September 28, 2006
Manila, Philippines

Dear Friends:

Before you continue reading this introduction do first the following:  Turn off your mobile phone, leave notice that you will not be taking any phone calls or must not be disturbed, prepare your favorite drink, finish all chores first and even go to the john.

I recommend the above because this is a massive collection (476 images in 102 html pages). It is by far the most comprehensive collection of the Spanish Philippines Surcharge Era. Believe me when I say that this is a collection that can not and will not be duplicated, ever! And for you to understand it as a whole, learn about the period it represent and above all enjoy, YOU MUST ALLOCATE THE TIME AS THIS MUST BE VIEWED IN ONE SITTING. 

If you have seen this collection in one of the APS shows, it's time to view it again. If this is your first look be prepared to be floored, to be awed.

Perhaps it was pre-destined that with utmost pleasure I present to you today ATTY. RICHARD MIGGINS complete collection of the PHILIPPINES, ERRORS AND VARIETIES ON STAMPS OF THE SURCHARGE ERA, 1881 - 1888. One year ago today I uploaded the first part of this collection (Surcharge Types 1 to 3) and followed it up two months later with Surcharge Type 5 to half of Type 7. Today it is complete!

I have been waiting a long time to say this: STEP ASIDE ISBELLA. IT'S NOW THE TURN OF ALFONSO XII TO BE ON THE SPOT LIGHT. Seriously, when the subject matter is on Spanish Philippines it is always focused on the first issue or the Isabellas in general. There is little talk about the succeeding issues to a point as if they didn't exist at all. This collection will give you another topic to talk about. You will understand why I say that the Surcharge Era is far more difficult than the Isabella period. The Isabellas are just more expensive but we all know that price is not and must not be used as the absolute scale in measuring importance and even rarity. In my lifetime I have seen several outstanding Isabella collections and to me the best so far is the Cuesta collection which was on display at the 2006 Washington exhibit. I cannot count the number of covers that passed through my hands or have seen on the 1854 issues and Habilitados. With the Surcharge Era less than 10 covers have passed through me.

The stamp pieces in this collection are not just outstanding. They are magnificent to the nth degree. Many of the unique items not just in singles but in multiples. The few covers in this collection is not its weakness but a testament to their scarcity and / or rarity. In fact, this is the largest gathering of Surcharge Era covers that I have seen.

I want to say more about this collection but I leave it to you to discover for yourself on why I call this a dream collection. I thank David Chiong for calling my attention to this collection. We must all thank Rick Miggins for taking the time to produce digital copies (not at all cheap) and for allowing the Philippine Philatelist to document the collection for the benefit of the entire collecting community.

I must repeat what I said last September 30, 2005:

The last time I added a Spanish Philippines collection was almost two years ago and the waiting time it took for me to add this new collection  is absolutely worth it. A couple of years back I was informed by David Chiong of the existence of this collection which he described not only as "fabulous" but possibly "the best of the Spanish Philippines middle period."  David saw the collection in one of the APS WSP shows and the judgment he rendered was based on  F.I.P. world exhibit judging standards, he being a full pledged F.I.P. Juror....There is no doubt in my mind that David's assessment of the collection is absolutely correct even if I have not yet seen the rest.

I do not think it is necessary for me to add to David's description. Admittedly, I am making this statement because I am really at a loss on what to say. Maybe I can sum it up with the "NOTHING ELSE COMES CLOSE" by-line I use to describe this site. Perhaps the following statement by Sir Winston Churchill will sum up what I am not able to put into writing: "My tastes are simple. I am easily satisfied with the best."

The following national World Series of Philately (WSP) show awards is my exclamation point to the above statement.

  • 1998 SANDICAL - Vermeil (First Public Display)
  • 1998 WESTPEX - Gold


Rick, for and behalf o the entire Philippine collecting community, thank you very much for sharing with us (to be more precise collectors from 37 countries who view this site regularly) your beautiful collection. 

Abe Luspo, Jr.
Manila, Philippines

37 Countries figure obtained from site stats which track on a monthly basis
ip addresses of regular site viewers.

Images reproduced from photocopies.
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