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







Saturday, May 20, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 38: Traditional festival

Direct Swap, Sender: Meylinda from Hong Kong
Sent: 19 Sep 2012, Traveled 1,129 km

Although I don't totally agree with seeing these children in what seems to be heavy facial make-up, it appears that it is part of the over-all traditional costume. The back of this card reads:

Cheung Chau Island Bun Festival. The children in the procession are the stars of the Bun Festival. Aged between five and eight, they are supported on frames and carried shoulder-high throughout the whole parade to create an elaborate, often whimsical tableau, often representing characters in history or mythology. 

 This festival is celebrated on the eighth day of the fourth month in Chinese Calendar. It usually coincides with Buddha's birthday (April/May). 

BY-691110, Sent by Marina from Minsk, Belarus
Sent: 1 Dec 2012, Traveled 8,926 km in 61 days

Despite my increasingly overwhelming tasks at work and frequent business trips, one of the reasons why I keep on writing about my postcards collection is the mix of emotions I get whenever I review my postcards album. Just like with this postcard, it's kind of hard to believe that it took 2 months to reach me! Wow! Having moved to Singapore, the postcards I receive normally traveled only for a week or two. I don't understand why most of my received postcards, while I was still in the Philippines, seem like they traveled forever to reach me when my home is less than 30 minutes by car from the post office ... well, okay, fair enough, perhaps the postman is always stuck in heavy traffic!

Moving on, this postcard shows the celebration of the Day of Belarusian Written Language in Kamenets. I didn't have the chance to find out on what year this took place. For this year, this festival will take place in Polotsk. Belarus is celebrating 500th Anniversary of the Belarusian Book Printing this year, 2017. More information on this festival can be found here: http://www.belarus.by/en/about-belarus/culture/den_bel_pism_en

SI-52097, Sender: Emil from eastern Slovenia
Sent: 20 Jan 2012, Traveled 9,938 km in 14 days

I'm quite pleased with the assortment of postcards I found for the theme this weekend: featuring children, to grown-ups, to animated creatures. This third and last postcard shows the Ptuj carnival called Kurentovanje. This carnival is celebrated to preserve the tradition for the ancient rite of spring. It usually lasts for a period of eleven days and consists of music and dancing, with the Kurent groups in masks with feathers and horns. I found this excellent page about the carnival, containing a detailed explanation about the masks and the costumes: http://www.slovenia.si/culture/tradition/kurents/

This theme educated me about traditional festivals that I'm sure I wouldn't have known at all if not for these postcards. Have a nice weekend everyone although it's a nay for me as I'm working both on Saturday & Sunday.

~maria


Friday, May 12, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 37: Traditional costumes

Private Swap, Sent from Tabua, Portal
Sent 6 July 2013, Traveled 11,948 km in 20 days

I did a little research about Portuguese traditional costume for women and found out that although it typically varies by region, normally it consists of bouffant long skirt for women. The skirt is called saia and is of vibrant checkered or striped pattern. Well I shouldn't be surprised myself, hailing from a country that was a Spanish colony for 300+ years! The same item of clothing is called saya, in my lingua franca.

Direct Swap, sent from Lithuania
Sent 2 Feb 2012, Traveled 9,116 km

Diana, the sender wrote that this young lady is wearing a traditional Lithuanian costume and is seen here making a bird from yarn.

These two cards are for this weekend's theme -- traditional costumes. To discover more traditional costumes featured in postcards, check out what other participants below have shared on their respective pages.

Happy weekend,
~maria



Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sunday Stamps: Places of Worship


Left stamp - Cathedral of Gniezno

The stamp was issued on 1 March 2002. It is also showing the coffin with relics of St. Adalberg. 

The Cathedral of Gniezno, according to wikipedia, served as the coronation place for several Polish monarchs and the seat of Polish church officials continuously for nearly 1000 years.

Right stamp - Fortified Church of Biertan

The stamp was issued on 11 September 2011. The Fortified Church of Biertan was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 under the category: villages with fortified churches in Transylvania.

For more places of worship stamps, visit See it on a Postcard.

