Friday, July 30, 2010

Davorin Jenko, Serbian Anthem Composer

Davorin Jenko, Slovenian composer and conductor (November 9, 1835, Dvorje, Slovenia, -November 25, 1914, Ljubljana).

After leaving the college in Trieste in 1858 he went to Vienna, where he studied law. In the meantime, with the help of Slovenian writer Valentin Arnica, he founded and headed the Slovenian Singing Society. In 1862, he became the church song leader and music teacher, at the request of Serbian municipalities in Pančevo Tjakaj. After several years of work, he became choirmaster, bandmaster and composer of the Serbian National Theater and the Belgrade singing society, where he worked intermittently until 1897 when he retired and moved to Ljubljana.

He studied and wrote compositions in Vienna. He composed the music to the lyrics of Simon Jenko which became the Slovenian anthem, "Next Flag of Glory" (1860), now the official anthem of the Slovenian Armed Forces. During his stay in Belgrade, he wrote for theater and set the foundations of Serbian choral music. In 1872, Davorin Jenko composed the music to the text of Jovan Đorđević which became Serbian national anthem, Boze Justice (God of Justice).

Above are postal cards with the score of the Serbian national anthem composed by Davorin Jenko, one in French and the other Serbian..

The National Anthem of Montenegro

Before Montenegro's union with Serbia in 1918, "Ubavoj nam Crnoj Gori" (To our beautiful Montenegro) was used by the Kingdom of Montenegro as an anthem. The lyricist, Jovan Sundečić, was a priest and secretary to Prince Nicholas I. The music was written by Jovo Ivanišević (adapted by Anton Schulz). The anthem was in use from 1870 to 1918.

On July 12, 2004, while still in federation with Serbia, Montenegro adopted new national symbols. The new anthem "Oj svijetla majska zoro" (Oh, Bright Dawn of May) has a long history as a folk song in Montenegro, dating back to the early 1930s. The new arrangement was based on a harmonization by Zarko Mikovic and the lyrics were written by Sekula Drljević.

Sekula Drljević, (1884 – 1945) was a Montenegrin politician, lawyer, and author. His political views and ideological aims ranged wildly and changed frequently during his career in politics. Initially a fiery proponent of Serb unification, Drljević then became the founder of the pro-Greens Montenegrin Federalist Party that supported Montenegrin sovereignty during the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, only to eventually end up as the figurehead of the Montenegrin fascist puppet state created by the Axis forces in 1941.

Later during World War II, Drljević served for the fascist Ustashi in hopes of forming a militia force that would influence matters on the ground in Montenegro where a chaotic battle was raging. After the war, Drljević was trialed for war crimes and Nazi collaboration, as well the responsibility for the deaths of tens of thousands of people.

The postcard above features the anthem score of "Ubavoj nam Crnoj Gori" (To our beautiful Montenegro), Montenegro's first anthem in use from 1870-1918.

Aegukka (The Patriotic Song) of North Korea

Aegukka (The Patriotic Song) is the national anthem of North Korea. It is also known by the first phrase of the song Ach'imŭn pinnara or "Let Morning Shine."

Before the founding of North Korea, the northern part of Korea initially had as its anthem the same song as South Korea, but North Korea adopted this newly-written piece in 1947. The words were written by Pak Seyŏng (1902–1989) and the music was composed by Kim Wŏn'gyun (1917–2002).

1. Let morning shine on the silver and gold of this land,
Three thousand leagues packed with natural wealth.
My beautiful fatherland.
The glory of a wise people
Brought up in a culture brilliant
With a history five millennia long.
Let us devote our bodies and minds
To supporting this Korea for ever.

2. The firm will, bonded with truth,
Nest for the spirit of labour,
Embracing the atmosphere of Mount Paektu,
Will go forth to all the world.
The country established by the will of the people,
Breasting the raging waves with soaring strength.
Let us glorify for ever this Korea,
Limitlessly rich and strong.

The miniature souvenir sheet above features the score of the North Korean Anthem, issued on July 5, 2010.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The National Anthem of Cyprus

Cyprus is a bi-national community of Greeks and Turks, where Greeks are the majority and the ruling government. When Cyprus was declared independent from Great Britian in 1960, other national symbols such as the flag were enshrined in the new nation's constitution, but there was no mention of an anthem. Much debates ensued, and neither community could agree on a national anthem; during foreign state visits, different instrumental marches were used. In the early 1970s, it was decided that the Greek anthem would be used by Cyprus as well. (The Turkish community does not recognize this and instead uses the Turkish anthem for their self-proclaimed nation.)

In 2004, as a requirement of joining the European Union, a peace plan was proposed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, which included different national symbols, to make them more inclusive of both communities. This also included a wordless anthem that was agreed to by both Turkish and Greek members of the national symbols committee. However, the plan was rejected by the voters and "Ode to Freedom" remains the Cypriot national anthem.

The Hymn to Liberty is a poem written by Dionýsios Solomós in 1823 that consists of 158 stanzas and is the longest national anthem in the world, set to music by Nikolaos Mantzaros. In 1865, the first two stanzas officially became the national anthem of Greece and later also that of the Republic of Cyprus. According to the Constitution of Cyprus, the Greek national anthem is used in the presence of the Greek Cypriot president (or other Greek Cypriot), and the Turkish national anthem is used in the presence of the Turkish Cypriot vice-president. Cyprus stopped using the Turkish national anthem, however, when Turkish Cypriots broke away from the Government in 1963. Hymn to Liberty was also the Greek Royal Anthem (since 1864).

The hymn was set to music in 1865 by the Corfiot operatic composer Nikolaos Mantzaros, who composed two choral versions, a long one for the whole poem and a short one for the first two stanzas; the latter is the one adopted as the National Anthem of Greece. This anthem has been performed at every closing ceremony of an Olympics, to pay tribute to Greece as the birthplace of the modern Games.

The postcard above features the score of the national anthem of Greece and Cyprus.

The National Anthem of Sweden

Sweden's de facto anthem"Du Gamla, Du Fria" (Thou Ancient, Thou Free) was written in 1844. The author of the lyrics, Richard Dybeck, chose a Swedish folk tune from the province of Västmanland to set his words to to create the anthem. The song was created at a time when a "pan-Scandinavian" movement was strong, which is why it is a "Song to the North" instead of just to Sweden. This has led to other verses being written that are more patriotic to Sweden, but these additional verses have never gained popularity and have never been considered part of the national anthem.

In the late 19th century the anthem started to be considered as Sweden's "national anthem", differentiating it from the royal anthem that was being used as both a royal and national anthem. The anthem has never been officially legislated as Sweden's national anthem, one attempt in the 1930s by a member of parliament brought forth claims of wanting state controlled patriotism by the opposition.

