Philippines - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Philippines, a country in Southeast Asia in the Western Pacific Ocean consisting of an Archipelago of 7,107 islands, has a total land area of 115,831 square miles and a population of around 92 million. Philippines, located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, is a bio-diverse tropical island blessed with abundant natural resources such as gold, copper, nickel and zinc. On the flip side, it is prone to natural disasters such as typhoons, volcanoes, and earthquakes. The major sectors of its economy are electronics, textiles, copper products, petroleum and agriculture. The emerging sectors are tourism and business process outsourcing. Almost a fifth of its electrical needs are met with geothermal energy. Philippine waters have the ideal conditions for pearls, crabs, and seaweed cultivation. Philippines is an active participant in peacekeeping missions.

Travel Resources: 

December through May are the best time to visit this popular vacation getaway. Its beautiful islands, golden beaches, water sports, exotic wildlife, festivals, rice fields etc. beckon visitors from different walks of life. The beaches of Boracay and Alona, diving spots of Cebu, Batangas, Bohol and Sulu Sea, the beauty of Tagaytay Mount Mayon, and Banaue rice terraces are some of the popular attractions. Filipinos cuisine unlike most other cuisines serves all the dishes at one go. Dishes are paired in contrasting flavors.


ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Philippines Travel Guide by Jens Peters978-3923821327$40Preplanned travel routes and wide variety of useful information spanning over 800 pages.
A Man’s Guide to Life and Love in the Philippines978-1439230671$20The title says it all and the material is spot on!
Philippines Travel Map by Globetrotter978-1847733733$91:2,500,000 Scale.
Philippines Grounded Adapter Plug Kit – GUA and GUBB001FDA72W$15

Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of Philippines were a set of four stamps depicting Queen Isabella II in two different designs. The set (Scott #1 to #2 and #4 to #5) catalogs for around $3000 mint and around $1000 for used. Issues portraying Queen Isabella II in different designs, colors, denominations along with certain overprints were the only stamp issues of Philippines until 1871. Philippines issued a set of four stamps in 1871 depicting “Spain” allegory and a portrait of King Amadeo. That set (Scott #39 to #42) is valuable and catalogs for around $200 mint and around $75 used. King Alfonso XII and XII, a peace symbol, and several handstamped overprints formed the primary stamp issues of Philippines until the turn of the century. Chief among them were a set of ten stamps released between 1878 and 1879 depicting King Alfonso XII. The set (Scott #62 to #71) catalogs for around $630 mint and around $730 used. A set of twenty stamps depicting King Alfonso XIII was issued in 1898 and that set (Scott #192 to #211) catalogs for around $90 mint and around $115 used. There is an imperforated variety of the same set that catalogs for much higher. The Philippine Islands were under Spanish dominion during the period till 1898 when it was ceded to the United States. Stamps from 1898 onwards were issued under US administration.

The first stamp issued by Philippines under US administration was a ‘Philippines’ overprint on US Scott #260 (George Washington) issued between 1899 and 1900. The stamp (Scott #212) is sought after and catalogs for around $375 mint and around $225 used. Several other overprints were issued during the period till 1904. Some of these can be had for a few dollars while others fetch upwards of a thousand dollars. From 1906 through 1935, stamps of Philippines had the inscription ‘Philippine Islands’ along with ‘United States of America’. Most of the stamps issued during the period is very collectible and sought after. Chief among them were a set of seven stamps issued on May 3, 1932 showing local scenes. The set (Scott #354 to #360) catalogs for around $30 mint and around $12 used. The designs show Mount Mayon of Luzon, Post Office in Manila, Pier No. 7 of Manila Bay, Pagasanjan Falls inscription with the design showing Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park in error, rice planting, rice terraces, and Baguiro Zigzag. Philippines attained self government on March 23, 1934 and the country was a Commonwealth of the United States during the period from 1935 to 1946 when it became a Republic.

