THE PHILIPPINES | Ninoy Aquino :: The ₱500 Banknote Details




New Design Series

Obverse: Benigno S. “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr., Philippine flag, Central Bank seal, dove of peace, Ninoy’s typewriter with his initials (“B.S.A.J.”), “Faith in our people and faith in God”, “The Filipino is worth dying for,” Ninoy’s signature

Reverse: scenes from Ninoy Aquino’s life and some allegorical groups (see note below)

Predominant color: yellow

Security thread: 0.75 mm embedded magnetic and metallic; for newer notes, 1.4 mm windowed colorshift (magenta-green) with cleartext “500”

Length: 160 mm

Width: 66 mm

Thickness: 100-118 microns

Material: 20% abaca, 80% cotton

Text: “Republika ng Pilipinas”, “Limandaang Piso”, “Ang salaping ito ay bayarin ng Bangko Sentral at pananagutan ng Republika ng Pilipinas”

Security Features: security thread, red & blue visible fibers, fluorescent printing, iridescent band, windowed security thread, concealed numerical value, andmicro-printing

– details from




The front side of the 500-piso banknote features the portrait of Benigno Aquino, Jr.. To the right of the banknote, there are two popular quotes from Aquino: “Faith in our people and faith in God”, and “The Filipino is worth dying for”. There is also the signature of Aquino, a typewriter with his initials (“B.S.A.J.”), and a dove of peace. A Philippine flag is also to the right of his portrait, near the central part of the front side.

The reverse side features a collage of various images in relation to Aquino. He was (out of some of the pictures) a journalist for the Manila Times, a senator (the pioneer of the Study Now, Pay Later education program), the mayor in his hometown of Concepcion, the governor of Tarlac, and was the main driving force behind the People Power Revolution of 1986, some three years after his death in 1983.

It is also interesting to note that unlike the names of the figures on the bills, “Benigno S. Aquino, Jr.” is written in gold-coloured, cursive writing with a green laurel wreath as opposed to the name being simply written as with the other banknotes.

Before this note was printed, 500-piso banknote was to have Ferdinand Marcos and its back was the Batasang Pambansa Complex until People Power Revolution when it was replaced by the current 500-piso banknote. Remnants of this version of the banknote are only for media purposes.

On August 16, 2009, a proposal [artwork by Revo C. Naval of] was made by theBangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to have president Cory Aquino accompany Ninoy Aquino in the banknote.

– Wikipedia, “Banknotes of the Philippine Peso


One Thousand Piso Commemorative Gold Coin (1975)
Ang Bagong Lipunan
3rd Anniversary

Although he just missed being on a banknote, Marcos did appear in metalic form. Ferdy and gold went together like bread and cheese. This gold coin was minted to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of his Bagong Lipunan (New Society) — a euphemism for his declaration of martial law — which he and Imelda established on 21 September 1972.

Also from 1975, this five peso coin of Marcos is one the few coins in Philippine history that featured a person who was still living.

But back to his nemeses, Ninoy and Cory …








With Tita Cory’s passing on 1 August 2009, the people at the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (which looks like a suave piece of mid-60s modern on the back of the ₱100 note and is, in actuality — sitting as it does across the road from Leandro V, Locsin’s masterpiece, the Cultural Center of the Philippines — a rather nasty bit of architecture blighting Roxas Avenue) were probably pressured into honouring Ninoy’s  widow.

File:Php bill 100 back.jpg

(She was all,  Woman of the Year):

Woman with the year, 1986

With VP Salvador Laurel, March 1986, shortly after EDSA the first

August 2009

Maria Corazon “Cory” Sumúlong Cojuangco Aquino

25 January 1933 – 1 August 2009




New Generation Currency

In 2009 the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has announced that it will be launching a massive redesign for current banknotes and coins to further enhance security features and improve durability.

The members of the numismatic committee include Bangko Sentral Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo, Ambeth Ocampo and Dr. Jimmy Laya, members of the National Historical Institute.

The new banknote design will feature famous Filipinos and iconic natural wonders. Philippine national symbols will be depicted on coins. The BSP will start releasing the initial batch of new banknotes in December 2010 while new coins will be introduced beginning 2012.

Current banknotes will remain legal tender for at least three years.

– Wikipedia, Philippine Peso

So, here is one proposal for a Cory-Nino note, from Power, Love & Revolution (a really cool website, BTW):

But I’m not so sure that having Cory’s smiling visage growing out of Ninoy’s shoulder is such a grand idea. I’m not even sure if the both of them should be on one note; I think they deserve to be on two separate denominations.





Here’s another proposal (click to enlarge):

SOURCE: The New 500 or 2000-peso bill


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