~maria


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 36: Traditional craft work

BY-1050236, sent from Belarus
Sent 11 Oct 2013, Traveled 9,224 km in 25 days
I had to do a research to learn more about this postcard. It's awesome to find information on another blog about postcards: Remembering Letters and Postcards -- spinning flax on a drop spindle. I would love to see this way of doing textile done in person! 

Postcard from my Malta holiday

It has been a habit for me to take back souvenir(s) for my parents whenever I travel. I was literally smitten with a handmade tablecloth with lace and embroidery. Oh man! It was heavy. We bought it earlier during the day and we had to take it with us for the rest of our sightseeing. No regrets though as I'm sure my parents will be pleased when they see it with the matching napkins.


I'm so excited to see the other postcards that feature traditional craft work this weekend. Enjoy visiting each and everyone in the linky party!

Happy weekend,
~maria




Saturday, April 29, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 35: Any waterform

Postcard sent out for swaps

Back in Feb 2014, I visited the beautiful island and islets of Coron, Palawan. I didn't make it to Big Lagoon though and has always wanted to go back to this part of the province. It gives me something to look forward into for the next trip.

Friendship Gift Postcard, Sender: AJ
Sent 21 May 2015, Traveled 14,842 km

AJ, my not so little anymore "boy"friend sent me this card when he traveled with his mom to his dad's hometown. I think he's 5 years old during the trip when he sent me this card and he wrote to me, " I learned to paddle in a canoe. I saw some snow, too!" 

The falls featured on this card is the Upper Falls of the Tahquamenon Falls. I reckon AJ had his canoe adventure near this place.

UA-936361, Sent from Ukraine
Sent 28 Jan 2014, Traveled 8,188 km in 33 days

I'm in Sweden at the moment, a country with 97,500 lakes but what a pity! I haven't had the chance to find a postcard with a lake and I'm leaving very soon. Here's one instead from the Carpathian Mountains of Ukraine.

Friendship Gift Postcard, Sender: Ken Carlson
Sent 30 July 2012, Traveled 10,916 km

This is a scene along the coast of California. The wild waves and rugged terrains make this postcard powerful in a way.

For water forms theme this weekend, I hope these cards are enjoyable!

~maria





Friday, April 21, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 34: Any landform

Sent by a friend from Brittany, France
Sent 06 January 2014, Traveled 11.102 km

I marveled at beautiful cliffs during our recent holiday in Malta. Such a pity that I didn't get any postcard to take back for that! Here's one instead from France.

US-1229764, Sent from Utah, USA
Sent 26 July 2011, Traveled 12,346 km in 18 days

Here we have twin cliffs! It's very nice to the eyes to see the alternating bands of red and white layers on this postcard.

Private Swap, Sent from New Zealand,
Sent 31 October 2013, Traveled 8,288 km in 7 days

Lisa, the sender wrote: This is our lovely volcanic plateau of NZ ... It feels like a different world here; it's like stepping back in time to when the dinosaurs were here!

Anyone up for trekking? I'm pretty motivated by the sunny weather on these cards. However the forecast says it will be a rainy weekend in Helsinki. Too bad as the sun is coming out now here in Gothenburg and I thought, I could have just stayed here! But my flights are booked and my Finnish penpal whom I've been writing to since 2009 is waiting for me.

Have a lovely weekend everyone,
~maria


Friday, April 14, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 33: Spring, flower buds & blossoms, green foliage

I'm here in Frankfurt Airport, hoping to publish this post before the announcement of the call for boarding to Malta. My Dutch mom was half-shocked half-surprised as to why I'm going to Malta at this time of the year. She mentioned that the landscape will be dry and brown. I guess it should be an interesting change of scenery for me in contrast with Singapore that's always green

But for my blog at least, I'm pretty pleased to share these postcards for this weekend's theme:


Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from Finland
Sent 15 June 2014, traveled 9,171 km
Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from Finland
Sent 15 June 2014, traveled 9,171 km
FI-1997790, Sent from Finland
Sent 28 Jan 2014, Traveled 8,938 km in 18 days
NL-3558074, Sent from Netherlands,
Sent 3 Sep 2016, Traveled 10,453 km in 14 days

DE-8778042, Sent from Germany
Sent 2 Dec 2016, Traveled 10,347 km in 14 days

I've mentioned on a previous post that nature always offer me peace & serenity. Work has been extremely overwhelming again (it still is and I've managed to make it to my outbound flight!). Stealing time and searching for these postcards while preparing for this weekend's theme simulated for me in a way that feeling of being surrounded by nature. It gives me the chance to get into that space for introspection and reflection during this season of Lent. 

