This afternoon though, I found myself making the trip to the Lawton post office. This was not my first time inside the Neo-Classic edifice. But it was the first time I went into their philatelic section. The reason: the Philippine Post Office finally issued stamps featuring Philippine hoyas.
I used to seriously collect Hoyas to the point that I had about 50 to 60 varietes in my garden. Now they are reduced to handful of pots, as they have taken the back seat in my collection. Probably my most cherished hoya is the H. halconensis which was given to me by Nahdanielle Simonnson of Sweden which she collected from Mt. Halcon in 2006. My 2 pots which came from a pair of cuttings have produced numerous propagations which went to quite a number of Hoya collectors. Hoya may be gone physically from my garden but somehow it still holds a special place in my heart. So I decided to make that trip to the Lawton main post office to get me a set of the Hoya stamps.
I do not know the basics of stamp collecting but I was given a crash course by Lawrence Chan, whom I have known because of hoyas. Lawrence, as far back in 2003 was pushing to have the Post Office issue Philippine hoya stamps. Finally his wish was granted, after about 8 years. And he was so happy to bring us the good news. It is also timely that they went out this year as more people are now aware of hoyas as a garden ornamental. There are about 60 to 70 (and still counting) Hoya species native to the Philippines and only about 10 percent were included in the set.
I bought 4 separate items. There were 2 kinds of stamp sheets issued. The regular edition spread included Hoyas obscura, mindorensis, benitotanii and carnosa. The collector's edition had Hoyas mutiflora, cumingiana, imperialis, siariae and buotii. There were also the stamped first issue envelops (one for each edition) to commemorate the stamp's day of issue. The envelops also had printed pictures of Hoyas namely H. publicalyx and H. odorata. As any other, these Hoya stamps have a limited run meaning they are only available while supply last. So if you are a collector, stamps or hoya, you might want to go make the trip to Lawton and get your copy.