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!



Here are two covers from Italy with beautiful special postmarks. The first one seems to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Cultural Tourism, although I am not to sure exactly what the celebration or the Cultural Tourism is for.

The second cover has a postmark that commemorates the
restoration of the old facade of the Parish Church of St. Nicolao, which is located in Valle San Nicolao, a comune (municipality) in the Province of Biella in the Italian region Piedmont.

I just wanted to point out that the second cover was received at the Poste Restante counter of the Macau Central Post Office on my birthday, so that makes this cover more special than it already is.


Here is a cover that I like very much because it integrates two of my favorite themes: EU-related material and money on stamps.

The block on the left, issued on 10 July 09, commemorates the tenth anniversary of the launch of the Euro in 1999. A little more on the Euro currency from the Correos de Espana website:

On the 1st of January 1999 the Euro was born as the new European currency though it wasn’t until three years later, in 2002, when it was made effective. The Euro was a decisive step for European integration since it became the currency of the Euro zone countries. It is now the sole and official currency of 16 of the 27 member states of the European Union and of over some 325 million people in total.

The use of the Euro in the different member countries was gradual. Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Finland began to use it 1999; Greece in 2001, Slovenia in 2007, Cyprus and Malta in 2008 and Slovakia in 2009.

The € symbol is inspired by the Greek epsilon (ε)- a reference to the first letter of the word Europe, crossed by two parallel lines to ‘certify’ the stability of the Euro. Euro zone countries use the same designs in their banknotes, which were chosen from 44 proposals in a design competition, launched by the Council of the European Monetary Institute (EMI) in 1996 and in which the winning entry was created by Austrian born Robert Kalina. The designs have a common theme of European architecture in various artistic periods, from classic to modern XX century architecture. The front of the note features windows or gateways while the back has bridges. Both sides bear the 12 stars characteristic of the European Union. Every banknote has more than 30 security features which include: The paper used which is 100% pure cotton fibre, the watermark depicting a special design observed by holding the note up to the light and the holographic band imprinted with the note's denomination. In the case of the €50 notes and higher, the band is replaced with a holographic decal.

Coins have a common reverse for all countries in the Euro zone chosen by the European Commission but each country has its own design on the obverse besides the twelve stars.

Unfortunately, the block was not cancelled as the cover was put through a machine canceller. Only the stamp on the upper right was franked with a rather clear slogan postmark. This cancelled stamp was issued on 06 Apr 09 and celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Council of Europe. More on the Council from the Correos de Espana website:

In 1949, ten countries signed the Treaty of London establishing the Council of Europe. In article 1 of its Statute it states its aim to “achieve a greater unity between its members and to promote awareness and encourage the development of Europe's cultural identity and diversity and to favour its economic and social progress.”

Sixty years after its foundation, The Council of Europe has a genuine pan-European dimension with 47 members, representing 800 million citizens and 5 observer countries: the Holy See, the United States, Canada, Japan, and Mexico. Its headquarters are in Strasbourg and its aims are to protect human rights, pluralist democracy and the rule of law, to promote awareness and encourage the development of Europe's cultural identity and diversity, to find common solutions to the challenges facing European society: such as discrimination against minorities, xenophobia, intolerance, terrorism, trafficking in human beings, organised crime and to consolidate democratic stability in Europe by backing political, legislative and constitutional reform.

The logo is the Council of Europe's own distinctive sign and was adopted in May 1999. The Council shares the flag, twelve golden stars on a blue background, with the European Union and the prelude to the Ode to Joy from Beethoven's 9th Symphony as the European anthem.

Tunisia‎ تونس

Just wanted to share some registered covers from Tunisia. Notice that a registration label was also attached when these letters were processed at Hong Kong. Also, it is interesting to point out that in the second cover, my friend used a 1996 Olympics stamp!


This cover above is self-made, and I sent it personally from the Macau Airport post office. The souvenir sheet celebrates the tenth anniversary of the national carrier, Air Macau. Personally, I was so surprised that such a small country actually had its own airline and was even more surprised when I learned it had another carrier, Viva Macau, the first long-haul, low-cost carrier in the world. However, Macau is indeed a transfer point for Asian and Chinese destinations, as I came to learn, so the two airlines actually have a large customer base.

A little more on the Macau airport:

The Macau International Airport (澳門國際機場 or Àomén Guójì Jīchǎng) is situated at the eastern end of Taipa island and is the only airport in Macau, which opened for commercial operations in November 1995. Since then, the airport has been a common transfer point for people traveling between mainland China and Taiwan, as well as a passenger hub for destinations in mainland China and Southeast Asia.

As in Hong Kong, Macau has its own immigration policies and is a separate customs territory from mainland China. All travellers, including those to mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan need to go through the immigration and customs inspections of international flights.

I went through this airport many times during my stay in Macau, and I must say, though small, it is very efficient and it has good facilities.


This first cover has the 2009 Austrian Christmas stamps issue and what I take to be definitives. The special, rather heavy cancellation was applied in Innsbruck. My German is very rough, but from what I understand, it is from a Stamp Exhibition held on 6.11.09. As I could not find any information on the exhibition, I do not know why "St. Gabriel" was included in the postmark design.

This second cover has the 2008 Austrian issue for the Europa CEPT theme "Letters." It also has a postage sticker for EUR0.10, which is actually starting to fade!


This cover is quite interesting because it was franked by a postmark much smaller than the usual large postmarks that I usually get on Malaysian covers.

Here is a nice cover with 5 of the 18 stamps issued to show the different types of traditional houses found all over Malaysia.