Richard Dybeck (1 September 1811 – 28 July 1877) was a Swedish jurist, antiquarian and lyricist, mainly remembered as the author of the lyrics to what is now the (de facto) Swedish national anthem: Du gamla, Du fria.

Dybeck was born in a mansion in the town Köping, in Västmanland. He was the son of a clergyman, went to gymnasium in Västerås, and later matriculated at Uppsala University in 1831. He completed his civil service degree in law (hovrättsexamen) in 1834 and entered the Svea hovrätt appeal court. He held a number of positions in the court system during the following years, but eventually began to spend all his time on his antiquarian and historical research. He was also a poet.

The postcard above shows the anthem score and lyrics of the Swedish national anthem.

The The National Anthem of Brittany

Brittany, a region of France, has a culture and language all its own (the language is more Celtic than French). Like other Celtic regions of the area, such as Cornwall, the anthem melody used is taken from the Welsh anthem, composed by James James (with some minor note changes). The lyrics were written by François Taldir-Jaffrennou in 1897 and the adaptation of the Welsh anthem was first published the following year, with the appropriate title "Henvelidigez" ("Adaptation"). It was adopted as the Breton national anthem (and a song of Welsh-Breton friendship) in 1903 at a meeting of the Union Régionaliste Bretonne, a Breton cultural and political organization.

Francois-Joseph-Claude Jaffrennou (March 15, 1879 - March 26, 1956) was a Breton language writer and editor. He was a Breton nationalist and a neo-druid bard. He is also known as François Taldir-Jaffrennou, since he also used the Druidic name Taldir ("Wall of Steel"). He was one of the pioneers of the Breton autonomist movement.

On 18 July 1899, Jaffrennou visited the Eisteddfod in Cardiff with twenty one other Bretons. He was received at Gorsedd under the name Taldir ab Hernin. At this time he translated the Welsh national anthem Land of my Fathers into Breton as Bro Gozh ma Zadoù, which became the national anthem of Brittany. This hymn is now recognized and accepted by all political and cultural groups in Brittany. It was originally published in
1898 in La Résistance.

On 7 August 1944, Jaffrennou was arrested by members of the French resistance on charges of having served the enemy and supported Pétain. He was also accused of wantingng to make Brittany an independent country within a Nazi dominated Europe. He was acquitted and released. On 10 August 1944, he was arrested again. After a brief incarceration at the Chateau Lancien in Carhaix, he was taken to the St Charles prison in Quimper. In early June 1945, he was transferred to Mesgloaguen, another prison. He was charged with acts which might harm the national defense, association with the Germans and denunciation of patriots. He was put on trial before the Court of Justice.

Released in 1946 he never returned to Brittany. In 1947 he resumed the leadership of the Gorsedd. He retired to Le Mans and then to Bergerac, where he died on March 23, 1956. He is buried in Carhaix.

Above is a postcard with the score of the national anthem of Brittany. Below is an envelope with the national anthem.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Esperanto "La Espero" (The Hope)

"La Espero" ("The Hope") is a poem written by L. L. Zamenhof (1859-1917), the initiator of the Esperanto language. The song is often used as the anthem of Esperanto, and is now usually sung to a triumphal march composed by Frenchman Félicien Menu de Ménil (although there is an earlier, less martial tune created in 1891 by Claes Adelsköld, as well as a number of others less well-known). It is sometimes referred to as the hymn of the Esperanto movement.

Some Esperantists object to the use of terms like "hymn" or "anthem" for La Espero, arguing that these terms have religious and nationalist overtones respectively.

Probably the only language in the world with its own flag and anthem, the word "Esperanto" translates as "hope" or "hoping one" and also provides the title of the anthem of the language. The anthem speaks of the goal of the language, to bind the nations together with a common language in peace.

Above is a postcard with the score and lyrics of "La Espero", the Esperanto anthem.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Postcards from Monaco

I recently found these two vintage postcards from Monaco which shows the musical score of the Monaco anthem. One picture features the Monte Carlo Theater and the other a scene at a rose plantation.

The Grand Théâtre de Monte Carlo, is an opera and ballet house, and the headquarters of the Ballets de Monte Carlo. It is a part of a casino complex that is one of the most notable tourist attractions in Monaco. It is situated in the Monte Carlo quarter, and citizens of Monaco are forbidden to enter the gaming rooms.

It hosts the annual European Poker Tour Grand Final. The casino is owned by the Société des Bains de Mer (a public company, in which the government holds a majority interest. This corporation also owns the principal hotels and clubs of the community that serve the tourist trade. The route of the Monaco Grand Prix (the Circuit de Monaco) runs past the casino. The Grand Prix is a Formula One race done annually in Monaco.

In the second postcard, a beautiful scene showing children and their moms harvesting roses. I tried to Google "Rose plantations in Monaco" and nothing significant comes up. Considering Monaco's development, this wonderful plantation in the postcard is probably non-existent today.

The National Anthem of Belgium

The Belgium anthem had its genesis when Belgium gained its independence in 1830. The popular legend goes that it was written by some young people in a cafe on Fource St. in Brussels in September 1830. While the story may or may not be true, the anthem does date back to that time. In 1860, the anti-Dutch lyrics were softened and the version that is in use today was created. When Dechet (better known as "Jenneval") wrote his verses, he called the poem 'La Bruxelloise'. His publisher thought it better to broaden the scope from the city's to the area's name (Brabant) and renamed it "La Brabançonne" (Song of Brabant).

The music was written in September of 1830 and the first public performance of the anthem occurred the following month. Finally, in 1921, it was decreed that only the fourth stanza of the 1860 lyrics are official in the French and Dutch versions. However, an official version of the "Brabançonne" does not actually exist. Different commissions have been established to examine the words and melody of the song and establish an official version. Yet, all of their efforts had been in vain. The words were written by Louis-Alexandre Dechet (original French) and Victor Ceulemans (Dutch translation). The music was composed by François van Campenhout.

François van Campenhout (5 February 1779 – 24 April 1848) was a Belgian opera singer, conductor and composer. Campenhout was born in Brussels, where he studied violin. He worked initially as an office clerk, but soon pursued a career as a musician. After he had been a violinist at the Theatre de la Monnaie (or Muntschouwburg) in Brussels for a while, he started a career as a tenor at the Opera in Ghent. This was the beginning of a successful opera career, which brought him to Brussels, Antwerp, Paris, Amsterdam, The Hague, Lyon and Bordeaux. In 1828, he ended his career as a singer and became conductor in Brussels, where he died in 1848.

