MANILA, Philippines – In September 2013, the world watched as Megan Young was crowned Miss World 2013. Now, a piece of her victory is celebrated through a postage stamp, a tribute to the Philippines’ first Miss World win.
During the official launch held March 24 at the Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost) Central Office in Manila, the 24-year-old shared how she had never imagined becoming a Miss World title holder, nor an icon on a postage stamp. The occasion was a “life moment,” said Young.
The actress turned beauty queen was especially delighted at becoming a part of stamp enthusiasts’ collections, particularly her grandparents’. “They will be proud that their granddaughter is now part of their collections,” she said.
Young believes that down the line, the milestone will too, serve as a great story for her children, grandchildren, and future descendants.
The postage stamps were first announced a month ago, but the official launch was pushed back due to Young’s jam-packed schedule.
Gold and in full color
The limited edition stamps feature Young’s photos from the Miss World 2013 coronation, embossed and laden with gold lettering. PhilPost Postmaster General Josie Dela Cruz said the teal color and gold details are uncommon to other stamp designs.
“It was more than I imagined,” said Young, first believing that her stamp would have a more traditional look. In her head, she expected to see a less colorful, “old school” design, but what was produced had special trimmings that she said, truly made her feel happy.
“This one is in full color naka-emboss pa tapos may mga special na nakalagay… Sobrang natutuwa talaga ako, kinikilig ako na meron akong stamp.” (This one is full of color, embossed, with special features. I’m very happy, I’m giddy that I have a stamp.)
The specially crafted stamps, however, come at a price higher than the usual. Stamps cost P50 a piece.
PhilPost produced 80,000 copies of the limited edition stamp, an honor given to few Filipinos while still alive, said Dela Cruz. With the exception of the Philippine President, Dela Cruz said personalities are commonly featured on stamps posthumously.
Young now joins a select group, including boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, whose extraordinary recognition for the country had been honored in their lifetime, said Dela Cruz.
In 2013, coomedian Dolphy Quizon, veteran film director Gerry de Leon, politician Jesse Robredo, and National Artist Lucio San Pedro, were posthumously honored through their own stamps. In March, PhilPost also released Pope Francis postage stamps.
A piece of history
In the age of email, chat, and virtual connectivity, Dela Cruz hopes creating new stamps will pique the younger generation’s interest in stamps.
“The stamps speak of our history. It’s our art, it’s our culture, it’s many things about our being Filipino,” she told members of the press. “Ito yung sana gusto namin na ma-inculcate samga Filipinos, lalo na sa younger generations.” (This is what we want to inculcate to Filipinos, especially to younger generations.)
“The times are changing,” said Young, but the beauty queen attests to the fact that nothing compares to handwritten and heartfelt letters of the pre-internet age.
“Hopefully, we can bring that time back again,” she said.
Bringing the world to the Philippines
A postage stamp is perhaps a rightful metaphor for Young’s current lifestyle filled with visits to countries all over the globe. In the span of one month, Young, traveled to several countries including as Indonesia, London, Russia, Haiti, and the United States. The beauty queen has 50 countries lined up in her itinerary during her reign.
“Medyo hectic yung traveling namin but I enjoy it a lot,” she told the press. (Our traveling schedule is hectic, but I enjoy it a lot.)
Young may be away from the Philippines, but talks about bringing the pageant to the country have recently emerged. Young, Miss World Events Director Steve Douglas, and Miss World Philippines Director Cory Quirino are hoping to do just that.
In early February, Young and Quirino personally presented the proposal to Vice President Jejomar Binay and the Department of Tourism. Over a month later, Quirino revealed that they received endorsement and support from certain members of the congress.
Keep hoping, they said.
According to Douglas, the Megan Young stamps will also be used to promote the Philippines in each country they visit. – Rappler.com