Many Japanese Occupation period fanatics at one point collected first day covers and other oddities before moving up the ladder of specialized items. More often the common fare items are forgotten until such a time when the esoteric items already come in trickles or when there's really nothing else to add to the collection. Like me in the past there came a time when I wondered on what to do with the so called simple stuff. There were only two options: dispose or keep and without a blink of an eye, I chose the former.

This collection was born because Bobby Araos opted for the latter. But instead of just boxing them up, he came up with a brilliant idea on how to make use of the ordinary things which many of us already take for granted. It is made up of common stuff and yet without hesitation, I am putting it up because I see something beyond the first day covers and the minute oddities. Bobby, a retired military officer, has practically all the time in the world to spend time on his comprehensive Japanese Occupation collection. However, going over (and over) a collection can be at times frustrating. Neither boredom or frustration stopped Bobby from transforming his ordinary materials into something special. 

This novel way of presentation never came into my mind, considering that I've been mounting collections for more than ten years already.Certainly Bobby's approach is a much better than the "file them in a shoe box" thing that was taught to us in the past. To those who are involved in promoting the hobby to the young, this is a unique way of creating interest, of building up one's imagination. The search for varieties is a good test for one's patience as well. It enhances passion and develops persistency, two imporant traits required by this hobby.

So many things can be learned from this collection. I'm not referring to the philatelic information but of the human spirit that drove one very advance Japanese Occupation collector to pull at rabbit out of his hat. In a way Bobby is reminding us that indeed big things come from small things. 

Abraham Luspo, Jr.
Manila, Philippines