Saturday, September 16, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 53: Mail / Postal

For the theme this weekend, mail/postal:

NL-3596478, Sent from Netherlands
Sent 10 Oct 2016, Traveled 10,429 km in 15 days

Such an impressive collection of orange stamps! I wonder which one is the oldest and which one is the most recent. Which graphics did you spot right away? For me, it's the elephant with headphones, the silhouette of the crab, and the rabbit with the plush bear toy.

DE-5774142, Sent from Hamburg,
Sent 1 Dec 2016, Traveled 10,135 km in 15 days

How about on this postcard with plenty of mailboxes? Which one got your attention first? To be honest, I was overwhelmed but in a pretty way. And then, I started to notice the one with the cat, with the seashells, and with the green leaves painted from one side to the next.

Happy weekend everyone! And finally, my linkytools.com subscription has been updated. Yey!

~maria




Saturday, September 9, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 52: Monochrome

I have good and bad news to share this weekend. Let's start with the bad news. My linkytools subscription is still yet to be sorted out despite the fact that PayPal already has my money transferred to linkytools. This is starting to push me to the edge of frustration! But, I'm reminded of another fact. I reckon most of my blogger friends and participants to the Postcards for the Weekend won't really be troubled by this and we'll still find a way to visit each other's contribution to the weekend's theme. Hurray! Well, that's part of the good news ...

The other part is -- I just got promoted!! It was totally unexpected. Especially that it was announced right after I came back from my 2 weeks holidays. I'm very grateful to the leadership team of my company for recognizing all the efforts I've put into my work for the past 2.7 years. 

And so, for the monochrome theme this weekend, here are postcards from the USA state where the head office of my company is located: Washington.


Friendship Gift Postcard, Sender: John
Sent 13 Jan 2016, Traveled 12,970 km


Friendship Gift Postcard, Sender: John
Sent 23 Jan 2016, Traveled 12,970 km

John and I have kept in touch and we've planned to meet for a coffee at the original Starbucks in Pike St if and when I can visit Seattle. We've been talking about this for almost 3 years now! I might go to Seattle next month which is excellent timing as I've been worried about the lack of updates at John's Island. I sincerely hope my friend John is well and just taking a hiatus from blogging.


Happy weekend everyone, 
~maria

Friday, September 1, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 51: Start of year 2 !!!

Congratulations to us blogger friends, you know who you are! And, congratulations to readers and followers of Postcards for the Weekend. We are now in our second year!

In the end, I decided to do another year as the joy of sharing postcards and providing a community venue for other collectors who want to share their postcards in a community-like fashion are more reasons enough than the pressure that comes from hosting this linky from time to time.

For this first weekend of our second year for the linky and with the theme Anything you wish, here are postcards from the country I have recently visited:

Direct Swap, Sent from Zwolle
Sent 8 Nov 2015, Traveled 10,377 km

Gouda, tulip fields, and the Dutch bonnet -- these are among the most iconic representations of the Netherlands. I came back to Singapore with a ball of gouda to share with friends. Regretfully, not as huge as this one in the postcard though!

NL-1525406, Sent from Flevoland
Sent 3 Nov 2012, Traveled 10,383 km in 12 days

Windmills -- probably the most iconic Dutch representation. I only saw one at Delft. I wish we could have gone to Kinderdijk. Perhaps next time ...

I'm waiting for my linkytools subscription to be renewed. The payment has gone through but I'm not sure why the subscription status is yet to be updated.

For those who are linking up this weekend and the linky isn't available for this post, please leave the link for your posts in the comment section for the meantime. 

Apologies for the inconvenience,
~maria



Friday, August 25, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 50: Patterns & prints

Postcard sent to self, Sent from Rotterdam, Netherlands
Sent 16 Aug 2017, Traveled ~10,486 km in 7 days

Delft was the first of four cities I've been to during my very recent trip and first trip to the Netherlands. My Dutch mom brought us to the city center on a Saturday. There was a flea market and lots of delft blue in display in the open stalls on the alleys and roadsides. Delft blue is a renowned pottery from Netherlands, tracing its roots to Chinese porcelain craftsmanship. Original and collectible Delft Blue are the ones with patterns painted by hand.

UA-536831, Sent from Kiev, Ukraine
Sent 14 March 2013, Traveled 8,707 km in 27 days
At the back of this postcard was written: Traditional ceramics of Kosov. I did my research as nothing else was provided about these ceramics on the card. If I'm not wrong, these are traditional prints and patterns from the Hutsul folk artists of the Carpathian region. I love how some of the bowls are shaped like open petals of a flower.

