Republic of the Philippines - Stamps & Postal History

RP Issues of 2018











2018, May 2.  National Heritage Month:  Philippine Colonial Churches

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

Se-tenant Blocks of 4, Miniature Sheets of 16;  Souvenir Sheets of Six



Se-tenant Blocks of Four - 12,500


12p  San Matias Church - Tumauini, Isabela

12p  Santa Monica Church - Panay, Capiz

12p  Santa Monica Church - Minalin, Pampanga

12p  Santa Catalina de Alejandria Church - Tayum, Abra


Miniature Sheets of 16 (Four Se-tenant B/4) - 3,125


72p Souvenir Sheets of Six - 4,000

     12p  San Carlos Borromeo Church - Mahatao, Batanes

     12p  Santa Catalina Alejandria Church - Luna, La Union

     12p  Nuestra Señora del Patrocinio de Maria Church - Boljoon, Cebu

     12p  Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion - Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur

     12p  Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion - Dauis, Bohol

     12p  Santo Tomas de Villanueva Church - Miagao, Iloilo


Designer:  Victorino Z. Serevo

Designs Contributor:  Judith L. Neric - FUNtastic Philippines


First Day Covers:  Manila








National Heritage Month - Philippine Colonial Churches

Blocks of Four:

SAN MATIAS CHURCH – TUMAUINI, ISABELA (Photograper:  Nelson C. Gonzales)

San Matias Parish Church, also known as Tumauini Church.   Constructed in 1783 by Father Domingo Forto, the church made of stone with a unique cylindrical bell tower was completed in 1805. The four-layer, cake-like bell tower is the only one of its kind in the Philippines.  On July 31, 2001, the San Matthias Church was one of the Philippine colonial churches declared by the National Museum as a national cultural treasure.  On May 16, 2006, it was one of the five Philippine Baroque churches submitted by the National Commission for Culture & the Arts (NCCA) to the the Secretariat of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Heritage Centre.  It is now included in the Tentative List of  World Heritage Sites.

SANTA MONICA CHURCH - PANAY, CAPIZ  (Photographer:  Bernadette Juson) 

Santa Monica Parish Church, also known as Panay Church.   Built in 1884 on the site of an earlier church, built in 1774 by Miguel Murguia, which was gravely damaged by the typhoon of 17 January 1875.  The church is built of coral blocks.  It has an unusually large bell, the largest in the country. This was cast by Juan Reina in about 1884, using sacks of coin given by the people of the town; it weighs more than 10 tons.  In 1997 the church was declared a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

SANTA MONICA CHURCH – MINALIN, PAMPANGA  (Photographer:  Richelli Ridon Castellano)

Santa Monica Parish Church, also known as Minalin Church.   A Baroque church built during the Spanish era, one of the first 20 missions put up by the Augustinians when they came to the Philippines. The church design includes motifs reflective of pre-Hispanic culture. The spires decorating the bell towers depict a Moorish architecture, hinting of the old Islamic faith.  It was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Commission for Culture & the Arts and the National Museum of the Philippines on August 27, 2011.


Santa Catalina de Alejandria Parish Church, also known as Tayum Church.   A 19th century Baroque church constructed in early 1800s by the Augustinians and was dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria.  The town of Tayum celebrates its town fiesta every 25th of November in honor of their patron saint.  Tayum Church was identified by the National Commission for Culture &  the Arts (NCCA) as a National Cultural Treasure for its cultural significance and distinctive architecture. One of the remarkable features of the church is the use of palayok or burnay jar motifs on the church's facade. These jars are native in this region which pre-dates Spanish colonization of the Philippines.  Burnay jars are short and stout, and are used to ferment fish paste (bagoong), sugarcane vinegar and basi (sugarcane wine). It is said that the art and technology of making burnay jars are brought to the region by Chinese traders and artisans.

Souvenir Sheets of Six:

SAN CARLOS BORROMEO CHURCH – MAHATAO, BATANES  (Photographer:  Annabelle Casino Chavez)

San Carlos Borromeo Church, also known as Mahatao Church.   The church's titular is Saint Charles Borromeo whose feast is celebrated every July 4.  Its beauty and excellent state of preservation made it as National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines on July 31, 2001.  The town of Mahatao was first mentioned in history in 1720 with Fr. Juan Bel's report of villages in Batan Island.  When Batanes became a part of the Philippines and as a consequence, a Spanish colony, Mahatao was founded as an ecclesiastical mission by the Dominicans in 1783.  It was first a dependency of Basco, and placed under the advocacy of St. Bartholomew, the Apostle, but its patron saint and protector became St. Charles Borromeo later on, as stated in a report by Lieutenant Governor Joaquin del Castillo on May 6, 1792.


