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snowpie

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  1. Called the " Sagisag ng Kagitingan" (Steel Cross of Bravery)
  2. The Fightingest Colonel Medals that tell our history Today Aug. 8, 2021 is the 120th anniversary of the defunct Philippine Constabulary. Few will remember as this organization was dissolved 30 years ago. The Phil. Constabulary was established by the American colonial regime to take over from the U.S. military the responsibility in establishing peace and order in the Islands. It was also a way to show that the U.S. was transitioning from a military rule to civilian rule throughout the Islands. Captain Henry Allen was chosen to lead the new fledging force. He was promptly promoted to Brig. General. Several officers were also assigned as Assistant PC Chiefs. One of them was Wallace C. Taylor. In many encounters all over the Islands, from the fanatical pulajanes in Samar to the fierce Moro warriors in Sulu, the PC men upheld their motto " Always outnumbered, but never outfought". Since its inception, the organization built up a reputation of professionalism, discipline and courage among its ranks. This was attributed to the excellent officers who molded the PC initially. This included officers like Maj. Costosa, Capt. Crockett, Lt. Preuss. One of the PC officers stood out, the Assistant PC Chief Col. Wallace C. Taylor, known as the "fightingest" Colonel in the Islands. As one of the Assistant PC Chief assigned to a Military district known as a hotbed of insurgents and bandits, Col Taylor did not confine himself as a pencil pusher in an administrative desk job. He led from the front. Wherever or whenever there was trouble brewing, the good colonel was there, thus he was involved in many skirmishes and gun battles with ladrones, pulajanes and insurgents. As testament to his extraordinary leadership qualities and bravery he was awarded the Philippine Constabulary Medal of Valor (MOV), the precursor of the present AFP MOV in 1905 in a firefight with pulajanes in Jautna, Samar where he was almost fatally shot in the jaw. Inspite of being grieviously wounded he remained conscious to direct his men to overcome the enemy. In 2016, his actual Medal of Valor was offered in an auction block. I was able to acquire it. The only one of its kind in existence. A few weeks later Col. Taylor's PC uniform was also placed in the auction block. I was not fortunate to acquire it though. It would have been "historic" of his Medal of Valor was united with his PC uniform. Alas it was not meant to be. Fast forward August 2021, after 108 years (!) Col. Taylor's Medal of Valor was united with his PC uniform in which he would have worn proudly here in the Philippines. Apparently, miracles still do happen. Happy 120th Anniversary to the Philippine.Constabulary. Col. Wallace C. Taylor's Philippine Constabulary uniform ( circa 1913?) with the PC Medal of Valor in the left upper pocket
  3. QUEZON'S GAMBIT Dr Eugene Stransky was an prominent Austrian physician of Jewish descent who specialized in hematology ( blood disorders) in the 1930s. In 1939 he found himself transported to the Philippine Islands to escape persecution from the Nazis. It was Philippine Commonwealth President Manuel Quezon who exerted that extraordinary Herculean effort to save as many Jews as he could (1,200 Jews) in their desperate hour of need. Although Quezon had many faults ( he was only human after all) by this single act alone, standing up for the oppressed, foreigners at that, inspite of pressures from friend and foe alike, he is considered as a great Filipino President. Thus you better watch the movie "Quezon's Game" while it's still running in movie theatres to see the story of Quezon's heroic act. That is why, the highest and the most prestigious decoration of the Philippine Republic is named after him - the Quezon Service Cross. Dr Stransky stayed in the Islands long after a Japanese were driven off. He practiced both adult and pediatric hematology and is considered the Father of Hematology here in the Philippines. I should know. I am also a Pediatric Hematologist. I have 2 medal variants ( one is convex the other is more flat)of this very rare, seldom seen decoration officially struck by Jose Tupaz of El Oro. One specimen came from the famous Ramon Villegas collection. "SIC FLORET RESPUBLICA" ( Thus the Republic flourishes). These are inscribed in the medallion. PS. The producer should have entitled the movie "Quezon's Gambit". It would have been more dramatic.
