philippine banknotes

For World Money Monday, we’re going to explore the Philippines and get to know a little bit about their “VICTORY” Series. The Philippines, also known as the official Republic of the Philippines, is an country in Southeast Asia. It is located in the western part of the Pacific Ocean. The Philippines is known for having over 60,000 kilometers of beautiful coastline, being a giant melting pot for several cultures, and lastly having amazing backstories for their banknotes.

Water, Mountains and Canoes.
Source: Wanderland travels, Wonderland’s Cove

World Money Monday Background Information on Victory Banknotes

When the Philippine currency, or pesos, were reprinted in 1944, it was called the Victory series #66. The reason they named the series “66” was because that was the age late President Quezon passed away just after the liberation of Philippines approached. The series of victory notes are half American because the United States of America took control over the Philippines in the early 1900s. VICTORY notes were printed by the United States Bureau of printing and engraving and it happened to be the last Philippine currency printed by the United States. The intention of the victory notes was to be used until the return of the General of the Philippine army from America, MacArthur. Also, to celebrate the liberation of the Philippines and the destruction of “Military Money”.

Military Money versus Guerilla Money

Japanese invade into philippines
Source: Japanese Colonization of the Philippines by Sara Cooper, Japanese invading Philippines
Philippine Guerilla Soliders
Source: Pintrest, Philippine Guerilla fighters

Military Money came about during World War 2 when Japan took over the Philippines and forced their new currency to be “Military Money”. Military Money was a flat currency that wasn’t backed by another currency but forced the Philippines to retreat to only using what the Japanese gave to them. It was used as salary for the Japanese soldiers and marked Military Money for authentication purposes. The United States (Hawaii) had been attacked by Japan, so the United States and the Philippines had a common denominator, beat Japanese forces.

Eventually, the Philippine people started a top-secret underground organization amongst themselves to resist the Japanese. This guerrilla activity ultimately spread across the Philippine islands until more than 260,000 men were active in guerrilla operations. This is where Guerilla Currency was born. The guerrilla currency began being used in banks and local governments. Between the United States and Philippine military forces, guerrilla currency continued printing Philippine pesos from around October 1944 to September 1945. Any earlier issues except for the emergency guerrilla notes were no longer legal. All in all, the guerrilla was the start of the “emergency currency” but the VICTORY note wasn’t printed until later in 1944.

What exactly are the Philippines “VICTORY” Series?

Victory Note from Philippines
Source: Banknote World, Educational, 500 Pesos Philippines’s Banknote from 1949

The Philippine Government issued what is commonly known as Victory notes that were Treasury Certificates in 1944. These currency notes were only for use in the Philippines, which at the time depended on the United States, and were obligations of the Philippine Treasury. As shown above, the extremely rare 500-Peso Philippine Victory Notes were demonetized by the Philippine government on December 31st, 1957 and were withdrawn from circulation. During this point, other denominations of the Philippine Victory Notes (Victory Series 66) were no longer regarded as legal tender but could be exchanged, or even replaced at your choice. After July 30th, 1967, Series 66 was considered demonetized and banned from the island. Today, the Philippines still uses Pesos as their currency and are close allies with the United States.

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