Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Coronation Anthem of King Edward VII on Postcard

Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death. He was the first British monarch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, which was renamed the House of Windsor by his son, George V.

He was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and ascended the throne on January 22, 1901 upon Victoria's death. Born in 1841 he had to wait a long time to succeed to the throne. He married Princess Alexandra of Denmark in 1863 who bore him three sons and three daughters.

The coronation was originally scheduled for June 26, 1902, but Edward had to undergo an emergency appendectomy operation, so the coronation was postponed until August 9, 1902.

The postcard above contains the lyrics of King Edward's coronation in 1902.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Polish National Anthem on a 1969 Scout Post Miniature Sheet

The Polish national anthem was written in July 1797 in Reggio near Bolonia by Józef Wybicki, one of the organisers of General Jan Henryk Dąbrowski's Polish Army in Italy. The theme of the original poem was a novel idea in the era of the nation state (that is, most European nations were made up of eponymous nationalities), that the nation does not need a territory to be a nation, it only needs a group of people. This idea was a timely one, as Poland had only been partitioned out of existence only two years earlier. Several more times in subsequent Polish history would an independent Polish nation appear then disappear from the map, which could explain why the song resonates with Poles even today. The original poem also mentions several Polish war heroes of the time, as well as heroes of past Polish wars; also Napoleon is mentioned, as the commanding officer of Dąbrowski and as an example to be held up.

The source of the melody is unclear; it is usually ascribed to Michal Kleofas Oginski, but this has not been determined with certainty. It is most likely based on an anonymous folk song, due to the unusual mazurka tempo (which is often played at a faster rate than most anthems); mazurkas originated in Poland and have always been heavily associated with that nation.

Its familiar mazurka melody and its message - a call to join the fight for independence - inspired numerous 19th century patriotic songs and national hymns of the Slavonic nations under foreign rule (some of which would later become Yugoslavia, which could explain the similar melody of the former Yugoslav anthem.) The opening line of the lyrics was also borrowed by Ukraine (which, of course, speaks of the Ukraine not perishing rather than Poland.) In the early years after Poland's revival in 1918, during the debate about the choice of the national anthem, several candidates were considered. On February 28, 1927 the choice of "Dąbrowski's Mazurka" as the national anthem was officially announced.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Nonito Donaire- Boxing's Next Big Thing

Fernando Montiel was never a bum fighter. In his long and distinguished boxing career, he's never been knocked out. In his native Mexico, he is mentioned at the same breath as Marquez, Morales, Barrera and Chavez, having won three world titles in three different weight classes. His two loses were a split and a majority decision against formidable opponents. After Montiels 2nd round KO courtesy of Nonito's brain concussing left hook to the temple, several of "The Filipino Flash" doubters were silenced , this time turned believers.

Some questioned that he shouldn't be in the Ring's pound for pound list (presently at number 5, Montiel is at number 7) because aside from Vic Darchinyan, whom he floored in the 5th round of their 2007 Bridgeport encounter, he never fought any other elite opponents. His recent knockout victory against the the Armenian Olympian Sodirenko was not enought to impress his critics. But this time around, they were awestruck with his performance over Montiel. They are shouting his name to the top of their lungs and proclaiming him as the "Next Manny Pacquiao".

I met Donaire in more than two occasions when we were in Dallas last year for the Pacquiao-Margarito fight. Contrary to what some fans are saying, I find him to be humble and very approachable. There is not a mean bone in him, no star complex whatsoever. He gladly talks to anyone who comes his way and eagerly have their photo taken with him. Being born in the Philippines but raised in the US, he is often misunderstood by Filipino fans and often comes as arrogant because of the way he walks and talks. But this is just Donaire being himself. Now, he is learning to speak Filipino more frequently. In his recent conquest over Montiel, he greeted and thanked the Vegas fans in Tagalog. He should be speaking his native tongue more often to gain acceptance with the Filipino masses. However, unlike Manny Pacquiao who adores her mother and loves his father even though he abandoned his family when Manny was just a little boy, Donaire is not on speaking terms with his mom and dad. This is mainly due to his family's interference over his marital affairs. Nonito is guilty of loving his wife too much. He should reconcile with his family 'cause "too much love might kill him" and eventually his career.