Wishing a Happy Easter in advance and solemn weekend ahead of us,
~maria







Friday, April 7, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 32: Whimsical and/or magical

I've been up to my neck with work and I almost forgot it's Friday!

For this weekend's theme I've picked three postcards to share:

Friendship Gift Postcard, from Finland
Sent 7 June 2014, traveled 9,171 km

I'm very happy to come across this postcard from my collection again and read the message at the back from my Finnish pen friend, Tuija. She translated the text, "Sometimes it's good to catch one's breath and enjoy the day enjoying one's self, leaving everyday worries behind, take it easy and be happy about the good things in life."

RU-537449, from Russia,
Sent 21 Aug 2011, traveled 8,260 km in 25 days

It looks so magical with the planets and stars in the background. I can't figure out the pink wall that the cats are leaning on though, is it supposed to be a wall?

DE-6024930, from the north of Germany
Sent 1 March 2017, traveled 10,102 km in 13 days

This is one of my most recently received postcards. Because of the black hood and veil of this woman, I always think of Bellatrix Lestrange (from the famous Harry Potter series) every time I look at the postcard.

Have a relaxing weekend folks!

~maria








Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sunday Stamps: Humorous or odd

 

Charlie Chaplin is fondly remembered in many countries. This stamp is issued on 12 April 2014 by the Österreichische Post in commemoration of his 125th birthday.

For humorous or odd @ See it on a postcard

~maria

Friday, March 31, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 31: Odd, fun, humorous

Private Swap, Sent from India
Sent 2 Sep 2012, Traveled 4,631 km in 25 days

For our odd, fun, and/or humorous theme this weekend.


Here is a traditional Rajasthani man with an oddly big mustache, a fun colorful turban, and an amazing smile.

Enjoy the weekend everyone!

~maria


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday Stamps: Flying


This miniature sheet is from a postcard that I sent to myself from my first business trip back in 2015. 

This special edition was issued back in 1998. According to wikipedia, this Air Traffic Control (ATC) Tower was the tallest in the world when it was built. It monitors two runways for Kuala Lumpur International Airport (main and also referred as KLIA1) and KLIA2 (domestic). Currently this tower is only 3rd highest in the world. It has been overtaken by another tower monitoring a 3rd runway for KLIA2 and that in Suvarnabhumi International Airport - Bangkok.

Fly around the world today through Sunday Stamps @ See it on a postcard.

~maria

Friday, March 24, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 30: Cambodia

Postcard sent to self from Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Sent 4 Oct 2015, Traveled 1,148 km

Our theme for this weekend is a country that you would want to live in if you have the choice/chance.

To be honest I have several countries in Europe that I've always dreamed about for this theme. However, since my partner moved to Cambodia, I've been moving a lot back and forth. As a matter of fact, I'm waiting for my flight to Phnom Penh when I started writing this piece.

Cambodia gained more international attention since portions of the movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider were shot in several of its temple ruins. A couple of the filming locations can be seen in my previous posts: Angkor Thom and Bayon. These locations are in Siem Reap, approximately 6 hours away by bus from Phnom Penh, the capital. The latter is where my third home and most of the business & central government offices are located.

One of the choice of postcards sent out to friends around the world

There isn't much touristic sites here in Phnom Penh. There is however, a captivating good mix of Khmer and French architecture. Here are some of the distinguished buildings, standing out from the rest of the concrete structures. 

One of the choice of postcards sent out to friends around the world

When Siem Reap offers beautiful temple ruins, the buildings in Phnom Penh complete the storytelling about the tumultuous history of Cambodia. The country has many stories to tell from being once a powerful religious kingdom, a French protectorate, the Khmer Rouge, alliance with the Vietnamese, its rise from the conflicts and wars, and the journey towards stability. On the postcard below: The Cambodia-Vietnam Monument, The Independence Monument, The Choeung Ek Genocidal House, Leader of Cambodia Buddhism - Samdech Choun Nath, the Knotted Gun Monument.
 
