DON LUIS DE MATUTE
By Rodrigo A. Inciong
(Philippine Journal of Philately, July-Aug 1950)
DON LUIS DE MATUTE, lawyer, businessman, writer and stamp enthusiast
has probably one of the largest and most complete collections of
Philippine and Spanish stamps which are his specialties. Finding the
hobby of stamp collecting congenial to his profession, he never
fails to enrich his huge and wonderful collection of different
Born in Manila with the proverbial "silver spoon in his mouth" on
January 3, 1903, he spent his boyhood in Spain, where he began and
finished his studies. He travelled in France, Switzerland, Italy,
and in the Principado de Monaco. He became interested in philately
when he was still at his teens, then a high school student at the
Colegios Maristas in Durango and Marianistas in Vittoria.
Through the encouragement of his teacher who collected stamps
from the class and mounted them on pieces of clean paper to be given
later to interested students, every member of the class became
interested in the hobby. Then the students strove to add more stamps
to their collection, till they developed genuine love for it.
At the young age of 12 he obtained his "Titulo de
Bachiller" from Vittoria Instituto General y Tecnico and Facultad
de Valladolid in 1915.
Upon graduating from high school, he enrolled
in the Universidad de Deusto in Bilbao where he studied commerce and
law. Thereafter the green-horn gentleman began his business career
as successor to his father who was a prosperous businessman and had
establishments in the Philippines.
present he is one of the owners of the Agencia Matute and several
other Matute well-known enterprises with heavy investments on
He confessed that the currencies of the different
countries, such as the yen of China, pound of England, franc of
France, dollar of United States and many others were very confusing
to him until he became much engrossed in the numerous treasure
hunting stamps buried in the different continents; and now they are
but like names of unforgettable characters to him.
He believes that philately can keep one posted
with what is going on in different countries of the world as it
acquaints him with such events as, evolutions of government, regime
or dynasty; or the acquisition, annexation or loss of a territory.
Likewise, through philately, one can fully appreciate the flora and
fauna of countries and the different races of mankind as well as
their primitive modes of living, their progress and civilization.
He says, "Probably non-philatelists think
that we are nuts - yes, they are exactly wrong. Stamp collecting can
be a factor to a well-planned success."
As a writer, he wrote several interesting
articles in Spanish, like his "Ensayos Literarios" and "Filipinas
Vista por Un Espanol", both published in the Seccion Castellana of
the Philippines Free Press on September 4 and 25 in 1937,
respectively. Many more were published in La Vanguardia, El Debate
and other magazines. Like for instance his "Impresiones De España"
which was published in Estado Libre in the December issue of 1937.
The year 1936 brought him ill luck. That year he
lost his priceless collections accumulated for years during his
travel from Spain to France. The young philatelist had to start once
more from the beginning. His untiring efforts, however, had rewarded
him with a vast accumulation of wonderful old stamps which were not
known to him before.
In the same year, he enjoyed the scenic beauties
of Ceylon, Indo-China and India, and in 1937 and 1941 South Africa.
He was in Singapore, Sumatra, Ceylon, Calcutta and Durban during
World War II. Those trips were a combination of pleasure pursuits
and business, that is, business in stamp exchange. Don Luis' travels
had increased a great deal his knowledge of stamp exchange, and
enhanced his stamp collection and circle of friends wherever he
Speaking from experience he tells that, if one is
to have the combination of pleasure, culture, and material gain, he
can find it in the hobby of stamp collecting.