RU-1007560, Sent from Ivanovo, Russia
Sent 29 May 2012, Traveled 8,0479 km in 240 days

The sender wrote that Ivanovo is the traditional textile capital of Russia. Take a close look at each roll of cloth, which one is your favorite?

For patterns and prints.

Happy weekend everyone,
~maria












Friday, August 18, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 49: Retro or Vintage

To be totally honest, I'm no good at discerning whether a piece is retro or vintage (despite reading on the meaning of each word). So here we are, with the retro OR vintage theme for this weekend.

ES-439649, Sent from Spain,
Sent 15 Nov 2016, Traveled 11,265 km in 14 days


Chrysanthemum carinatum is a tri-colored daisy. I was intrigued by the scientific name on the postcard as chrysanthemums for what I know are usually multi-layer and more full bodied blooms as compared with the flowers in this postcard.

I think this postcard is a reproduction as the paper at the back isn't yellowed as it appears in front.

FI-2800936, Sent from Oulu, Finland
Sent 2 Sep 2016, Traveled 9,334 km

I hope I'm correct to categorize this postcard's design as retro, if not vintage.

Direct Swap, sent from Stockbridge, GA
Sent 31 Aug 2015, Traveled 16,034 km

This card is labeled Atlanta, Georgia - Retro Skyline at the back of the postcard. It's nice to see three layers of ascending graphics on this postcard.

Friendship Gift Postcard

I received this ad card from a friend who traveled to Europe. I think there were 4 or 5 of them linked with each other but with easy-to-tear perforation in between. This is my favorite from the set.

I'm posting from Charles de Gaulle Airport at the moment, waiting for my flight back to Singapore. I hope we're all looking forward to a relaxing weekend!

~maria 








Sunday, July 30, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 48: Philippines

I'm finally back in Singapore after a 3-week outstation work. I'm happy to end this Saturday with a dinner together with a friend from the Philippines. He's here for a business trip and since there are no Filipino restaurants in Beijing (where he's based now), we decided to eat at a Filipino restaurant. Talking in Filipino and about the Philippines made me miss home even more. Hence, this weekend, I'm sharing scans of postcards that I sent out in the past while I was still based in Manila.

There are three main island clusters for the Philippine archipelago. Luzon in the north, Visayas in the middle, and Mindanao in the south. Let's start from the north -- 




Vigan is a city on the northwest coast of Luzon. It's a popular tourist destination due to its well-preserved colonial Spanish narrow streets and buildings. On this postcard is Vigan Cathedral, a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site declaration for the City of Vigan.


The capital city of Manila is on the same mainland Luzon as Vigan. Luzon is a long stretch of land mass and the distance from Vigan to the nation's capital, Manila is approximately 405 km. On this muti-view postcard, we have a glimpse of old and new buildings in Manila. And oh, there's the monument of our national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal.


An island to the southwest of Manila is Palawan. Here's a subterranean river national park postcard from Palawan's capital of Puerto Princesa. 


From the center of the Philippine archipelago: Visayas, there's the beautiful city of Cebu. Here's a postcard of a grand Taoist Temple, that is open both for worshipers and non-worshipers. I had a great time exploring the place back in the year 2012.

And from the south -- here's a dance called dugso


Its origin is the mountainous province of Bukidnon in Mindanao. It's a dance of thanksgiving and invocation of protection. The dancers wear colorful costumes in local patterns, wear equally colorful headdresses, and bell anklets to which they dance with the rhythm.

Happy weekend everyone! I hope you enjoyed these postcards from my home country.

~maria

P.S. We will have no linky party for the first 2 weekends of August as I will be on a holiday. We will resume on the 3rd weekend of August. Ciao everyone!






Sunday, July 23, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 47: Bridges

CN-2086490, Sent from Hangzhou
Sent 17 Nov 2016, Traveled 3,621 km in 90 days

Nedi, the sender of this postcard wrote: This picture is the seventeen-hole bridge. It's one of the famous scenes at the Summer Palace in Beijing. 

I love this scene captured during the golden hour.

DE-5986656, sent from Leipzig
Sent 15 Feb 2017, Traveled 9,998 km in 12 days

Here's a winter view of Blick vom Johannapark, at the Leipzig city center. I must admit, finding bridges within city parks & gardens always thrills me. There's that adrenalin rush of getting from one side to the other, regardless how relatively small of an accomplishment it might seem.