Other issues of Philippines enjoying good philatelic interest include:
  1. A long set of twenty stamps issued in 1944 that were ‘Victory’ overprints on stamps of Philippines during the period from 1935 to 1941. Each stamp in the set is valuable and sought after cataloging for upwards of $100. Another set of twelve stamps with ‘Victory’ and ‘Commonwealth’ overprints were issued in 1945 and that set (Scott #485 to #496) catalogs for around $80 mint and around $30 used.
  2. A set of six stamps released on April 25, 1954 to mark the centenary of Philippines postage stamps. The set (Scott #605 to #607 and #C74 to #C76) catalogs for around $20 MNH and around half that for used. The designs show First Philippine Stamp, Magellan’s Landing and Manila Scene.
  3. A set of twelve stamps released between 1973 and 1978 honoring Great People. The set (Scott #1195 to #1208) catalogs for around $12 MNH and around $5 for used. An imperforate version of part of the set was issued between 1973 and 1974 and that set (Scott #1196a to #1208a) catalogs for around $22 MNH and around $15 used. The designs show portraits of the following people: Josefa Llanes Escoda, Gabriela Silang, Rafael Palma, Jose Rizal, Marcela Agoncillo, Teodoro R. Yangco, Dr. Pio Venezuela, Gregoria de Jesus, Pedro A. Paterno, Teodora Alonso, Ediberto Evangelista, and Fernando M. Guerrero.
  4. A set of six stamps released on April 16, 1979 in the Birds theme. The set (Scott #1392 to #1397) catalogs for around $30 MNH and around $5 for used. The designs show Merrill’s fruit doves, brown tit babbler, Mindoro imperial pigeons, Steere’s pittas, Koch’s and red-breasted pittas, and Philippine eared nightjar.
  5. A long set of forty-two stamps released in 1991 in the Flowers theme. The set (Scott #2048 to #2088) catalogs for around $90 MNH and around $30 used. The designs show gardenia, allamanda, plumeria, Ixora, bougainvillea, hibiscus, nerium, cananga, rose, canna, etc. in different colors and denominations.
  6. A set of four stamps and a souvenir sheet released on November 1, 2003 to mark the National Stamp Collecting Month. The set (Scott #2873 to #2876 and #2877) catalogs for around #7 MNH or used. The designs show Kenkoy by Tony Velasquez, Ikabod by Nonoy Marcelo, Sakay N’Moy by Hugo C. Yonzon Junion, Kalabong en Bosyo by Larry Acala, and Hugo the Sidewalk Vendor by Rodolfo Y. Ragodon. Philippines have issued several sets over the years in the same theme making it a good collectible theme.
Numismatic Profile:

The first coins of Philippines were Spanish Colonial Era Copper Barillas issued in 1728 at the mint in Manila. Several countermarked coin types were introduced starting around 1828. Modern Era Decimal Coinage (100 Centavos = 1 Peso) debut in 1864 with the introduction of Silver Centimos. The issues are highly valued and some varieties have very low mintage. United States Administration Decimal Coinage dominated the scene during the first half of the 20th century until the introduction of Reform Coinage (100 Sentimos = 1 Piso) in 1967. The first gold coins called Isabelinas and Alfonsinos were minted in 1861 and since then a number of gold coins have been issued over the years.

Numismatic items of Philippines include:


ItemPrice RangeDescription
Coins$1 and upCommon UNC Sentimos from the 1990s starts around $1. Early 20th century coinage in high grades, Silver Coins in BU from the 1960s and prior dates, etc starts around $10. Recent Commemorative Silver Proofs, US Administration Silver Coins in AU, etc starts around $40. Silver Proof Sets from the 1970s, Low Mintage Commemorative Proofs, Gold Coins, etc go well into the 100s.
Paper Money$1 and upCommon UNCs, WWII Rebel Pesos, etc starts around $1. Replacement Notes in UNC from the 1940s onward, Recent Banknotes with low Serial Numbers, Consecutive Number UNC Banknotes with 10-pieces or more, etc starts around $10. Recent uncut specimen banknotes with 3-pieces or more, Recent High Value UNCs, Recent UNC Year Sets, etc starts around $50. Recent UNC Bundles, Solid Number UNC Sets of 5-pieces or more, Early UNC Bundles, etc go well into the 100s.


Collectible Memorabilia:


ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Art$10 and upHistorically relevant photographs, vintage local scenes prints, etc start around $10. Original works by Roger San Miguel, Jose B. David, E Sarmiento, Miguel Galvez, Roberto Salva, Raul Patindol, Antonio Ko, Jeff Dizon, etc start in the 100s and go well into the 1000s.
Antiques$12 and up19th century maps start around $12. Northern Luzon Head Ornaments, Ifugao Bone Containers, B’laan Ceremonial Belts etc start around $30 and go into the 100s.
Miscellaneous Collectibles$3 and upPostcards, Sea Shells, etc start around $3. Larger and Exotic Shells, Philippine Army Medals etc start around $20. Leyte Sansibar Swords, Talibong hand forged traditional knifes, Carved and Painted Santo Figures etc start around $100.

Last Updated: 12/2015.

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