Shopping Postcards in the Philippines

Postcards used to be commonly sold in almost all bookstores, public market, school supplies outlet, museums, post offices in many parts of the country.

National Bookstore still boast of having some postcards for sale, but not all their branches would have postcards. Compared 10 to 20 years ago, shopping postcards is getting hard in the country.


commercial postcard

Shopping for Postcards

For collector looking for personalized postcards, There are some artisanal postcards which are self published and can be bought in specialized event like Manila International Book Fair, Toy Convention, Best of Anime, Noel Bazaar, Escolta Market, Travel Expo. While some school fairs like those in University of Santo Tomas ( Sinag Bazaar) and University of the Philippines have some student sellers.


Heritage Conservation Society postcard/ calendar

There were other groups which issued calendar postcard series like Heritage Conservation Society in the middle part of 2000’s, While Philippine Native Plant Conservation Society Incorporated (PNPCSI) also issued their own native plant and trees series. The table calendar can be used for 12 months, the postcard can easily be detached and used for mailing, framing or scrap book. These type of calendar postcard series were printed on a limited quantity ranging from 500 pieces to 1,200 pieces per series.

PNPCSI  in joint partnership with Rain Forest Restoration Initiative only printed calendar/bookmark during the 2019- 2020 edition, thus was not able to buy the calendar.

Some of the so called postcards sellers do not follow the simple guidelines set by Fédération Internationale de Philatélie which is the authority for postcard guidelines and quantity regulation. This could post some problems for postcard exhibitors which have bought postcards issued by artisan,then entered them during FIP or FIAP sanction exhibition.

Short List

1.) National Bookstore – NBS still carry some postcards, but not all branches would have postcards especially NBS Express, which only carry school or office supplies. It was a different story from the mid-1950’s to early part of 2000’s where hundreds of designs were printed and sold to the general public. They also issued map postcards.


Philippines map postcard sold in National Bookstore until late 2012

2.) Papemelroti – This is one of our fave place to buy some postcards, They were one of the first commercial stores which issued the shaped postcards. I would visit the Roces branch of the store. Postcard prices would start from Php 5.00 or Php 6.00.

3.) Goodwill Bookstore– Goodwill bookstore used to have a wide array of postcards.

There were two Japanese professional photographers which the company hired in the late 1960’s toured the country to feature interesting landmarks and places. Majority of  were issued between 1967 up to early 1980’s. The postcards were printed under Madonna and JMC Press.

Some of their postcards series were highly collectible, especially those which featured famous landmarks like Luneta, Manila, Philippines Dances, Intramuros and Orchids. They also issued lenticular postcards or 3-D postcard types which were big fancy among collectors.

Unfortunately, managed to collect at least 70 postcard designs before their store closed down few years ago in San Juan. According to some postcard collectors, Goodwill bookstore carried at least 150 known designs issued before. Some of the postcards were already sold out during the mid-1990’s and were never reprinted.

4.) Merriam Webster – Merrian Webster Bookstore is another bookstore chain which had some branches located in Metro Manila. The branches includes Carvajal street ( Binondo), Nicanor Reyes Sr. ( aka Morayta street), Avenida Rizal ( Santa Cruz), Makati, Pasay and Marikina.

The bookstore sold cheap postcards printed by Roscar and local printers.These are far lower quality postcard compared to the issued by leading bookstore. Price ranges from Php 3.00 to Php 5.00 per postcard. The bookstore also carried some stamp album and collectible stamps.

5.) The Bookmark Inc. – The publishing company also re-printed vintage postcards which were classified into themes like fauna, vintage landmarks, people, anthropology and children’s painting in the mid- 1990’s. However the selection is quite limited. During the last MIBF 2019. I saw that they sold some postcard packs at their booth.

6.) Pandayan Bookstore– This bookstore started in 1993 and still carry some postcards. Compared to the ones issued by Merriam Webster. The postcards issued by the bookstore have some quality. But not all branches would carry or sell postcards. One example is in Araneta, Cubao which only carried greeting cards. The bookstore had about 130 branches all over the country.

