Eyeball of Postcrossing Philippines and 150th Anniversary of Postcard

Postcrossing Philippines had a lot of meet-up during the past few weeks. One of the biggest and most important eyeball or meet-up was held at the Manila Central Post office last October 19.

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The meeting also coincided with the monthly postal heritage and talks which was a joint project between Philippine Postal Corporation( Pilipinas Philately),Philippine Philatelic Federation, Philippine Philatelists and Collectibles, Walkwithchan and different cause- oriented stamp collecting groups.

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 postal heritage tour participants

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hundreds of postcards send

There were about 70 participants who join the short talk and tour, There were at least a dozen or so members who joined the eyeball. There were representatives from Business Mirror and bloggers.

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Mr. Isidro Tan ( Philippine Philatelic Federation member),Mr. Dojie Lutera ( President -Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club), Mr. Jimmy Ang (APO Philatelic Club),Mr. Eugene Siy also came and bought new stamp and postcard issuance at the Philippine Postal Corporation post shoppe.

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a participant together with Ms. Eunice

Got a chance to meet Dr. Venus Fortuna, She creates her own postcard and swap with fellow postcard collectors. Mr. Dennis Dy Kho joined in much later around past 11:00 am, But quickly disappeared.

It is quite rare for Philippine Postal Corporation to issue commemorative postcards for sale to the general public. The last was in 2013 which commemorated the 150th anniversary of Malacañang palace.

We already told Ms. Arlene our suggestion on the possibilities of issuing some postcards since there is a demand from postcard collecting groups, tourist and even in the international travel swap groups.

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The postcards will surely be a collectible material especially when issued by PHLPOST. They should also have a joint project with DOT and other attached government agencies so that their postcard issuance can be sold in tourist destination sites.

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150th Anniversary of Postcard

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The history of postcards started when Dr. Emanuel Herrmann, a professor of Economics in Vienna, suggested to his national postal service a means to streamline communications.

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There needed to be a cheaper, less troublesome alternative to letters. The Correspondenz-Karte, or correspondence card was first issued on 1 October 1869. He came to be known as the “Father of Postcards” through the official creation and implementation of this new system via the Austrian Post.

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Technical Description

Date of Issuance: October 19, 2019 Saturday

Kind of  Issuance: Commemorative

printed on special board paper with a matte finish

Graphic Artist: Mr. Rodine C. Teodoro (PHLPOST in-house artist)

Design: Dr. Emmanuel Herrmann , the inventor of the postcard on a copy of the first correspondenz-karte,

Size: 148mm x105 mm

Printing Process: Offset Lithography

Printer: Amstar Company Inc.

Quantity: 4,000 pieces

The postcard are available at the Philatelic Counter, Manila Central Post Office, all Mega Manila Post Offices, Postal Area 2, San Fernando La Union, Postal Area 4, San Pablo, Postal Area 5, Mandaue, Postal Area 7, Davao, and Postal Area 8, Cagayan de Oro.

American Regime Manila Thru Postcards (Part 3)

Manila and her immediate towns and landmarks were always the main feature during the American regime.

ESCOLTA

Escolta street earn the moniker “Queen of Manila’s street” since this one of the oldest street and a major street of the city.

One of the oldest streets in Manila, Escolta was created in 1594. Its name was derived from the Spanish word escoltar, meaning “to escort”. This was further developed during the late Spanish and American colonial regime when tall buildings were built.

Another important note is this street would host ticker tape parade when visiting dignitaries, crowned beauty queens and heads of states even until the mid-1970’s.

There was an obscure ordinance in Manila that requiring men to wear formal dress when within Escolta. This was finally repealed in the early this millennium.

American Regime Postcards

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Avenida Rizal

Avenida Rizal is one of the important commercial centers of pre-war Manila. This comprises of Quiapo, Santa Cruz district. The business activity from Avenida Rizal is an extension from nearby Escolta. Some businessmen preferred this district since rentals is a little bit lower compared to Escolta, Chinatown or Binondo.

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Bridge of Spain with trolley tracks and industrial area

Bridge of Spain – Is one of the most featured bridge of Manila during the late Spanish and American regime.  This postcard was probably printed before 1914 flood which had almost destroyed the bridge.

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Government Printing Plant– postcards was issued around 1909. This building was one of the casualties of the last war.

philippine general hospital

Philippine General Hospital– This hospital is one of the facilities built by the Americans.

manila hotel

Manila Hotelis the grand dame of hotels in the city, opened in 1912, it was once the residence of General Douglas Macarthur. Ernest Hemingway, to say, ‘It’s a good story if it’s like the Manila Hotel,”. This hotel is one of the most featured hotel in the country.

Most of the landmarks featured were infrastructure built by Spanish and American colonial government. Please try to visit my previous post on postcards issued during the American regime .

Link to “American regime Manila thru Postcards” Part 2 and Part 1

Sources and References:

Collins English Dictionary : Postal Card

Littrell, Robert, Ed; Postal Cards of Spanish Colonial Cuba, Philippines, Puerto Rico, UPSS, 2010.

Personal interview from postcard collectors

Philippine Postcards page 130 to 137 Consuming Passions

American Regime Manila Thru Postcards (part 2)

The Americans who colonized the country in 1898 saw the opportunity to feature much of their newly colonized territories in the orient via postcards, photos and travel brochures.

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Fort Santiago with newly installed electric post

Fort Santiago is an important military outpost and frequently featured in postcards, stamp during the late Spanish occupation and American regime.

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Plaza Goiti

Plaza Goiti – Is located at the back of Santa Cruz church. This is now called as Plaza Lacson where a post modern statue of Mayor Arsenio Lacson can be found. There is also a tranvia station line where street trolley would ply the route. Plaza Goiti is located near two important streets Calle Escolta and Calle Carriedo. The plaza serves as a demarcation between two district Santa Cruz and Quiapo. One can also notice that in pre-war Manila, drivers use right hand side.

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Pasig River with custom house circa 1908 postcard

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Pasig River with cascos, small boats and El Hogar building circa 1910

Pasig River which is the main river which separates the northern district and southern district of Manila is often featured in postcards even up to the late 1980’s.

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Binondo Canal -This is vital to the trade and commerce in the northern part of the district. According to relatives who lived in Binondo before the war, Estero dela Reina would be vital for transportation and those who buy goods coming from the provinces. The Binondo landmark and estero is still there, but only few ancestral houses survive. The estero is now dirty and subject to periodic cleaning by the MMDA and city.

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Binondo Draw Bridge Lift

Binondo Draw Bridge Lift– This is another landmark in Binondo during the American era which is located near Muelle de Binondo street and Dasmariñas street. During the late Spanish colonial rule and American regime; most of the goods, furniture, vegetables, fruits, fowls, grains ply the canals or estero within the city. Due to heavy river traffic, a drawbridge is needed. These were raise to allow boats, cascos ( native boats) to pass through. Most of these boats would ply major markets in the city like Quinta, Divisoria, Arroceros, Paco and Binondo.

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Pasig river with native cascos ( native boats) circa 1910

Because of the large number of these boats which ply much of the city’s canal or esteros- Manila also earned the moniker “Venice of the East“.

The drawbridges survived the second world war, having in operations until the mid- 1960’s one in Binondo and Divisoria.

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Union landing and custom house wharf

The first collectors were American soldiers, tourists, teachers and personnel who were assigned to the newly founded territory.

Manila During the American Regime

Manila and her landmarks were the favorite topics on postcard issues. While parts of the city is modern, There were several parts which were rural with lots of vacant lots, houses made from nipa huts, trees and light materials.

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nipa hut with laundry

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embroidery

Early topics would also includes people washing clothes in Pasig river, trade, laundry, festivals and local customs.

Local and Foreign Outbound Rates

Postal rates were 2 centavos (US and Islands ) and 4 centavos ( Foreign countries not part of the United States ) for outbound mail. Since the Philippines was a US colony way back then, We can mail postcards to any parts of USA , Guam, Puerto Rico and Northern Marianas.

The early postcard senders have a peculiar way of affixing stamp. They would post the stamp in front view rather than the backside of the postcards.

Note: postcard were from the personal collector of the author and some of his friends, who would like to remain anonymous.

Sources and References:

Collins English Dictionary : Postal Card

Littrell, Robert, Ed; Postal Cards of Spanish Colonial Cuba, Philippines, Puerto Rico, UPSS, 2010.

Personal interview from postcard collectors

Philippine Postcards page 130 to 137 Consuming Passions

American Regime Manila Thru Postcards (Part 1)

Manila is known by travelers,expats,scholars earn several accolades such as “Pearl of the Orient”, “Paris of the East”, “Milan of the East”, ” Little Vatican”, “Venice of the East ” among others.

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old Spanish watch tower, Intramuros postcard

Philippine Postcards

Postcards in the country were distributed during the mid-19th during the Spanish colonial regime and were known as tarjeta postal, even until now by old time collectors. Early postcards, bear features of Spanish monarchs and it was only in the late 1890’s when photo type postcards were printed and distributed by stores within Escolta, Binondo, Intramuros and large cities.

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old Spanish wall printed by Photo Finishing Corporation, Manila

The Spanish government produced series in various printed denominations specifically for the country. Unfortunately thru time, revolutions, tropical weather, poor quality of the paper, printing quality available during that time. A lot of the postcards printed during this era barely survived. Early collectors would just put them on book shelves or any place. Most of the Spanish era postcards are hard to come by, even in specialized local bourse or club’s auction.

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Binondo canal

I have seen a handful of these trajeta postal mostly from specialized postcard collectors and bought 2 pieces Spanish -Cuban tarjeta postal printed around 1883 which bear the portrait of King Alphonso XII /Alfonso XII (pre-stamp). Some of the tarjeta postal printed in other Spanish colonies would also circulate in the country, since there are some Filipinos who lived and worked in those countries.  The country is under the Spanish crown, postcards printed in those countries may also been used in the country and coveted by some collectors.

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Insular Ice Plant postcard

Insular ice plant is one of the major building infrastructure built by the Americans in Manila.

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Manila Central Post Office in 1930

Manila Central Post Office used to be a horse stable and post office which serves the southern part of Manila during the last decade of the Spanish regime. The building depicted at the postcard was built from 1926 to 1930 under the supervision of Pedro Siochi and Company. The triumvirate of Ralph Harrington Doane, Tomas Mapua and Juan Arellano were the architects behind this magnificent building.

Malacañang Palace

Malacañang Palace

Malacañan /Malacañang Palace is another favorite subject in postcard and even  had a commemorative stamps issued during the commonwealth time. Several bookstores like Goodwill bookstore, National bookstore featured the palace during post war period.

American Regime

The Americans started printing new postcards and were quickly bought by American military personnel or service personnel that were stationed in the country.
Since travel to the country became easier with faster steam engine vessels and larger commercial steam boats which ply the islands. More and more postcards
with different interesting topics were printed.
manila cityhall
Manila Cityhall
The most popular were Manila carnival queens, ethnic groups, landmarks, public executions, people in filipiñiana costume among others.
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Calle Bagumbayan postcard
Some of the postcards were printed in the Unites States during the early part of the colonial regime, while some are printed in the country.
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Bureau of Science building
Bureau of Science is the precursor of Department of Science and Technology (DOST) during the American colonial regime. The building was  designed in 1901 by the first American resident architect Edgar Bourne.
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Bureau of Science building
The colonial government needed a laboratory to study and store the colony’s rich store of minerals, forest and agricultural products as well as manufactured goods like tobacco and rope. The California Mission-style Neoclassic building graced the PGH Complex off ,Taft Avenue until the war when it was destroyed.
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University of Santo Tomas– This pre-war postcard was probably printed around 1930. This is the newly built building at the Sampaloc campus.
Postal Card
Most businesses and the general public during the commonwealth regime would prefer using postal card. It is a type of postal stationary with pre-paid stamp affixed on the card.  These were classified under postal stationary of Philippine Islands under US Administration. Printed by the US Bureau of Printing and Engraving for use in the Philippine islands.
One can write short messages on the postal card and can be send very quick.
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postal card issued during the commonwealth era with 2 centavos face value
Postal cards had a very interesting story. A lot of the postal card were hidden during the Japanese occupation and were brought out when the American or Allied forces began liberating major cities , hence there are popular cancellation and slogan  marks.
Sometimes these bear overprint cancellation marks of “V Day” ( Victory Day) postal card of 1945, marking the return to power of the commonwealth from the Japanese which occupied the country.
These became popular souvenir items by Allied forces and American troops which were stationed in the country between 1944 to 1946. Approximately 250,000 American service and Allied forces were stationed in the country during this time period.
These type of postal card is commonly used by business, personal and quite popular even until the late 1960’s.

Sources and References:

Collins English Dictionary : Postal Card

Littrell, Robert, Ed; Postal Cards of Spanish Colonial Cuba, Philippines, Puerto Rico, UPSS, 2010.

Personal interview from postcard collectors

Philippine Postcards page 130 to 137 Consuming Passions

Presidential Landing and Pier 13 Commonwealth Postcard

This is a linen postcard showing the ‘Presidential Landing and Pier 13, Manila, Philippines.’ divided back, not postally-used, printed around 1940. This type was distributed by Philippine Educational Company Inc. (PECO) was popular souvenirs for tourists, students and collectors. This type of postcard circulated until mid-1950’s.

Pier 13 is located at the Manila south harbor, One can appreciate the clean Manila Bay and its surrounding areas during the commonwealth time. According to serious postcard collectors, PECO used to monopolize the distribution of these type of postcards until some entrepreneurs began using photo postcards and targeting schools, organizations and families. Goodwill Bookstore, G. Miranda and National Bookstore then started to issue their own postcard series.

  This one has a white border and has a serrated edge perforation

Linen Postcard

Linen postcards were printed in the United States from the 1930’s until the late 1950s. The majority of the issued postcard for the Philippines, Guam, Marianas and Puerto Rico during this time period were printed in the United States.

Unknown to many,these were not made out of linen, which is derived from flax, but they did have a high rag content, which means the paper contained a certain amount of cotton fiber. Instead, linen actually refers to the surface texture of the postcard.

This postcard was probably kept in an old photo album because of the sticky back side and some damages incurred by the previous postcard collector.

At the back, includes Genuine Curteich, Chicago “C.T. Photo Colorit” postcard US Pat. Of.

Curt Teich Company was founded in Chicago, Illinois, by Curt Teich (1877–1974) in 1898. The company printed postcards, view postcards, and advertising cards, and became the world’s largest printer of postcards.

Japanese Occupation

Importing of postcards ceases during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines ( from 1942- 1945) and very few reached the country. Most of the highly sought after postcards are on the hand of serious postcard collectors. Postcards that circulated within the country where the old stocks held by PECO or secondary retailers. Most of the interesting postcard collection just before and after the war were presumed destroyed or lost during the liberation of Manila.

What ever remained in the hands of early postcard collectors ( deltiologists), souvenir hunters or memorabilia collectors were either lost in time, eaten by termites,mishandled,thrown in garbage bin or lost in fire.

This type of postcards is quite rare or even scare even in stamp club swap meet or some collecting club’s auction.

I bought this postcard along with the Nipa Hut Muslim House Seascape postcard  and Moro Carabao Sled postcard at the recent RetoCon2019.

References and Sources:

Personal interview with postcard collectors