Nonito is here to stay, hopefully for long. At 28, he still has several fighting years ahead of him. Like the Great Pacman he'll soon be a household name in America and all over the world. Great performance Nonito, until the next fight......

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Anton Pann on Stamp and Postal Stationary Envelope

Anton Pann is generally believed to have authored the music to Deşteaptă-te, române!, Romania's national anthem. His associate Gheorghe Ucenescu is known to have arranged the melody to the lyrics of Andrei Mureşanu, but Pann's direct implication in the creative process was allegedly not confirmed by sources. According to one account, Ucenescu had used a romanza composed by Pann in 1839, in turn complimenting the lyrics of Grigore Alexandrescu. It has also been argued that the music was that of a popular lied (German song), and first published in one of Pann's manele collections. The ethnographic research carried out by Dimitrie Gusti confirmed that the same melody was being sung as a folk song by Southern Dobrujan ethnic Turks in the 1930s.

Mihai Eminescu, one of Romania's most influential poets, made a reference to Pann in his poem Epigonii (1870), which, in its opening verses, traces the development of early literature and the impact of Romanticism. Cited alongside Dimitrie Cantemir, Dimitrie Ţichindeal, Vasile Cârlova, Ienăchiţă Văcărescu, Alexandru Sihleanu, Ion Heliade Rădulescu, Cezar Bolliac and others, Pann is referred to as the son of Pepelea, the witty hero of folk literature, and complimented with the words "as clever as a proverb". During the interwar period, the works of Anton Pann were reflected and complimented in the modernist poetic art of Ion Barbu. Barbu's Nastratin Hogea la Isarlâk uses Pann's main character to tragic effect, depicting, in willing contrast to the proverbial setting, Nastratin's violent self-sacrifice. George Călinescu noted that Pann's "mix of buffoonery and seriousness" present in the works of poet Tudor Arghezi, came "in the line of Anton Pann".

In 1945, Lucian Blaga authored a three-act play named Anton Pann, centered on the poet's Şchei period. A museum of the life and activity of Anton Pann exist in Râmnicu Vâlcea, and, since 1990, a public theater in the same city bears his name.

Shown above is the stamp and postal stationary envelope of anthem composer Anton Pann issued in 1998. Note the special cancel with the image of the composer shown (enlarged below).

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The UPAEP Symbols Series 2010- The Anthem Stamp Issuing Countries

Several countries issued a postage stamp based on the theme of National Symbols, the topic for last years (2010) UPAEP series. Most of the stamps issued depicts, flags, national emblems, plants, animals, etc. Some of the countries which issued their national anthem on stamps and these include Suriname, Brazil, Cuba, Uruguay, Paraguay and Ecuador.

The Postal Union of the Americas, Spain and Portugal (UPAEP), based in Montevideo, Uruguay, is an association of postal authorities of following countries: Netherlands Antilles, Argentina, Aruba, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, USA, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Dominican Republic, Surinam, Uruguay, Venezuela.

It was founded in 1911 as a restricted union of the Universal Postal Union. Since 1989, the UPAEP member countries are issuing sets of stamps based on a common theme, which always included the logo of the organization.

The Universal Postal Union (UPU, French: Union postale universelle) is an international organization that coordinates postal policies among member nations, in addition to the worldwide postal system. The UPU contains four bodies consisting of the Congress, the Council of Administration, the Postal Operations Council and the International Bureau. It also oversees two cooperatives including the Telematics and EMS Cooperatives respectively. Each member agrees to the same terms for conducting international postal duties. The UPU’s headquarters are located in Bern, Switzerland.

Shown above are the first day covers of anthem stamps from Brazil, Ecuador, Uruguay and Cuba issued in 2010

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The UPAEP 2010 Series: The National Anthem of Paraguay

"Paraguayos, República o muerte!" (Paraguayans, The Republic or Death!) is the National anthem of Paraguay. The words were written by Francisco Esteban Acuña de Figueroa and music composed by Francisco José Debali. The anthem was adopted in 1846 and officially declared in 1934.

