. (CPRSI)
will manage, maintain and operate the library as well as
the conference and seminar room. The Pampanga Stamp
Collector's Society (PSCS) is in-charge with the
coordination with local and national stamp organizations
to showcase their collections on future exhibitions.

With Proclamation No. 494, Pres. Fidel V. Ramos declared November as


the National Stamp Collecting Month . DECS countered this with
Memorandum No. 331 s.1994 mandating the organization of school
stamp clubs nationwide.
With these, collectors as
well as philatelic clubs
have geared their efforts
to propagate the hobby.
Philippine Centennial
Invitational Philatelic
Exhibition (Pilipinas '98)
helped create
awareness of Centennial events, including the 100th Anniversary of
the Philippine Postal Service. SelyOlympics , a stamp exhibition
contest among school youths nationwide, was also held from
November 05 - 09, 1998.

Recently, Collecticon '99 or the ND Philippine Collectibles Convention


held a one-day event on May 29, 1999. It featured selling, trading, and
swapping of stamps among other collectibles.

Hopefully, the future of Philippine philately and stamp collecting is


brighter, as more and more individuals are re-discovering the world's
greatest and most popular hobby of all time.

Happy philately!

Note: A series of articles about Philately and Stamp Collecting will appear in this column regularly. Future
topics will discuss the nature of the hobby, to include: personal reflections, narratives, insights; the state of
Philippine Philately and stamp collecting to include issues affecting stamp collectors in the Philippines,
postal history, breakthroughs, highlights on philatelic clubs and personalities; and a stamp collector's
comprehensive guide on the 5W and 1H of stamp collecting.

This article, parts or verbatim, also appears on the Net. Visit: ABdA's Philippine Philatelic Web Site at
http://www.geocities.com/abda/ and the electronic magazine: The Philippine Philatelist at
http://abda.webprovider.com. For comments or suggestions, send e-mail to abda@geocities.com. 06/15/99