February 17, 2012

0126 PHILIPPINES - The map and the flag of the country

Says Wikipedia: "The Philippines has been part of several empires: the Spanish Empire during the age of Imperialism, the United States after the Spanish-American War of 1898, and the Japanese Empire during WWII, until the official Philippine independence in 1945." The phrase is so wonderfully dry and at the same time filled with content, that it seems literature. Kurt Vonnegut would be added finally "So it goes".

Neither Spaniards (after nearly 400 years) nor the Americans (after more than 40 years) nor the Japanese (4 years) didn't give up easily at this coveted bead of islands. For Spaniards was the Asian hub of the Manila-Acapulco galleon fleet, for americans "... a gift from the gods" (quote from U.S. President McKinley), which it has increased their economic and military influence into the Pacific and Asia, and for Japanese a province of Dai Nippon Teikoku, and a bridge to the natural resources they needed. From Spaniards have remained Christianity and the name (Las Islas Filipinas - in honor of King Philip II of Spain), from americans english language and an affinity for Western culture, and from Japanese a lot of deads.

A Spanish missionary called the Philippines the "Pearl of the Orient Sea", a title which was popularized by Apolinario Mabini, first Prime Minister of the Philippines (1899-1901), and by Dr. Jose P. Rizal, the country's national hero, in their revolutionary writings in the late 19th century. The truth is that Philippines is very beautiful and rich with many natural resources. The largest pearl known, named Pearl of Lao Tzu (6.4 kg), was found there in 1934. Because it didn't grow in a pearl oyster, but in a giant clam (Tridacna gigas), it's not pearly, but with the glossy surface, like porcelain.
Of course, on the map presented on the postcard received by me (thanks, Toni Rose) aren't all the 7107 islands that make up the archipelago, but only the larger ones. On the back of the postcard are specified all the images from sidelines, chosen to illustrate the archipelago:

• Idyllic Coco-Loco Island in Palawan
• Colorful Ati-atihan Festival, Kalibo
• Perfectly-coned Mayon Volcano, Legaspi
• Beautiful lagoon of El Nido, Palawan
• Horse-driven calesa found in Vigan and Intramuros, Manila
• Pagsanjan Falls in Laguna
• Monument of Leyte Landing of Douglas McArthur
• Magellan’s Cross in Cebu, cradle of Philippine Catholic religion
• Taal Volcano and Lake, Tagaytay
• Muslim Vina in Zamboanga
• White Beach of Boracay Island
• BanaueRice Terraces, North Luzon
• Ricjh aquatic marine life of the Philippine Seas
• Wild local and african animals in Calauit Island, Northern Palawan

About the stamps
The stamps are part of a huge set of definitive stamps (tens of values), appeared in successive series since 2009. The set is called Marine Biodiversity, and the two types of stamps used by Toni Rose are part of two distinct series, issued on 2010 and 2011.

2009.12.04 (all with the same face value, 7 PHP)
Jorunna Funebris
Chromodoris Lochi - It's on other postcard
Noumea Alboannulata
Chromodoris Hintuanesis
Risbechi Tryoni
Chromodoris Leopardus

• True Clownfish / Amphiprion percula (7 PHP) - It’s on the postcard 0126
• Giant Moray Eel / Gymnothorax javanicus (35 PHP)

• Sacoglossan Sea Slug / Cyerce Nigricans (5 PHP)
• Boxer Crab / Lybia Tessellata (25 PHP)

• Branded Vexillum / Vexillum taeniatum (4 PHP) - It’s on the postcard 0201
• Mushroom Corals / Fungia scutaria (10 PHP)
• Cowfish / Lactoria cornuta (17 PHP)
• Pink Tube Sponges / Cribrochalina olemda (100 PHP)

• Picasso Trigger / Rhinecanthus aculeatus (1 PHP) - it’s on other postcard
• Marmorated Cone / Conus Marmoreus (2 PHP) - it’s on this postcard
• Copperband Butterflyfish / Chelmon rostratus (5 PHP)
• Triton Trumphet / Charonia tritonis (10 PHP) - it’s on other postcard
• Bennett's Feather Star / Oxycomanthus bennetti (20 PHP)
• Eibl's Angelfish / Centropyge eibli (30 PHP)

• Blueface Angelfish /  Euxiphipops xanthometopon (4 PHP)
• Murex Shell (7 PHP) - it’s on other postcard
Regal Tang / Paracanthurus hepatus (100 PHP)

• Twin-Spot Wrasse / Coris Angulata (1 PHP)
• Pearlscale Butterflyfish / Chaetodon Chrysurus (5 PHP) - It's on other postcard
• Tassle Filefish / Chaetodermis pencilligerus (40 PHP)


• Purple Firefish / Nemateleotris decora (3 PHP) - It's on the postcard 2197
• Pyjama Cardinalfish / Sphaeramia nematopterus (5 PHP) - It's on other postcard
• Longnose Filefish / Oxymonacanthus longirostris (10 PHP)
• Raccoon Butterflyfish / Chaetodon Lunula (13 PHP)


• Fire Clownfish / Amphiprion frenatus (20 PHP)
• Common Squirrelfish / Holocentrus diadema (40 PHP) - it's on other postcard

• Two-line Monocle Bream / Scolopsis bilineatus (25 PHP)
• Green Chromis / Chromis caerulea (30 PHP)

Sender: Toni Rose Antonio (direct swap)
Sent from City of San Fernando (Philippines), on 18.01.2012
Photo and design: M. Kutrowski

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