World’s First Basketball Stamp

This post was most recently updated on June 1st, 2018

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Did you know that Philippines issued the first basketball-themed postage stamp in the world?

In April 4, 1934, Philippines under the United States government released a 16-cent basketball stamp. This was in celebration of the Tenth Far Eastern Championship Games which was held in Manila during the same year. It was the last Far Eastern Games in history because the 11th championship match, supposedly scheduled in 1938, was cancelled due to the outbreak of Sino-Japanese War.

the first basketball stamp in the world

The basketball stamp was also the first to feature a sports theme in the country. A series of tennis stamps was also issued to commemorate a popular sports first introduced by the then  American Governor General Dwight Davis. Among the other ‘firsts’ in Philippine philately (i.e. stamp collecting), the basketball stamp is a proof of the country’s rich heritage and history.

Dr. Mina Gabor, a staunch advocate of Philippine tourism, said that the country’s stamp collection is one of the “oldest” and most “sought after worldwide”. In 2008, Gabor published “Stamps of the Philippines: Historical and Topical Collections 1854-2004,” a coffee-table book that features a comprehensive look on Philippine postage stamps, their history, and impact on the Filipino culture.

In addition to being historically significant, the first basketball stamp is also reminder of every Filipino’s passion for the sports. Basketball was first introduced in the country by the YMCA during the American colonial period. Since then, it has remained an incredibly popular game in the country, both on professional and amateur levels. No wonder why Pinoys are going crazy over NBA play-offs and even PBA games.