Republic of the Philippines - Stamps & Postal History

RP Issues of 2004




2004, February 1.  First Postage Stamps of the Philippines, 150th Anniversary

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

Se-tenant Strips of 4, Miniature Sheets of 16, 22p Souvenir Sheets of 1, 48p Souvenir Sheets of 8 Limited Collectors' Edition




Se-tenant Strips of Four   (50,000)

6p  Anniversary Logo & 5cuartos Queen Isabella of 1854 Issue

6p  Anniversary Logo & 10cuartos Queen Isabella of 1854 Issue

6p  Anniversary Logo & 1 Real Queen Isabella of 1854 Issue

6p  Anniversary Logo & 2 Reales Queen Isabella of 1854 Issue


Miniature Sheets of 16   (12,500)


22p Souvenir Sheets of One  (10,000)

(Bottom margin shows the unissued 10-cuartos black stamp 1-real "CORROS"  instead of 'CORREOS" error stamp)

48p Souvenir Sheets of 8 Limited Collectors' Edition - Priced at 100p per sheet   (5,000)
(Features all four stamps of 6p each, in Blocks of Four, Imperforate & Perforate)


Designer:  David U. Dujunco

Design Coordinator:  Dr. Ngo Tiong Tak, Pio Rodriguez



First Day Covers:  Manila





Featuring the 1854 Queen Isabella Stamp Issues

The Philippines was the first country in Asia to issue postage stamps.  The first set of 4 stamps were issued on February 1, 1854.   It resulted from a Royal Decree of Queen Isabella II, issued in Madrid, Spain, dated January 12, 1853 and acted upon in Manila by Captain General Antonio Orbiztondo on December 7, 1853.  The Decree instructed the Captain General to print and put on sale stamps for use within the Philippines.  The designs copied those issued by Spain in 1853 showing the bust of Queen Isabella II, with changes made in the year (reading "1854 y 1855`) and the currency values (20 cuartos equal to 1 real de plata).

The stamps were intended for interior use only. They were engraved in Manila in plates of 40 subjects (5 x 8), producing 40 different types. They were printed by Plana, Jorba y Lia, Plaza de Binondo, Manila, and issued imperforate.

The 5-cuartos stamps were for mails under half-an-ounce (single weight interior rate). Only 1 plate was used, but it underwent several re-touchings and re-engravings during printing.  Only 5,000 stamps were printed in shades of orange, brown-orange and red-orange.

The 10-cuartos stamps were for mails between half-an-ounce and one ounce (double interior postage rate). Three plates were used to print this value. A total of 5,000 stamps were printed in shades of carmine, crimson and rose.   A 10-cuartos stamp in black was printed also, but was never issued.

The 1-real stamps were for mails between one ounce and one-and-a-half ounces (extra 10-cuartos fee for every half ounce or part of half ounce thereafter).  Some say 2,000 were issued while others reported it to be 3,000 stamps, in shades of slate blue and ultramarine.  On position 26 of each sheet is the much-sought-after error, wherein "CORREOS" was misspelled "CORROS'.

The 2-reales de plata stamp was for registration fee.   Quantity issued also differ, either 2,000 or  3,000, in shades of green, emerald-green and yellow green.

It is believed that there were second printings of all values, most probably from redrawn or re-touched plates. On these issues the groundwork around the Queen's head consists of much coarser lines, contrasting with the lighter, finer linework on the original printings.

This special limited-edition collectors' souvenir for the 150th anniversary of the first Philippine stamps issue is the first of its kind - a philatelic item with premium over the face values of the stamps. The proceeds from the sale are earmarked for the Philpost Philatelic Trust.  The fund is intended to provide financial support for the promotion of Philippine philately, and it is hoped that the funds will eventually be enough to finance Philpost's participation in international philatelic exhibitions again.   It will initially be used to provide additional supplies and materials needed by the Stamp Designing Unit, including graphic computers.

The funds will also be used to finance: 1) more stamp exhibitions in Metro Manila and the provinces, stamp lectures in schools and preparation of folders and other promotional items; 2) the purchase of Philippine stamps that the Philatelic Library needs for Philpost to have a respectable collection in exhibitions and research; and 3) other projects geared towards the promotion of Philippine philately.

This limited-edition souvenir is also valid for postage use, although its postage value is only P48, as compared to its P100 selling price.




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Issues of 2004