Thursday, January 21, 2010

Candido M. Africa on Stamps

Dr. Candido Macasaet Africa (1895-1945) was a doctor of medicine, scholar and researcher. His contributions to medical science made him internationally known and won “for the first time recognition of the Filipino scientist abroad, thus reflecting glory and honor upon calling and country.”

He was born in Lipa, Batangas on October 2, 1895. After graduation from the College of Medicine of the University of the Philippines, he taught at the Department of Parasitology, School of Hygiene and Public Health of the same college. He became associate professor and head of the department in 1932.

It was while teaching at the state university that he became involved in scientific research. In all, he wrote 69 scientific articles, some of which he co-authored with his colleagues Walfrido de Leon, E.Y. Garcia, P.G. Refuezo, F.J. Dy, J. Soriano, J.O. Nolasco, S.F. Sta. Cruz and A.V. Vasquez Colet. Among his important works were “ The Progress of Medical Science In The Philippines,” “An Anthropod Associated with Chronic Dermatitis Involving The Face,” “Three Cases of Insect Bites Involving Triatoma Rubrofasciata,” and “The Occurrence of Bartiella in Man, Monkey and Dog in the Philippines.” Much of his researches dealt with parasites that caused heart failure. He also worked on their effects on the other parts of human body. Finally, he undertook research on the causes and prevention of malaria.

In the course of his researches, he discovered four human flukes that attach themselves to the heart, resulting in disease and eventually death. This discovery was hailed as a significant contribution to medical science as it greatly benefited heart patients.

To improve his scientific skills, Dr. Africa at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and graduated with the Degree of Tropical Medicine in 1929. That same year he became a Fellow in the Tropen Institute of Humburg, Germany. A year later, he received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. It allowed him to attend the Harvard Medical School at Cambridge, Massachusetts and John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland in 1930-1931.

In recognition of his extensive contributions to scientific research, his works were compiled in special books and were exhibited in 1937, during the silver jubilee of Dr. Sadao Yosida of the Institute for Research in Microbic Diseases of the Osaka Imperial University of Japan. In the same year, his works were also exhibited at the silver jubilee of Professor Sadamu Yokogawa of the Taihoku Imperial University in Formosa (now Taiwan) and in the 30th year of the professorship of Dr. K.J. Skrajabin of the All-Union Institute of Helminthology in Moscow, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, In 1938, in the silver jubilee of the professorship of Dr. Lauro Travassos of the Institute of Oswaldo Cruz in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, his works were also displayed.

Dr. Africa was known all over the world all over the works for his researches. This allowed him to visit leading laboratories undertaking experiments in parasitology in London, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Paris, Utrecht, Hamburg, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, and in other cities in Europe. He represented the Philippine Commonwealth at the Third International Congress of Microbiologist held in New York City, U.S.A., on September 1939. At this international gathering of well-known scientist, he read a monograph entitled, “Visceral Complications in Intestinal Heterophydiasis of Man.”

His other valuable works include “Certain Developmental Stages of Ascaris Lumbriocoides Ova in Live Tissue,” “Prelimanary Reports in Cystercerous Cellulose in Man,” “Notes on Malaria,”.

Dr. Africa’s activities, however, were not only confined to laboratory work. He was also an active member of scientific and technical organizations, Like the American Society of Parasitologists, the Philippine Scientific Society and the National Research Council of which he was a charter member. He was also a member of the Association of Tropical Medicine, the Philippine Medical Association, The Phi Kappa Phi , the Society For The Advancement of Research, and the Manila Medical Society.

As an authority on heart disease, he was written up in the 1938 editions of American Men of Science and in Who’s Who among Physicians and Surgeons. As an outstanding alumnus of the University of the Philippines, he was acclaimed one of the best scientists the state university had ever produced. In accordance with the recommendation of the Board of Citizens and the Board of Directors of the U.P. Alumni Association, he was awarded the Gold Medal of Merit and was conferred a Diploma of Honor for distinguished achievements in the field of parasitology.

