Philippine Banknotes: 1981 Pope John Paul II Overprint

In 1981, Pope John Paul II visited the Philippines. His visit lasted for 6 days, from February 17- 22.

To commemorate this historical event, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas issued a commemorative banknote. The overprint was placed on the 2 Peso banknote of the ABL (Ang Bagong Lipunan) series banknotes.




Coat of arms of Pope John Paul II

“PEB. 17-22, 1981”
(FEB. 17-22,1981)

During the Pope’s visit, President Marcos temporarily suspended Martial Law to get in the Pope’s good graces. The Filipino people wanted to hear the Pope reprimand Marcos and his administration, but the Pope was wise enough not to do so in public.

During his visit, he beatified the Filipino martyr Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint.

Pope John Paul II visited the Philippines for a second time in 1995 in celebration of the World Youth Day and is remembered in history as having the largest papal crowd ever with an estimate of 4 million people in attendance. Who could forget the theme song, “Tell the world of His love.” It echoed throughout the country and was broadcasted on almost all TV and Radio stations.


  • He was the second longest-serving Pope. Serving for almost 27 years from 1978 to 2005.
  • He is the first non-Italian pope since 1523.
  • Born in Poland on the 18th of May, 1920, his birth name is Karol Jozef Wojtyla.
  • He is now called Saint John Paul the Great after his canonization.
  • Each pope has his own coat of arms.

I was not yet born during the Pope’s first visit in ’81, but I do remember his 1995 visit.

The current pope, Pope Francis, is scheduled to visit the Philippines next year, January 2015.

I bought this banknote from a dealer for a reasonable price. It’s not a very rare banknote, and not a very sought-after collectible either.



~ by MAV on November 17, 2014.

5 Responses to “Philippine Banknotes: 1981 Pope John Paul II Overprint”

  1. Where do you get all of these? I also want to have a collection like this but I don’t know where to buy them. Hope you can help me

    • Hi. I usually get my coins and banknotes from a shop in Greenhills. Shop is called JC coins & Antiques. Its on the 2nd floor. Another shop I usually go to is World Treasures at the 4th floor of Megamall.

  2. How much did you spent on buying this note? Is it UNC?

    • I think I spent about 100 Pesos on this one. The banknote is ungraded or raw. But by the looks of it, I think its UNC, but that’s just my opinion.

  3. 09196147945 txt me if u r interested..its very hard to find this kind of item…I have 1 and still in a very good condition..

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