Friendship Gift Postcard, hand-delivered

Now, this last postcard means so much to me. It was hand-delivered to me by a colleague when she came back to the office from her Australia trip. At the back was written, "Sometimes people need to fall apart, to realize how much you need to get back together. You just need to believe that everything happens for a reason and God has bigger plans for you! Hang in there!!" This postcard was pinned to my office cubicle where I can see it every day while facing my laptop screen. That year, 2014, was tumultuous, to say the least -- this postcard was one of my links to sanity.

I'm sure you folks have noticed the delay in my weekend posts. It's been a real challenge for me these couple of weeks with responsibilities at work. At the moment, I'm finally on my last week of a 3-week series of trips from Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi, and now here in Jakarta (moving to Malang on Wednesday!). After that, I'm back to Singapore for 1 week and then I''m off to the foot of the Alps, for a 2-week break. I'm hesitant about this, but I really need a time off from electronics & gadgets so I decided that for 5 & 12 August, I won't be hosting the linky. However, if someone would want to substitute for me on those 2 weekends, please let me know in the comment and I will pass the HTML codes for the link-up platform.

Hope you're all having a free & easy weekend,
~maria



Sunday, July 16, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 46: Places of worship

Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from Helsinki
Sent 28 December 2016, Traveled 5,757 km

I had my first ever hail storm experience on my way to this cathedral back in April. My friend Tuija who sent me this postcard and who was with on that same day of the hail storm, wrote: This stunningly beautiful church is Helsinki Cathedral and most probably the most beautiful in Finland. I was only able to look at it in awe both outside and inside!


Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from Bulacan, Metro Manila
Sent 21 June 2012, Traveled 35 km

This is probably one of my postcards that took the shortest distance to reach me (see caption). It's a Postcrossing Meet-up Postcard featuring the Basilica of St. Martin de Tours. It is considered the largest church in the Philippines and in Asia.


Postcard sent for swap

In my opinion, this is the best building in Kampong Glam, a historic Malay area in Singapore. I always love sitting at a cafe at night and just marveling at the beauty of this mosque. The website YourSingapore describes this mosque as the focal point of Islamic faith in the country.


Postcard sent for swap

Will you believe that this Hindu temple is located in Chinatown? It is indeed! Sri Mariamman is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore. The number of sculptures & figurines at its entrance is just awe-inspiring. More so, is the social role this temple plays in the life of South Indian Tamil Hindus. I read that this temple provides them shelter until they find work and a more permanent accommodation in Singapore.



Postcard sent to self, Sent from Ho Chi Minh
Sent 23 Oct 2016, Traveled 2,679 km

This card is from my solo weekend trip to Ho Chi Minh last year. It was such a traumatic trip though and I vowed that I will never go back to Vietnam on my own again. I am sad to give this bad impression of Ho Chi Minh but my experience was pretty terrible. Oddly enough, I'm writing this blog post while here in Vietnam at the moment. Only at a different city though, Hanoi.

I'm sorry for disappointing my blogging friends for my tortoise-ness with the linky. It's been really insane at work. I've just finished organizing and hosting a regional distributors sales meeting. I went back to Singapore for one night and back on the road again today. I'm away for another 2 more weeks for this series of business trips. I hope the rest of you are able to enjoy less demanding days.

~maria 


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 45: City views (night time)

For the night time city views theme, I'm sharing cities in Asia. 

Postcard sent to self, Sent from Taipei, Taiwan
Traveled 3,248 km

The Taipei 101 skyscraper clearly towers above any other building in the city on this scenery. The temperature of the print on the translucent material on this screen postcard offers a somewhat close to reality view of the city of Taipei. This first postcard is the fanciest I own to date. 

Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent by Renz & Raqz
Sent 14 July 2013, Traveled 2,994 km in 5 days

This is Ginza Street in Tokyo at night. The entire street with its neon lights was just magnificent and breathtaking when I saw it for real back in November 2016. 

Postcard sent for swap

Singapore Chinatown is recognized as one of the cleanest Chinatown all over the world. Seen here in the foreground is the Tooth Buddha Relic Temple and behind are the tall buildings in the cental building district of the city.

Postcard sent for swap

Behind those buildings on the Singapore Chinatown is the iconic Singapore Merlion. It's always very nice to visit Merlion Park in the evening as the area is full of lights.


Postcard sent for swap

And for this fifth postcard, here's one from Metro Manila -- a city where I lived for 11 years before moving to Singapore. This is a skyline of Makati, the central business district area. I worked for 5 years on the 29th floor of the leftmost building called RCBC Plaza. 


I'm sorry everyone for the late posting this weekend. I'm organizing a regional sales meeting at work, happening this Tuesday to Thursday (wish me luck!)

