Knowledge And Fun With Topical Stamp Collecting at Philpex 2012

Id like to share with you today an article featured in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, written by Jeannette I Andrade, about storytelling with thematic postage stamps. Enjoy!


Hobbyists offer view of the personal, plus history through stamps
By Jeannette I. Andrade
Philippine Daily Inquirer

ROBERT Tan, president of the Philippine Philatelic Federation Stamp Collecting Hobby

ROBERT Tan, president of the Philippine Philatelic Federation: Reviving an interest in what is considered as the world’s most fascinating hobby. PHOTO BY NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

Before children of the new generation forget how a stamp looks like, postage stamp collectors and the Philippine Postal Corp. (Philpost) have teamed up and brought out their treasured compilations for the public to see the biggest stamp exhibit to be held in the country.

The Philippine Philatelic Exhibition (Philpex) 2012 is out to prove that stamp-collecting still has a place in the hearts of the young who have become so obsessed with instant communication that writing letters in longhand has become almost like a dying art.

Philpex 2012 is a festival of international exhibits and entries from member clubs of the Philippine Philatelic Federation (PPF) with the theme “Knowledge and fun through stamp-collecting.” The public can view the display for free until Feb. 3 at the main lobby of the Central Post Office at Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila.

Collectors from the Cebu Philatelic Society, the Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club (FSCC), the International Philippine Philatelic Society, the Naga City Philatelic Society, the Philippine Chinese Philatelic Society, the Quezon Philatelic Society and the Dumaguete Stamp Club have lent their rare diverse collections for the common cause of reviving a flagging interest in what is generally considered the world’s most fascinating hobby.

Lawrence Chan, FSCC officer, told the Inquirer that the exhibit is a show-and-tell on a much grander scale where participants in the competition and exhibit produce baby theses on their respective multi-themed collections.


“In their presentations, they describe their collections, including a brief history and discussion on the stamps or other philatelic materials they have included. Sometimes they tell stories of themselves in the process, allowing a person going through the collection to get an insight on the exhibitor,” Chan explained.

Among the more intriguing displays is a presentation by Dionisio Taeza which he dubbed “Friends Never Die, They Just Fade Away,” for which he was awarded a bronze medal under the category of thematic philately.

Taeza’s exhibit featured a long exchange of letters and postcards between him and a friend.

Extraordinary Stamps,” arranged by Jerson Danseco of the Quezon Philatelic Society, lives up to its title, earning for the exhibitor a silver bronze medal under the thematic philately category.

Danseco included a small disc-shaped stamp from the People’s Republic of China, which can be played on any CD player, as well as other odd-shaped postage stamps.

RUIZ Peñafrancia’s collection highlights important events in the life of the late Pope John Paul II. PHOTO BY NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

Famous scenes

In his “Hologram” collection, which won for him a large vermeil trophy under the thematic philately category, Nilo Dizon highlighted the history and  of holographic postage stamps in  his massive compilation.

Viewers will notice stamps covered with a thin film of silver foil. Up close, one sees pictures of prominent personalities and famous vistas from the postage stamps’ countries of origin.

Postcards, commemorative coinsas well as stamped envelopes with calligraphic longhand writing on its face to indicate the addressee of the post, are also on display


Chan said the use of multi-media by the exhibitor is generally accepted if it forms part of the theme.

Longhand writing can also earn points for stamp contest competitors, particularly if the person he corresponds with is famous, he said, adding that there is also a need for a catchy title for the collection.

In Ruiz Peñafrancia’s exhibit, “Blessed Pope John Paul II, the Making of a Saint,” for which the philatelist from the Naga City Philatelic Society earned a silver bronze under the thematic philately category, she  showed important events in the late Pope’s life.

The competition features 50 collections, including those from International Philippine Philatelic Society representatives Don Peterson and Hans Becker.

Becker won a large vermeil trophy under traditional philately for his collection of Philippine government and anniversary  slogans.

International standards

Chan said the board used international standards and rules governing philatelic competitions set by the Fédération Internationale de Philatélie, a network of philatelists worldwide.

Knowledge, study and research on the theme of the collection, he pointed out, accounted for 35 percent of the rating. The condition and rarity of the postage stamps are 20 percent each, while the condition and importance make up 10 percent of the total score. Presentation accounts for only 5 percent of the total rating.

Among the entries, PPF president Robert Tan’s  “China Pre UPU 1778-1872” and “Philippines: Pre-Philatelic Era” won  gold trophies under the postal history and traditional philately categories.

Young exhibitors

The youth philately exhibits, collections of people below 18 years old, brought a breath of freshness to an otherwise, adult-dominated hobby. Collie Marquez’s “It’s the Cat’s Meow,” a collection of felines on stamps, got a silver medal.

Joanna Argosino’s “The Time Giants Ruled the World,”  dinosaurs depicted on stamps, earned for her a silver under the same category, while  Reena de Jesus ran off with  a vermeil trophy for her “The World of Music” exhibit.

Dojie Lutera, FSSC president who was awarded a vermeil trophy for his “Postal History of the Philippine Cordillera” collection under the postal history category, lamented the dwindling number of stamp collectorsin the country.

