Republic of the Philippines - Stamps & Postal History

RP Issues of 2018











2018, February 8.  Ilocos Sur Province Bicentennial

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

Se-tenant Blocks of 4, Miniature Sheets of 16;  Souvenir Sheets of Two (Round Stamps on die-cut sheets); 

Miniature Sheets of 4 - 17p x 4 with Blank Labels at Right - Commemorative SelyoKo



Se-tenant Blocks of Four - 24,000


12p  Bantay Bell Tower

12p  Pagburnayan

12p  Pinsall Falls

12p  Bessang Pass Natural Monument


Miniature Sheets of 16 (Four Se-tenant B/4) - 6,000


150p Souvenir Sheets of Two - 8,500

     75p  Calle Crisologo

     75p  Sta. Maria Church 


150p Commemorative SelyoKo Miniature Sheets of 4  (1,000)

     17p x 4 - Historical Spots, 4-Different with Blank Right Labels


Designer:  Rodine Teodoro


First Day Covers:  Manila & Vigan, Ilocos Sur







Province of Ilocos Sur - Bicentennial Anniversary

Ilocos Sur is a province located in the Ilocos Region in Luzon. The Ilocos Region was already a thriving, fairly advanced cluster of towns and settlements when the Spanish explorer, Juan de Salcedo, and members of his expedition arrived in Vigan on June 13, 1572. Augustinians came to conquer the region through evangelization. They established parishes and built churches that still stand today. Three centuries later, Vigan became the seat of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia.

A royal decree dated February 2, 1818 separated the northern section of Ilocos which became the province of Ilocos Norte. The southern portion, called Ilocos Sur, included the northern part of La Union and all of Abra. It was the union of portions of Ilocos Sur from the Amburayan were taken from the Mountain Province and incorporated with Ilocos Sur.

The history of Ilocos Sur was characterized by revolts in protest against tributes and forced labor. The best-known of these revolts was the Ilocos Revolt (1762-1763) led by Diego Silang. It was a revolt of the masses against the Babaknangs and the alcalde-mayor of Vigan. After Silang’s assassination, his wife Gabriela continued the fight until she was hanged publicly in 1763. On March 25, 1898, Isabelo Abaya started a revolt in Candon and raised a red flag in the town plaza. This was the start of several revolutions in the Ilocos Region.

Ilocos Sur figured prominently during the Philippine Revolution in 1896 and Philippine-American War in 1899. The Battle of Tirad Pass elevated the heroic death of General Gregorio del Pilar who covered the retreat of General Emilio Aguinaldo to the Cordilleras and to Palanan. During World War II, the Battle of Bessang Pass in Candon, fought between the forces of General Yamashita and U.S. 21st Infantry, was the climax in the fight for liberation.

Today, Ilocos Sur stands out as a living museum of a spirited and glorious past. On February 2, 2018, Ilocos Sur commemorates the start of its bicentennial year as a proud province. The Philippine Postal Corporation will issue a special set of block of four stamps and a souvenir sheet with two circular stamps. Six designs for the stamps summarized the beauty and grandeur of IlocosSur:

Calle Crisologo. A major tourist attraction of Vigan City in its mestizo district, which is filled with Spanish-style houses that evoke a bygone era. A walk or a calesa ride through CalleCrisologo is a cultural tourof a microcosmic enchanting Spanish period.

Sta. Maria Church. The Sta. Maria Assunta Church is one of four baroque churches in the Philippines and inscribed in the UNESCO Heritage List in 1993. It was built in 1810 on a narrow hill by a defensive wall overlooking the town’s poblacion. Its bell tower was built on the left side separated from the Church with its convent standing parallelto the façade of the Church.

Pinsal Falls. It is located in Barangay Baballasioan in Sta. Maria. Due to its unique landscape above the waterfalls, it is immortalized through a local myth where it is believed to be the footprint of Angalo. The 85-foot-high waterfalls is the largest in Ilocos Sur. With its explicably romantic setting, Pinsal Falls is a popular locationfor filming Filipino movies and a favorite spot for swimming and picnicking.

Bessang Pass Natural Monument. It is a protected area and memorial that commemorates the victory on June 14, 1945 by Filipino soldiers serving the U.S. Armed Forces in the Philippines Northern Luzon over the imperial Japanese Army in the Battle of Bessang Pass which led to Japan’s eventual surrender and end to World War II in the Philippines.

Bantay Bell Tower. One of Vigan’smost iconic symbols is the Bantay Bell Tower. First built in 1591, it served as the town’s watchtower before being turned into a bell tower by the nearby church in 1857.

Pagburnayan. Pagburnayan comes from the root word burnay. It refers to the handcrafted earthenware pots made from Vigan. These are made from bantog clays, which are dug from the western barangays of the city. Burnays are excellent to ferment brown sugar, basi (sugarcane wine), sugarcane vinegar, and isdang bagoong (fish sauce).





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Articles by Dr. Ngo Tiong Tak

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Issues of 2018