He continued to serve in the government until the war broke out in 1941. He was a known figure among the Japanese military officers during the occupation of Manila but unfortunately he was one of those civilians who died in the battle of the liberation of Manila on February 12, 1945. His colleagues did not forget him. In the General Session of the Philippine Medical Association held in Manila on May 8, 1946, Doctor Africa was honored with a citation naming him a great doctor and scientist.

The stamp above was issued on June 1, 1995.

Colonel Jesus Villamor on Stamps

Jesus Antonio Villamor (b. November 7, 1914 - d. October 28, 1971) a native of Abra. Ace pilot of the Philippines and a World War II hero. Villamor Air Base was named after him.

He was the son of Ignacio Villamor who was the first Filipino president of the University of the Philippines. He finished his primary and secondary education in his hometown in Abra, and later enrolled at De La Salle College in Manila where he took up a business course. But decided to shift to aviation.

In 1936, he joined the Philippine Army Air Corps Flying School, where he excelled and was chosen to be sent to the United States for an advance flight training. He graduated from U.S. Air Corps Flying School at Rudolph and Kelly Field, Texas, U.S.A., 1937 and the U.S. Air Force Technical School in Denver, Colorado, 1938. The young Villamor took part in the training of the U.S. Air Force's Strategic Bombing Squadron which uses the B-17 and B-22 bomber planes.

When he returned to the Philippines, he became the director of the Philippine Air Corps Fying School. Soon the WWII broke out, he was chosen to lead the 6th Pursuit Squadron with the rank of colonel. He and his squadron were onboard a P-26 Fighter engaged the Japanese Zeros in a dogfight after dogfight in Zablan and Batangas skies. But the Japanese proved to be superior in weapons than the Filipinos, but they fought with all their courage and skills.

After his unit were detroyed, he continued his fight over the Japanese invaders. On December 27, 1942, Villamor slipped through the Japanese Navy, he was aboard the submarine USS Gudgeon (SS-211). Where he established communication from the Philippines to Australia, where Gen, Douglas MacArthur is preparing his return in the Visayas. He was the coordinated the guerilla activities in Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao. He was the "clearing house" of all the information that helped in the strategy to liberate the Philippines.

In 1946, he was appointed director of the Bureau of Aeronotics, and assisted in the planning of the Manila International Airport, after it was built he became the director. He received military decorations from the Philippine and the United States government for his wartime services and heroism. Among his merits were, Medal of Valor, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Legion of Merit.

The stamp above was issued on April 9, 1973.

Manuel V. Gallego on Stamps

Statesman, educator, lawyer, and diplomat, Manuel Viola Gallego was born in San Antonio, Nueva Ecija on January 18, 1893, to Julio Gallego and Inocencia Viola. He acquired his elementary and intermediate education in Nueva Ecija, and his secondary studies, first in Bulacan and later at the Manila High School. He studied at the University of the Philippines, where he obtained three degrees: Bachelor of Arts, 1913; Bachelor of Laws, 1918, and Master of Laws, 1919. That same year, he earned his Licenciado en Jurisprudencia from the University of Santo Tomas.

Determined to pursue further studies, he flew to the United States and enrolled at Chicago’s Northwestern University, where he received his juris doctor degree in 1928. His thesis, entitled “A Critical Study of the Usury Laws,” was made into a book and later served as reference material in different law schools in the Philippines. Before returning home, he proceeded to Spain and took up postgraduate studies in law at the nU iversidad Central de Madrid. In 1919, he started his extensive law practice, gaining recognition for handling his cases
with brilliance and alertness. He taught law at the National Law College and the University of Manila. Later, he served as president of the Fabrica de Tabacos y Cigarillos Katubusan and managed several haciendas.

His political career began in 1931, when he was elected congressman in the first district of Nueva Ecija. He was reelected in 1941. As a congressman, he initiated some of the first land reform measures. He also worked for the use of dialects in Philippine schools as a medium of instruction, and of Tagalog as the national language. He was the author of the House bills granting women suffrage and allowing the partial payment, by installment, of land taxes, both of which became laws. He was co-author of the rice tariff bill, which also became a law. He sponsored the highest number of labor legislation acted upon by the House of Representatives at the time. For that, he won fifth place in the Philippines Free Press ’ evaluation of lawmakers from 1942 to 1945, for service to country for the years 1931 to 1935.

