Republic of the Philippines

      Stamps and Postal History


Philippines Philatelic Personalities







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 stamps.

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.  At present he is one of the owners of the Agencia Matute and several other Matute well-known enterprises with heavy investments on jewelries.

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 went.

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.



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