Campenhout wrote a large number of works: operas such as Grotius ou le Château de Lovesteyn and Passe-Partout, which were successful, and he also composed ballet music, symphonies and choir music. Van Campenhout was a freemason and a member of the Grand Orient of Belgium.

Above is a postcard with the French version of the Belgian national anthem.

The National Anthem of Japan

While in use since the early 1880s as a national anthem on a de facto basis, and the words to the anthem are from the tenth century or earlier, making "Kimigayo" the oldest national anthem in that sense, the government only officially adopted the anthem in 1999.

The government presented its interpretation of the meaning of the anthem "Kimigayo" in the Diet during the deliberation of a bill to codify the country's national flag and anthem. At the plenary session of the House of Representatives of the Diet held on June 29, 1999, Prime Minister Obuchi explained as follows: "Kimi in 'Kimigayo', under the current Constitution of Japan, indicates the Emperor, who is the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people, deriving his position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power; 'Kimigayo' as a whole depicts the state of being of our country, which has the Emperor–deriving his position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power– as the symbol of itself and of the unity of the people; and it is appropriate to interpret the words of the anthem as praying for the lasting prosperity and peace of our country."

It is not known who first wrote the words of the anthem. They first appeared in the Kokinshu, a collection "of ancient and modern poems" dating from the tenth century. From very early times, the poem was recited to commemorate auspicious occasions and at banquets celebrating important events. The words were often put to music and were also used in fairy tales and other stories and even appeared in the Edo-period popular fiction known as ukiyo-zoshi and in collections of humorous kyoka (mad verse).

When the Meiji period began in 1868 and Japan made its start as a modern nation, there was not yet anything called a "national anthem." In 1869 the British military band instructor John William Fenton, who was then working in Yokohama, learned that Japan lacked a national anthem and told the members of Japan's military band about the British national anthem "God Save the King." Fenton emphasized the necessity of a national anthem and proposed that he would compose the music if someone would provide the words. The band members requested Artillery Captain Oyama Iwao, who was well versed in Japanese and Chinese history and literature, to select appropriate words for such an anthem. Fenton put his own music to the "Kimigayo" words selected by Oyama, and the first "Kimigayo" anthem was the result. The melody was, however, completely different from the one known today. It was performed, with the accompaniment of brass instruments, during an army parade in 1870, but it was later considered to be lacking in solemnity, and it was agreed that a revision was needed.

In 1876, Osamu Yusuke, the director of the Naval Band, submitted to the Navy Ministry a proposal for changing the music, and on the basis of his proposal it was decided that the new melody should reflect the style used in musical chants performed at the imperial court. In July 1880, four persons were named to a committee to revise the music. They were Naval Band director Nakamura Yusuke; Army Band director Yotsumoto Yoshitoyo; the court director of gagaku (Japanese court music) performances, Hayashi Hiromori; and a German instructor under contract with the navy, Franz Eckert. Finally a melody produced by Hiromori Hayashi was selected on the basis of the traditional scale used in gagaku. Eckert made a four-part vocal arrangement, and the new national anthem was first performed in the imperial palace on the Meiji Emperor's birthday, November 3, 1880. This was the beginning of the "Kimigayo" national anthem we know today. (

The postcard above features the musical score of Japan's national anthem, Kimigayo

The National Anthem of Jersey

"Ma Normandie" is the semi-official anthem of the Bailiwick of Jersey, a British Crown dependency in the Channel Islands, and was written and composed by Frédéric Bérat, a French composer and songwriter. Jersey is historically part of the Duchy of Normandy, and French has been for centuries an official administrative language of Jersey, whose inhabitants have traditionally spoken a variety of Norman language.

Although "Ma Normandie" is used by Jersey at Commonwealth Games, Island Games and other international events where it is necessary for territories that otherwise use "God Save the Queen" to be distinguished, the fact that the song refers to France rather than to Jersey means that a body of opinion has campaigned for a change of anthem.

In 2007 the States of Jersey undertook to find a new, official, Anthem by means of an open competition. The final judging of the competition took place with a public performance of the short-listed pieces on 30 April, 2008. The short-listed composers were: Derek Lawrence, Gerard Le Feuvre, James Taberner and a joint composition by Kevin Porée and Matheson Bayley; the traditional song "Beautiful Jersey"/"Man Bieau P'tit Jèrri" was also included in the shortlist. The winner of the competition was declared to be "Island Home" composed by Gerard Le Feuvre.

The anthem was apparently inspired by the sounds of Jersey wildlife (the opening three notes, if played two octaves lower, are apparently the lowing of a Jersey cow), Jersey poetry, and Jersey folk music, and was written independently of the contest, in 2002. Lyrics were written both in English and in Jèrriais, a version of the Norman language spoken on the island.

Above is a postcard with a score of the Jersey semi-official anthem "Ma Normandie". Below is another postcard with lyrics and score.

Monday, July 26, 2010

President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III Stamps

Last July 26, 2010, the Philippine Postal Corporation issued two new stamps of President Benigno S. Aquino III. It is classified as a “Special” kind of issue with denominations of P 7.00 and P 40.00 and quantity of 350,000 pieces and 100,000 pieces, respectively.

The said stamps relive the historical moments of President Aquino’s inaugural speech and oath-taking last June 30, 2010 at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park. These newly issued stamps are a nice addition to the Commemorative stamps and first day cover issued on the day of his inauguration last June 30, 2010.

The technical description of the President Benigno S. Aquino III stamps are as follows: Kind of Issue: Special, Denomination and Quantity: Php7.00 / 350,000 pieces, Php 40.00/100,000 pieces, Date of Issue: July 26, 2010, Last date of Sale: July 25, 2011 (or as stocks allow), Size: 40 mm x 30 mm (Php 7.00), 30 mm x 40 mm (Php 40.00), Sheet Composition: 16 on (4 x 4), Kind of Printing: Litho offset, Paper: Unwatermarked, Printer: Amstar Company, Inc., Photographer: Jay Narvaez Morales, Designer/ Layout Artist: Jesus Alfredo Delos Santos, Design Coordinators: Dr. Ngo Tiong Tak, Elenita San Diego, Design: Oathtaking and the Inaugural Speech of President Benigno S. Aquino III last June 30, 2010 at the Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

"Rise O Voices of Rhodesia"

When Rhodesia first declared its independence in 1965, it was a member of the British Commonwealth, and retained the Queen as the head of state, therefore "God Save the Queen" was the national anthem until Rhodesia became a republic in 1970, and ties were severed with the United Kingdom. Rhodesia then did not have a national anthem until a national competition was held and "Rise O Voices of Rhodesia" was declared as the anthem on 26th August 1974. Using Ludwig van Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" (which was also used at the time as the anthem of the European Union, and still is today) as the melody, the lyrics were composed by a South African born resident of Gwelo, Mary Bloom.

