To my cover-exchanging friends, please try as much as possible to
as these give a more personal touch to the cover
the Philippine postal service damages the cover with scribbling that highly devalues the aesthetic value of the cover, which is what I am after
or at least same themes when sending covers, but it is okay if this is not possible or if this would be expensive, and
not too small, but maybe around 4"x6" or something like that; big envelopes are not very attractive unless they have many stamps.
Thank you!



Pos Malaysia has never failed impress me with its FDCs. The cachets are always beautifully designed and formatted with the philatelist in mind. That is why I ask my friends in Malaysia to purchase them and send them over even after the first day of issue. Here is an example of one such FDC.

The set featured on the FDC exhibits the cultural heritage of Malaysia by showing three artifacts used by different ethnic groups of the peninsula, namely the Batu Giling, the Supu, and the Kukur Kelapa. More on these tools:
The "Batu giling" or stone grinder is a traditional tool consisting of two parts made of stone, referred to as "mother" and "child". The "mother" is the millstone or base part of the grinder where the chilli or spices are placed, whereas the "child" is the smaller piece of stone used to roll onto the base stone to crush and grind the said spices. Using this stone grinder will produce a fine and well grounded paste of spices or chilli. Something I found interesting about the "batu giling" is that, in Tagalog the word "bato" (which is most probably realted to "batu") means "stone" and the word "giling" also means "grind." I guess this is evidence that proves that Tagalog borrows heavily from the Malay language.

The "Supu" is a small container used to keep tobacco. Made of silver and beautifully decorated with fine carvings, it is also used as a decorative accessory by the Bajau community in the district of Kota Belud, Sabah. Amongst the Dusun Tindal community, it is known as "kuapu" and is used as a decorative accessory for the bride and bridegroom's wedding costume. Another Philippines-related bit of info; the Bajau/Badjao people can also be found in Bohol, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga, Surigao, Davao, and other areas in the Mindanao region of the Philippines.

The "Kukur kelapa" or coconut grater is a tool used to grate or scrape the flesh of the coconut from its shell. The traditional coconut scraper is shaped out of a piece of wood for the seat and at the end is a sharp-edged metal spur. Creativity from the artistic Malays have resulted in the "Kukur kelapa" carved based on the design of a four-legged animal complete with the tail and other carvings of nature-inspired motives such as plants.

The coconut grater was once a very important tool in every Malay household as coconut milk is an essential ingredient in Malay cooking. Although its usage by the city folk have reduced due to the preference of electric tools, this tool is still much in use in the outskirts. The exact same goes for the use of coconut graters Philippines, except the ones here are not as ornate or "special."

This set was issued 10 June 2008, but as you can see, it dos not bear the special franking. This is because it was sent to me after the first day of issue. I guess Pos Malaysia franks first day covers on the spot on the first day of issue? Am I right?

Here in the Philippines, FDCs are released at least a month after the date of issue (since Philpost is way behind schedule due to lack of postal employees), but they all bear the special postmark and the cover (including postage) can still be used any time.

Sometimes, I wonder if what Philpost is doing defeats the purpose of issuing first day covers since it's virtually impossible to send out the cover on the first day of issue. Any thoughts on this?

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