6.) School Supplies and Wholesalers – If you are looking for cheap postcard, Try to scout school supply wholesalers in Divisoria, Juan Luna street or Santo Cristo area. However the quality is quite inferior compared to the ones being sold by the other bookstore. Another downfall is that you need to buy per pack which may be about 100 pieces per design.

7.) Island Souvenir– Island souvenir started in 1992 and based in Cebu.  They have some branches in Metro Manila.

8.) Silahis, Paper Toile, Casa Manila along General Luna street, Intramuros- For those looking for the general tourist postcard, one can buy tourist postcards from tourist shops. Selection is quite limited. Paper Toile recently opened a stall in First United Building in Escolta street, but does not carry any postcard.


Paper Toile stall in First United Building

9.) Sterling – Sterling used to have postcards distributed by Expression and other smaller bookstores.  I have visited their office a couple of months ago and they did not carry any postcard. According the the sales person, The company cease printing postcards for the past couple of years. A fellow postcard collector, told me that there were still resellers of Sterling postcards in some parts of the country, abiet rare.


Chinatown Museum gift shop at the 4th level of Lucky Chinatown Mall

10.) Museums– A good place to shop some postcards or note cards were the limited edition printed by local museums. Museums like the Blanco family museum in Angono, BenCab Museum in Baguio would also carry some note-cards. Lopez Museum in Pasig used to have some postcards series printed before. Bahay Nakpil in Quiapo, Bahay Tsinoy in Intramuros, Chinatown Museum, also printed some postcards. Some of the postcards were eventually given away during their open house few months ago.

11.) Churches and Parishes– Some churches issued their own postcards for sale. Churches and parishes included Santa Cruz, Manila Cathedral Basilica, San Sebastian Basilica, San Agustin and Taal Basilica.


letter writing postcard issued by PHLPOST

12.) Philippine Postal Corporation– PHLPOST issued some postcards thru the years in partnership with other government institutions like National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) , Department of Tourism (WOW Philippines postcard),Department of Education ( DEPED). These are highly collectible and the last postcard issuance by PHLPOST was in October 2019 which marked the 150th anniversary of postcard.

13.) Other government and private company issuance- Some government agencies issued limited postcard series and at one time, Philippine Airlines, PAN-American Airlines those engaged in the travel business were active issuing postcards ( as part of the extensive marketing and promotion).  I got some postcards issued by Philippine Airlines, PAN-American Airlines,Japan Airlines, Intramuros Administration. Manila Bulletin also issued postcards few years ago in partnership with PHLPOST for the annual letter writing.

14.) Pinspired – Postcards and Collectibles – I met Ms. Erika Jacolo who is the Manila band ambassador of the company. The company is based from Dumaguete City. They also have some postcard for sale in some museums with slightly higher marked-up.

15.) Restaurants – Some local restaurants issued limited edition postcards. Some are  advertising postcard with only few spaces provided to write. Max’s restaurant issued few years ago a limited edition postcard in partnership with PHLPOST.

16.) Hotels and Resorts – Manila Hotel and other resorts would have a souvenir stores or gift stores located within their premises.  A friend who works at the Manila Hotel told me that a big size postcard cost Php 540 a piece. Another friend gave me a postcard when they stayed in Makati- Shangrila.

17.) Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter– There are some active sellers who have account. When Friendster, Yahoo Group, Multiply accounts were still active few years ago, There were also sellers and traders.

18.) Do It Yourself Postcard – There are some postcard collectors who would make DIY postcard, my friend Mr. Philip Reyes makes handmade crochet postcard and send to thematic collector around the world. One can buy blank postcard from Papemelroti. One can paint or draw from the blank postcards.


Ali X

19.) Thrift Shops– There are several thrift shop outlets like in Kamuning, Cubao Expo, ALI-X, Ermita, Malate, Makati, Pasay, Baguio which sells vintage postcard. These stores cater to postcard collectors and majority of the postcard for sale were used.  Postcards have handwritten notes, stamps and postcard marks.

The prices may vary from one thrift shop to another. Some allow haggling, while others will not allow. Prices start from Php 25 for a small postcard to as much as few hundreds of pesos for the vintage ones.