The white majority rule was ended in 1979 (and the country was renamed Zimbabwe-Rhodesia), and the nation of Zimbabwe was created the following year.

1. Rise, O voices of Rhodesia,
God may we thy bounty share,
Give us strength to face all danger,
And, where challenge is, to dare.

Guide us, Lord, to wise decision,
Ever of thy grace aware,
Oh, let our hearts beat bravely always,
For this land within thy care.

2. Rise, O voices of Rhodesia,
Bringing her your proud acclaim,
Grandly echoing through the mountains,
Rolling over far flung plain.

Roaring in the mighty rivers,
Joining in one grand refrain,
Ascending to the sunlit heavens,
Telling of her honoured name.

The stamp above features Beethoven with the score Symphony no. 5 issued by North Korea.

Sheng on Stamps

The mouth organ Sheng was designed in China about 3000 years ago. The pipes are stopped with the fingers. When the piped are not stopped, the air causes the free metal reeds to vibrate. In more modern instruments, the reeds are made of brass and tuned with wax. The sheng's elegant shape reminds of the mythical phoenix. It consists of a mouthpiece, which may vary in shape, a wind-chest, and pipes.

In China, four of the seventeen pipes serve only as decoration; in Japan only two serve this purpose. In modern shengs, all pipes are functional, encompassing the chromatic octave a1-a2 and four higher diatonic notes. The sheng became popular in the 11th century B.C.. In Europe it attracted attention in the 18th century, when the free reed principle was used in a number of Western instruments, such as the harmonium and the accordion. In the East, the sheng is used as a solo instrument and in ensembles.

The stamp was issued by Macao in 1986

Kulintang on Stamps

Kulintang is a modern term for an ancient instrumental form of music composed on a row of small, horizontally-laid gongs that function melodically, accompanied by larger, suspended gongs and drums. As part of the larger gong-chime culture of Southeast Asia, kulintang music ensembles have been playing for many centuries in regions of the Eastern Malay Archipelago — the Southern Philippines, Eastern Indonesia, Eastern Malaysia, Brunei and Timor, although this article has a focus on the Philippine Kulintang traditions of the Maranao and Maguindanao peoples in particular. Kulintang evolved from a simple native signaling tradition, and developed into its present form with the incorporation of knobbed gongs from Sunda. Its importance stems from its association with the indigenous cultures that inhabited these islands prior to the influences of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity or the West, making Kulintang the most developed tradition of Southeast Asian archaic gong-chime ensembles.

Technically, kulintang is the Maguindanao, Ternate and Timor term for the idiophone of metal gong kettles which are laid horizontally upon a rack to create an entire kulintang set. It is played by striking the bosses of the gongs with two wooden beaters. Due to its use across a wide variety groups and languages, the kulintang is also called kolintang by the Maranao and those in Sulawesi, kulintangan, gulintangan by those in Sabah and the Sulu Archipelago and totobuang by those in central Maluku.

By the twentieth century, the term kulintang had also come to denote an entire Maguindanao ensemble of five to six instruments. Traditionally the Maguindanao term for the entire ensemble is basalen or palabunibunyan, the latter term meaning “an ensemble of loud instruments” or “music-making” or in this case “music-making using a kulintang.”

The stamp was issued on February 16, 2009. "Ani sa Sining", a set of four, depicting Philippine arts and culture.

Manuel S. Enverga on Stamps

Dr. Manuel S. Enverga, founder: president of the Luzonian University which he converted into a foundation that now bears his name, the Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation in Lucena City, and Representative of the First District of Quezon from 1953 to 1968, spent the remaining years of his retirement from politics nurturing the growth of the higher education institution he founded to provide affordable, relevant, and quality education to his countrymen and to write about his vision for the country, foremost of which was to advance the nationalist cause .

A staunch nationalist, Congressman Enverga authored the change of the celebration of Independence Day from July 4 to June 12 which President Diosdado Macapagal adopted and signed into an executive order. He also spearheaded the reexamination of Philippine foreign policy to open trade, scientific and economic cooperation with socialist countries to reduce dependence on the traditional American market, an advocacy that was clearly ahead of his time. Congressman Enverga has advanced the nationalist cause to a remarkable degree by the sober way in which he spearheaded the move to make foreign policy long shackled to antiquated but no less dangerous cold war myths responsive to the realities of the 1960s.

One of his major speeches in the House of Representatives which dwelt on the military danger and economic disadvantages posed by the American bases in the country has earned the praise of his more enlightened colleagues in the intellectual community. Congressman Enverga has also conceptualized the archipelagic principle that has now been enshrined in the definition of the country’s boundaries under the Philippine Constitution. He was born on January 1, 1909 and celebrates his centenary on January 1, 2009.

The stamp was issued on January 5, 2009

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The National Anthem of Hong Kong

Hong Kong is one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China; the other is Macau. Situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour. With land mass of 1,104 km2 (426 sq mi) and a population of seven million people, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Hong Kong's population is 95% ethnic Chinese and 5% from other groups. Hong Kong's Han majority originate mainly from Guangzhou and Taishan, both cities in neighbouring Guangdong province.

Under the principle of "one country, two systems", Hong Kong runs on economic and political systems different from those of mainland China. Hong Kong is one of the world's leading international financial centres, with a major capitalist service economy characterised by low taxation, free trade and minimum government intervention under the ethos of positive non-interventionism. The Hong Kong dollar is the 9th most traded currency in the world.

Hong Kong's independent judiciary functions under the common law framework. Its political system is governed by the Basic Law of Hong Kong, its constitutional document. Although it has a burgeoning multi-party system, half of its legislature is controlled by small-circle electorate. The Chief Executive of Hong Kong, the head of government, is selected by an 800-person election committee.

Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the First Opium War (1839–42). Originally confined to Hong Kong Island, the colony's boundaries were extended in stages to the Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories by 1898. It was occupied by Japan during the Pacific War, after which the British resumed control until 1997, when China regained sovereignty. The Basic Law stipulates that Hong Kong shall enjoy a "high degree of autonomy" in all matters except foreign relations and military defense.

Hong Kong, being currently a Special Administrative Region of China, has never had its own anthem. As a colony of Britain until 1997, it used the anthem of that country as its official anthem. After control was given to China, the Chinese anthem has been used to represent Hong Kong.

