PhilPost issues Iglesia Ni Cristo centennial stamp, the first stamp to be printed larger than regular size

BY PAUL MICHAEL CAMANIA JARAMILLO



The Philippine Postal Corp. (PhilPost) is issuing a stamp featuring Iglesia ni Cristo's (INC) Felix Y. Manalo, in commemoration of the religious group's 100th founding anniversary.

The postal agency printed 1.2 million copies P10 denomination of the stamp featuring Manalo, along with the Church's centennial logo and photo of its Central Temple located along Quezon City's Commonwealth Avenue.

Philpost usually issues a maximum of 500,000 stamps per batch, or even lower at 300,000 pieces.

The issuance of 1.2 million INC Centennial stamps was done, according to Postmaster General Ma. Josefina M. dela Cruz, to accommodate the expected big number of people who will be interested to buy the stamps, particularly INC members all over the Philippines and INC brethren who would be coming over from other countries this year.

The stamp is printed in black and white, except for the centennial logo, to provide "a nostalgic view of the INC from past to present," PHLPost said in a statement Tuesday, May 6.

The stamp measures 50 mm x 35 mm, making it the first stamp to be printed larger than the regular 40 mm x 30 mm stamp size.

“This is not an arbitrary decision. It passed through the certification of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines,” dele Cruz said in Filipino.

The INC is celebrating its centennial anniversary on July 27.

The postal agency officially launched the 'Iglesia Ni Cristo Centennial Commemorative Stamp' on Saturday, May 10, inside the INC Central Office in Diliman, Quezon City.

In a brief formal ceremony held at the Bulwagan of the INC Central Office, INC Executive Minister Eduardo V. Manalo, Philpost Chairman Cesar Sarino  and dela Cruz unveiled the INC Centennial Commemorative Stamp.

“Sa inyong paglaganap at pagpunta sa marami pang mga bansa, nandoon rin at dala ninyo ang tatak ng Pilipino,” Dela Cruz said in her speech before the official unveiling of the INC stamp, as she stressed that the growth of the INC is already a phenomenon in Philippine history.

Sarino said the INC is notable for being a “Filipino” Christian religion that had spread throughout the world,  exporting the Filipino character and qualities to other countries.  He said that being a Filipino himself, he takes pride in this achievement of the INC even if he is a not a member of the Church.

Alvin Alcid, chief of the Research, Publications and Heraldry Division of the National Historical Commission noted that not all organizations celebrating their centennial are given a commemorative stamp.

But after a thorough study, the INC centennial had been decided by the Commission to be of national historical significance, particularly because the INC originated in the Philippines and had reached more than 100 countries and territories in its 100 years of existence, he said in an interview after the program.

Alcid said this was why the Commission is also deliberating on issuing a historical marker for the INC Centennial this year, hopefully in time for its 100th anniversary celebration on July 27.

The stamp was designed by Bro. Bienvenido A. Santiago, Jr. of Pasugo (God's Message), the official magazine of the INC, while the layout was provided by Vic Serevo.

In July, the religious group will unveil its Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

The film 'Ang Sugo (The Last Messenger)' starring Richard Gomez, Albert Martinez and Gabby Concepcion will also be launched on the centennial day. - with report from Eagle News


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