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Philippines Philatelic Personalities

 

 

Philippines Philatelic Personalities

We pay tribute to those who paved the way to future students of Philippine Philately.  They were the ones who kept the hobby alive with their collections and researches.  There are no current biographies available, therefore, we are reprinting those that were published in the now defunct Philippine Journal of Philately, circa 1940's - 1960's.

 


Yang Siu Chong

(Philippine Philatelic Journal, May-June 1953)


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 Institute,  Manila, 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.  This 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,  leaving 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 scale.

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).  He 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 "A Specialized Catalogue of Stamps of the Philippine Islands Under the Japanese Occupation, 1942-45" , for which he received good comments in the American philatelic press.

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. 

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