Paraguay's anthem is a classic example of a "Latin American epic anthem". The seven verses of the anthem also resemble other nations' anthems of this type, for example, the first three verses of Paraguay's anthem, recalling its history and specific events, is very similar to the theme of Honduras' anthem, whereas the fourth verse which praises the national symbols, and the last three verses, which are a call to patriotism, are common themes in these type of anthems.

Paraguay's second anthem (the first, written solely in the native Guarnaní language, was adopted in 1831), it was adopted in 1846 and was officially declared as the national anthem in 1934 after the final rearrangement of the anthem. The lyricist and composer also created Uruguay's anthem.

The stamp above is part of a set of national symbols which features the lyrics of the Paraguay anthem. (UPAEP symbols series).

Friday, February 11, 2011

The UPAEP Symbols Series 2010- The National Anthem of Ecuador

"¡Salve, Oh Patria!" ("We Salute You, Our Homeland") is the national anthem of Ecuador. The lyrics were written in 1865 by the poet Juan León Mera, under request of the Ecuadorian Senate; the music was composed by Antonio Neumane. However, the anthem was not officially adopted by the Congress until September 29, 1948.

In 1865, the Argentine musician Juan José Allende, in collaboration with the Ecuadorian Army, preseented to the National Congress a musical project for the lyrics by José Joaquín de Olmedo, but it was not well received. In November of this year, at the express request of the president of the Senate, Nicolás Espinosa, the Ambateño poet Juan León Mera Martínez, who was then the secretary of the Senate, wrote and submitted the lyrics of the National Anthem. These lyrics were then sent, with Congressional approval, to Guayaquil, so that Antonio Neumane would set them to music. This is the hymn that would later be officialized as the definitive national anthem.

On January 16, 1866, the complete version of the lyrics by Juan León Mera were published in the Quiteño weekly El Sud Americano. In 1870, the national anthem premiered in the Plaza Grande (Plaza de la Independencia facing the Palacio de Gobierno), performed by the 2nd Battalion and the Compañía Lírica de Pablo Ferreti, directed by Antonio Neumane. The music was in the key of C flat major. The current introduction of 16 measures was composed by Domingo Brescia and Enrique Marconi in 1901. Today, the hymn is performed in the key of E major.

The stamp above features the national anthem of Ecuador with notation and lyrics issued in 2010 (UPAEP series on national symbols).

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The UPAEP Symbols Series 2010: The National Anthem of Cuba

El Himno de Bayamo (The Bayamo Anthem) is the national anthem of Cuba. It was first performed during the Battle of Bayamo in 1868. Perucho Figueredo, who took part in the battle, wrote and composed the song. The melody, also called La Bayamesa, was composed by Figueredo in 1867. On October 20, 1868 the Cuban forces obtained the capitulation of the Spaniard authorities in Bayamo, the jubilant people surrounded Figueredo and asked him to write an anthem with the melody they were humming. Right on the saddle of his horse, Figueredo wrote the lyrics of the anthem, which was longer than the current official version.

Figueredo was captured and executed by the Spaniards two years later. Just before the firing squad received the Fire command, Figueredo shouted the line from his anthem: Morir por la Patria es vivir. Officially adopted in 1902, the anthem was retained after the revolution of 1959. The arrangement commonly used, without credit in Cuba, is believed to be that of José Norman, author of Cuban Pete. The Cuban composer Antonio Rodriguez-Ferrer, was the author of the musical introductory notes to the Cuban national anthem.

The stamp above features the score of the Cuban national anthem issued in 2010, one of a set of 4 stamps of Cuban national symbols (UPAEP series)

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Anthem of Europe on a Special Cancel

"Ode to Joy" (German original title: "Ode an die Freude") is the anthem of the European Union and the Council of Europe; both of which refer to it as the European Anthem due to the Council's intention that it represent Europe as a whole, rather than any organization. It is based on the final movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony composed in 1823, and is played on official occasions by both organizations. The anthem is adapted from the final movement of Ludwig von Beethoven's "Ode to Joy", from his Ninth Symphony, The official arrangement was done by Herbert von Karajan. While Beethoven's work has German words by Friedrich Schiller, as the European anthem no lyrics are used officially, rather the anthem is in the "international language of music."