The stamp above containing the score of the anthem was issued by China in 1983

William Blake on Stamps

William Blake (28 November 1757–12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of both the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. His prophetic poetry has been said to form "what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language". His visual artistry has led one contemporary art critic to proclaim him "far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced". Although he lived in London his entire life except for three years spent in Felpham he produced a diverse and symbolically rich corpus, which embraced the imagination as "the body of God", or "Human existence itself".

Considered mad by contemporaries for his idiosyncratic views, Blake is held in high regard by later critics for his expressiveness and creativity, and for the philosophical and mystical undercurrents within his work. His paintings and poetry have been characterised as part of both the Romantic movement and "Pre-Romantic", for its large appearance in the 18th century. Reverent of the Bible but hostile to the Church of England, Blake was influenced by the ideals and ambitions of the French and American revolutions, as well as by such thinkers as Jakob Böhme and Emanuel Swedenborg.

Despite these known influences, the singularity of Blake's work makes him difficult to classify. The 19th century scholar William Rossetti characterised Blake as a "glorious luminary," and as "a man not forestalled by predecessors, nor to be classed with contemporaries, nor to be replaced by known or readily surmisable successors."

Historian Peter Marshall has classified Blake as one of the forerunners of modern anarchism, along with Blake's contemporary William Godwin. The lyrics of England's "Jerusalem" were taken from his poem.

The stamp was issue by Bulgaria in 1957, his 200th birth anniversary.

The Golden Stamp and the Russian National Anthem

In late 2000, Russia's new president Vladimir Putin, made creation of a new anthem for Russia a top priority, since a common complaint was not having words to their current anthem. In early December 2000, Putin presented a bill in the national asssembly to have the melody of the old anthem from the Soviet Union adopted as the new national anthem.

The measure passed by a wide margin on December 8, but it was not without controversy, both at the time and since. Many (including former President Yeltsin) did not feel a change was necessary, and the use of the old Soviet anthem could be seen as rejecting post-Communist reforms. Others have expressed concerns that the melody brings back memories of the past of hardships under the Communist regime, especially the crimes that took place under Stalin (who was Soviet leader when the anthem was first introduced).

It was then needed to adopt lyrics for the anthem, as the Communist-era lyrics would be inappropriate. After reviewing thousands of entries, new lyrics by Sergei Vladimirovich Mikhalkov (the same person who wrote the lyrics to the old Soviet anthem) were adopted on December 20, and the bill on the anthem was signed into law on December 25. The lyrics were also not without controversy as well, the main one being that the words were not well-known (perhaps due to the fact that this was the third set of words used for the melody since its introduction in 1944). Others, particularly the Communist deputies in the legislature, who were in favour of adopting Alexander Alexandrov's melody, objected to the reference to God in the anthem.

The sheet above issued in 2001 contains the state emblems of Russia (flag, seal and anthem). The seal is embossed with 22 karat gold.

The National Anthem of Galicia

"Os Pinos" (The Pine Trees) is the National anthem of Galicia. Galicia, which is in the northwest part of Spain,has roughly 2.78 million inhabitants as of 2008, with the largest concentration in two coastal areas, from Ferrol to A Coruña in the northwest from Vilagarcía to Vigo on the southwest. The capital is Santiago de Compostela, in the province of Coruña.

With its own culture, it also has its own anthem, flag and emblems. The Galician National Anthem was performed for the first time in 1907 in Havana, and in 1923 the Galician National Anthem was sung by regionalists and advocates of land reform at their meetings, and little by little became more and more accepted by many more.

The lyrics were written by Eduardo Pondal and the music composed by Pasqual Veiga. Banned during Franco's fascist regime, in 1975, during a nationalist gathering in the Festival of the Apostle, the public began to stand up as the National Anthem was sung in a very heart-moving act. A year later the custom became permanent in the Quintana Square of Santiago even though it was never ratified by the Spanish authorities. The custom is nowadays a nationalist and reivindicative act.

The stamp above featuring the score of the Galician anthem was issued in 1981.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The National Anthem of Cambodia (Nokoreach)

In the 1960s, Cambodia became more and more involved into the Vietnam war; to avoid conflicts with the USA and with communist North Vietnam, Prince Sihanouk declared Cambodia a neutral state, but he allowed North Vietnam to transport military goods through Cambodian territory to supply the communist Vietcong guerilla in South Vietnam with weapons and equipment. On 18th March 1970, General Lon Nol lead a military coup against Sihanouk and formed a pro-American government, which gave the US Army permission to fight against the Vietnamese communists on Cambodian territory. General Lon Nol proclaimed Cambodia the "Khmer Republic", and the country got a new flag and national anthem, which remained in use until the communist Khmer Rouge seized power in 1975.

It is unclear whether this anthem had words or not. A portion of what could be the anthems lyrics appears, translated into English, in Chanrithy Him's book "When Broken Glass Floats", yet information from the Khmer Embassy to Germany for the 1972 Olympic Games do not indicate any official lyrics.

When the radical communist Khmer Rouge guerilla conquered Phnom Penh on 17 April 1975, they first restored the old royalist symbols of state and made Prince Sihanouk again head of state. But in 1976, they declared Cambodia the "Democratic Kampuchea", and adopted its own anthem "Dap Prampi Mesa Chokchey" (Glorious Seventeenth of April) , in a typical communist style of anthem, commemorating the communist takeover of the capital. Although the text seems to predict the massacres caused by the Khmer Rouge by mentioning "blood" several times in the lyrics, it might also be the case that the lyrics rather took pattern from revolutionary songs in classical Marseillaise style. It has also been suggested that the leader of the Khmer Rouge (and president of the country during this time) Pol Pot may have written this anthem himself.

After Vietnamese forces and exile Cambodians invaded Cambodia in January 1979, Cambodia got a pro-Vietnamese, moderate communist government and was declared the People's Republic of Kampuchea. Again, a new flag and national anthem was adopted.

It is not totally certain how long this national anthem was in use; due to the continued pressure by the Khmer Rouge and royalist guerillas, Vietnam withdrew almost all its troops from Cambodia in 1989, and the Cambodian national assembly renamed the country into "State of Cambodia". At that occasion, a new flag and perhaps also a new national anthem were adopted. In 1991, a UN peace plan was signed, and the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) assumed administrative responsibility for Cambodia in March 1992, and adopted a new flag, which was in use until Cambodia became a Kingdom again in September 1993 and re-adopted its old symbols of state. Some sources mention that a textless tune, composed by Prince Ranariddh, was used as the national anthem during the time of the UNTAC administration.