20.) Stamp Club and Collecting Club – There are different stamp and collecting clubs which meets on saturday or sunday on a specific time and place. Some would meet in Manila Central Post office like Philippine Philatelists and Collectibles ( third saturday) APO ( first sunday ) and Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club ( third sunday).

Bayanihan Collectors’ Club,Philippine Numismatic and Antiquarian Society (PNAS) and Banknote Society of the Philippines (BNSP) would meet in different parts of Metropolis such as in Tropical Hut branch in Quezon City, Max’s restaurant, Ortigas Library, Manila Yacht Club, Quezon City Sports Club among other places.

I think all stamp club meetings or bourse are open to the general public. Postcards sold during the meeting or auction are mostly used. Coveted by collectors, these items cannot be send to new postcard collectors.

Remember that there were still some collecting club are exclusive membership and strictly by invitation only.

21.) Coffee Shop – Some coffee stores gave away promotional postcards, We would consider these as advertising postcards.

22.) Art Studio -Some art studio and gallery would also print their exhibition and guise them as postcards. This also serves dual purpose, Aside from promoting the event, The advertising postcard serves as a special invite.  We got some advertising postcards from YO Card Philippines before their company folded. Some movie companies issued advertising postcards before to promote their films.

23.) Postcrossing PH members – During a recent eyeball held last February 29, 2020, some local postcrossers printed some collectible postcards. I do not know if they are still available, What i know is that these are pre-ordered in advance. Ms. Jona Saavedra Panesa ( rabbit design ), Ms. Ruth Jacob ( blue heart), Ms.Venus Fortuna( Adarna bird ) Chinese Goddess by Ms. Rena Dylux from Beijing China. 


24.) Thrift Bookstores – Second hand bookstores like Book For Less or Book Sale sometimes carry postcard books, These are printed in the United States or Europe and postcards can be detached and use for general mailing.

25.) Online Sites – Examples were Shopee, Red Bubble, Ebay,OLX, Zalora, Amazon, Carousell, Etsy, Zazzle, CardCow, Facebook Group – There are several wholesalers and retailers selling Philippine postcards from these sites.

Some are reproduction from well loved vintage postcards, while others are from China. One must be careful in buying postcards especially those from China or in bulk. There are people who ordered paying them using their credit card or even cash but the postcard did not arrive.  Try to factor local shipping rates and other taxes when buying postcard online.

These are just the few internet sites or places where one can purchase some postcards. It is better to ask around for those that were not listed in this short list. But small bookstore around the provinces would still carry postcards.

There were also some small and medium size art and fancy craft supply outlets which print their own line of postcards series.


Filipino Music Icons to be Feature by PHLPOST

Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) will issue limited edition stamps to launch their Pinoy Music Icons series this coming November 15, 2019.

This will also coincide with “National Stamp Collecting Month” and to honor the distinguished careers of Mr. Joey “Pepe” Smith, Rico J. Puno and Rene Garcia of Hotdog that transcend generations and continue to resonate with music fans of all ages.

The Pinoy Music Icons stamps of Smith, Garcia and Puno was designed by PHLPost in house creative artist Rodine Teodoro as part of PHLPost’s celebration for National Stamp Collecting Month and 252 Years of Postal Service.

Mr. Maximo Sta. Maria III, Officer-In-Charge at the Office of the Assistant Postmaster General of PHLPost said their Pinoy Music Icons concept began to take shape following the demise of the three pillars of Original Pilipino Music.


Filipino Music Icons on Stamps

In other countries like the United States have issued stamps to honor their music icons like in 2013, the Music Icons series in the US have honored popular music artists such as Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin and John Lennon.

When the idea of issuing stamps for Smith, Garcia and Puno was first presented to the Philippine Stamp Committee composed of representatives from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Philippine Philatelic Federation (PPF), the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) and PHLPost, it was unanimously approved without any objection.

Regarded as the face of Pinoy Rock, Pepe Smith helped pioneer the OPM sub-genre as a member of the classic line-up of the Juan Dela Cruz band together with Mike Hanopol and Wally Gonzalez. A highly influential figure in the local rock scene, Smith was the voice behind iconic hits like “Himig Natin,” “Beep Beep” and “Titser’s Enemi No. 1” and was actively performing until his untimely demise.

