Republic of the Philippines

      Stamps and Postal History


Philippines Philatelic Personalities





By Nestor Gonzalez

(Philippine Journal of Philately, Sep-Oct 1949)

DR. GILBERT S. PEREZ, educator, scientist, and one of our foremost authorities in and an advocate of Philippine philately, in a recent interview with him stated in his characteristic cordiality that two essential traits are necessary to make one succeed and derive pleasure in stamp collecting, namely, persistence and magpie complex.

"In philately", he said, "as well as in other fields of human endeavors, persistence and more persistence should be developed, and the common "ningas cogon" trait be done away with, if success is to be expected”.

"Of course", he continued, "there are periods of enthusiasm and periods of depression in one's life, but a true philatelist should endeavor to make wider intervals and fewer periods of depression, and should bear in mind that 'once a philatelist, always a philatelist'. "The magpie complex", he explained, "is the peculiar complex of the bird called magpie which collects pieces of glass and other bright objects and hoard them in its nest. And one cannot be a true collector unless he has at least a small amount of this magpie complex."

Born in Pensacola, Florida, in 1885, young Gilbert at the tender age of 12 years began collecting the tiny tweeny bits of paper called stamps. It was at that age when he acquired the so-called magpie complex, which had induced him to take to the hobby of stamp collecting. As a child he began to collect everything from peach stones, cigarette cards and other junks, so that it is but natural that he should he attracted to postage stamps.

After his graduation from high school, he entered the Bucknell University where he took a course in Biology specializing in plant pathology. Then, afterwards, he took post-graduate course at the University of Chicago and later at the University of Illinois and in 1953 was conferred the degree of Doctor of Pedagogy, honoris causa.

It is interesting to note that Dr. Perez came to the Philippines in 1908 as a scientist and it was by accident that he became a pedagogue, and has become part and parcel of our educational system many years since.   At present, he is the Chief of the Vocational Division of the Bureau of Public Schools.

If one is an old hand in stamp collecting, in all probability he had come across a column in one of our local newspapers called "Uncle George".   Dr. Perez once conducted a stamp column there giving interesting philatelic features, but due to lack of time he had to give it up. He is also a regular contributor to the general and philatelic press. Busy as he is at present, Dr. Perez has not neglected his collection, but is rather gaining enthusiasm in specializing on Philippine and United States stamps for obvious reasons: the United States is his country by birth and the Philippines is his own by preference and adoption. His special interest, however, is more in covers than in mint stamps even though the gum is in the first class condition. He also collects miniature sheets, coins, medals and everything related to the Philippines, as books, arts, objects of antiquity, etc. His entry of miniature sheets at the First Philippine Airmail Exhibition won for him a Blue Ribbon. 

Dr. Gilbert S. Perez has this to say of philately: "It is a mistake to think that philately is an expensive hobby. One can get just as much enjoyment in collecting inexpensive stamps as in expensive ones". Special mention was made of Philippine stamps. He is also a member of the Board of Advisers of the PPC and co-organizer of the Philippine Numismatic and Anti­quarian Society.

Dr. Perez is a member of the Advisory Committee on Stamp Designs, which determines the designs of Philippine stamps. He is also a member of the Board of Advisers of the PPC and co-organizer of the Philippine Numismatic and Antiquarian Society.

With regards to the campaign conducted by the Bureau of Posts for the promotion of philately, he issued the following statement: "The Bureau of Posts should be congratulated for the successful ef­fort it has been making in encourag­ing philately in the Philippines. May this work continue."


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