The current national anthem "Nokoreach" (Royal Kingdom), was originally adopted in 1941 and reconfirmed in 1947, around the time of independence from France. In 1970, the monarchy was abolished, thereby replacing the anthem as well. After the communist victory in 1975, former royalist symbols, including "Nokoreach", were reinstated for a short while until replaced with their own national symbols. After the royalist forces defeated the communists in 1993, putting an end to their long civil war, the royalist anthem was also restored to Cambodia once more. The title of the anthem is derived from the name of an ancient Khmer kingdom. The music was composed by F. Perruchot and J. Jekyll, based on a Cambodian folk tune and the lyrics written by Chuon Nat.

Samdech Sangha Raja Jhotañano Chuon Nath (March 11, 1883 – September 25, 1969) is the late Supreme Patriarch Kana Mahanikaya of Cambodia. Amongst his achievements is his effort in conservation of the Khmer language in the form of the Khmer dictionary. His protection of Khmer identity and history in the form of the national anthem, Nokor Reach and Savada Khmer are also amongst his contribution to the country.

The stamp above features Chuon Nat, the anthem lyricist.

England's "Jerusalem"

As a country within the United Kingdom, the official anthem of England is that of the United Kingdom, namely "God Save the Queen". However, like the other constituent countries in the UK, there is often a need for a unique English anthem with a separate identity from the anthem of the UK as a whole, one that is used in some situations, and currently enjoys the most popular support, is "Jerusalem".

First appearing as a poem by William Blake entitled "And did those feet in ancient time" in the early 19th century, it is based on a tale that Jesus visited what is now England as a youth. The "dark Satanic mills" phrase is a reference to the factories and mills of the Industrial Revolution then just beginning, forever changing the landscape and society.

The poem did not garner much attention until the First World War over a century later, when it was included in a patriotic anthology of poems, and was seen as expressing what England was fighting for at the time. Hubert Parry was then requested to put the poem to music, which was completed in 1916. A performance in 1922 (orchestrated by Edward Elgar, the composer of "Land of Hope and Glory") prompted King George V to say that he preferred "Jerusalem" over "God Save the King".

"Jerusalem" is more and more gaining favour in England and is becoming the most popular patriotic song. It has been used as the English national anthem before rugby and cricket matches, is sung in churches on St. George's Day (the English national holiday - the feast day of England's patron saint) and often leads popular opinion polls when the question of a unique English anthem is asked. Critics, however, point out that it would not make a suitable anthem due to its religious nature and its references to a foreign city.

So far, the British Parliament has not made any official proclamation on the issue.

The stamp above of William Blake was issued by Romania in 1958.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Who Composed "God Save The Queen"?

"God Save the Queen" (alternatively "God Save the King") is an anthem used in a number of Commonwealth realms. It is the national anthem of the United Kingdom and its territories and dependencies, Norfolk Island, one of the two national anthems of the Cayman Islands and New Zealand (since 1977) and the royal anthem of Australia (since 1984), Canada (since 1980), Gibraltar, the Isle of Man, Jamaica, and Tuvalu. In countries not previously part of the British Empire, the tune of "God Save the Queen" has also been used as the basis for different patriotic songs, though still generally connected with royal ceremony.

The authorship of the song is unknown, and beyond its first verse, which is consistent, it has many historic and extant versions: Since its first publication, different verses have been added and taken away and, even today, different publications include various selections of verses in various orders. In general only one, or sometimes two verses are sung, but on rare occasions three.

The sovereign and his or her consort are saluted with the entire anthem, while other members of the royal family who are entitled to royal salute (such as the Prince of Wales) receive just the first six bars. The first six bars also form all or part of the Vice Regal Salute in some Commonwealth realms outside the UK (e.g., in Canada, governors general and lieutenant governors are at official events saluted with the first six bars of "God Save the Queen" followed by the first four and last four bars of " O Canada"), as well as the salute given to governors of British overseas territories. The words of the song, like its title, are adapted to the gender of monarch, with "King" replacing "Queen", "he" replacing "she", and so forth, when a king reigns.

God Save the Queen" (or "God Save the King", depending on the gender of the ruling monarch) was a patriotic song first publicly performed in London in 1745 after the king, George II defeated the Jacobite claimant to the throne, "Bonnie Prince Charlie". The song came to be referred to as the national anthem from the beginning of the nineteenth century.

The words and tune are anonymous, and may date back to the seventeenth century. There are various claimants to authorship of both the words and tune, the words can be found as early as 1545, when the watchword at night was "God save the King", the reply was "Long to reign over us." The authorship of the melody has been claimed by many, including John Bull (the author of the earliest piece of music that resembles the work), Henry Carey, Henry Purcell, and Joseph Haydn (although he probably borrowed the tune upon hearing it in London), Marc-Antoine Charpentier, J.B. Lully, and James Oswald.

There is no authorized version of the National Anthem as the words are a matter of tradition. The anthem has also never been officially declared as the national anthem of the country, the royal anthem (as this technically is) is used as the national anthem as a matter of tradition, but this is also due to the unique constitutional situation in the United Kingdom, as the nation doesn't have a formal constitution. The words used are those sung in 1745, substituting 'Queen' for 'King' (and female pronouns with male ones) where appropriate. On official (and most other) occasions, the first verse only is sung, on a small number of occasions, the third verse is heard as well; very rarely is the second verse heard due to its militaristic nature. There exist many other verses, some dating as far back as the first three verses, but the first three are what can best be represented as the "standard" British national anthem.

The British tune has since become one of the world's most recognizable anthems, and has has been used in other countries - as European visitors to Britain in the eighteenth century noticed the advantage of a country possessing such a recognized musical symbol - including Germany, Russia, Switzerland, the United States (where use of the tune continued after independence as a patriotic song and one of several unofficial anthems before 1931), and even today by Liechtenstein and as the royal anthem of Norway. (One might say that because of this fact, that the United Kingdom was the creator of the concept of a "national anthem".) Some 140 composers, including Beethoven, Haydn and Brahms, have used the tune in their compositions.

"God Save the Queen" also serves as the royal anthem for most Commonwealth countries, such as Australia and Canada. (Governor-generals of Commonwealth countries usually have bits and pieces of the national anthem strung together played as their anthem.)

The stamps above features some of the "claimants" to the anthem authorship- Haydn, Purcell and Lully. Below is a first day cover issued in February 6 1992, on the 40th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne. A postmark of "God Save the Queen" is seen.

Design Error on Philippine FDC

A postage stamp design error is a mistake made during the design phase of the postage stamp production process. Design errors most commonly occur as minor mistakes, such as a missing letter in the binomial name of an organism depicted on the stamp, but some have been major gaffes, such as a map appearing to lay claim to another country's territory, or the depiction of the wrong person on the stamp.