Rene Garcia is a founding member and lead singer of Hotdog, the band that pioneered The Manila Sound, another popular sub-genre. Characterized by his signature, sexy twang, Garcia’s vocals propelled Hotdog to greater heights with hits like “Ikaw ang Miss Universe ng Buhay Ko” “Annie Batungbakal,” “Bongga Ka Day” and the band’s anthemic signature song, “Manila.”

Dubbed as The Total Entertainer for his ability to wow audiences in every show he headlined, Rico J. Puno was also an exceptional balladeer who occasionally strayed into rhythm and blues territory. Distinguished by his husky, baritone vocals, Puno was responsible for some of the most iconic OPM classics that include “Kapalaran,” “May Bukas Pa,” “Lupa” and his signature song, “Macho Gwapito.”

The families of the three icons were likewise thrilled with the idea of their kin being honored with commemorative stamps.

As part of the stamp’s launch, PHLPost will mount an exhibit of memorabilia items from the three icons courtesy of their respective families. The exhibit will take place also this November at the Manila Central Post Office building in Liwasang Bonifacio, Manila.

Exciting book launching and booths at the 34th Manila International BookFair 2013

SMX Convention Center, Pasay City- Philippines

Dr. Lisandro Claudio

Dr. Lisandro Claudio is an associated professor at Ateneo de Manila -Department of Political Science .  He obtained his PHD at University of Melbourne , Australia . His areas of specialization ,The Philippine Left, Global Marxism, Postwar Philippine Intellectual History, Post-authoritarian Politics in the Philippines, The Global South.

Due to time constraints , I only managed to asked him if he knew  Dr. Corazon Claudio, Chair and President of EARTH Institute of Asia, She had a radio “Kalikasan, Kaunlaran”, DZRH-TV where i was invited a few years ago .  I did not got a definite answer since i forgot her first name.

The book is available at the Ateneo de Manila University Book Press Office. 

Ateneo Press.Org:

Ateneo de Manila University:

Mr. Alex Lacson

Mr. Lacson is lawyer, author, lecturer, philanthropist and politician.

He is best known as the author of “12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do To Help Our Country.” The book is distributed in all National Bookstores branches

Mr. Hubert Fucio

Mr. Hubert Fucio is a book illustrator , Grand Prize Winner of PBBY Alcala Prize in 2003. One of his latest  book illustration ” Anong Gupit Natin Ngayon” . Among his works are”  Si Pagong at si Matsing” , ” Sandosenang Kuya”   the books were printed by Adarna Books.  While Lauan, the Seed that Wanted to Fly by Rhandee Garlitos, illustrated by Hubert Fucio was printed by Vibal Publishing . ” Children of Two Seasons: Poems for Young People”  written by Lara Saguisag and illustrated by Hubert B. Fucio

National Historical Commission of the Philippines

Mr. Wilfredo Bas, Ms. Chona, Rey , Dereck, Christy Ann and Felix – NHCP had a lot of hard to find books primarily historical books authored by well-known historians of the country.

 National Historical Commission of the Philippines:

Fully Booked

Ms. Alice M. San -Cua

She is the author of  ” Autum in Madrid ”  printed by UST publishing house. It was her second book of travel essays  and was launched last  June 8, 2013 at Greenbelt 4, Makati.

Sun-Cua’s previous works include “Riding Towards the Sunrise,” which won the National Book Award for Travel in 2000; “Charted Prophesies and Other Poems” (2001); and two collections with the ALON collective, of which she is a founding member: “What the Water Said” (2004) and “Watershed” (2009). She is also an obstetrician-gynecologist currently affiliated with the San Juan de Dios Hospital, and lives in Manila with her husband Alex.

Mr. Joel Pablo Salud

He started his career as a journalist and writer 23 years ago at the Manila Standard and The Manila Times. After which he leaped from newspapers to magazines, having worked as managing editor for the Philippine Airlines in-flight publication Mabuhay and Filipino Unlimited, and as executive editor of People Asia.