Santa Catalina de Alejandria Church, also known as Namacpacan Church.   Located in Luna (formerly Namacpacan), La Union.  In November 25, 1690, the town was founded and a parish under the advocacy of Saint Catherine of Alexandria was canonically erected.  The church of Namacpacan was built under the supervision of Father Mateo Bustillos, the parish priest from 1695 to 1697.  The original site of the church was in Darigayos, a barrio of Namacpacan and was transferred in 1741 to its present site.  The image of the Our Lady of Namacpacan was enshrined in the church in 1871.  The church was reinforced with masonry and galvanized iron roof when it was heavily destroyed by an earthquake in 1854. Through the efforts of Father Marcelino Ceballes, the church was restored.  It was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines.


Nuestra Señora del Patrocinio de Maria Parish Church, also known as Boljoon Church.  Dedicated to the Our Lady of Patrocinio in the municipality of Boljoon, Cebu. The church was built by Augustinian priest Father Ambrosio Otero in 1783. Construction was continued by Father Manuel Cordero in 1794 and completed by Father Julián Bermejo in 1841.  Father Bermejo also built other structures as part of Boljoon's defense network, such as the watchtowers and blockhouse. The church was later restored by Father Leandro Morán, the last Augustinian priest of Boljoon, who served from 1920 to 1948.  The church was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines and a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. It is also under consideration for the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Philippines as a member of the Baroque Churches of the Philippines.

NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LA ASUNCION – STA. MARIA, ILOCOS SUR  (Photographer:  Richelli Ridon Castellano)

Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion, also known as Santa Maria Church.  The church was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on December 11, 1993 as part of the Baroque Churches of the Philippines.  The Santa Maria Church is an attraction to both tourists and Catholics.  It is not only a reminiscent of the four centuries of Spanish domination of that area but also a unique structure with a diversified architectural design of bricks and mortar. It was built on top of a hill not only as a lookout and a citadel but as a religious center during the early administration of the region by both the friars and soldiers of Spain.  Construction of the present church was started in 1765.  In 1810, the bell tower was built and furnished with a bell the following year.

NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LA ASUNCION – DAUIS, BOHOL  (Photographer:  Remus Nicolas Doroon)

Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion, also known as Dauis Church.  The church underwent several changes starting from its inception when the first Spanish missionaries arrived in the town in 1697. The church was consecrated by Bishop Juan Gorordo of Cebu on August 23, 1923.  A cross was installed over the pediment in 1924. The convent, constructed in 1884, was eventually renovated and utilized as Formation and Day Care Centers.  The church of Our Lady of the Assumption is a center for Marian pilgrimages emanating from the different towns of Bohol. On certain occasions, the Tagbilaran faithful hike the distance from their city to the site to invoke special petitions or mainly to honor Our Lady of the Assumption.  A water-well, known for its water’s healing power, lies at the foot of the main altar. In 2004, the Parish of Our Lady of the Assumption was declared a Shrine honoring the patroness not only of Dauis but for the whole province of Bohol.


Santo Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church, also known as Miagao Church.   The church was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on December 11, 1993.  Miagao was formerly a visita of Oton until 1580, Tigbauan until 1592, San Joaquin until 1703 and Guimbal until 1731.  It became an independent parish of the Augustinians in 1731 under the advocacy of Saint Thomas of Villanova.  With the establishment of the parish, a church and convent was built in a land near the sea.  Father Fernando Camporredondo served as the town's first parish priest in 1734. When the town experienced frequent Moro invasion in 1741 and 1754, the town moved to a more secure place. From there, a new church was constructed in 1787 under the supervision of Fray Francisco Gonzales, parish priest, and, Spanish Governor Domingo Libo-on.  It was built on the highest point of the town to guard from invaders and was completed in 1797.  




  •   Religious / Churches

  •  Tourism 




Articles by Dr. Ngo Tiong Tak

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Issues of 2018