Reviving the forgotten art of postcards

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The first time I remember receiving a postcard from a friend, its stamp was dated Sept. 17, 2013. I unexpectedly found it with the pile of monthly bills—which seem to be the only things that occupy much of the mailboxes in the age of e-mail and Facebook chat.

On its pink-colored front was a scribble of a girl with curly hair, paired with free-hand calligraphy in the same style of the drawing that said “planet curls.” In her letter, my friend revealed that the postcard she sent me was purchased from a biannual arts bazaar called 10a Alabama Arts and Crafts Fair.

“I got this card from a girl who sold woodcrafts. I was actually very amazed that I was able to take home some cards considering that no one really sells postcards nowadays,” she wrote. Flash forward a few years later, and the interest in the art of creating and sending postcards are slowly being revived.

Most people treat postcards more like gifts and collections nowadays, but these are really meant to be sent.

It's a tool to reconnect with friends and family abroad, to share ones travels and stories apart from one’s regular posting habits on social media.

Although it takes more time to reach people, the effort shown and the thought put into it, matched with anticipation or surprise, undeniably adds in more value.

Postcards are also humble portals to new worlds, showing snippets of life and scenery from all corners of the globe. A website called lets you send and receive cards from strangers located in hundreds of countries.

The idea behind it is simple–send a postcard and receive one in return. Five random addresses are given at a time, and each of these users have requests you can fulfill. Some of them ask for postcards that cater to their interests like favorite animals and characters, while others are interested in seeing and knowing about the country you come from. 

Others request senders to write phrases in their native language or recommendations on local artists and writers that they can discover, or a simple narration of the current weather. 
There will also be instances where senders are asked to include newspaper clippings or small photographs—even bus tickets! The possibilities are limitless!

The website currently has 686,956 members in 213 countries and about 1,184 postcards are being sent every hour. Ive received postcards from United States, Russia and the Netherlands, while Ive sent cards to the US, Australia, Poland, Germany, Russia and Beirut all through Postcrossing.

Now lets just hope the cards dont get lost in the mail!


Where to find them: 10A Alabama Arts and Crafts Fair (Quarterly held in Quezon City), 98B Future Market (Escolta, Manila), Papemelroti, Hey Kessy, The Common Room, The Prism Gallery, Restock
Average cost: Reprinted versions range from P10-P250 while original prints start at P900-P6000
Where to send them: PHLPost offices (Intramuros, Gil Puyat, JP Rizal), branches found in select malls and campuses all over the country
Cost of stamps: For domestic and international postcards, it is P13; Priority mail stamps are worth P40
Time postcards take to reach its destination: For local addresses, 9-14 days; international addresses, 3-5 weeks; Priority mail, both local and international addresses, an average of 1-2 weeks

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