Foreign Seniors Ask: WHAT ARE THE NEW (2018) PHILIPPINE COINS?

I have a Balikbayan friend who arrived recently and asked me if she can still use the Philippine old coins she kept from her recent visit.

IMG_6016                   Old Philippine coins (from NGC Coins Brochure, with permission)

Well, dearest Balikbayan friend, Seniors, and other tourists who might not know about the new (2018) Philippine coins, here’s a summary:

The Central Bank of the Philippines (Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas in Filipino, abbreviated as BSP) released the complete newly designed New Generation Currency (NGC) Coin Series on March 26, 2018. The series was formally launched in July 2018, to coincide with the BSP’s 24th anniversary.

IMG_6015 - Copy                                        Summary of Designs, 2018 Philippine coins                                                                                  (from NGC Coins Brochure, with permission)


The old coins will remain in circulation, to coexist with the new coins, and can still be used for day-to-day business transactions until the BSP calls for their demonetization.

The NGC Series was produced using the latest technology in minting coins, and features enhanced aesthetics and security to deter counterfeiting as well as to improve wear and corrosion resistance capabilities.The BSP announced that the metallic composition of these coins similarly discourages the illegal practice of hoarding copious quantities of coins for the extraction of their metal content in overseas smelting entities.

NGC features modern designs for the 1-centavo, 5-centavo, 25-centavo, 1-peso, 5-peso, and 10-peso coins. Take note, dearest Seniors, there is no NGC 10-centavo coin. Thus, the old ten-centavo coin remains in place. Can you recall what it looks like, Foreign Senior? See the picture above.

The BSP announced that all the NGC coins have “a metallic silver appearance”, and are “made from durable nickel-plated steel that possesses very good wear and corrosion resistance”. The new coin series also addresses concerns on discoloration predominantly observed for copper-based metals.

The new coins feature the BSP logo, national heroes, and endemic flora, complementing the design of the NGC Banknote Series launched in 2010 which shows Philippine flora. These designs, features, and other specifications were the result of an extensive and in-depth study by two expert committees of the BSP – the Numismatic Committee, and the Currency Management Committee. Their proposals were reviewed by the Monetary Board and then recommended for final approval of the President of the Philippines.

flora-2018 coins-ok                               Summary of Featured Flora, 2018 Philippine coins                                                                            (from NGC Coins Brochure, with permission)

The centavo-coins of the NGC (2018) Coin Series have common features: all are silver with the obverse side (or face) featuring the stylized 3-stars-and-a-sun motif from the Philippine flag, a smooth background, and the words “Republika ng Pilipinas” on top, all covering two-thirds of the coin from the left. Occupying the remaining one-third of the face to the right are: a vertically-written year mark that appears on top; an “X sentimo” indication (depending on the denomination, 1-sentimo, 5-sentimo and 25-sentimo); and, a very small mint mark at the bottom.The smooth reverse side features an indigenous plant (distinct for each coin denomination) on the left, with the logo of the BSP on the right.

The centavo coins differ in size, type of edge, weight, and featured endemic flora:

The 1-centavo coin is a 15-mm silver coin with a plain 1.54-mm edge, weighs 1.9 grams, and features the Mangkono1 plant on the reverse side.

NGCCoinsPoster - 1-centavo

2018 Philippine NGC 1-Centavo Coin Features (from NGC Coins Poster, with permission)

1-cent-2                              Mangkono, Featured Flora, 2018 Philippine 1-centavo coin                                                                   (from NGC Coins Brochure, with permission)

The 5-centavo coin is a 16-mm silver coin with a 1.6-mm reeded-edge, weighs 2.20 grams, and features the Kapal-kapal Bagingplant on the reverse side.

