Republic of the Philippines

      Stamps and Postal History


Philippines Philatelic Personalities





(Philippine Journal of Philately, Mar-April 1960)




Among  our few local philatelists who specialize in collecting stamps of Asian countries is Hernando Francisco of Manila, who at present, has an accumulation of 600 Cambodian, Vietnam and Laotian issues.


A part from this most-valued collection of his are stamps from different countries all over the world which he has amassed, and total no less than 50,000 pieces.


This is not to mention the 1,000,000 or so stamps that he had gathered since 1936 when he was but at the age of 10 and were lost during the liberation of Manila in 1945.


The bulk of this first collection, however, was comprised of stamps issued in the Philippines during the Japanese Occupation and paid for in Japanese "Mickey Mouse" notes which practically every Filipino had a pocketful.

"Buying stamps in those days was like buying peanuts," Francisco now recalls with laughter. "The thickness of my collection was about two feet."


Philately is his only hobby, and he said he won't trade it "for anything else." He is a merchant by calling but he devotes a large part of his time to this hobby by attending stamp auctions, stamp club meetings, and frequenting sources where he can buy stamps. He is a member of the Asociacion Filatelica de Filipinas.


One wonders how a man like him - mountain-sized and seemingly inclined to gymnastics - would take to such a light and meticulous fad.


But he pointed out: "There is something in it that is both distinctive and exhilarating . . . It's not a tedious hobby, it's clean, light, and, if I may say so, dignified when compared to other hobbies. And the rewards are great both in terms of pleasure and money . . ."   What made him a stamp hobbyist?


It was while he was in the fourth grade at the Ateneo de Manila that he became addicted to stamps. He explained that the Jesuits Fathers in that school imposed upon the young students to buy stamps in order to raise funds for humanitarian purposes. The fund-raising occurred every year.


Since that time he had not ceased gathering stamps and turned such activity into a profit-making and pleasure-giving venture. His collection of Philippine pre-war stamps was complete in sets and considerably big, just as his Japanese-issued stamps were phenomenally gigantic in quantity.


Born in Manila on July 6, 1925, Francisco is married and is the father of three children.


(Note:  Hernando was one of the active stamp dealers in Manila)



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