Sunday, September 5, 2010

2. Collecting Political Memorabilia

 A  few months ago we saw the political frenzy of candidates running for national and local elections. Candidates spend lots of money on advertisements and other political give-aways. We saw tons of posters, pinbacks, bumper stickers, ballers id, sample ballots, calendars, t-shirt, name it and politicians have devised a way to catch our attention through these campaign materials. After the election you’ll most likely throw them away; but perhaps if you're smart, you will keep your election keepsakes.

I remember during my first year in high school, students were flocking Mang Ruben our school vendor, selling a black pin with slogan “HINDI KA NAGIISA” for 25 centavos. This pin appeared after Ninoy was gunned down at Manila International Airport in 1983. Everyone in school was wearing one, you are not “IN” if you do not have one on your uniform. I became more interested on political items during the 1986 snap election between powerful dictator, Pres. Ferdinand Marcos, and the widow of Ninoy, Pres. Cory Aquino. I became fascinated with the yellow “LABAN” sign and “CORY IS MY PRESIDENT” pins. During weekends I would go to Recto just to buy these CORY pins. And since then I collect not only President Cory items but also other presidential memorabilia.

Among the many political memorabilia available, I like campaign pins and buttons more, because they are colorful, metallic and some has even catchy portraits of the candidates. In my collecting experience, what I noticed is that the pins of Presidents Quezon, Osmena, Roxas and Laurel are scarce. I got intrigued when I saw a button of Rogelio Dela Rosa running for President. He was the first movie actor to run for president and not Erap. I hope someday to find an Emilio Aguinaldo pin or button when he ran for national elections in 1935. Collecting campaign memorabilia can be fun and can be a great history lesson.

A few years ago while browsing the internet I saw a political pin- “GEORGE DEWEY for PRESIDENT”. Since I collect Admiral Dewey materials, I placed a modest bid on it, because it was the first time I saw this type of pin. To my surprise it was sold for $920.00. I found out that the pin was recalled since Dewey did not run for President making it very RARE. Also a woman recently auctioned off a button on eBay with images of John William Davis and Charles Wayland Bryan, the US Democratic ticket in 1924. She received $56,000 for it. But if she had gone to an antique store they might have offered her $100 for it and no one would have realized.

This type of collecting is relatively new but as time goes by collectors become more aware of the potential of these collectibles. Unlike traditional collectibles these are relatively easy to come by, not to mention they are free. Just attend a political sortie and you can get a bunch of campaign souvenirs. So if you see a campaign sample ballot, flyer or sticker lying around the street pick them up, who knows, it could fetch a few hundred dollars after a few years … if we are lucky and still alive.

Old presidential campaign pins

Old presidential campaign pins

President Marcos campaign pins

Presidential campaign pins and lighter

Presidential campaign pins and watch

Old presidential campaign pins / medals


Old campaign medals

Marcos campaign pins

Cory presidential campaign pins



Various presidential campaign memorabilia

Various presidential campaign memorabilia

Presidential campaign memorabilia of Cory Aquino in 1986

Presidential campaign memorabilia of  NOYNOY displayed in Malacanang Museum

Presidential campaign memorabilia of Pres. Marcos displayed in Malacanang Museum

Various presidential campaign memorabilia displayed in Malacanang Museum

Various presidential campaign memorabilia displayed in Malacanang Museum


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