His stint as media bureau chief at the Philippine Senate and as communications management consultant for some members of the Lower House . Mr. Salud has written for various national publications, including the Philippine Star, Star week, Balikbayan, Lifestyle Asia, the Philippines Free Press and Business Day. 

He now saddles his pen as Editor-in-Chief of the Philippines Graphic magazine, the country’s top newsweekly and literary publication under the ALC Group of publications, which includes the Business-Mirror.

He is a member of the Unyon ng Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) and the Manila Critics Circle.

His latest work , The Distance of Rhymes and Other Tragedies was printed by UST publishing.

Mr. Jaypee Reyes

 Mr. Jaypee Reyes  at the C& E Bookstore  booth . For a minimum book purchase, one can have a FREE handwriting consultation. He is the current President and CEO of Handwriting Master Analysis of the Philippines ( HandMAP)

I quickly notice his presence at the C& E booth because of one hobby that connects our group (Handwriting !) Being a stamp collector( philatelist) we always promote the art of writing letters . Some of the older members of our stamp club would collect letters purposely because of their  beautiful handwriting. or Calligraphy . Some teachers and even stamp collectors would develop some attributes to know one’s personality thru their penmanship.

Land line (343-1035) Mobile (0922-809-5472/ 0915-242-2348)

Handwriting Master Analysts of the Philippines  :

Note: I would like to ” Thank” all the regular ” suki ” readers of this blog , and to the organizers of the Manila International Book Fair 2013. Until the 35th Manila International Book Fair 2014!

National Historical Commision of the Philippines unvelies the state of the art Katipunan museum

Museo ng Katipunan, San Juan City , Metro Manila – Philippines

ceremonial openingPhoto courtesy : of Red Root Artists Cooperative

Executive-Director Ludovico Badoy, NHCP President, Dr. Maria Serena Diokno, San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez, Vice-Mayor Francis Zamora and Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez led the re-enactment of the tearing of the cedulas (community tax certificate  or personal tax certificate)

The Museo ng Katipunan or Katipunan Museum located in San Juan City formally opened its doors on Tuesday morning. It was built to showcase the contributions of the members of the Kataastaasang Kagalang-galang na Katipunan ng mga Anak ng bayan (KKK). The group was founded in 1892 as a movement against the Spaniards.

Museo ng Katipunan 2

Museo ng Katipunan

The Museum was built at a former Spanish depot site called “El Deposito”, and features relics of weapons, dioramas, amulets used by the Katipuneros. It also houses some notable pieces of art from Pancho Piano.

ceremonial opening 2

Photo courtesy : of Red Root Artists Cooperative

Special guests of honor Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Mayor Guia Gomez and Vice Mayor Francis Zamora together with relatives of the Katipuneros

So why San Juan and not Intramuros, Manila?  National Historical Commission of the Philippines’   Executive-Director Ludovico Badoy said  the Katipuneros organized their first raid at the Spanish weapons and ammo dump located in San Juan.

Katipunan Museum1

Katipunan heroes gallery on display

Atty. Gregorio Bonifacio, a fourth generation blood relative of the Katipunan founder, said the museum is a fitting memorial for the KKK.

This is a new museum entirely devoted to Bonifacio and the Katipunan, with interactive displays and original Katipunan artifacts. The museum will also present, for the first time, an initial list of members of the Katipunan and others who supported its cause, numbering more than 2,500. The names were obtained from archival sources.

The museum also has an e-learning room where students from grades 5-7 will take online interactive lessons about Bonifacio and the Katipunan—the first in the country—produced by the NHCP. Classes will start at 9 a.m. and every hour a different batch of students will use the room.

National Historical Commission of the Philippines:

San Juan City :

Kalayaan 2013 -115th Independence day activities within Liwasang Bonifacio

Liwasang Bonifacio , Ermita , Manila -Philippines

Liwasang Bonifacio

Liwasang Bonifacio  also called  as Plaza Lawton is this year’s venue of the historic flag raising activity for the 115 anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine independence.  The entire plaza had some clean-up drive several days before the event which included cleaning the fountain area ,  installation of new plant boxes, trimming of trees and putting of yellow ribbons  within the vicinity .

