Yang Siu Chong
(Philippine Philatelic Journal,
Fine example of a
diligent student who successfully pushed his way through stamps in
order to get an ample education suited to his way of life is Yang
Siu Chong, one of the organizers of the Philippine Philatelic Club
and an active member of the Asociacion Filatelica de Filipinas,
American Philatelic Society, and American Air Mail Society.
Born in Amoy, Fukien,
China, on April 16, 1917, Chong came to the Philippines at the age
of three. He obtained his education at the Philippine Chinese High
School, the Columbian Institute, and at the Far Eastern University.
How Mr. Chong came to
love and collect stamps reminds us of that thrilling adventure in
Treasure Islands when the hero first encountered the hidden
treasures. It happened one day when Chong was 14 years of age. While
cleaning his father's office, his attention was caught by a packet
in one of the drawers. Out of curiosity he opened the packet, tried
to pour its contents, and there flowed it a stream of varicolored
bits which entranced the boy so much that right then the genuine
love for stamps was instilled in the young mind. The packet
contained used stamps of different varieties. It was thus that Mr.
Chong became a a stamp collector - an avid collector.
Mr. Chong started collecting stamps by exchanging his
duplicates with his friends. At 15, while a student at Columbian
he encountered, like every other working student, financial
troubles. He needed cash but there was no way to get it. Finally he
thought of selling his stamps to meet at least a part of his needs.
To his surprise and delight, however, he was offered a sum much more
than he expected.
first deal made the young collector so happy that a new adventurous
spirit was born in him. He then decided to be a stamp dealer.
In 1937, therefore, he opened a small shop and filled
it with U.S., Philippines, and Chinese stamps. Unluckily, however,
this shop was burned down during the liberation of Manila in1946,
nothing to the owner except his private collections which,
fortunately, were kept in his house in Reins Regente. For the second
time Chong had to sell all that he had accumulated for years. He had
to replace what he had lost in the fire if he wanted to resume his
business. As in his first sale, he received a sum he had never
dreamed of. With
this amount he had his shop renovated and reopened for business.
Very soon Mr. Chong found himself
making considerable gains, thereby raising his business to a bigger
During all this time he
had been accumulating for his private collections air letter sheets
of the World, U.S., Philippine, and Chinese stamps, and unusual
covers (part of this collection was exhibited at the 1952 PANAPEX).
In addition, he had philatelic books and magazines. His Philippine
collections now consist of first day covers, flown covers, plate
numbers, errors, and varieties.
Mr. Chong has been
active not only as a stamp dealer but also as a club organizer.
Having been one of the organizers of the PPC, he was made an
honorary member in 1937, then treasurer and auctioneer in 1938 on to
this date (1953).
He was president for
two terms, (1951 and 1952) and now vice president of the Philippine
Chinese Philatelic Society which he himself organized. Moreover, Mr.
Chong was instrumental in the organization of the new Philippine
Stamp Dealers Association, Inc. It may be remembered that he was
organizer and secretary of the Far Eastern Philatelic Society which
was a pre-war organization. During the last Pan Asian Philatelic
Exhibition in Manila, Mr. Chong was a member of the Jury on Awards
and Chairman of the Auctions Committee. At present he is a life
member of the New Light Philatelic Society (China) and the
Philippine Chinese Philatelic Society.
To help promote philately among the Chinese community
and at the same time popularize the pleasant hobby of stamp
collecting, Mr. Chong spends no little time, in writing philatelic
articles for the Chinese Weekly, a local Chinese paper, and the
Chinese Philatelic Journal (official organ of the Philippine Chinese
Philatelic Society, published quarterly in Manila).
also runs a whole page stamp column every week in A Sunday Magazine
of the Chinese Commercial News. It may further be noted that Mr.
Chong is the author of
Specialized Catalogue of Stamps of the Philippine Islands Under the
Japanese Occupation, 1942-45" ,
for which he received good comments in the American philatelic
In his opinion, the
Philippine Journal of Philately is the best publicity to encourage
stamp collecting. For this reason, he likes to suggest that the
Journal be distributed among all news stands for circulation.
Married in 1941, Mr. Chong has now six children,
three boys and three -girls, namely: Jimmy 12, Johnny 10, Johnson 8,
Leling 6, Lety 4 and Lechu 2. Both Jimmy and Johnny are now
collecting stamps like their father.