Recalling a time when there were more than 100,000 local  stamp hobbyists, he said he hopes Philpex would  “revive an enthusiasm and appreciation” for stamp-collecting.

“The challenge  for us is to renew an interest in philately,” Lutera said. “As you view each exhibit, take time to enjoy the collections. You can see how beautiful the world is through our eyes.”



How Do I Remove Self-Adhesive Stamps From Envelopes? (Video)


The latest issue of  the American Philatelic Society’s (APS) Special E-Delivery newsletter just arrived 🙂 and a frequently asked question in the “Questions Asked and Answered” section caught my attention:

How do I remove self-adhesive stamps from envelopes?

It is indeed a challenge! Since the issuance of self-adhesive stamps by worldwide postal administrations in the 90’s , stamp collectors and stamp dealers had to find techniques to successfully remove the stamps from the envelopes on which they were tied to without damaging them.

It is therefore great to see Peter Butler, FRPSC (Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada) demonstrate on video two different techniques to solve this problem: one using a solvent, called bestine, and the other, using an aerosol (air freshner).

Click on the images below to access the videos. They are hosted by, the official website of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada.

(Note: you will need Real Player or Quick Time installed on your computer to view the videos as they are .wmv  files)

Video 1: Using the Beltine solvent technique




Peter Butler - RPSC booth at St-Catherines Stamp Show



Peter Butler - RPSC booth at St-Catherines Stamp Show

Video 2: Using the Air Freshener Spray Technique


removing self-adhesive stamps from envelopes its magic by peter butler

It's Like Magic - Removing Self-Adhesive Stamps From Paper (PDF)

Peter Butler also wrote a great article titled: It’s Like Magic; Removing Self-Adhesive stamps from Paper.

Take a few minutes to print it out. It’s a great read that I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

Wishing you a great day and happy collecting.

Talk soon,


Janice Dugas

Topical Stamp Collecting Queen
ATA and APS Member

PS: Want to discover the #1 Secret About Stamp Collecting? Easy…just click on the banner below and to watch a short video!



Free Video Reveals #1 Secret To Stamp Collecting!


Illustrate Your Travels with Postage Stamps

Travels of our “Blue Road”, on the northern shore of the St Lawrence River – Part 1

air canada 50th Anniversary on canadian stamp 1937-1987

Air Canada 1937-1987 50th Anniversary Scott 1145



Janice Mairiuna JeanClaude Scotiana's Team in Scotland 2006

Janice, Mairiuna & Jean-Claude ( Co-Authors of )

With dear friends Mairiuna and Jean-Claude, who flew over to Montreal from Bordeaux, France, we recently travelled within the beautiful Province of Quebec on a 14 days and more than 5,500 kilometers road trip.

As we stopped often to take pictures, I suddenly realized that a lot of the beautiful sceneries, people, wildlife and artefacts of the regions we were driving through had been pictured on canadian postage stamps and that gave me the idea of writing this article to showcase jointly some of our travel photos along side with stamps issued by Canada Post.

Autumn Maple Leaves- Canada Post

Autumn Maple Leaves

Therefore, we are delighted to share with you, in this series of articles, both in pictures and in philately, the highlights of our own “Blue Road” trip. I explain further down why we chose to title our itinerary as such. Hint?  It has to do with one of our favorite Scottish authors: Kenneth White . 🙂

Departure On Our Blue Road Travel Path Along the Saguenay and St Lawrence Rivers

C'est un départ! on the road we go... Photo JC 2010

Daddy traveling to Judith's home

My Dad, Jean-Paul, comes along on the first length of the trip 🙂


We will be heading to the Saguenay/Lac St-Jean region, then drive up north as far as the paved road 138 goes, and that is at Pointe-Parent’s village, on the northern shore of the St Lawrence river.

Quebec 1 Blue Road Travel map inspired by scottish author kenneth white

Our Itinerary Along The Blue Rivers - Inspired by Scottish Author Kenneth White

The following days, we will come back south by the same road, as they are none other, to Godbout city to catch the ferry crossing over the St Lawrence River to  Matane, on the northern coast of the Gaspésie peninsula. From there we will go south on road 195 to reach the road 132 that will tour us around the peninsula to Percé and back to Matane!

Route 132 to Rocher Perce Quebec on Canadian stamp

Road 132 to Rocher Percé, QC on Canadian Stamp


BCJP Lac Meilleur, St Augustin de Mirabel. Photo MA 2010

BCJP Lac Meilleur, St Augustin de Mirabel. Photo MA 2010

You can imagine how excited we were when we departed from home in St-Augustin of Mirabel towards our first overnight stop to be at my sister’s home, near Lac Bouchette, in the Saguenay/Lac St-Jean region.