Happy weekend folks,
~maria




Friday, June 30, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 44: City views (day time)

For this weekend's theme, I'm featuring city views at day time from Europe:


Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from Helsinki
Sent 28 Dec 2016, Traveled 9,259 km

The old buildings in Helsinki City Centre gave me peace and calm. I truly wish I had more than just a 2-day weekend to discover this European capital city. If I'm not mistaken, the tall building in the background is St. John's Church. It stands out tall compared to the rest as it's resting on a hill.


Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from The Hague
Traveled 10,530 km

Some of you may know that I have a Dutch mom (my biological mother is Filipino but I have a second mom). She sent me this postcard from the city where she works. I will visit Amsterdam this August and I'm figuring out if it's worth it to visit The Hague as well. I like this postcard for showing a contrast of old and new buildings.


Friendship Gift Postcard from Madrid
Traveled 11,374 km

Madrid ranks high on my list of cities I want to explore in depth in Europe. Here's Metropolis Building, an architectural wonder at the corner of Calle Alcala and Gran Via. The building features 4 statues representing Mining, Agriculture, Industry, and Commerce. Its round tower is covered by 30,000 leaves of 24-k gold.


Direct Swap, Sender: Anna
Traveled 10,059 km

Of all these five postcards, this is my favorite. I reckon this picture is taken close to the golden hour. I probably wouldn't have known about Ljubljana if not for this postcard. I don't know how to pronounce this city's name either so I need to ask Google for help. 


Friendship Gift Postcard, Sender: Dr. Arnold
Sent 12 March 2017, Traveled 10,252 km

This postcard steals my attention from that of Ljubljana. The buildings are way so much taller at one part of this city. Excellent vantage point for this postcard!


~ maria

You spoke, and I listened :D Starting this weekend, the time span of the linky is extended to 12 hours more, to accommodate different time zones.




Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday Stamps: Hari Raya Aidilfitri


We're enjoying a 3-day long weekend here at the moment to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri. The stamp was issued on 29 February 2008. 

Apart from the much awaited long weekend to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the entire month of Ramadan is a source of inspiration for me. For the past 3 years of witnessing the tradition here in Singapore (partly in Malaysia as well), the dedication and discipline of my Muslim friends during the hours of fasting made me revisit my own spirituality at the same time. The sense of community and atmosphere of festivity specially during sahur and iftar, made me yearn for my immediate family back in the Philippines but at the same time, blessed me with friendship and deeper understanding of the Muslim faith -- specially on those occasions that I was invited to dinner, which more often than not, was coupled with intelligent conversations.

For expositions/fairs/events @ Sunday Stamps.

~maria

Friday, June 23, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 43: Iconic person

UK Trip Spring Trip 2012 Souvenir Postcard

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, needless to say, she's such an icon of all monarch figures. It's sad that the postcard is damaged on top of her right eye ...


A lone postcard post this evening, folks. I'm too tired both from work and domestic series of unfortunate events. I published an entry 20 mins ago, only to realized that the city view (day time) theme is for next weekend! Glad I noticed before I go to bed!

~maria



Saturday, June 17, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 42: Historic sites / buildings

Souvenir postcard, Spring 2017 trip to Malta

I didn't know anything about European Capital of Culture until I visited Malta 2 months ago. It was quite well advertised around Valletta, Malta's capital. In fact, I first saw the information on this postcard! My partner, being European himself, explained to me that every year, European Union has a different city, designated as the main venue to highlight European culture. This aims to boost focus and attention into European culture, as much as there's always big discussions about politics and economics. 


Souvenir postcard, Spring 2017 trip to Malta

Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was the city of the Knights of St. John and has been described as "a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen". It's built to a grid pattern on a narrow peninsula, offering wonderful urban views and historical sites at almost every corner. Among its major attractions are the Church of St. John, the Manoel Theatre, and the Grand Master's Palace.

For historic sites / buildings,
~maria





Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday Stamps: Gardens or Forests


Left to right --

50th Anniversary of the Jardim Botanico Madeira
Issued in 2010 (Portugal)

Eero Järnefelt 150 Years Commemorative Stamp, Forest Landscape 
Issued in 2013 (Finland)

Nuuksio National Park
Issued in 2013 (Finland)



Singapore, my second home is a garden city. One of the most admirable features of this garden city is the lush greeneries lining the roadsides. Left to right --

Saga, Adenanthera pavonina
Issued in 2010 (Singapore)

Angsana, Pterocarpus indicus
Issued in 2010 (Singapore)

Rain tree, Samanea saman
Issued in 2010 (Singapore)

For Sunday Stamps: gardens or forests

~maria

Friday, June 9, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 41: Flags, with a flag(s)

FI-1422572, Sent from Vihti, Finland
Sent: 10 May 2012, Traveled 8,964 km in 25 days

Finland is the latest addition to the list of countries I've visited so far. I went there during the third weekend of April to meet my pen friend from Kuopio. It was a lovely meeting and I learned that Finland is celebrating its 100 Years of Independence this year. This card arrived with a matching stamp for the flag on the postcard. 

Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from Boras, Sweden
Sent: 5 March 2017, Traveled 9,926 km

The trip to Finland was a side trip that I made as a part of my business trip to Gothenburg, Sweden. Less than a month prior to my trip, I received this card from Monica of Beyond the Lone Islands. Thanks to Monica's message at the back, I was able to properly select the clothes needed for the cold & wet northern European weather. It was so much colder in Gothenburg as compared to the April weather I remember from my first visit in 2015. And oh, my side visit to Helsinki gave me my first ever hail storm and wet snow fall experience! I finally saw snow! Some of you might remember that I was ranting about it in one of my posts after missing it from my Japan trip back in November 2016.

Thanks to these two cards, I learned that all Nordic countries except Greenland have adopted the Nordic Cross flag

Postcrossing Private Swap, Sent from Victoria, Australia, 
Sent on 13 September 2011, Traveled 6,185 km in 9 days

This postcard has appeared here in my blog 5 years ago. I noticed it in my scanned postcards folder while looking for postcards for our theme and decided to narrow down my search to flags with cross/crosses on it. There's a long article in wiki about this flag and it's quite an interesting read for those who are interested in their national and political history. 


Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from Oxfordshire, UK
Sent: 13 Nov 2013, Traveled 10,777 km

As I'm sure most or all of us know, the Union Jack emblem exist on the National Flag of Australia, the country being a member of the Commonwealth. On the London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom card above, we have the widespread Union Jack, the flag of UK as a bright and beautiful backdrop. The Union Jack is a union of three historical crosses: Saint Andrew's, Saint Patrick's, and Saint George's.

The similarities of the Nordic country flags to that of the Union Jack has made me very curious. My research has landed me into a well-written article in Quora. Apparently, the Nordic cross gave rise to the flags of the British Isles, among which are the historical crosses that currently comprise the Union Jack. 

I learned so much while researching about the postcards I've chosen for the theme this weekend! Yay!

~maria






Friday, June 2, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 40: Country map(s)

My interest with Ireland started when I saw a very entertaining animated film with a leprechaun when I was a little girl. I always thought Ireland is Ireland ...

IE-33070, sent from Dublin, Ireland
Sent 13 March 2012, Traveled 10,959 km in 13 days

... But when I traveled to Scotland back in 2012, I learned that Ireland has two parts: one being the Republic of Ireland, and another being North Ireland, part of United Kingdom.

Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from Oxfordshire, UK
Sent: 13 Nov 2013, Traveled 10,777 km


That was my very first out of Asian continent trip. I visited a relative in Edinburgh after attending a conference in Glasgow and he asked me whether I plan to see Ireland as well. I was very surprised as I thought, "How can I go there when I only have UK visa and no Schengen visa." Then, I was educated on the two Irelands ... Ah, the things I couldn't have learned if not for actually making a trip to somewhere!

What are some of the memorable unexpected learnings from your travel(s) abroad?

Happy weekend,
~maria



Friday, May 26, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 39: Traditional street scene


Speaking of traditional street scenes, I think nothing can be more traditional than this postcard of "bayanihan". Strictly speaking, it isn't a street, but since in the province where I grew up, cleared up pathways throughout grasslands were what we considered streets for passage of people and carriages pulled by either water buffalo, horse, or cow. Since traditional Filipino houses were built on stilts during earlier days, it's quite common to see men from the community gathering and helping a house owner who wants to move the property. These men weren't paid a cent but they're served a sumptuous meal and local alcoholic beverages after the heavy task.


A horse-pulled carriage or kalesa. Nowadays, this kind of transportation is more of a touristy thing in many historical places of interest in the Philippines. This is one of the earlier forms of transportation, I reckon not just in my country but in many other countries as well.


Now onto more modern street scene, on the above postcard is our version in the Philippines of a tricycle or trishaw. This transportation is normally overloaded with passengers as there isn't a lot of tricycles to transport people from villages to the town. This overloading happens mostly during when there are festivities in the town center.

For traditional street scenes. Happy weekend everyone!

~maria