NGCCoinsPoster - 5-centavo-ok

2018 Philippine NGC 5-Centavo Coin Features (from NGC Coins Poster, with permission)

5-cents-2-ok                Kapal-Kapal Baging, Featured Flora, 2018 Philippine 5-centavo coin                                                             (from NGC Coins Brochure, with permission)

The 25-centavo coin is a 20-mm silver coin with a 1.65-mm plain edge, weighs 3.60 grams, and features the Katmon3 plant on the reverse side.

NGCCoinsPoster - 25-centavo-ok

2018 Philippine NGC 25-Centavo Coin Features (from NGC Coins Poster, with permission)

25-cents-2-ok                          Katmon, Featured Flora, 2018 Philippine 25-centavo coin                                                                       (from NGC Coins Brochure, with permission)

The peso-coins of the NGC (2018) Coin Series have common features: all are silver and feature a national hero in the obverse (or face) side, with the words “Republika ng Pilipinas” on top. The right side of the face, occupying about one-third of the coin, has a vertically-written year mark, an “X piso” indication (depending on the denomination, 1 piso, 5 piso, and 10 piso), and a very small mint mark at the bottom. The reverse side features a unique endemic flora (but with different backgrounds – plain/smooth or with microprint) on the left, with the logo of the BSP centered (over different backgrounds – plain/smooth or with microprint) on the right.

The peso-coins differ in size, type of edge, weight, and featured national hero on the obverse side and endemic flora on the reverse side:

The 1-peso coin is a 23-mm silver coin with a 2.05-mm intermittent reed-edge, and weighs 6.0 grams. It features Jose Rizal4 on its smooth obverse side, and the Waling-Waling5 on its smooth reverse side.

NGCCoinsPoster - 1peso-ok


2018 Philippine NGC 1-Peso Coin Features (from NGC Coins Poster, with permission)

1-peso-2                   Waling-Waling, Featured Flora, 2018 Philippine 1-peso coin                                                                 (from NGC Coins Brochure, with permission)

The 5-peso coin is a 25-mm silver coin with a 2.20-mmsmooth/plain edge, and weighs 7.40 grams. It features Andres Bonifacio6 on the smooth two-thirds of the left side of its obverse, and, on the right, “5 piso” is indicated over a microprint background of “Republika ng Pilipinas”. On the reverse side, it features the Tayabakplant on the left two-thirds, and the remaining one-third has a microprint of “Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas”.

NGCCoinsPoster - 5peso-ok

2018 Philippine NGC 5-Peso Coin Features (from NGC Coins Poster, with permission)

5-peso-2                          Tayabak, Featured Flora, 2018 Philippine 5-peso coin                                                                          (from NGC Coins Brochure, with permission)

This new 5-peso coin, weighing in at 7.4 grams, is way heavier than the 6.1-gram old 1-peso coin. It is also thicker (2.2 mm vs. 1.8 mm) and slightly larger (25 mm vs. 24 mm). It has a smooth edge while the old 1-peso coin has ridges. So, with just 1-mm difference, be careful when giving out new coins. I personally find it difficult to differentiate these two coins and henceforth, I check on the face of the coin before I hand over a 1- or 5-peso coin. For the visually-impaired, it would be wise to feel the edge to differentiate the said coins.

The new 5-peso coin was released as early as December 2017 to mark the 154th birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio (on November 30) and to meet the greater demand for coins during the Christmas season. This coin, along with the 10-peso coin, has “micro-printed details using laser-engraving technology” so it would be difficult to be duplicated using traditional coin counterfeiting methods.

The old 5-peso of the BSP Coin Series features the former BSP logo and Emilio Aguinaldo8. Aguinaldo was replaced by Bonifacio in the BGC coin, and the former is instead featured on the obverse side of the 200-peso NGC banknote as part of the image of the Declaration of Philippine Independence.

The 10-peso coin is a 27-mm silver coin, has a 2.05-mm milled edge with the lettering “Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas”, and weighs 8.0 grams. The obverse side is like the 5-peso coin but features Apolinario Mabinion the left side, and the “10 piso” indication over a microprint of “Republika ng Pilipinas” on the right.  The reverse side is also designed like the 5-peso coin, but features the Kapa-Kapa10 plant with microdots.

