Longstrider's Blog

07 May 2021


Paper Money-World | Longstrider

While pursuing my MPC, Military Payment Certificate, collecting I have been sidetracked twice. First I was sent off into exploring JIM, Japanese Invasion Money used in the Philippians. Lately I have been drawn into Philippine Guerrilla Currency. This blog will touch, lightly, on that subject.
The day after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor they invaded the Philippian Islands. Being strategically located, Japan was quick to secure them and deny the Allies the opportunity. President Quezon left the Philippines in 1941. Forced out, in exile at Cebu, the temporary capitol of the Free Philippines, he authorized the issue of twenty million pesos. This turned out to not be enough and not available to people in the occupied islands.
This led to the use of what is called guerrilla currency or emergency currency. This was first unauthorized but were later used everywhere. The fact that being caught with any of this currency meant torture and or immediate execution by the Japanese Forces is a testament to the courage of the Philippian people. It has been said that these notes were not money but an execution warrant.
The notes themselves were being printed under extreme conditions. Paper was anything that was available. It ranged from wrapping paper, ledger books, newspaper, and office forms. At times even cloth was used. It has been said by people doing this work that they would have even used toilet paper had it been available. Inks were made locally using dies or lamp black mixed with any kind of oils. Most often wood block were carved and used as crude plates. The size of the notes varied greatly.
There are two major types of guerilla notes: Provincial and Municipal. Provincial notes are those that were legally, usually, authorized by the exiled Free Philippian government. These notes were redeemable after the war. They were produced by approximately 22 different Provinces.
Municipal notes were used as "small change" and day to day commerce. The biggest difference between the types of notes is Municipal notes were largely not redeemable after WWII. They were however often traded for Provincial notes and later redeemed as such. There are from 12 to 30 types of Municipal notes known and cataloged. Many of these can be broken down into sub varieties. Most made locally and backed, often, by the U.S Army.
Now to the few I have collect at this time. First I have a few One Peso notes from the island Province of Bohol. These are titled as "Treasury Emergency Currency Certificate". There size is between 120-123/ 60-63mm. I also have a 148/65mm specimen. I have collected 2 Fifty Centavos notes from the Bohol Province. These are the same smaller size. My favorite note, so far, is the One Peso note from Cebu dated 1941. All these notes are very odd in hand. They feel kind of "stretchy". That is the only way I can describe them.
That's it for now. I am just starting to learn about these so I am a bit vague about them. Sorry. Takes time. I encourage anyone interested in the history of the Philippians during WWII to check them out. Most notes are relatively inexpensive. They vary greatly in condition and color brightness. It is a miracle, to me, that any survive. Thanks for looking. Please feel free to comment.



Level 4

Very cool notes, like you I like MPC specifically series 681, but while taking the Military Numismatic Class in Colorado Springs I met Ken Berger who collects and has written a book regarding Philippine Emergency Notes. He actually passed out a note so we could start a short snorter of the classmates, but I have to admit I kept mine as received and have added to it over the years. At the time of the class Ken had mentioned he was working on a book regarding the Counterstamped, Signed & Initialized notes Cebu Province. The book included a CD with many wonderful colored images of these notes. I have also encountered quite a few note since moving to Texas, both at coin shows and flea markets. As for the book there is now a second edition which you can order from Ken directly for $30 plus $5 P&H at csinotes@juno.com. Yes shameless plug for a friend, enjoy.


Level 5

Interesting notes to collect. History!


Level 5

Wow, those look super cool! I love the old, faded look.

An interesting series to collect. I remember reading how they printed some of these notes out in the jungle on old printing presses, just ahead of advancing Japanese troops.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

Thanks for telling us about these. I have a lot of Philipine coinage that goes back quite a ways including the ones we issued for them. I need to do more than just organize them

Long Beard

Level 5

I enjoy hearing, in this case seeing, what other type of numismatics others collect. Great complimentary choice for coinage, like U.S. Philippine.


Level 5

WOW...Thanks for sharing Longstrider ! I certainly learned something today for sure! Previously, all I knew was that Gen. MacArthur was there and said "I'll be back"! Great looking notes for your collection!


Level 6

Now that's a blog! Amazing history lesson and research Longstrider! Great additions to your growing collection! Thanks for sharing ; )


Level 7

I read blogs to learn new things about coins and currency. Today I picked up allot. Great blog and thanks for all the research you did. Your collection is growing. Keep up the good work. These notes were a part of all wars. People needed them. Soldiers needed them. . Again thanks.!!


Level 6

Interesting addition to your collection.


Level 5

Very interesting how they used anything they could. Nice blog. Thanks


Level 4

i personally have a few notes that were issued by the occupying Japanese government myself. good blog.


Level 4

checked my notes against an decently-informed yet old reference and found theyre all genuine, at least my 5 and 10 peso notes are. dont know if the US counterfeited 5 Centavo and 10 Centavo notes though.


Level 6

A.J. Check your JIM's for Allied Counterfeits. They are out there.

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