Good news to coin collectors! Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is issuing limited edition commemorative coins to mark the 150th birth anniversaries of Filipino revolutionaries General Artemio Ricarte and General Isidro Torres as well the 100th birth anniversary of Jesuit educator and historian, Reverend Horacio V. dela Costa.
The obverse side of each coin will feature the respective portrait of the historical figures, while the reverse side of all coins will feature the denomination P1, a silhouette of an eagle, the BSP seal, and the yearmark.
Fr. Dela Costa was born on May 9, 1916 in Mauban, Quezon. He is remembered by Filipinos, especially Ateneans, as the first Filipino dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Ateneo de Manila University and the first Filipino to become the provincial head of religious order the Society of Jesus in the Philippines or popularly known as the Jesuits. Last year, the Ateneo School of Humanities organized a lecture series to commemorate the birth centenary of Fr. de la Costa, SJ.
During World War II, Fr. dela Costa helped bring clothes and medicines to Filipino and American soldiers who had escaped from Japanese prison camps. That resulted to the Jesuit priest’s imprisonment in Fort Santiago for two months. In 1975, he was diagnosed with cancer, and in 1977, he died at the age of 60.
Gen. Artemio Ricarte was born on October 20, 1866 in Batac, Ilocos Norte. He was appointed brigadier general in General Emilio Aguinaldo’s army and elected capital general of the Filipino army at the Tejeros Convention, a rank equivalent to the present chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). During the Filipino-American War, he was banished to Guam together with Apolinario Mabini. Gen. Ricarte refused to take the oath of allegiance to the United States, so he was deported to Hong Kong. He eventually lived in self-exile in Japan for 25 years. Then he flew back to the Philippines to help Japan in the pacification movement. When the Japanese forces retreated to the mountain province, Gen. Ricarte followed them, where he caught dysentery. He died in 1945.
Gen. Isidro Torres, famously known as “Matang Lawin”, was born on April 10, 1866 in Malolos, Bulacan. He became a Katipunero while serving as cabeza de barangay of his hometown. He attained the rank of colonel when the fighting raged around Biak-na-Bato. Later on, Gen. Aguinaldo appointed him brigadier general. He was also named director of arms, assistant secretary of war, and later, military governor of Bulacan. The Americans offered him the gubernatorial seat of Bulacan, but Gen. Torres refused it. After living in Japan for some time, he came home and settled in San Antonio, Nueva Ecija. He died in 1928.
According to the Bangko Sentral, issuing commemorative circulation coins is in line with their goal to preserve the country’s history through currencies.
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