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!



I believe this is my second cover from Pakistan; it is always nice to receive covers from these far-off places. Not that Pakistan is in some obscure corner of the world, it's just that you rarely find something from Pakistan when you open your mailbox.

Anyhoo, moving on, the five mushroom stamps are part of a se-tenant set of 10 issued 01 Oct 05. As I do not think that many readers would be interested in reading 15 or so paragraphs about mushrooms, I won't discuss them anymore, but for those interested, Pakistan Post does offer an extensive report on them here.

The two medicinal plant stamps on the lower right depicting Chamomile and Aloe Vera, were issued 28 Oct 06.

More on chamomile:
The name Chamomile (from Greek χαμαίμηλον - chamaimēlon) means "earth-apple", (from χαμαί - chamai: "on the ground" + μήλον - mēlon: "apple"), because of the applelike scent of the plant. It can refer to any of several distinct species in the sunflower family. The Chamomile flower is most often consumed in the form of a bitter herb tea infusion. Taken internally, the infusion's effects include calming of the digestive tract, and easing of the spasms of irritable bowel syndrome, nocturnal cramps and period pains. It's a relaxant and sedative, so it is often taken against insomnia or anxiety.
And on Aloe Vera:
Aloe vera, also known as the Medicinal Aloe, is a species of succulent plant that probably originated in northern Africa. The species does not have any naturally occurring populations, although closely related Aloes do occur in northern Africa. The species is frequently cited as being used in herbal medicine since the beginning of the first century CE, however, it is unclear whether the aloes described in those accounts are derived from A. vera. Extracts from A. vera are widely used in the cosmetics and alternative medicine industries, being marketed as variously having rejuvenating, healing or soothing properties. There is, however, little scientific evidence of the effectiveness or safety of A. vera extracts for either cosmetic or medicinal purposes, and what positive evidence is available is frequently contradicted by other studies. Despite these limitations, there is some preliminary evidence that A. vera extracts may be useful in the treatment of diabetes and elevated blood lipids in humans.

The last stamp, which depicts the Yellow Dwarf Cichlid, is part of a 5v set issued 09 Oct 04.

On the Yellow Dwarf Cichlid:
A laterally compressed cichlid that has a stockier, less elongated body than agassizi, another type of cichlid. The caudal fin is fan-shaped within the male, the dorsal and anal fins meet at a point. The head and the area just behind the gill cover are golden yellow. The belly and the very top of the back may also be golden-yellow in color. The middle area of the body is pale blue as are the dorsal, pelvic, and front parts of the anal fins. The dorsal and pelvic fins are gold-tipped. The caudal fin and most of the anal fin is golden-yellow. Often a red area develops on the caudal penuncle. When a fish is excited, several transverse marking develop on the sides of the fish. A short, black stripeextends through the eye and to the snout.The males can grow to reach 2.8" (7 cm) and the females to 2" (5 cm). These fish are found in shallow swampy regions along rivers. South America; the Rio Paraguay and the Pantanal (matto Grosso).

A funny thing to notice is that all the stamps on this cover were issued in October 2004, 2005, and 2006!

The stamps were tied at the General Post Office at Islamabad, the capital city, on 10 Jul 08. I find it quite odd that the postmark used indicates that the mail article is registered ("Regd.") when it is not. Perhaps they also have the same problems with the lack of postmark stampers that they have here in the Philippines?

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