A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Friday, February 17, 2023

Philippines - Bud's Big Blue

Scott #355 (1932)
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations

A grand neo-classical structure (above), it would be impressive if it were situated along the Potomac River in Washington DC, but its pillared symmetry is absolutely stunning along the Pasig River front, downtown Manila.  Whether viewed from the north on the Jones or the McArthur bridge or from the south on Taft Avenue, it makes an unforgettable statement about American colonialism. Construction started in 1926 and ended four years later.

Scott # 508 (1947), showing the Jones Bridge and the Post Office

Juan Marcos Arellano, a Philippine architect, is remembered both for the post office and the Jones Bridge. Trained at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Drexel University, Arellano had worked for Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., before returning to the Philippines. He designed many of Manila’s outstanding buildings.

Juan Marcos Arellano (1888-1960)

The post office is, in part, a completion of the vision that William Howard Taft had pursued. After the Spanish American War, he was dispatched to the Philippines to promote economic and social development. In 1901, he became the first civilian governor general. Arellano’s brother, Arcadio, served as an architecture consultant to Taft.

Taft in the Philippines, about 1904

Manila’s post office and the Jones Bridge were significantly damaged by Japanese bombs during World War II. Arellano, still active as an architect and artist, participated in the reconstruction.

Post-war Manila Post Office, scorched but still standing.
Photo courtesy of Skyscrapercity.com and outoftownblog.com

The extent of damage is shown on the above 1945 postcard; it was copied for Scott #3056a, part of a series celebrating a 2006 postal anniversary. (I have in my collection several picture postcards with stamps on them, but this is my only stamp with a picture postcard on it.)

Scott #3065a (2006)

A complete collection of Philippine stamps will have many views of the Manila post office; they pop up especially often in the 21st century. Scans of some of these follow. Apparently the disdain some Philippine folks plainly feel toward American colonialism does not extend to their main post office.

Scott #e11 (1947)

Scott # 3747 (2017)

Scott # e12 (1962)

Scott #3065b (2006)

Scott #s 3789-90 (2018)

Specimen (2007), tribute to Arellano

Census: 217 in BB spaces, three tip-ins, 92 on supplement pages.

For a more complete listing, see https://topicalphilippines.com/Buildings/Post_Office_Building.html

Jim's Observations

When the U.S. took over in 1898, they had to face the newly created "Filipino Revolutionary Government" created by General Emilio Aguinaldo on June 23, 1899, primarily located on the island of Luzon. The rebellion was quashed, and the General was taken prisoner on March 23, 1901.

This little bit of history became more interesting when we recently visited Ft. Huchucha in Arizona, a prime location of the Buffalo soldiers of the U.S. Army. The museum on the still active Army base has a room dedicated to them. The linkage for us is that a house on our street boarded an African American woman in 1928, and she was the first African American graduate of the University of Oregon. Her Father was a career Buffalo Solder (27 years), was at Ft, Huchucha in 1894, and was part of the US. Army force that was sent to the Philippines uprising.

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