In 1945, he was appointed to the Philippine Congressional Rehabilitation Reconstruction Commission, which conferred with representatives of the United States government on ways and means of rebuilding the country for the havoc and destruction caused by the war.

Dr. Gallego was the last Secretary of Instruction of the Commonwealth of the Philippines under the Osmeña administration, and the first Secretary of Education of the Republic of the Philippines under the Roxas administration.

As education secretary, he promoted cultural development through the introduction of new textbooks, authored by Filipinos, on Philippine government, history, social science, and other relevant subjects. Pursuant to his recommendations, the legislature passed the School Health Act of 1946, mandating the establishment of medical and dental services for students in all educational institutions offering secondary and tertiary programs. He was also instrumental in
the passage of the law, which changed the curriculum to include value instruction. It was also through his initiative that Congress enacted a law increasing the salaries of schoolteachers, to induce qualified men and women to enter and remain in the teaching profession. To help teachers financially, particularly in obtaining loans, he formed the National Cooperative for Teachers. He established and implemented a program that enabled educators to pursue studies abroad along technical lines and on the latest technologies and systems in the administration of the educational process. This resulted in the signing in March 1948 of the Fullbright Pact between the Philippines and the United States, with studies of Filipino educators and students in the US being financed by a special fund coming from the sale of American surplus property.

As a diplomat, Gallego represented the country in various international undertakings. In 1935, he was in Tokyo as Philippine representative to the First Oriental Tourist Conference. He was a member of the Far Eastern Commission, which sought sizable reparations from the Japanese government for the plunders that the Japanese invaders had committed on occupied countries during the war. In 1946, he was in Korea to work for continued peace between that country and the Philippines.

That same year, he was one of the delegates to the First Assembly of the United Nations convened in London. Three years later, in 1949, he headed the Philippine delegation to the ECAPE Conference in Australia where he defended Filipino economic rights. In 1950, again as head of mission, he was in Indonesia to formally negotiate a treaty of friendship and amity between that country and the Philippines, with the effort proving successful.

As an educator, Gallego, who served as member of the Council of State, was chairman of the Board of Regents of the University of the Philippines from 1946-1948; professor and dean of the college of law and, later, president, of the University of Manila; chairman of the board of trustees of the Manila College of Pharmacy and Dentistry; and chancellor of the Manila Central University.

Gallego was the founder of the Central Luzon School of Nursing in Nueva Ecija, as well as of the Central Luzon Educational Center, which later were fused into the Manuel V. Gallego Foundation Colleges, in the same province.

His varied interests made him president of such groups as the Manila Tobacco Association, United Nations Association of the Philippines, Philippine Constitutional Association, National Rice and Corn Growers Association, and the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities, and vice-president of the Homeowners Association and the Foreign Affairs Association of the Philippines.

A prolific writer, Dr. Gallego published the Philippine Election Law, Dictatorship Under the Guise of Democracy, The Philippine Language Problem, Economic Emancipation, the Price of Philippine Independence, The Philippine Trade Act in the Light of History, A Critical Study of the Philippines Usury Act, Bar Examination Questions and Answers on the Civil Code, Philippine Law of Evidence, and the Philippine Law of Water Rights . He also co-authored the Law on Obligations.

He married Caridad Ongsiaco on December 17, 1922. Dr. Gallego died on August 13, 1976. On July 11, 1993, as a gesture of honor and respect for this exemplary and multi-faceted man, the Manuel V. Gallego commemorative stamp was formally issued by the Philippine Postal services.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Latest Beethoven Stamp from Grenada

Grenada is an island country and sovereign state consisting of the island of Grenada and six smaller islands at the southern end of the Grenadines in the southeastern Caribbean Sea. Grenada is located northwest of Trinidad and Tobago, northeast of Venezuela, and southwest of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Its size is 344 km², with an estimated population of 110,000. Its capital is St. George's. The national bird of Grenada is the critically endangered Grenada Dove.

This small country first issued a set of Beethoven stamps (comprised of 7 stamps and 1 miniature sheet) on April 24, 1978. Their latest Beethoven is a souvenir sheet of 6 stamps, issued in 2009, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the death of noted composer, and "Father of the String Quartet" Franz Joseph Haydn. One stamp shows the young Beethoven as Haydn's student.

