Episode #10 – PHILIPPINES – Peso Banknotes, WWII Japanese Invasion Money and Emergency Money

Episode #10 – PHILIPPINES – Peso Banknotes, WWII Japanese Invasion Money and Emergency Money


Hello and welcome to World Currency Collector! Today we’re heading down to Southeast Asia to visit the beautiful island country called the Republic of the Philippines. This country is comprised of more than 7,600 islands in three different geographical divisions. From north to south, they’re known collectively as Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. More than 100 million people call the Philippines home and the official languages there are Filipino and English. And the Philippine peso is the official currency. Now we’re going to check out some different banknotes spanning from 1936 all the way to 2010. And you’ll find the word “peso”
on the old notes prior to 1967, but then like this one, after, when it was no longer a colony of the United States, you’ll see the word “piso.” These banknotes span a long history of time and they have a lot of different images. A lot of different leaders on them,
and we’re going to take a walk through each one, and see
what we can learn about them. This first bank note from 1936 looks, not surprisingly, very similar to the United States dollar from the same time period because the U.S. pretty much had control of the Philippines at that time. And just for comparison sake, here’s a 1935A series Silver Certificate. The design on the reverse is actually
pretty similar as well, although it’s really faded on the peso that I have. Now the one peso note across the very top, you can barely read it, up way at the top here, it says: “By authority of [an act of] the Philippines legislature… …approved by the president of the United States June 13, 1922.” Following that it says, “This certifies that there has been deposited in the Treasury of the Philippines… …one peso payable to the bearer on demand… …in silver pesos or in legal tender currency… …of the United States of equivalent value.” And along the bottom here, you’ll see it says “Series of 1936” along with the signature of the President and Treasurer. And at the very bottom here it says Treasury Certificate. On the right, this red seal is of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, and it has the text “Manila, Philippines” in black ink over the top. On the left side of this note we’ve got a portrait here of Apolinario Mabini. He was born in 1864 and was a Filipino revolutionary leader, educator, lawyer, and a statesman who served first as a legal and constitutional advisor to the Revolutionary Government and then as the first Prime Minister of the Philippines upon the establishment of the First Philippine Republic. You’ll see his portrait on several banknotes. His contributions to the Philippine government were significant, despite him losing both of his legs to polio in 1896, and he was only 38 years old when he passed away in 1903. On December 10, 1941 Japan invaded the Philippines during World War II, and they captured the city of Manila within a month of landing in Luzon. And when they did that, they confiscated more than 20 million dollars in cash, foreign currency, and bullion coins. The Japanese government then proceeded to use that currency abroad to purchase some raw materials, and weapons, and food like rice for its war efforts. And in its place, they decided to issue their own currency for the Philippines. And so these banknotes, they’re known officially as “Japanese government-issued Philippine fiat pesos” but they are more frequently referred to as
“Japanese Invasion Money,” or collectors call them JIMs. And we have examples here in
1, 5, and 10 pesos denominations. Here on the front, the Rizal Monument of Manila is featured on these banknotes, and it’s actually on all three of them. Now this monument was built to commemorate the executed Filipino nationalist José Rizal, and we’re going to learn more about
him in a few minutes. World War II survivors actually refer to these notes as “Mickey Mouse money” because it took such a significant amount of them to buy anything. A box of matches would cost
100 “Mickey Mouse” pesos, I mean, these were essentially worthless. In 1943, the Philippine Commonwealth
Government in the region of Mindanao ordered the printing of this “Emergency Money”
while the government was in exile. And here’s two examples of a 1 and a 10 pesos. These banknotes are sometimes
referred to as “guerrilla notes,” and the Second Philippine Republic, which was sponsored by Japan at the time, would arrest and even execute people, just for possession of these emergency banknotes. The Republic wanted a monopoly on
all money in the country, and they were very unhappy that
the Commonwealth Government issued these banknotes while they were in exile. The front of both of these notes say up here, “This certifies that the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines… …will redeem this certificate at face value… … upon termination of emergency.” And on the back of both of these notes, it reads: “This note is redeemable at
face value [after the] emergency… …and will not be devalued or discriminated against.” “Counterfeiting of this note will be severely punished.” Following the end of World War II, banknotes were once again issued by the
Central Bank of the Philippines. Next we have here a 20 centavos banknote
from sometime around 1949. It’s not dated, and there really isn’t very much to it. The front of the note has some simple text and a red serial number, as well as the seal of the Central Bank of the Philippines. And the back of this note just simply says
“Philippines” on the top, with a “20 centavos” notation in the center. And all around in these circles here it says “Central Bank of the Philippines” in the design. And this note happens to have been printed by Thomas De La Rue & Company in London. This seems like a pretty good time to tell you that I don’t speak Filipino, so if I’m saying
some of these things wrong, please forgive me, and feel free to post a note that will help us understand how to
say some of these names and places. Now this 20 pesos note was also printed around 1949. It features two portraits on the front. The left side shows Andrés Bonifacio y de Castro, and he lived from 1863 to 1897. He was a Filipino revolutionary leader and the President of the Tagalog Republic. He is often called the
“Father of the Philippine Revolution.” He sought the independence of the Philippines from Spanish colonial rule,
and started the Philippine Revolution. Some Filipino historians consider him to be the first President of the Philippines, although he never officially held that title. He started a secret society called the Katipunan, which we’re going to learn about more in a few minutes. The right side portrait is of Emilio Jacinto y Dizon, who was a Filipino General during
the Philippine Revolution. He lived from 1870 until 1899. He was one of the highest ranking officers in the
Kah… Katiputan… Katipunan! Excuse me! …being a member of its Supreme Council. He was sometimes recognized as the