Judith walking Inouk and Mozart

My sister Judith getting ready to walk with her dogs: Inouk and Mozart

We are really looking forward to the days we will spend with Judith. She is an unconditional nature lover, top trekker and we can expect a lot of fun together while she guide us around the beautiful settings of her house.  She has two beautiful dogs, Inouk & Mozart, and it will be a delight to take long walks in the colorful nearby nested forest. That will definitely keep us in good shape. 😉



Canadian Fauna on Stamps - Grizzly Bear

Canadian Fauna On Stamps - Moose

Canadian Fauna On Stamps - Moose

We gotta beware though, because it is not unusual to spot bears, deers and mooses in the nearby forest surrounding Lac des Commissaires. Our cameras will be ready, but I am pretty sure you will see me running away for my life, rather than tempting to take snapshots, if I do encounter with one of these beautiful creatures…Yikes!


Highway 55 North towards Lac Bouchette, QC

Highway 55 North towards Lac Bouchette, QC


Mountain and Lake Scenery on Highway 55 North towards Lac Bouchette, QC

Beautiful landscapes reflecting in the St-Maurice river on Highway 55 North

It’s great to be outdoors, breathing bowls of fresh air while contemplating nature’s beauty reflecting upon so many lovely lakes and rivers.

Walking in the forest sparkled by automnal splendours

Even though we were not given the opportunity to photograph a moose, or a bear ( thank God! ) as pictured in the stamps above, we did encounter white-tailed deers on the roadside.


white tail deers on canadian stamps

White-tailed deers on Canadian stamps - Photos JC 2010


To savour a moment in history, while traveling up north on Road 155, along the banks of the Bostonnais river, (the river is called the Bostonnais after one of the original white settlers that came from Boston, USA ), we stopped at the Ducharme and Thiffault covered bridges, only eight kilometers apart, which were both build in 1946 to join the two sides of the village and meet the requirements of the times


Covered Bridge Ducharme - Province of Quebec -Canada - 1946


From the approximate 1,000 covered bridges that existed at one point in time in the province of Quebec, only 91 were still in existence in 1997. It was critical that something be done to preserve them! Under popular pressure, the provincial government finally got involved and the covered bridges are now under the responsibility of the Department of Transportation.

Covered bridge thiffault 1946 Province of Quebec Canada Pont Couvert

Covered Bridge Thiffault-1946-Province of Quebec, Canada

On the topic of covered bridges, Canada Post depicted the New Brunswick’s Hartland 1,282 feet long covered bridge on a 45c commemorative 1995 stamp series featuring canadian bridges. It is known as the “kissing bridge”.

The Kissing Bridge

Hartland Covered Bridge - New Brunswick -Canadian Stamps

Hartland Covered Bridge - New Brunswick, Canada

The longest covered bridge in the world in Hartland, New Brunswick, Canada an is a kissing bridge. This is a legend, which developed during the years when this covered structure was used mainly by horses and wagons.

This was of so much concern to the general public that there was great opposition when they talked of covering the bridge.  Sermons were even preached on how a covered bridge would destroy the morals of the young citizens.  Their concerns were heard, but not heeded and the bridge was covered.

It is said that young men trained their horses to stop about half way across the bridge.  The horse would wait until the couple shared a couple of kisses and then it would continue to the other side of the bridge.

Today, you can see many couples going to the bridge to share a kiss and receive the special feeling of their love with the spirit of the grand old bridge. We are certain that the bridge’s spirit will look favourable on these couples.

A good example of this was in September 1993, when Charmaine Laffoley and David Hunt of Toronto became the first couple to be married on the bridge


The colorful title given to our trip was inspired by our reading of Kenneth White’s book: The Blue Road , in which he relates his own travel in the area in the 1980’s, along similar roads. Once he reached Natashquan, instead of coming back south as far as we did, Kenneth White came back to Sept-Iles, and from there embarked on a train going north to the Labrador region, thus realizing a chilhood’s dream. We will follow his labradorian trail in our next adventure, “Quebec 2”.   

The Blue Road La Route Bleue Kenneth White

“He reminds you of Stevenson and he reminds you of Melville. To follow him, you need a map on which every day are marked new headlands”

Alsace Magazine

“White’s travels are very different from romantic wanderlust, modern globetrotterism or beatnik bumdom. At every instant along the way, he seems at one and the same time to be leaving the world behind and to be rediscovering it in all its freshness”


Stay tuned for “Traveling our “Blue Road” on the northern shore of the St Lawrence River – Part 2” as we go Whale Watching!

In October 2010, Canada Post issued a $10 definitive stamp depicting a blue whale, the biggest creature on earth.

Blue Whale Rorqual Bleu $10 Canadian Stamp Baleines

Blue Whale (Le rorqual bleu) on Canadian stamps - Pane of 2

“This is both the biggest stamp and highest stamp denomination Canada Post ever produced” said Alain Leduc, Manager of Stamp Design and Production at Canada Post. “We thought this made a fitting tribute to the largest creature in the animal kingdom”. He explains that he looked to prior issues in the Canadian Wildlife series to determine the size. “Since the largest stamp before it was the grizzly bear, we decided to double its length.”

Source: Details Volume XIX No4 Canada Post


Happy storytelling and stamp collecting!

Talk soon,

JaniceJanice Dugas - Topical Stamp Collecting Queen


Your Topical Stamp Collecting Queen 😉


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