Trivia about the Amateur Philatelists Organization (APO)
The Amateur Philatelists Organization or APO (forerunner of the APO Philatelic Society) was organized on May 28, 1950 by the triumvirate of Messrs. Francisco Arcebal, Carlos Licup, and Mamerto Gallardo. The APO was founded on the paramount objective of bringing the hobby of stamp collecting into the consciousness of beginners and amateur philatelists by motivating them, educating them with proper guidance in the different aspects of philately, and rearing them to be responsible and competitive stamp collectors.
The first organizational meeting of the APO was held on June 11, 1950 with twelve members in attendance. On the third meeting, with 35 members present, the following were elected as the first batch of officers of the club: Francisco Arcebal, President; Joe de Castro, Vice-President; Teodora Fuentecilla, Secretary; Luz Baking, Treasurer; Carlos Licup, Business Manager; Conchita Sigua, Auditor; and Mamerto Gallardo, PRO. The APO was listed on the Philippine Journal of Philately as the 29th philatelic organization in the Philippines. And this 29th stamp club is now the oldest surviving stamp club in the country today. The first APO Philatelic Exhibition (APOPEX) was held at the YMCA Camus Hall on December 10, 1950. Though modest in its inaugural exhibition, APO has consistently and faithfully put up exhibitions through these last fifty years – a feat unsurpassed by any other club.
The first issue of the APO Newsletter came out in March, 1954. Carlos Reyes was the editor; Teresita del Fierro and Bernardo Sembrano, managing editors. On January, 1969, the club published its official organ, APOSTAMPS, with newly-elected President, Epifanio Paras, as editor. The 18th APOPEX was held on Nevember 24 to December 8, 1968 to coincide with the observance of Philatelic Week proclaimed by President Ferdinand E. Marcos in response to an APO resolution. President Marcos subsequently signed Proclamation 622, declaring the last week of November of every year as “Philatelic Week.” Hence APOPEX is always held on the last week of November.
The APO Philatelic Society has secured its place in Philippine philately with the leadership and governance of its past presidents, carrying the colors of the club on their shoulders through these fifty years – bringing joy and happiness to countless member-collectors, who had provided the inspiration and motivation for the club to strive further. On its Jubilee Year, the APO will continue to commit itself to be at the forefront of Philippine philately – propagating the hobby to the next generation of stamp collectors and preparing them to be useful citizens of our country