Sunday, December 25, 2011

Philippine Stamp: Pasko '88

A paról is an ornamental, star-shaped Christmas lantern from the Philippines. It is traditionally made out of bamboo and paper and comes in various sizes and shapes, but generally the basic star pattern remains dominant.

The design of the paról evokes the Star of Bethlehem that guided the Three Kings to the manger. It also symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and the Filipinos' hope and goodwill during the Christmas season.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

Philippine Stamp: 1972 Munich Olympics - Olympic Torch

The 1972 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XX Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event held in Munich, West Germany, from August 26 to September 11, 1972. The killings of 11 Israeli athletes by Palestinian gunmen in an event known as the Munich massacre took center stage.

The 1972 Summer Olympics were the second Summer Olympics to be held in Germany, after the 1936 Games in Berlin, which had taken place under the Nazi regime.

Monday, August 1, 2011

U.S. Stamp: Switzerland Found 1291

The 700th anniversary of Switzerland was honored with a 50-cent US-Switzerland joint issue special stamp appearing for the first time February 22, 1991, in Washington, DC, and Bern, Switzerland. The design features the legislative buildings of the two governments—the  Capitol in Washington and the Renaissance-style Federal Palace of Switzerland in Bern.

Designed by Hans Hartman of Koniz, Switzerland, the stamps were manufactured in the photogravure process by the American Bank Note Company and issued in panes of forty.

Saudi Arabian Stamp: Qibla

The Kaaba (The Cube) is a cuboid-shaped building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and is the most sacred site in Islam. The Qur'an states that the Kaaba was constructed by Ibrahim, and his son Ismaeel, after the latter had settled in Arabia. The building has a mosque built around it, the Masjid al-Haram. All Muslims around the world face the Kaaba during prayers, no matter where they are. This is called facing the Qiblah.
One of the Five Pillars of Islam requires every Muslim to perform the Hajj pilgrimage at least once in his or her lifetime if able to do so. Multiple parts of the Hajj require pilgrims to walk seven times around the Kaaba in a counter-clockwise direction (as viewed from above). This circumambulation, the Tawaf, is also performed by pilgrims during the Umrah (lesser pilgrimage). However, the most dramatic times are during the Hajj, when about 6 million pilgrims gather to circle the building on the same day.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

U.S. Stamp: 1961 Antartic Treaty

The Antarctic Treaty and related agreements, collectively called the Antarctic Treaty System or ATS, regulate international relations with respect to Antarctica, Earth's only continent without a native human population. For the purposes of the treaty system, Antarctica is defined as all of the land and ice shelves south of 60°S latitude. The treaty, entering into force in 1961 and currently having 49 signatory nations, sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, establishes freedom of scientific investigation and bans military activity on that continent. The treaty was the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War. The Antarctic Treaty Secretariat headquarters have been located in Buenos Aires, Argentina, since September 2004.

The main treaty was opened for signature on December 1, 1959, and officially entered into force on June 23, 1961. The original signatories were the 12 countries active in Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957–58. The 12 countries had significant interests in Antarctica at the time: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries had established over 50 Antarctic stations for the IGY.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Philippine Stamp: APO Philatelic Society Silver Jubilee

The Amateur Philatelists Organization or APO (forerunner of the APO Philatelic Society) was organized on May 28, 1950 by Messrs. Francisco Arcebal, Carlos Licup, and Mamerto Gallardo.

The first organizational meeting of the APO was held on June 11, 1950 with twelve members in attendance.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Philippine Stamp: Joseph Ejercito Estrada

Joseph "Erap" Ejercito Estrada (born Jose Marcelo Ejercito on April 19, 1937) was the 13th President of the Philippines, serving from 1998 until 2001.