A design error caught during the production process may disappear quietly, with copies of the error only getting into the public's hands via unscrupulous employees (these are therefore not considered "real" stamps). Design errors are often caught during the distribution process, when large numbers of postal workers are scrutinizing the new stamp; although officials may elect to withdraw all the stamps at that point, it is very difficult to retrieve every one of them, and in these instances a few may end up being sold and used. The exact circumstance are important, because once the stamp is sold to a customer, whether or not against the postal service's rules, it is considered to be legitimate.

Somewhat rarer is a design error that is first noticed by a member of the public. This usually happens within a few days of the stamp first going on sale, usually ends up as the subject of newspaper articles, and has been known to cause a diplomatic breach. The response of postal officials may include withdrawal of all the stamps, or simply the suspension of printing and distribution, pending revision and reprinting. If the stamps are withdrawn, then the ones already out there become instant rarities, as happened with the PRC's "All China is Red" stamp of 1968. The withdrawn stamps may be destroyed or overprinted if the design can be repaired that way.

Above design error on Philippine first day cover showing the wrong date. The date around the image should have been 1551, not 1951 (400 years of Antipolo). The postmark showed the right dates.

The National Anthem of Bhutan

Druk tsendhen ("The Thunder Dragon Kingdom") is the national anthem of Bhutan.

Adopted in 1953, the music is by Aku Tongmi and the words are by Dasho Gyaldun Thinley. Tongmi was educated in India and was recently appointed leader of the military brass band when the need for an anthem rose at the occasion of a state visit from prime minister Nehru of India. His original score was inspired by the Indian and British anthems, as well as the Bhutanese folk tune Thri nyampa med pa pemai thri ("The Unchanging Lotus Throne"). The melody has twice undergone changes by Mr Tongmi's successors as band leaders.

The original lyrics were 12 lines, but was shortened to the present 6 lines version in 1964 by a secretary to the king. As the anthem is inspired by a folk tune, there is a choreography to it as well, originally directed by Mr. Tongmi.

Above is the self-adhesive record stamp of Bhutan which plays the national anthem, issued in 1973.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Hino da Carta Constitucional" (Hymn to the Constitutional Charter)

In May 1834, the "Hymn to the Constitutional Charter" was established as the anthem of the Kingdom of Portugal, and it was the official anthem until the establishment of the Portugese Republic, replacing the monarchy, in 1910. It was written in 1822 by Crown Prince Pedro of Bragança (later Emperor Pedro I of Brazil) to celebrate the Portuguese Constitution imposed by the liberals in Portugal. It is believed that he wrote both the lyrics and music of the hymn, since he was considered a very skilled musician; he titled this work in 1822 as "Imperial and Constitution Hymn", and when he became King of Portugal in 1826 it was known as "Hymn to the Charter" and already very popular.

Prince Pedro of Bragança, later Emperor Pedro I of Brazil (October 12, 1798 – September 24, 1834), was the founder and first ruler of the Empire of Brazil and also King of Portugal as Pedro IV, having reigned for 8 years and almost 2 months, respectively. His full name was Pedro de Alcântara Francisco António João Carlos Xavier de Paula Miguel Rafael Joaquim José Gonzaga Pascoal Cipriano Serafim (Peter of Alcantara Francis John Charles Xavier of Paula Michael Raphael Joachim Joseph Gonzaga Pascal Cyprian Seraph.). He was born on 12 October, 1798, in Queluz, the fourth child of King Dom João VI of Portugal and Infanta Charlotte of Spain. The Emperor-King was a member of the Portuguese branch and founder of the Brazilian branch of the House of Braganza and was referred to using the honorific "Dom" .

The stamp above of Emperor Pedro I of Brazil was issued in 1998, his 200th birth anniversary.

"Republiko Nasha, Zdravey!" (Hail to the Republic!)

The Bulgarian anthem, "Republiko nasha, zdravey!" (Hail to the Republic!) in use between the abolition of the monarchy in 1944 and the establishment of a new anthem in 1950 after the communists firmly gained power, was composed by Georgi Dimitrov (the same as the co-composer of "Balgarijo Mila", but not the same as the communist leader by that name of that period). The lyrics to the anthem was written by Bulgarian writer Krum Penev.

1. Yarema na robstvo surovo 1.. The collar of slavery hard
I mraka na siva sadba And darkness of grey fate
Niy srinakhme s ogan i slovo We crashed with fire and word
V zhestoka neravna borba In cruel uneqal fight

1. Republiko nasha narodna 1. Our people’s republic,
Republiko nasha zdravej
Our republic- Hail!
Zemiata ni dnes e svobodna
Today our land is free,
Svobodno dnes vseki zhivej
Today everyone lives free!

2. Za nas svobodata je sviata
2. For us the freedom is sacred
I niye shte branim s lubov
And we will defend it with love.
Kravta na bortzite, proliata
The blood of the fighters is spilled,
Po vsiaka padina i rov
On every Hallow and ditch.

3. Za nashi i chuzhdi tirani
3. For our and foreign tyrants,
Rodino, v teb niama prostor
Motherland, there is no space!
Niy pomnim bezbroynite rani
We remember the numerous wounds
Fashistkiya karvav teror
The fascist bloody terror!

The stamp above of the young Penev was issued by Bulgaria in 1980.

Drenova- The Albanian Anthem Lyricist

Aleksandër Stavre Drenova, best known under his pen name Asdreni (11 April 1872 - 1947), was one of the most well-known Albanian poets. One of his most recognizable poems is the Albanian National Anthem, Hymni i Flamurit.

Born in the village of Drenovë, near Korçë, he studied at a Greek school in his village. His father died when he was just thirteen. In 1885, Drenova moved to Bucharest, Romania, where he rejoined his brothers. While there, he was exposed to other Albanian writers and nationalists.

In 1904, Asdreni published his first collection of ninety-nine poems called Rreze dielli ("Sun Rays"), dedicated to Skanderbeg, the Albanian national hero. His second ninety-nine poem collection, Ëndrra e lotë ("Dreams and Tears") was published in 1912 and was dedicated to the British anthropologist Edith Durham. Asdreni's third collection, Psallme murgu ("Psalms of a Monk"), came in 1930.

After a brief return to Albania in 1914, Aleksandër returned to Romania and continued to take interest in the Albanian national movement. He visited Albania again in 1937, but he soon after again returned to Romania, where he lived the rest of his life.

The stamp of Drenova, the anthem lyricist was issued in 1987. A set of four Famous Persons.

The National Anthem of Macau

Macau is one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China, the other being Hong Kong. Macau lies on the western side of the Pearl River Delta, bordering Guangdong province to the north and facing the South China Sea in the east and south.

The territory features industries such as textiles and toys, as well as a notable tourist and gambling sector. It has the highest life expectancy in the world (2008).

