Back to the old look, back to my postcards

Okay, I have to admit, I’m a creature of habit.  (Tapa all week long? I used to do that…)  I tried a different ‘look’ but it didn’t quite feel right, so I’m back to this layout.

Saturday morning.  I just sat down at 11:35 (finally!) after waking up close to 9am.  Ate breakfast in front of the TV and then proceeded to photograph more postcards.  (Photographing vs. Scanning? Photos work better for me, but I have to admit it takes some angling and set up.  I think I am getting the hang of it, though.)

In 10 minutes I have to prepare lunch for the mother-in-law. No cooking.  Just heating and fixing the portions.  I already made rice earlier this morning for the breakfast of the boys.  Another Saturday here.  I’m trying to decide if what I’m going to do next after the lunch is ready.  (The boy is bugging me about doing another video for “THE ANGELO REPORT” on the toys we got yesterday, but I told him I’m not taking a video of him in his pajamas.  That’ll have to wait for later before we leave for errands when he’s dressed appropriately.)

I’m trying to get him into postcard collecting but more to introduce him to the children back home (found a teacher in Bulacan with whom I’ll be trading postcards with and I’m trying to arrange for his students to write us), and hopefully help him improve his handwriting and writing skills.  Of course I know half the effort will come from me, but I want to broaden his horizons, so to speak, and get in him touch with his Filipino heritage beyond his family.  I am trying to sort through my collection to get rid of duplicates as well, and I didn’t realize that I had traded away a lot of the ordinary New York postcards which are no longer available.  I guess because I could easily pick up those postcards off of the souvenir stores in Manhattan, I figured I could always have access to them.  But the landscape keeps changing and even the postcard stocks do.  There are some artsy postcards I purchased in specialty shops like bookstores, and I don’t know if those are still available.  Learning from that experience, I’m now setting aside one copy of each postcard I buy in multiples to trade with.  I managed to save quite a few, but I remember quite a number I wish I had kept copies of.

I’ve managed to keep the postcards in mint condition by keeping them in hard shoe boxes, and I’m trying to get to the map postcards sorted by states to begin with so I can upload them and people can see which postcards I DO NOT have.  Since I started collecting in 1985, I’ve amassed quite a collection, in different shapes and sizes, and even New York, believe it or not, has at least 4 map postcards out there, not counting the Manhattan map from the local Disney Store.  (I’m not even sure it’s still the same map available there since they’ve moved locations.  Have to check that one out one of these days.)

Long Island Map (Showing Montauk Lighthouse)
When I see a postcard rack, my eye has been trained to look for map postcards right away, be it here in New York, in the newstands of Paris, at the airports we stop or land in, or in the souvenir shops in New York and elsewhere.  I always grab more than one because there are a lot of map postcard collectors out there, and since it’s a very particular collecting interest, we usually want a map postcard in return.  During my last 4 trips home, I’ve also picked up postcards of Boracay and other provinces of which they produced combined map and multiviews postcards with.

Lighthouse postcards, my second main collecting interest, are a little trickier to come by because they are normally not available in land locked states or areas where they are not close to the sea.  Being from the East Coast, though, I am lucky that even New York has its share of lighthouses, even if the postcards are not available in the city.   In fact when we travel close to one, we try and make it a point to visit the actual lighthouse and take pictures.  The good news is that there are a lot of lighthouse postcard collectors who will swap for them as well.  I have had the good fortune of visiting and taking pictures of at least two of the most famous lighthouses in the country (Montauk Point Lighthouse in Long Island, and Cape Neddick or the Nubble Lighthouse in York, Maine) and I am going to attempt to produce my own postcard using my photography.  (Another post being drafted on that one.)  Of course, most postcard collectors prefer the commercially printed ones.  So I’m very happy to have come across mail art and found a group of people in the IUOMA who are all into handmade or privately produced postcards.  (And yes, I found kababayans there, too.)

Mail Art Watercolor Background 10
Watercolor on Gesso postcard

Mail Art.  I have always been awed by how creative people can get, and I try.  More for personal therapy and as a ways of communicating, but I try.  The reason I emphasize this is I am completely bowled over by the talent of the people in that group.  I am looking forward to start swaps in that area, but I am trying to come up with something decent to exchange with.  As it happens, there is a minimalist group for which my existing set of watercolor backgrounds on gesso would work well with.

Here’s another interesting collecting genre: FREECARDS or ADVERTISING cards, and I have a ton of them.  Back when I started, I received them from Singapore, Europe and of course, the United Stated.  There was a time a local company in Manila attempted to get into the business but they didn’t quite click there.

FREECARD: New York City Ballet 2003 Winter Season

They are literally FREE and are picked up from racks in cafes or stores and are meant to advertise the subject of the card.  I have seen less and less of these in New York and am wondering if they are still around.  I keep only one of each and are now using the freecards as backing or postcard base for my mail art.  I am NOT trading them right now and will keep what I have as is, but I know what a collecting interest means to a postcard collector.  I’ve started a Flickr set to showcase the more interesting ones but not all are available for trade.  Unfortunately, this is not a priority in terms of documenting what I have in the collection so you’d have to e-mail me if you are interested in them.

If you are interested to receive one of my own postcards or wish to trade, please e-mail me at

I have a general album of POSTCARDS AVAILABLE FOR TRADE OR EXCHANGE which will change according to what is available.  The photographing and uploading is taking a lot of time so I am not going as fast as I hope I could, so if you are looking for a particular postcard, please e-mail me.  I am looking to get rid of a few boxes of postcards that are not within my collecting interests, and I might have something you are looking for.

Happy postcard collecting!

Back to my Postcards

I have been collecting postcards for almost 20 years now, but my postcard collecting has been half-hearted the last couple of years.  I’ve mostly bought postcards from our trips, making a point of sending it back to us with inscriptions of the things we had done.  I have altogether stopped trading.

I am hoping to streamline my postcard collection to my main collecting interests which are: anything Filipino (vintage and new), anything New York (vintage and new), lighthouses, maps and now, art postcards or mail art.  I also have quite a collection of freecards or advertising cards from the Philippines, New York and other countries, but I just want to keep what I have and dispose of my duplicates or maybe make use of them as backing for altered postcards or mail art.

I have attempted to catalogue or upload my postcard collection to the web several times in the past, but finding an acceptable “format, theme or stylesheet” has been problematic so I gave up on that.  Well maybe it’s time to revisit the idea again.  I am seriously considering putting up a separate site altogether and maybe start trading again.  After all, I have a PRO Flickr account so might as well make the most of it.

One reason I had stopped actively trading was because I had fallen behind on some trades before I stopped.  I would like to make good on them but I have lost track.  Motherhood had gotten in the way, but I’ve always believed that I can always try to make up for my failure to make good on an exchange.  (Please e-mail me and let me know.)

Meanwhile, I’m so happy to have found that there are a lot of trading groups om Facebook.  Looks like the post office is getting some help with these snail mail trades.

Black and White Postcard of the Brooklyn Bridge

I have found postcard collecting very rewarding, more so when I was young and not yet able to travel.  I always said that postcards provided me a window to the world beyond the shores of the Philippines.

So I guess you can say I’m back to postcard trading, with the additional collecting interest of mail art or art postcards.

If you are interested to receive a postard from New York city, one of my art postcards (to trade for one of your own), or if you are interested to exchange postcards within my collecting interests or if you want  any of the postcards I am trying to weed out of my collection, please e-mail me with your mailing address IN THE FORMAT IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE WRITTEN ON THE POSTCARD at