Ode to Joy is the anthem of the Council of Europe and the European Union, promoted as a symbol for the whole of Europe as are the other European symbols. It is used on occasions such as Europe Day and formal events such as the signing of treaties. The European Parliament seeks to make greater use of the music, then-Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering stated he was moved when the anthem was played for him on his visit to Israel and ought to be used in Europe more often.

In 2008 it was used by Kosovo as its national anthem until it adopted its own, and it was played at its declaration of independence, as a nod to the EU's role in its independence from Serbia.

At the 2007 signing ceremony for the Treaty of Lisbon, the plenipotentiaries of the European Union's twenty-seven Member States stood in attendance while the Ode to Joy was played and a choir of 26 Portuguese children sang the original German lyrics.

On 4 October 2010 the anthem was used for the first time at a major sporting event when a European team beat a team representing the United States of America to win the Ryder Cup golf tournament. The European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie decided to break with tradition and play the European anthem by itself instead of the individual anthems from participating European nations. As a result the European anthem was broadcast around the world at a major sporting event for the first time.

The envelope above shows the Hymn of the European Union on a special cancel issued in Germany in 1999.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The UPAEP Symbols Series 2010: The Brazilian National Anthem on Stamp

The Brazilian national anthem (Hino Nacional Brasileiro) was composed by Francisco Manuel da Silva in 1822 and had been given at least two sets of unofficial lyrics before a 1922 decree by President Epitácio Pessoa gave the anthem its definitive, official lyrics, by Osório Duque-Estrada, after several changes were made to his proposal, written in 1909.

The melody of the Brazilian national anthem was composed by Francisco Manuel da Silva in 1822. In style, the music resembles early Romantic Italian music such as that of Gioachino Rossini. On September 7 of that year, the country declared its independence from the Portuguese Empire.

In 1831, it became a popular song after the addition of verses celebrating the abdication of the Brazilian throne by Pedro I. Later, at the time of the coronation of Pedro II, its lyrics were changed and the song, due to its huge popularity, started being considered the national anthem, although it was not enacted as such. There was no statute at the time establishing a National Anthem, but the melody, without lyrics, was widely used as such during the reign of Emperor Pedro II, and was regarded as the National Anthem by all.

After the Proclamation of the Republic in 1889, the new rulers made a competition in order to choose a new anthem, and the competition was won by Leopoldo Miguez. After protests against the adoption of the proposed new anthem, however, President Deodoro da Fonseca formalized Francisco Manuel da Silva's composition as the National Anthem, while Miguez's composition was deemed the Anthem of the Proclamation of the Republic. Dedoro himself was said to prefer the old anthem to the new composition that became the Anthem of the Proclamation of the Republic. During the celebration of the centenary of the Proclamation of Independence, in 1922, an adapted version of Joaquim Osório Duque Estrada's lyrics, proposed in 1909, were deemed official. Prior to that, the anthem had different lyrics in each Brazilian state.

The stamp above features the score and lyrics on the Brazilian national anthem issued on 2010 (UPAEP symbols series).

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Stamp of a Genius...Hamzah Marbella

A 6 years old child prodigy designed this stamp. His name is Hamzah Marbella, the youngest member of the Art Association of the Philippines (entered at 5 years old). He has also been widely recognized by his peer adult artists and local art dealers as a most prolific child prodigy in visual arts.

With the theme "Mailbox of the Future", he designed a postage stamp which expressed how the mailbox, which represent the postal business, together with stamps and letters, will look like in the future. In 2008, he won first prize in the a postage stamp design competition in South Korea and got himself P50,000 as prize, aside from the honor and prestige.

Hamzah has also produced some 300 outstanding artworks and have been awarded with more than 100 top prizes, honors and citations and accolades since he started painting at age two. He is now nine years old.

Some of his notable awards include- Outstanding Artist Award (Ani ng Sining) from the National Commission for Culture and Arts (2009), Grand Prize, Colors of Art Competition, Certificate of Recognition at the UN International Children's Art Competition, Award of Excellence, International Stamp Design Competition (2008). He is also an honor student and consistent scholar in his school in Cavite.

Presently his art is presently exhibited at the Galerie Joaquin at the Podium.