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Philippine Heroes Exhibit

August 23 - 26, 2007
Elizabeth Mall Activity Center,
Cebu City, Philippines

By Richard Allan B. Uy
(published in Island Breeze Magazine, September 2007 issue)

One Sunday in August while I was preoccupied with my pc, a familiar tune from one of those free online radio stations filled my room. As the lyrics floated, I found myself singing with the singer "..and then a hero comes along with the strength to carry on and you cast your fears aside, and you know you can survive. So when you feel like hope is gone look inside you and be strong, and you finally see the truth that a hero lies in you!"

As the song was about to end, I remembered that August is the month that we Filipinos celebrate our heroes. National Heroes Day is a regular holiday held every last Sunday of August. It is also the day that we commemorate the famous Cry of Pugad Lawin by Filipino revolutionary forces led by Andres Bonifacio.

Immediately thereafter, I got up from my chair and pondered on how I could contribute in reawakening the spirit of Filipino nationalism through the favorite medium that I know. I soon started sorting out my Philippine stamp collections by heroes. With more than a hundred mint stamps at my disposal the next task was to make a story featuring the famous Filipino heroes. The idea was to make a story book using stamps instead of photographs.

The next thing I did was to call up some friends in the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission of the City of Cebu and played to them the idea of having a unique exhibit featuring our heroes on stamps.


It was a few days later that I got a phone call informing me that my proposal was approved by the CHAC commissioners chaired by Vice Mayor Michael Rama. Two exhibit venues were deliberated but everyone agreed that it should be held in Elizabeth Mall. The owner, Ms. Elizabeth Go was so kind to allow us the free use of the facilities of her mall and gave us space at the activity center situated on the third floor.

Doing an exhibit in a big mall is no joke. Lots of things have to be considered. The security, the presentation, the program, the logistics and of course the budget. The setting up of the materials can only be done on the night before the event when the mall is closed to the public so we had to wait. By twelve midnight everything was done. We all went home tired and exhausted but with a sense of fulfillment and a feeling of pride that we are doing our part in promoting love of country and patriotism.

The "Philippine Heroes on Stamps" opened with a very beautiful program on August 23, 2007. Ms. Jenny Atillo did a heartwarming doxology while the Cebu City Dance Sports Kids rendered an electrifying dance number. What glued everyone's attention though was the dance drama featuring the Battle of Tres de Abril by the Don Carlos Gothong Memorial High School Dance Troupe.

Vice Mayor Mike Rama gave a heartwarming message while Councilor Gerardo Carillo did the welcome remarks. CHAC commissioners Osman Jumalon and Dionisio Sy were present as well as Councilor Manuel Legaspi. Cebu Stamp Club, Inc officials were in full force too.

The exhibit featured Philippine Heroes on Stamps; Rizal, Bonifacio and Aguinaldo (A Tale of Three Heroes); Philippine Heroes in Masonry; and The Tres de Abril Stamp.

Interesting stamps were on display such as the authentic Revolutionary Stamps of Emilio Aguinaldo issued in 1898 as well as the Tres de Abril stamp which is the first and only Cebu proposed stamp conceptualized by Cebu Stamp Club, Incorporated and CHAC released by Philpost on June 12, 1998.

The stamp event culminated on the very day the whole nation celebrated National Heroes Day. As we celebrate our heroes, we need to make them become a part of our expression while internalizing their lives and their works and how they sacrificed for the sake of the future generations.

Exhibit promotes heroism, freedom