NGCCoinsPoster - 10peso-ok

2018 Philippine NGC 10-Peso Coin Features (from NGC Coins Poster, with permission)

10-peso-2                          Kapa-Kapa, Featured Flora, 2018 Philippine 10-peso coin                                                                   (from NGC Coins Brochure, with permission)

Bottomline, dearest Seniors, the differentiation between the old BSP Coin Series and the new (2018) NGC collection is achieved through visual and tactile familiarization.

The original coin picture/slide, which I cropped, were officially obtained through the BSP Currency Communications Staff and the Currency Issue and Integrity Office. The description per coin is my own, based on the information I received.

For more information, contact: Currency Issue and Integrity Office – Telephone Numbers: (02)988-4834 or (02) 352-1495; Email:; BSP Corporate Affairs Office – Telephone Numbers: (02)708-7140 and (02) 708-7701 local 2876; Fax Number: (02) 708-7138; Email:;; Website:

You can also visit – Facebook:; Twitter: @BangkoSentral;   Instagram: @bangkosentral; YouTube:

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1The Mangkono (Xanthostemonverdugonianus) is a rare and endangered species of plant in the Myrtaceae family, endemic to the Philippines, and known to be the hardest Philippine hardwood species. Its inherent hardness and density have earned it the tag “Philippine Ironwood”. It is threatened by habitat loss due to human activity and urbanization. It can take two to four days to cut a 70-cm thick Mangkono tree with an axe compared to the average three hours for other trees with the same diameter. For this reason, diamond-point saws, together with a great volume of water (to counter overheating), have been used exclusively. It is known to have a very limited habitat, indigenous only within the “Mangkono Triangle” area (consisting of the Dinagat Island in Surigao, the Homonhon Island in Samar, and Babatngon, Leyte), and in Palawan. Information sourced from the Wikipedia page, “Xanthostemonverdugonianus” where the tree is referred to as “Magkono”.11

2The Kapal-Kapal Baging plant (Calotropis gigantea; Crown Flower) is a medium-sized (2 to 4-meter-high) shrub, with a pale bark, obovate or oblong (10-20 cm long, 3-8 cm wide, cottony beneath, heart-shaped at the base with pointed tip) light green leaves with a milky stem, that is cultivated for its long-lasting flowers. It is native to the Philippines, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and tropical Africa. The clustered, waxy flowers are either white or lavender. Each flower consists of five pointed petals and a small “crown” which holds the stamens. It is said to be the host plant of Hawaii’s monarch butterflies (recall their black-orange-white patterned four-inch wings). It is known as a Philippine medicinal plant: antibacterial; anti-diarrheal; antihyperglycemic (lowers glucose levels in the blood for diabetics); anti-inflammatory; antimicrobial; antipyretic (prevents or reduces fever); cytotoxic (able to kill cells for cancer treatment), hepatoprotective (prevents liver damage), insecticidal (destroys/controls insects); vasodilatory (widens blood vessels thereby promoting increasedblood flow); with wound healing properties; and, free radical scavenging activity.12 It seems this is a great plant with so many medicinal uses!

3The Katmon plant (Philippine Catmon) is a (6-15 meter-high) evergreen tree with leathery, shining, ovate, elliptic, or oblong-ovate 12-25 cm leaves, closely toothed at the margins, according to the Wikipedia page, “Dillenia philippinensis”.13 The large, white 6-15 cm (in diameter) flower is soft, with large fleshy sepals tightly enclosing the true fruit, and with reddish pistils and stamens. It is endemic to the Philippines and only found in forests, at low and medium altitudes. Its round, edible, 6-8 cm fruit can be cooked as a vegetable, used to flavor fish, or made into jams and sauces. It is also used in the Philippines as an alternative medicine: analgesic (pain reliever), antibacterial, antihyperglycemic (lowers glucose levels in the blood for diabetics), anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and hypoglycemic (lowers blood sugar).12 Another great plant, our very own, but sadly, it is considered a vulnerable, threatened species!

