Republic of the Philippines - Stamps & Postal History

RP Issues of 2002




2002, October 24.  United Nations International Year of the Mountains

Litho Offset.  Amstar Company, Inc.,  Perf. 14

Souvenir Sheets of One





 Souvenir Sheets of One  (12,500)

22p Mt. Guiting-Guiting


Designer:  Alfredo delos Santos

Design Coordinator:  Jimmy Ang


First Day Covers:  Manila



United Nations 2002 International Year of the Mountains

Featuring Mt. Guiling-Guiling - Sibuyan Island, Romblon

In November 1998, the UN General Assembly declared 2002 the International Year of Mountains (IYM). This decision offers a good opportunity and exciting challenge in the follow-up to Chapter 13 (Sustainable Mountain Development) of Agenda 21. It provides a unique platform to reinforce the long-term process started at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil of raising public awareness and ensuring adequate political, institutional and financial commitment to concrete action for sustainable mountain development, hopefully well beyond 2002.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) was invited to act as the lead agency for the IYM, a role approved by the FAO Council in November 1998. In the UN Resolution, Governments, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and other organizations, were requested to collaborate with FAO.


One of the most difficult climbs in the Philippines is a hike to Mt. Guiting-Guiting, in Sibuyan Island, Romblon.  This is because of the steep, jagged ridge called “Knife Edge” which one has to cross in order to reach the summit, not to mention the ensuing rock formations with colorful names such as “Kiss the Wall”. On top of this precarious trail, the weather is so volatile that mountaineers would use absolute cut-off times to reach the summit, otherwise they would have to turn back.

Mt. Guiting-Guiting, fondly called G2 by enthusiasts, was discovered as a mountaineering hotspot during the early 1980’s – an exciting period for Philippine mountaineering, when the novel sport has just begun unraveling new and exciting destinations.

In May 1982, a combined team of the Philippine Mountaineering Society (PMS) of Bacolod City and UP Mountaineers did the first exploration of the mountain, reaching the then-unnamed Mayo’s Peak but failing to reach the summit.  A few weeks later, some of them returned to make the first ascent to G2’s summit. They were Mon Ruiz, Kim Valino, Bubot Tan Torre (UP Mountaineers) and Edwin Gatia of the PMS.

Even without the accomplishment of getting to the summit, however, a visit to G2 is rewarding enough. To begin with, Sibuyan island is a jewel of the seas.  187 nautical miles from Manila, the island has beaches, waterfalls, and one of the cleanest rivers in the Philippines. Mt. Guiting-Guiting is the culmination of this sanctuary, possessing what has been called the most diverse forest in the world, being the habitat of up to 54 endemic plant varieties.  Moreover, Mt. Guiting-Guiting is home to fascinating endemic flora and fauna. These include four species of rodents and a kind of bat discovered only in the mid-1990s and found nowhere else in the world. On the trek, hikers can attest to this natural richness with the presence of beautiful flowers.



  • United Nations 

  • Nature

  • Mountains


Articles by Dr. Ngo Tiong Tak

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Issues of 2002