by Ric G. Galvez
(this article was written after stamps honoring Miss World 2013 Megan Young was issued by the Philippine Postal Office)
My first and so far the only true hobby of mine is philately. It is no longer popular I suppose as the younger generation now prefers emails over letters. Stamps also are quite rare these days – the faceless postage meters are now the norm when one would like to send a letter. Time and again I am reminded that postage stamps still reflect our culture, our history, our dreams and our aspirations as a nation. Stamps maybe a passé for a lot of people but for me the sentimental value remains. After all, it is through stamps that I was able to appreciate the culture and history of nations.
Megan Young is certainly not the first Miss World to be featured in a stamp and not all Miss World winners were given tributes through a stamp. This reflects the way a nation looks at beauty pageants. Countries such as Bermuda, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Gibraltar, Nigeria and Grenada all issued stamps in honor of their Miss World winners. It says a lot how these nations look at Miss World and beauty pageants in general. For the Philippines, the Megan Young stamps are not the first to be issued for a beauty pageant winner. In 1994, Gloria Diaz and Margarita Moran were honored in stamps just in time for the country’s hosting of the Miss Universe pageant.
In November 2013, I approached the Philatelic Bureau with my proposal to issue the stamps for Megan Young. This is not my first as in 2006, I suggested and coordinated with the issuance of stamps honoring the first Filipinos to scale the Mt. Everest. I provided Philpost with high resolution images of Megan taken by Bong Tan and then the postal office took over. I already did my part of formally suggesting to issue the stamps and provided the necessary materials that they can work on. It is the very least that I can do.
Issuing a stamp for a living person is usually a tedious process. Only the head of states gets an automatic approval. But from time to time, great achievers are being immortalized in a Philippine postage stamp – Mt. Everest climbers, Manny Pacquiao and now Megan Young. As someone who is into stamp collecting and as someone who runs this website, seeing Megan in a stamp gives me a sense of personal achievement. I just wish other nations would give their beauty queens the same amount of attention. Surely, this is not the last in Philippine philately; Bea Santiago is on my list and a lot more…