4Jose Rizal (1861-1896) is widely considered as the national hero of the Philippines. He was a Filipino patriot and a distinguished reform advocate during the end of the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines. He was also a polymath, i.e., a person with a wide-ranging knowledge/learning – he was an ophthalmologist, painter, educator, sculptor, playwright, poet, linguist and novelist. He was executed by the Spanish colonial government for the crime of rebellion, inspired in part by his writings, according to the Wikipedia page “Jose Rizal”.14 Remember, dearest Seniors, that our country has no official national hero to-date since there has been no law or proclamation for such a Philippine national symbol.

5The Waling-Waling is a flower of the orchid family, endemic to Mindanao in the provinces of Cotabato, Davao, and Zamboanga, and considered the “Queen of Philippine flowers”, according to Wikipedia page “Waling-waling”. It comes in two colors – pink and white.15

6Andres Bonifacio (1863-1897) was a Filipino revolutionary leader and the President of the Tagalog Republic, the revolutionary government involved in the Philippine revolution against Spain, from 1896-1897. He is also considered a de facto national hero of the Philippines, according to Wikipedia page “Andres Bonifacio”.16 He is often called “The Father of the Philippine Revolution”. He co-founded the Katipunan and later became “Supremo” (Supreme Leader).

7Tayabak (Strongylodonmacrobotrys) is the local term for emerald vine, jade vine, or turquoise vine. It is an endemic woody vine in Philippine tropical damp forests. Its stems can reach up to 18 meters in length. The claw-shaped, turquoise, blue-green to mint-green flowers are carried in pendent trusses, or pseudoracemes, of 75 or more flowers and can reach as much as three meters long, according to Wikipedia page “Strongylodon macrobotrys”.17 I first saw this flowering plant in Nagcarlan, Laguna, and I just loved the awesome long flowers!

8Emilio Aguinaldo (1869-1964) was the first and youngest president of the Republic of the Philippines. He was a Filipino revolutionary, politician, and military leader. He led the Philippine forces first against Spain in the latter part of the Philippine Revolution (1896-1898), and then in the Spanish-American War (1898), and finally against the United States during the Philippine-American War (1899-1901), according to Wikipedia page “Emilio Aguinaldo”.18

9Apolinario Mabini (1864-1903) was a Filipino revolutionary leader, educator, lawyer, and statesman who served first as a legal and constitutional adviser to the Revolutionary Government, and then as the first Prime Minister of the Philippines upon the establishment of the First Philippine Republic. He is known as the “Brain of the Revolution” despite having lost the use of both his legs to polio in 1896, according to Wikipedia page “Apolinario Mabini”.19

10Kapa-Kapa (Medinilla magnifica), also called showy medinilla or rose grape, is a species of flowering plant in the family of Melastomataceae, native to the Philippines, and commonly called the Philippine orchid. The flowers grow in panicles (multi-branched bunches of flowers arranged on a stem) up to 50 cm long, with ovoid pink bracts (specialized leaf with the flower). The individual flowers can measure up to 25 mm in size, and are pink, red or violet, according to Wikipedia page, “Medinilla magnifica”.20

11”Xanthostemonverdugonianus”, accessed May 11, 2018,

13“Dillenia philippinensis”, accessed May 11, 2018, philippinensis.

14“Jose Rizal”, accessed May 11, 2018,

15“Waling-waling”, accessed May 11, 2018,

16“Andres Bonifacio”, accessed May 11, 2018,

17“Strongylodon macrobotrys”, accessed May 11, 2018,

18“Emilio Aguinaldo”, accessed May 11, 2018,

19“Apolinario Mabini”, accessed May 11, 2018, Mabini.

20“Medinilla magnifica”, accessed May 11, 2018,

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