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!


Portugal and Helvetia

On this we have a beautiful mini sheet issued to commemorate Stamp Day 2007. Featured on the min sheet is Einsiedeln. Virtually no other Swiss town with a population of about 13,000 is so well known in other countries as Einsiedeln in Canton Schwyz, whose main claims to fame are its Benedictine abbey and more than a thousand years of cultural history.

Einsiedeln is the most frequently visited place of pilgrimage in Switzerland. Every year, more than a hundred thousand pilgrims and visitors make their way to the Abbey, Switzerland's most significant Baroque building, with its "Chapel of Grace" and the famous Black Madonna, which is depicted on the foreground of the miniature sheet.

Einsiedeln is closely bound up with the life of Saint Meinrad. In 835, Saint Meinrad is said to have built a hermitage and chapel on the site in the Abbey where the Chapel of Grace now stands in order to serve God, thus giving Einsiedeln its name (in English, "Einsiedler" means "hermit").

The Benedictine abbey, which is shown in the full in the background, was founded in 934, and the present Baroque monastery was built between 1674 and 1735 in three stages. The Asam brothers created the frescoes and stucco work inside the Abbey, and the Benedictine Abbey contains Switzerland's largest ceiling fresco.

The other stamp on the cover shows a simple diagram of a football/soccer field. Like many other Europeans, the Swiss are big fans of football and the national team or 'Nati' is widely supported. Switzerland's most well known football clubs include Grasshoppers Zurich, Servette FC and FC Basel. Switzerland was also the joint venue with Austria in the Euro 2008 football tournament, although the Swiss team dropped out before the Quarter Finals.

The four stamps shown here are part of a set of 5v entitled Important Figures in Portuguese Culture. The set celebrates either the 100th or 150th birth anniversary of certain figures that have made their contribution to Portuguese society.

Jose Relvas (Birth Sequicententennial).
A historic republican, it was him who proclaimed the republic in the balcony of Municipal Chamber of Lisbon, in 5 October 1910. He was the 2nd Minister of Finances during the Provisional Government, led by Teófilo Braga, from October 12, 1910 to September 3, 1911. After that, he served as minister (ambassador) of Portugal in Madrid, from 1911 to 1914. He was President of the Ministry (103rd Prime Minister), from January 27 to March 30, 1919, in one of the many short lived governments of the Portuguese First Republic. His house in Alpiarça is now the House-museum of Patudos, where his art collection is exhibited.

Manoel Cândido Pinto de Oliveira, GCSE (Birth Centenary). He was born December 12, 1908, and is 99 years old. He is a Portuguese film director born in Cedofeita, Porto. He is frequently cited as the oldest active film director in the world and began his career in 1931 with Douro, a documentary. It is interesting to note that 100 years did not yet pass since his birth when this set was issued on 18 April 2008.

Ricardo Jorge (birth centenary). An eminent Portuguese hygienist and medical historian who was born on May 22, 1858, at Oporto, where he received his medical education and carried out some important work on plague in partnership with Dr. Camara Pestana. He afterwards went to Lisbon, where he was appointed director-general of public health and professor of hygiene.

Maria Helena Vieira da Silva (Birth Centenary). Vieira da Silva was a Portuguese-French abstractionist painter. She was born on June 13, 1908 in Lisbon. At the age of eleven she had began seriously studying drawing and painting at that city's Academia de Belas-Artes. By 1930 Vieira da Silva was exhibiting her paintings in Paris. After a brief sojourn back in Lisbon and a period spent in Brazil during World War II (1940-1947), Vieira da Silva lived and worked in Paris the rest of her life. She adopted french citizenship in 1956. Vieira da Silva received the French government's Grand Prix National des Arts in 1966, the first woman so honored. She was named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1979.

The last stamp on the cover is one of 2 designs issued by CTT Portugal for the Azores in celebration of 100 years of scouting.

I find it rather odd that the sender did not complete the set yet affixed two of the Vieira da Silva stamps. I am nevertheless still very thankful for this wonderful cover. Also, the nice, large "Express Mail" sticker is very attractive, although ineffective with the postal system since the mail didn't undergo express handling judging from the date of posting and the date of receipt.

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