I started collecting Philippine made belt buckles in 2010 and they are the only Militaria item I am collecting. This is my first of hopefully many posts to this forum.
While I never made it to the Philippines, I am fascinated by the buckles that Philpino artisans made for US Service Men and Women. Based on ebay sales, belt buckle engraving exploded in 1945 as the Philippines was liberated and served as the forward base as the US prepared for invasion of Japan and then for the demobilization and return to the US. While there are some Army, Air Force, and USMC Philippine made buckles, they appear to have been mainly made for USN (and Coast Guard) personnel from 1944 to the 1970s. Starting in the 1970s, Marines started to have (non-uniform) buckles made for themselves too. But when the US pulled closed down its last base in the Philippines in 1992, the period of Philippine made buckles essentially ended.
I'm going to use this thread to share some of my buckles and hopefully learn from many of you more about your stories of having custom made buckles made for you. If you have pictures of you wearing Philippine Buckles, please share. I've seen some pictures of people wearing them while in uniform, but I'm always still looking for more examples.
What I find really interesting is that the Philippine Belt Buckle "industry" started before WWII. Back when I first started collecting in 2010, I saw a Fort Mills buckle sell on ebay but I was outbid. I have since then realized the rarity of these pre-WWII buckles, and have been patiently waiting for another to be listed. Long story short, another one was finally listed and arrived in the mail today.
I'm finally coming out of the collecting closet (although I'm still actively collecting) and am looking forward to sharing my passion with you!