Bakbakan sa Sinulog 2010 at Waterfront Cebu

Milan “Milenyo” Melindo of Cagayan de Oro City won by a close but unanimous ten round decision over Anthony “Baby Assassin” Villareal of the U.S. in front of a sell out crowd at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City Thursday night.

Melindo (20W-0L, 5 KO’s) jumped on Villareal at the opening bell and scored a knockdown with his right hook. Villareal got up and tried to keep a safe distance by moving and jabbing.

The American found his range in the third and landed one-two combos but Melindo closed the distance and landed hard shots at the end of the round. In the 4th the shorter Melindo scored repeatedly with his jab and a right hook staggered Villareal again. Melindo continued to invest in body shots but Villareal was still standing and countered effectively.

In the fifth, Villareal tried to give Melindo different looks by switching to southpaw. Villareal continued to box from a distance but Melindo managed to cut off the ring. But the ALA gym fighter missed a lot of shots as Villareal was very slippery.

In a breathtaking seventh round, the fighters traded wicked hooks as Melindo landed rib rattling punches. Melindo landed the harder blows in the 8th and 9th but in a nail biting tenth round, Villareal hurt Melindo and pressed the initiative until the final bell.

In the co-main event, AJ “Bazooka” Banal of Ermita, Cebu City knocked out Cecilio “Boga” Santos of Mexico in the fourth round.

The southpaw Banal was tentative in the opening round but started to find his range in the second and third rounds landing hard shots. He landed a powerful left to the temple in the 4th round that staggered Santos and Banal flowed up with a furious volley. The Mexican was counted out in 35 second mark of the 4th round.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Gregorio del Pilar on Stamps

Already a general at age 25, Gregorio del Pilar was known as the "boy general" in the revolutionary army directly under the command of Gen. Antonio Luna. He cut a dashing figure with his silver spurs and khaki suit with gold shoulder straps. He led Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo's rear guard as Aguinaldo retreated towards the mountain province. Del Pilar fought a delaying battle against the approaching American Army and died defending the Tirad Pass in La Union.

Born on November 14, 1875 to Fernando H. del Pilar and Felipa Sempio of Bulacan, Bulacan, del Pilar was the nephew of propagandist Marcelo H. del Pilar and Toribio H. del Pilar, who was exiled to Guam for his involvement in the 1872 Cavite Mutiny.

"Goryo", as he was casually known, studied at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in 1896, at the age of 20. When the Philippine Revolution against Spanish rule broke out in August under the leadership of Andres Bonifacio, del Pilar joined the insurgency. He distinguished himself as a field commander while fighting Spanish garrisons in Bulacan.

He later joined General Emilio Aguinaldo, who had gained control of the movement, in Hong Kong after the truce at Biak-na-Bato. During the Spanish American War, Aguinaldo returned to the Philippines and established the government of the First Philippine Republic. He appointed del Pilar section leader of the revolutionary forces in Bulacan and Nueva Ecija. On June 1, del Pilar landed in Bulacan with rifles purchased in Hong Kong, quickly laying siege on the Spanish forces in the province. When the Spaniards surrendered to del Pilar, he brought his men to Caloocan, Manila to support the other troops battling the Spaniards there.

When the Philippine-American War broke-out on February 1899, del Pilar led his troops to a short victory over Major Franklin Bell in the first phase of the Battle of Quingua on April 23, 1899, in which his forces repelled a cavalry charge and killed the highly respected Colonel John M. Stotsenburg, after whom Clark Air Base was originally named (Fort Stotsenburg).

On December 2, 1899, del Pilar led 60 Filipino soldiers of Aguinaldo's rear guard in the Battle of Tirad Pass against the "Texas Regiment", the 33rd Infantry Regiment of the United States led by Peyton C. March. A delaying action to cover Aguinaldo's retreat, the five-hour standoff resulted in Del Pilar's death due to a shot to the neck (at the height or end of the fighting, depending on eyewitness accounts). Del Pilar's body was later despoiled and looted by the victorious American soldiers.