  4. Order of Lakandula, Rank: Champion for Life (2006-2010) #Medals that tell our History After the Philippine Republic was established in 1946, the government instituted State Decorations for citizens who have shown exemplary merit worthy of being honored. In the order of precedence, the Quezon Service Cross (1946) is considered the highest State Decoration followed by 2 "senior" decorations, the Phil. Legion of Honor (est. 1947 for defense merit) and the Order of Sikatuna (est. 1953 for diplomatic merit). In 2003, a third Senior decoration was established, the Order of Lakandula .This decoration was divided into 6 ranks and was established for civil and political merit. In 2006, a 7th rank was established called "Champion for Life". It is conferred for "outstanding achievement in international sport and similar fields of competition and achievement. These achievement should foster national pride and serve as an inspiration to others to achieve excellence." The first recipient of the decoration was boxing icon Manny Pacquiao in 2006. Other notable recipients were 6- time bowling world champion Paeng Nepomuceno and my personal favorite, the world's greatest pool master, Efren "Bata" Reyes. Only 10 of these decoration were ever struck and conferred. It was last awarded in 2010. I was fortunate enough to acquire one with the consent of the owner - a world class athlete who won a world championhip. I'd rather not mention the sport as it will give away the name of the owner who prefers NOT to be identified for obvious reasons. The Order of Lakandula, Champion for Life is a unique decoration. It is not just an ordinary medal or a breast star. It is in fact a COLLAR- a small version of a grand collar made of sterling silver with an impressive medallion of pre-hispanic/Muslim design exquisitely crafted at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the official manufacturer of our country's State decorations. The Collar came with an elegant Presidential presentation box made by a firm from Lanao del Norte commissioned by the BSP to house these prestigious decorations. I plan to donate this Order of Lakandula, Champion for Life plus an elegant trophy won by the world champion athlete to a worthy national sports museum for generations of Filipinos to admire and emulate.
  5. The Order of Kalantiao was once a State Decoration of the Philippine Republic instituted around 1973 but was discontinued around 2003. It was awarded to members of the Philippine judiciary . It has 3 ranks all of which I had duplicates. It was NEVER a fraternal order. The Philippine Order of the National Artist decoration is a Grand Collar and was NEVER a medallion worn with a neck ribbon. I believe the medallion with a neck ribbon is a fantasy piece struck by Angel Zamora. I own 2 of these. I believe these were struck Zamora as a means to persuade the government that they could also strike these decoration. At that time Jose Tupaz of El Oro had the sole rights to strike the Grand collar for the government. I own 3 Grand Collars of the Order of the National Artist in my collection. I have been collecting Philippine medals for 20 years. My expertise are Philippine State Decorations and Philippine Military medals. Doc Blas
  6. thanks. any idea why my tirad pass medal was double struck? do you think it is an error strike? any comment is welcomed
  7. here are the pictures of my tirad pass medal and phil. independence day medal sponsored by the japanese oct. 1943. enjoy
  8. dark i recently purchased two significant medals struck during the japanese occupation of the philippine islands. a tirad pass medal and an extremely rare philippine independence day medal dated oct. 1943 with philippine flag ribbon made of abaca and the red part of the flag facing right (meaning in the islands was still in a state of war). my tirad pass medal seems to be double struck with the word "patria" struck twice. seems like an error strike (?). i was informed that the medals came from the hidalgo collection. i will try to post pictures as soon as i learn how to post pictures in this forum (i'm not good with computers). any idea how much they are worth in today's market? ( i purchased the 2 medals by impulse knowing their historical significance)
  9. the phil. medal of valor was changed to a neck decoration sometime between 1946 to 1949. currently the MOV has been changed from a neck decoration to a sash and breast star by the armed forces of the philippines sometime in 2010. i am writing a book on philippine medals and an expert in the philippine medal of valor (MOV). pls feel free to ask me any questions on phiippine medals and state decorations.
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