One of the choice of postcards sent out to friends around the world

In addition to the monuments, one of the places that draw the curiosity of visitors to the capital is the Royal Palace. The complex serves as the resident of the royalty and also houses a collection of precious items that are distinctively Khmer. 

Postcard sent to self from Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Sent 18 Oct 2016, Traveled 1,148 km

Life in Phnom Penh is more relaxed and slower than Singapore. There is however, no established proper mass transportation system which I found annoying at times. There are no trains nor buses to go around quickly from one place to another around the city. For most of the residents, they own a scooter and the more affluent has huge big cars (always fascinating to watch this contrast while on the road). There is also of course the tuktuk, their local variation of the motorized rickshaw. A comprehensive guide of moving and living in Cambodia can be found on the same link for the tuktuk. I would say that it's a nice country to live in for a couple of years if you're curious about discovering more about its history & culture and mixing with a population on its journey towards globalisation. One needs an open mind though as the daily local life is totally different from the experiences of being a tourist. I really wouldn't mind completely relocating. I need huge savings though in order to do so as local employment doesn't pay too much in order to keep a lifestyle as in Singapore!

This is probably one of my longer entries for the linky party by far ... I hope it isn't a tedious read for the weekend.

Cheers from Phnom Penh,
~maria




Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday Stamps: Flowers from India and Romania


These two flower stamps came with one of my most recently received postcards. Part of the Bouquet for Children issue of Chennai Post (India) in 3 September 2013, the sheet of 12 designs aimed to bring children in the cities the flowers that are mostly only seen in the villages and the forests. I really like that these two flowers allows us to see more inside into the flowers' anatomy.


These two stamps from Romania make me curious with the clocks featured alongside each. It made sense to me when I read that these two are part of a Flower's Clock. The time on the clock's face reveals the hour that the flower blooms. For sunflower is 9 AM and the viper's grass is 7 AM. Both of the clocks on these two stamps were manufactured in France in the 19th century -- a P. Bonnet and P. Pottier portico clock and a table clock, respectively. The rest of the stamps on this  25 January 2013 issue can be found here

For more flowers featured on stamps from around the world, check out the linky party @ See it on a postcard.

~maria






Friday, March 17, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 29: France

Private Swap, Sent by Ulla
Sent on 12 December 2012, Traveled 10,897 km

For our theme this weekend, I'm sharing postcards from France - one among the many countries that I wish to visit. This card is special as it was written and sent to me on 12.12.12. It shows the French tri-color flag and different UNESCO World Heritage Sites. France is 4th in rank in ascending order of Spain, China, and Italy for countries with the most number of world heritage sites.

Direct Swap, Sent from Lyon
Traveled 10,747 km in 6 days

Lyon, a city that is in the UNESCO WHS for culture has always been on my list of a specific city that I want to explore. My partner is from this place. It is in the south of France and the third biggest French city next to Paris and Marseille.

Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent by Wan
Traveled 10,747 km

This is a postcard he sent me from Lyon back in 2011 I believe. It was sent in an envelope together with stamps from his collection. On this card that I received from him 6 years ago when we're yet to be a couple, he wrote: Here is a postcard from Lyon, my parents' place as I promised ... I'm sure you'll get to visit it someday just like the French Riviera. And hopefully you'll have a nice guide (myself ;-) ) This year in the summer, we'll travel to France together. Reading about the historic places just in Lyon alone, I can't wait to board the plane for France!

Happy weekend everyone,
~maria







Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunday Stamps: Dia Del Galeon Festival 2010 Commemorative Stamps


The theme this weekend for the Sunday Stamps is maps. I'm stretching out the theme a bit with this sheet since only a portion of the land mass outlines are actually within the perforations of the stamps.

This commemorative sheet was issued by the Philippine Postal Corporation on 8 October 2010. Galleon is a Spanish word that means a sailing ship. Originally the purpose of these ships are for war but later on these were used for trade. Dia means day. The entire phrase translated to English is Day of the Galleon.On these stamps are images of the Manila galleons. In October 2009, UNESCO recognized the unique part played by the Manila galleons in conducting trade and cultural exchange between the Philippines and Europe. 