“Brains of the Revolution,” and he and his banknote buddy Bonifacio served the country of the Philippines together for many years. The back of this bank note is printed in a brownish-orange color and it features a “cartilla” or a booklet with the title on it here [Kartilya ng Katipunan]. The Katipunan was a secret revolutionary organization, and this booklet was written by its leader Bonifacio which is the gentleman on the front of the note. And it was later revised by Jacinto, who is the other gentleman on the front of the note. The teachings put forth by
the Katipunan included things like, “A deed that is motivated by self-interest or self-pity and done without sincerity lacks nobility,” and “Do not waste your time; lost wealth can be retrieved but time lost is lost forever.” And next to the booklet on this note is the Balintawak Monument, which represents the movement against the Spanish Empire, (the entire point [of] the Katipunan.) We’re going to fast forward a few years now to 1969. This “isa” or one peso note, notice the change from “peso” to “piso,” features a portrait of José Rizal on the obverse. His portrait is also the watermark on this note. Rizal is a national hero in the Philippines. He was executed by the Spanish colonial
government in 1896 at the age of 35 for his participation in the
Filipino Propaganda Movement. He loudly vocalized the call for reform, and advocated the revolution against Spain. And the reverse shows the The Aguinaldo mansion in Kawit, Cavite, which is the site of the historic proclamation of Philippine Independence from Spain on June 12, 1898. You’re going to see images from this scene on several bank notes today. This “dalawang” or 2 peso note features
another portrait of José Rizal. It was issued in 1978, almost a decade after the previous note that we looked at. The back of this note also features a scene from the Proclamation of Independence, sort of in a reverse pattern. This “limang” or 5 peso note has a portrait
of Emilio Aguinaldo on the front. And mine is in pretty poor condition. He was a Filipino revolutionary, politician,
and a military leader who is officially recognized as the
first President of the Philippines. He lived from 1869 to 1964. He led Philippine forces against Spain
during the Philippine Revolution, and then again during the Spanish-American war, and finally, against the United States. He fought valiantly to ensure the
independence of his country. And the back of this note features a scene that should be very familiar to you by now. These two “sampung” or 10 peso
notes look very similar, but the older version, which was issued around 1985, just features a portrait of a Apolinario Mabini. Do you remember him from the first
banknote we saw back in 1936? The newer version of this note also
adds a portrait of Andres Bonifacio, the writer of the Katipunan that we talked about before. You can see they also slipped an image of his booklet onto the front, next to the image that depicts the draft of the Malolos Constitution. The back of these notes are very similar to one another as well. You can see the original just has an image of the Barasoain Church, also
known as “Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish.” It’s a Roman Catholic Church about
26 miles outside of Manila. And the newest note also has that church featured. It was the location of the drafting for the Malolos Constitution in 1898 by the new Congress. Now this newer banknote shows an image
of the secret Katipunan society meeting. Now, those of us in the United States, when we hear the letters “KKK,” we think of something completely different. And this “KKK” is short for this phrase right here: And I assure you, it has absolutely
nothing to do with the Ku Klux Klan. After all, the teachings of the
Katipunan included things like: “Defend the oppressed and fight the oppressor.” This scene here depicts the new
members of the Katipunan, signing their allegiance in their own blood. It features knives in their hands and a skull on the table, with a flag proudly showing
the letters KKK behind them. We’re going to fast forward to 2010, and take a look at this red- and orange- colored “limampung” or 50 peso note. Sergio Osmeña, the 4th President of the Philippines, is the man that’s featured here on the obverse. He lived from 1878 to 1961. A founder of the Nationalist Party,
he was also the first Visayan, which is a Philippine ethnic group
native to the center island, to become the President of the Philippines. To the left is a scene from the
First National Assembly, and to his right, or to *our* right I should say, is United States General Douglas MacArthur and the men who served during the Leyte Landing. And this battle took place in 1944 as part of World War II. It ended three years of Japanese
occupation on the islands. On the reverse of this 50 note, we can see a map outline of the country along with several lakes and volcanoes in the Province of Batangas. In front of that, we can see the Maliputo, or giant trevally fish. And this fish is enormous. It can grow to be 67 inches long and weigh 176 pounds. It can actually be found throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans along coastlines of three different continents and across hundreds of islands, but in the Philippines it can be found living in Taal Lake within the inactive Taal Caldera. This “sandaang” or 100 peso is also from 2010, and I am not sure if I’m saying that right. The obverse of this blue- and violet- colored note features a portrait of Manuel Acuña Roxas,
(again, not sure if I’m saying that right) the first President of the Independent Third Republic of the Philippines. He lived from 1892 to 1948. Behind him to the left is the building of the
Central Bank of the Philippines Headquarters, and to [our] right is the country’s coat of arms and the central bank logo up here. Below that is a scene from his inauguration in 1946. The reverse of this banknote features a map outline of the Philippines again, along with the Mayon Volcano on the island of Luzon. This volcano is known as the “perfect cone”
because of its beautiful symmetry. It was declared the first national park in 1938. It is an active volcano that has
erupted multiple times in the last decade. In front of it is a whale shark, the
largest known fish species in the world. It can grow more than 41 feet long
and weigh over 21 tons. It’s lived on earth for more than 60 million years, and it has a lifespan of about 70 years. They’re completely harmless to humans, and feed primarily on plankton. Well, today we learned a little bit
about the history of the Philippines through a few of their banknotes. We learned about invasion money, and we learned about emergency money, and lots of regular issue notes as well. We’ve seen politicians, and leaders, and heroes. We even got to see some amazing
sea life towards the end of these issues. So I hope you’ve enjoyed our journey today, and I’ll see you next time on World Currency Collector.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *