Identify the Postcard by Ortigas Library Winners

Ortigas Library Foundation conducted an online contest a couple of months ago which generated a lot of buzz among heritage, postcard, stamp and memorabilia collector at their FB page between August 25 to August 26, 2020 with the first 30 persons who correctly identify the postcards during the time frame are eligible to win.

Identify the Postcards

I got a private message from Mr. Carlos Iñigo Roxas ( postcard, stamp collector) about the online contest. Internet was intermittent, it took us almost 10 hours before we were able to send the reply via the Ortigas Library FB site.

Identify the 3 American era postcard which includes 1. Insular Ice Plant, 2.) Road of Antiquity Colon street view of old Cebu and 3.) Fort Malabang in Mindanao.

Personally got two of the three postcards in my private collection. I later found out that Mr. Carlos Iñigo Roxas, Mr. Allan Martinez, Mr. Ian Millare,Ms. Jasmine Goforth, Mr. Joaquin Carlos de Jesus, Mr. Conrado Bugayong,Mr. Dionne Caytiles and a couple of heritage advocates also won the top prizes too!

For Carlos Roxas and the author, It was bitter sweet victory, it was a last minute reply/ entry due to slow internet connection.

I manage to get my note cards/ gift card about 1 month later. Since they only allow winners to claim them between ( Tuesday to Thursday)

For those who were not able to guess the postcards correctly, One can buy the limited note cards / gift cards at the Ortigas Library Foundation office and ideal gift for your friends, heritage advocates, postcard / note card collectors this yuletide season. Each box contains between 10 to 12 note card with various reprint of old postcards from American and Commonwealth era.

Maraming Salamat po sa inyo, Ortigas Library Foundation and Ms. Jennifer Santos.

Ortigas Library Foundation

Address: 2nd Floor, Ortigas Building, Ortigas corner Meralco Avenues, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
1602
Tel: (02) 631 1231

American Regime Manila Thru Postcards (Part 1)

Manila 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. These were the term used by travelers, expats and colonial masters during the last decade of the Spanish and until American colonial regime.

postcard

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 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 bore 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 Mr.Ralph Harrington Doane, Mr.Tomas Mapua and Mr. 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 printed by Photo Supply Company
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

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