More information about the galleon trade can be found here and here.

Hop over to See it on a postcard for more stamps featuring maps this weekend.

~maria



Friday, March 10, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 28: Japan

The theme for this weekend is from a country you have visited or a favorite place in your country that you have visited. I'm sharing postcards for the former.

Last November 2016, I traveled to Japan with my partner and four other friends. Our first destination was the old capital of Japan, Kyoto.

Postcard sent to self from Kyoto, Japan
13 November 2016, Traveled 5,368 km

I would admit that I was faked in a kinda ignorant way by women walking around in kimono. I thought these are real Japanese women who roam around as part of their local tourism board initiatives. But then, I came to a realization that many of them are tourists who have rented a kimono for the day. Many boutiques offer such experience including photo shoots.

JP-905949, Sent from Saitama, Japan
Traveled 5,368 km in 17 days

I can still remember how delighted I was when I received this postcard and the explanation behind the photo back in December 2016. This was one of the fishes we were wondering about the name when we're in our Japan holiday. It's a narrow and long fish with not much flesh but very tasty. It was explained by the postcard sender that this fish is locally called as autumn sword fish or sanma. Its common name is Pacific saury.

Postcard sent to self from Nikko, Japan
16 November 2016, Traveled 5,368 km

Nikko, our second destination in Japan is a town renowned for lavishly decorated shrines and temples. On this postcard is the heavily decorated Yomei-mon Gate at the Toshogu Shrine. It was under renovation and covered by scaffolding and while plastic drapes when we were there. Nonetheless, the rest of the place was equally astonishing. More details about this UNESCO WHS can be found here

Postcard sent to self from Tokyo, Japan
20 November 2016, Traveled 5,368 km

Our third and final destination was the bustling and busy capital city of Tokyo. The atmosphere was a stark contrast with that of Kyoto and Nikko. Tokyo was a maze of tall buildings, colorful neon lights at night, and people on the go regardless of the time of the day. 

Japan was a balance of relaxation with the charm of the old world in Kyoto and Nikko, and adventure with the action-filled urban atmosphere of Tokyo.

Happy weekend everyone! Looking forward, as always, to see the postcards you're sharing for this weekend's theme.

~maria





Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sunday Stamps: Roosters or Chickens

The year 2017 according to the Chinese calendar is the Year of the Rooster. This stamp was released by the Japan Post on 1 November 2016. The central design is a Kurashiki Hariko rooster. Kurashiki Hariko is a papier mache, traditional craft from Okayama Prefecture. It is special for being all parts of the papier mache are handmade by craftsmen. There is a shorter version of this stamp, which can be found here.

To view other stamps featuring roosters and chickens, check out the page See it on a Postcard.

~maria


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 27: Philippines

For this month of March is pretty much theme inclusive. However, the objective is to give a focus for a specific country of your origin, previous destination, and dream destinations. Given the possibility that there's a wish to split the postcards from your own country into two weekends' postings, this is possible for the weekend of March 4 and 11.

As some of you may know, I visited my home country last weekend -- Philippines: 



My hometown is in the turtle-shaped island, south of the mainland Luzon. If you look closely, you will see marked on the island of Mindoro is a coastal town of Puerto Galera. I spent the weekend there with my family hoping to enjoy the sea, the sun, and the beach. I was looking forward into visiting nearby islets for snorkeling as the area is known to be among the best coral snorkeling sites in the country. Alas! The weather was uncooperative.


I really longed for a similar experience from Feb 2013 in another island, Palawan. It is an island that resembles the shape of a closed umbrella, southwest of Mindoro.


It's a great destination for island-hopping ...


... and I really missed a good ride with the waves on a small boat (banca) like this:


I'm very curious on what postcards each of the participants for our Postcards for the Weekend linky party are sharing this weekend. Let's please take a moment to appreciate one another's effort to pick and share postcards by leaving even just a short comment when we view the pages of each of the participants. 

Happy weekend everyone,
~maria