PMG's Featured Note of the Month: Philippines 500 Piso

Posted on 8/17/2021

This note honors the life of Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., an icon of Philippine democracy.

Philippines, Bangko Sentral 1949 (ND 1987-94) 500 Piso graded PMG 67 Superb Gem Unc EPQ with portrait of Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.
Click images to enlarge.

Country: Philippines

Catalog Number: Pick# 173a (Standard Catalog of World Paper Money)

Date: 1949 (ND 1987-94)

Denomination: 500 Piso

Varieties: PMG has also graded different signature combination varieties and Specimens of this note.

Other similar notes printed later featured a different seal — Seal Type 5. Those notes were issued between 1998 and 2013 are in the Pick# 185 series.

What makes it special? Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. (November 27, 1932 to August 21, 1983) is revered in the Philippines for his dedication to democracy and to peace. A journalist-turned-politician who served as a senator of the Philippines, he was a leader in the opposition to the rule of Ferdinand Marcos.

“Ninoy’s” pro-democracy work led to his imprisonment for eight years. His sentence was commuted when he became ill and was granted permission to travel to the United States for heart surgery. When he flew home on August 21, 1983, he was shot and killed after getting off the airplane. His death touched off massive demonstrations against Marcos and lead to the People Power Revolution of 1986 and the eventual election of his widow, Corazon Aquino, as president.

The anniversary of his death is commemorated with a national holiday.

Did you know? The 500 Piso note is designed as a tribute to national hero “Ninoy” Aquino. On the right of the front side 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," under which is signed his nickname, “Ninoy.” The front also includes a typewriter with his initials ("B.S.A.J.") and a dove of peace. Featured on the back is a collage of various images celebrating Aquino’s life and political career.

Total graded by PMG: PMG has graded 3 examples of Pick# 173a; 2 examples of Pick# 173b and 1 example of Pick# 173c. PMG also has graded a total of 34 Pick# 173 Specimen notes.

PMG median grade: PMG 65 Gem Uncirculated EPQ for regular notes and PMG 64 Choice Uncirculated for Specimens.

PMG highest graded: There is 1 example of Pick# 173a, 4 examples of Pick# 173s1 and 1 example of Pick# 173s2 in PMG 67 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQ.

Sales highlights: A Specimen (Pick# 173s2) was sold for $180 at a Heritage Auction sale in 2018. Examples around the median grade can be found for about $45.

PMG Registry: Pick# 173 is part of this competitive set: Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas, 1985-1991 ND Issue, P168-P174, but none of the three sets competing there have it yet. You could be the first!

Related Articles

Stay Informed

Want news like this delivered to your inbox once a month? Subscribe to the free PMG eNewsletter today!


You've been subscribed to the PMG eNewsletter.

Unable to subscribe to our eNewsletter. Please try again later.

Articles List