Today's auction of the APO Philatelic Society listed 413 lots, philatelic and nonphilatelic. About a dozen bidders showed up at the Philpost lobby.
One of the lots sold to me is this commemorative cover for the 50th anniversary of the club. Got it for the starting bid price of P15.
Commemorative covers like this were issued by Philpost beginning in the year 2000.
We turn to Ngo's catalog for an explanation of how and why this postal product came about:
"Due to the many requests received by the Post Office every year, many cannot be accommodated if we are to limit the number of stamps annually. Also, many requests cannot be granted as they will violate certain stamp-issuing policies and guidelines. Most individuals and groups requesting for stamps are not satisfied with slogan cancels alone, so the commemorative cover becomes a more acceptable alternative compared to outright rejection of their request.
"The commemorative cover is identical in size to the official first day cover issued by Philpost, and also has a cachet at the left side. Most will have slogan cancels, which could usually be from any number of post offices, so long as the one requesting is willing to pay a fixed amount per post office requested. The price includes the cost of the design and manufacture of rubber stamps and ink pads to be used."
Incidentally, the APO commemorative cover was the very first to be issued.