Macau was a Portuguese colony and both the first and last European colony in China. Portuguese traders first settled in Macau in the 16th century and subsequently administered the region until the handover on 20 December 1999. The Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration and the Basic Law of Macau stipulate that Macau operates with a high degree of autonomy until at least 2049, fifty years after the transfer.

Under the policy of "one country, two systems", the Central People's Government is responsible for the territory's defence and foreign affairs, while Macau maintains its own legal system, police force, monetary system, customs policy, immigration policy, and delegates to international organisations and events.

Macau, being currently a Special Administrative Region of China, has never had its own anthem. As a colony of Portugal until 1999, it used the anthem of that country as its official anthem. After control was given to China, the Chinese anthem has been used to represent Macao.

Above is a first day cover featuring Nie Er, the composer of the national anthem of China, Macau and Hong Kong issued 1982.

Eduardo A. Quisumbing on Stamps

Eduardo Quisumbíng y Argüelles (1895, Santa Cruz, Laguna–1986) was a leading authority of plants in the Philippines.

He earned his BSA at University of the Philippines Los Baños in 1918, his MS at the University of the Philippines Los Baños in 1921, and Ph. D. in Plant Taxonomy, Systematics and Morphology (biology) at the University of Chicago in 1923.

From 1920-26 he was attached to the College of Agriculture in U.P., and from 1926-28 to the University of California; in 1928 he was appointed Systematic Botanist and from February 1934 Acting Chief of the Natural Museum Division of the Bureau of Science, Manila, equivalent to the present Director of the National Museum. When assigned to the U.S. Navy in Guiuau, at the southern tip of Samar, he undertook collections in that region. He retired as Director in November 1961, and was for some years attached to the Araneta University. Dr. Quisumbing undertook restoration of the Herbarium which was completely destroyed during the war.

Dr. Quisumbing was the author of taxonomic and morphological papers, many of which dealt with orchids, including ‘Medicinal Plants in the Philippines’ (Manila 1951). Saccolabium quisumbingii was named in his honor. He was recipient of the Distinguished Service Star (1954) for outstanding contribution to the field of systematic botany; Diploma of Merit on Orchidology and Fellow Gold Medal, Malaysian Orchid Society (1966); Gold Medal, American Orchid Society and 1975 PhilAAS Most Outstanding Award.

The stamp above was issued on June 1, 1995.

Asuncion Arriola-Perez on Stamps

Asuncion Arriola Perez (1895-1967) a simple and quiet individual but her deeds speak for her. She has been a servant to her fellow men since she became a social worker for the Red Cross in 1924. She has unselfishly helped her countrymen specially the less fortunate. As the saying goes "Once a social worker, always a social worker.

She was the Executive Secretary of the Associated Charities of Manila and the Red Cross. During the was she and her husband were arrested by the Japanese. After the war she was called back to government service as superintendent of the Relief Office for the Greater Manila Area. As president of the PACSA (President's Action Committee on Social Ameliorization) she was entrusted to handle a budget of 4 million pesos to rehabilitate victims of the war. At the close of 1953 when President Quirino lost to Ramon Magsaysay, she resigned from her post as cabinet member. This brought to a close the government service of this great woman, Asuncion Arriola Perez.

She also provided social work training for college graduates since there was no course offered at that time. The training that she provided developed important people who are occupying important positions in government here and abroad. During the great depression in the United States, the American government decided to send home Filipinos working there. As she was aware of the social impact to the Philippines of such a move, President Quezon sent her to represent the Phil. Government in the U.S and her efforts paid off.

Her views were well respected by the social workers in the U.S and no Filipino was sent back home. She was also the first Filipina to be appointed as Director of Public Welfare. When the war broke out she was appointed as colonel with special assignment in the intelligence network but unfortunately in 1944 she was arrested together with her husband at Fort Santiago from February 3 to May 25. Her husband was executed by the Japanese. She died at the age of 73.

The stamp above was issued on June1, 1995.

Victorio C. Edades on stamps

Victorio C. Edades (1895-1985). Made National Artist in Painting in 1976, Victorio C. Edades was the pioneer in modernism in the Philippine art scene. In fact, he is known as the Father of Modern Philippine Painting. A lot of his paintings portrayed the hardships of the working class, using dark and somber colors and bold strokes.

Edades was born on December 23, 1895 in Dagupan, Pangasinan to Hilario Edades and Cecilia Edades. He obtained his early education in barrio schools and went to a high school in Lingayen. In 1919, he left for the United States to study Architecture and Fine Arts at the University of Washington in Seattle. During the summer, he worked in the salmon canneries of Alaska. It was also during his stay in the U.S. that he married American Jean Garrott, with whom he had his only daughter, Joan.

He returned to the Philippines in 1928 and in the same year had his first one-man show at the Philippine Columbian Club. He also came up with two of his most well-known works in that year: The Sketch (also known as The Artist and His Model), and The Builders.

Edades joined the University of Santo Tomas in the 1930’s where he stayed on for three decades and became dean of its Department of Architecture. It was he who introduced the Liberal Arts program which led to a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, a first in the Philippines since art was only taught in vocational schools then. Edades later formed the Triumvirate of Modern Art with Carlos V. Francisco and Galo B. Ocampo, after they produced a mural for the lobby of the Capitol Theater on Escolta Street. This began the growth of mural painting in the Philippines.

However, it was also during this period that the infamous debate between the modernists and the conservatives, including Ariston Estrada, Ignacio Manlapaz and Fermin Sanchez, took place. This was interrupted by the second World War, but resumed in 1948, with sculptor Guillermo Tolentino and painter Fernando Amorsolo representing the conservatives.

In 1938, Edades, together with Ocampo and Diosdado Lorenzo, established the Atelier of Modern Art in Malate, Manila. This resulted in the formation of the Thirteen Moderns, considered the pioneers of modern art in the Philippines. This group was led by Edades and included Ocampo, Francisco, Lorenzo, Vicente S. Manansala, H. R. Ocampo, Demetrio Diego, Bonifacio Cristobal, Cesar F. Legaspi, Jose Pardo, Arsenio Capili, Ricarte Puruganan, and Anita Magsaysay-Ho.

Aside from this, Edades co-founded the Mindanao Ethnoculture Foundation, which focused on the indigenous culture and heritage of Mindanao. In his last fifty years, the subject of his paintings had also become indigenized.

Edades retired from the UST at the age of 70, and he was bestowed with the degree of Doctor in Fine Arts, Honoris Causa. He then settled in Davao after retirement.

On May 7, 1985, Victorio Edades passed away at the age of 89.

The stamp above was issued on June 1,1995.