National Museum director Mr. Jeremy Barns , Ms. Maura  Baghari-Regis and Postmaster General Maria Josefina dela Cruz

former Postmaster General and Congressman Honorable  Roilo Golez and TESDA chairman Honorable Joel Villanueva

United States Ambassador – Honorable Harry Thomas , Philpost employees and Mr. Wilfredo Bas – National Historical Commission of the Philippines

Ambassador Harry Thomas is his final leg of his tour of duty in the Philippines.  Based on the photo opportunity requests by the ordinary people , He is one of the most well-loved ambassadors in recent memories . His ability to speak Filipino language makes him an instant click to ordinary people .

Manila Central Post Office

The Manila Central Post Office is an architectural jewel that is found in the middle of the old capital city ( Intramuros ) and Extramuros ( Binondo ) .The historical building was built in 1926 almost the same time with the National Arts Gallery ( National Museum ) by triumvirate Architect Juan Arellano , Ralph Duane and Tomas Mapua .  The upper floors were draped with Philippine  ceremonial tri-color cloth  . It adds a touch of class and formality to the event.

President Benigno Simeon Aquino III  during the flag raising ceremony at the grounds of Philippine Postal Corporation

President Benigno Aquino III  led the country in commemorating the 115th year of its proclamation of  independence from Spanish colonial rule.

President Aquino together with Dr. Maria Serena I. Diokno during the wreath laying ceremonies at the Bonifacio statute in the middle of Liwasang Bonifacio

President Aquino chose to kick off Independence Day dubbed as Kalayaan 2013 with the theme ” Ambangan tungo sa Malawakang Kaunlaran ”  instead  of choosing Luneta ( traditional flag raising venue site ) .

television crew PTV channel 4 coverage during the wreath laying ceremonies

He led the traditional flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies at the Liwasang Bonifacio, a plaza named after revolutionary leader Gat Andres Bonifacio which marks  his 150th birth anniversary this year. He was welcomed by Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, Postmaster General Maria Josefina dela Cruz  and National Historical Commission head Dr. Maria Serena I. Diokno.

L-R Honorable Roilo Golez,  Secretary Manuel ” Mar ” Roxas ,  MMDA chairperson Atty. Francis Tolentino ,  APMG Operations Mama S. Lalanto al haj and Postmaster General Maria Josefina dela Cruz -Philippine Postal Corporation

This also marks the kick-off event of the year-long anniversary which will culminate on November 30, 2013 with festive ceremonies ,  fun run , Bonifacio trail , art competition , exhibits  and stamp launching event .

foreign dignitaries together with Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario ( far right in white barong )

After the flag raising ceremony and independence day speech . President PNOY went to the holding room E-Post Shop within the Philippine Postal Corporation building .  Due to security protocols  , only 2 official press photographer from the ( Office of the President ) and NHCP  were  allowed .

Philippine Postal Corporation catering

This according a  Malacañan protocol officer , It was a private function – He was presented with the 150th Malacañang Palace framed stamps and First Day Covers together with Alfredo S. Lim .

(Photo courtesy of Mr. Gil Nartea/Malacañang Photo Bureau)

Postmaster General and CEO  Maria Josefina dela Cruz, Philpost  Chairperson Cesar Sarino , President Benigno Aquino and Dr. Maria Serena I. Diokno

From the Facebook account of the President :

  Malacañang Palace 150th commemorative stamps and first day cover

Philpost E-post Shop

He probably stayed for about 10 minutes inside before leaving .  Then our group was invited by Postmaster General Maria Josefina dela Cruz for an early lunch .

Philippine Postal Corporation officials and vips

Gat Andres Bonifacio statute  with floral wreath from the Office of the President and Grand Masonic Lodge of the Philippines

The event is spearheaded by National Historical Commission of the Philippines , Philippine Postal Corporation ,   Department of Public Works and Highways , Metro Manila Development Authority , Office of the President and  City of Manila. 

Note: I would like to ” Thank” NHCP , Philpost and the City of Manila for all the accommodation given to me during the event.



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