Del Pilar's body lay unburied for days, exposed to the elements. While retracing the trail, an American officer, Lt. Dennis P. Quinlan, gave the body a traditional U.S. military burial. Upon del Pilar's tombstone, Quinlan inscribed, "An Officer and a Gentleman".

In 1930, del Pilar's body was exhumed and was identified by the gold tooth and braces he had installed while in exile in Hong Kong.

The stamp was issued on September 18, 1981.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Philippine National Anthem

On June 5, 1898, a week before Philippine independence would be declared, Julian Felipe, a local pianist from Kawit, Cavite, arrived at the home of Maximo Inocencio, one of Cavite's thirteen martyrs during the revolution. Upon his arrival, the leader of the revolution, General Emilio Aguinaldo, asked Felipe to play a march written by a Filipino in Hong Kong. However, Aguinaldo was not satisfied with this march. Recognizing Felipe's skills, he asked him to compose a more soul-rousing tune that would install courage and patriotism in the hearts of every Filipino.

On June 11, the day before the declaration of independence, Felipe arrived again and played his tune to the revolutionary leaders. The leaders unanimously approved it as the national hymn. Felipe called his work the "Marcha Filipina Magdalo."

On June 12, Felipe's tune was played during the hoisting of the Philippine flag at the historic window at the Aguinaldo mansion. The march was renamed the "Marcha Nacional Filipina," and immediately became the National Anthem. However, the anthem still lacked words. The next year, a young soldier named José Palma penned the poem "Filipinas" in Spanish, to match the music of the anthem. It was adopted as the official lyrics.

The Philippines were now under American rule, and as such, a suitable English translation was to be made of the anthem. The first translation was made by Paz Marquez Benitez of the University of the Philippines. However, the most popular version was written by Mary A. Lane and Senator Camillo Osias, known as the "Philippine Hymn." On December 5, 1938, the Philippine Congress passed Commonwealth Act 382, which made the anthem's English words official.

A Tagalog (the Filipino language) version of the words started appearing in the 1940's. In 1948, the Department of Education approved "O Sintang Lupa" as the national anthem's Filipino words. In 1954, Education Secretary Gregorio Hernandez, Jr., created a committee to revise the words. The new version, entitled "Lupang Hinirang," was adopted (a minor revision was made in 1962), and was confirmed in 1998 under a new national symbols law. The words were based on a translation from Spanish to Filipino by Felipe Padilla de Leon.

The new national symbols law, approved in 1998, confirmed the status of the Filipino version of the anthem, but not the English or Spanish version. Currently, the English and Spanish versions are not in use, as the law states that only the Filipino version shall be played, however, the official English and Spanish lyrics remain the works by Lane/Osias and Palma, repsectively, although they are not part of the official anthem.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Canadian National Anthem

"O Canada" was written in 1880 and was sung for the first time later that year at a banquet in the Pavillion des Patineurs in Quebec City. The French words have remained the same to this day. The English version, however, has a more interesting history. When Routhier's lyrics were first published in Toronto, a doctor named Thomas Bedford Richardson translated the words into English and to fit the melody. Two years later, the first edition of the Canadian version of Collier's Weekly held a competition to write English lyrics to the song. Mercy E. Powell McCulloch won the competition with her entry. The words were rewritten again and again, but one version gained the most popularity. It was written by Montreal lawyer Robert Stanley Weir, and only slightly differs from the English version used since "O Canada" was officially declared the national anthem in 1980, one century after it was composed.

Before the official adoption of "O Canada" in 1980, the official national anthem of Canada was "God Save the Queen", yet "O Canada" was used on an unofficial basis, as well as the patriotic song "The Maple Leaf Forever"

Canada, being a former British colony (and "O Canada" being composed not that long after independence was granted), has its anthem in the "Western hymn" style of anthem.

For the past few decades, there has been an on-again/off-again movement to once more slightly alter the English lyrics of the national anthem, from "In all thy sons command" to "In all thy hearts command", to be more inclusive.

It is interesting to note that, while having both English and French lyrics (Canada is an officially bilingual country), and both languages' version of the anthem share the same melody, each official language has different words for the anthem.