This 3v issue from 2003 features the endangered Southern Serow, a solitary animal similar to a mountain goat that lives in densely forested mountain areas. It was once thought that if you were to see one you would have bad luck. Despite being herbivores, they are feisty and considered courageous as they won't back down from a fight, even when outnumbered. A Serow's saliva is considered a cure all and it is not uncommon to see Khmers (Cambodians) with their hands and feet poking into the Serow enclosure at the Wildlife Rescue Centre, hoping for a lick. Also, they are still hunted because their flesh and blood are said to enhance strength and vitality. The Serow are endangered due to their being excessively hunted and also due to habitat loss and fragmentation.

This second cover has the 2004 3v set commemorating the Cartagena Biosafety Protocol. The Biosafety Protocol seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology.

The Biosafety Protocol makes clear that products from new technologies must be based on the precautionary principle and allow developing nations to balance public health against economic benefits. It will, for example, let countries ban imports of a living modified organism if they feel there is not enough scientific evidence that the product is safe, and it requires exporters to label shipments containing genetically altered commodities such as corn or cotton.

Living modified organisms (known as LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology are broadly equivalent to genetically modified organisms. The difference between an LMO and a GMO is that a Living Modified Organism is capable of growing, and typically refers to agricultural crops. Genetically Modified Organisms include both LMOs and organisms which are not capable of growing, i.e. are dead. 'Modern biotechnology' is defined in the Protocol to mean the application of techniques that overcome natural physiological reproductive or recombination barriers and are not techniques used in traditional breeding and selection.

Lastly, here is a cover with a 4v set of stamps that remind us of the Cold War. The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), whose 13th conference held in Kuala Lumpur the stamps commemorate, is an international organisation of states considering themselves not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. The movement is largely the brainchild of India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, president of Egypt Gamal Abdul Nasser, and Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito. It was founded in April 1955; as of 2006, it had 118 members. The purpose of the organization as stated in the Havana Declaration of 1979 is to ensure "the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries" in their "struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, and all forms of foreign aggression, occupation, domination, interference or hegemony as well as against great power and bloc politics." They represent nearly two-thirds of the United Nations's members and comprise 55% of the world population, particularly countries considered to be developing or part of the third world.

Singapura - Indonesia

Singapore and Indonesia recently released a joint issue on the tourist attractions of the two countries.

Singapore decided to showcase the Merlion and Sentosa Island while Indonesia chose Taman Mini Indonesia Indah and the Singa Ambara Raja Statue.

The Merlion, the half-lion, half-fish symbol of Singapore, was installed in 1972. Its original location was by the Esplanade Bridge at the mouth of the Singapore River, just 120 meters from their present location. It was moved in 1997 because it could no longer be viewed clearly after the completion of the Esplanade bridge. On 28 Feb of this year, the lion was struck by lightning and broke into pieces. The Merlion you can see at Merlion Park today is sadly not the original.

Sentosa Island, a resort developed by the Singapore government to promote local and international tourism in Singapore, was a British military fortress until 1967, when it was handed over to the Singapore government after independence. It received its current name of "Sentosa," meaning "peace and tranquility" in Malay, in 1972.

Taman Mini Indonesia, which literally means "Beautiful Indonesian Miniature Park," is a 250-acre complex in eastern Jakarta that summarizes Indonesian culture and daily life. The park, opened in 1975, has pavilions that seek to encapsulate the grandeur of Indonesia. We had something similar in Manila called Nayong Pilipino (literally "Philippine Province", and it also opened in the 70s. However, it fell into decline after less and less visitors went and I believe it has shut down operations for a few years now. I wonder if Taman Mini Indonesia Indah will suffer the same fate?

The Singa Ambara Raja Statue was inaugurated in 1971 to signify the historic struggle of the Singaraja people against Dutch colonization. It is the landmark of Singaraja City in northern Bali.

I received the issue from both countries. Unfortunately, though, I did not get the Singapore FDC. Both FDCs from Indonesia were unfortunately damaged by staple wire by a postal worker who decided to "close" the envelope since the sender forgot to seal it.

Maldives ދިވެހިރާއްޖެ

Just want to share this cover from the Maldives. It has the entire set of this Concorde issue from I'm not so sure whether or not the Concorde ever paid a visit to the Maldives or to any of those other places, but I am not a Concorde expert, so I wouldn't know.

Pyi-daung-zu Myan-ma Naing-ngan-daw

Here are some registered covers I have been receiving from Myanmar thanks to my friend U Ang Ko! On top of the privilege of receiving covers from this "philatelically dead" country as my friend refers to it, it is great to receive stamps on my favorite themes: independence! These are truly wonderful covers which I cherish in my collection.

This first cover has the complete 3v set for the ratification of the 2008 constitution. The constitutional referendum law was enacted and a referendum commission was set up on 26 February 2008. Reportedly, the law ensures the secret casting of votes and requires a public count of the ballots to prove it is fair.

Among the changes that the referendum seeks to make are:
  • a quarter of the parliamentary seats would be reserved for military officers
  • the Ministry of Home Affairs would fall exclusively under military control
  • anyone married to a non-Burmese would be barred from running for the presidency.
It was reported that the elections for the ratification of the constitution were fixed, with heavy intimidation at poll stations. In some cases, there were already ticks on the ballot and dissidents who refused to accept these ballots were reportedly sent to prison. The constitution enjoyed a landslide victory with 93% "voting" yes. Because of the widespread cheating, on May 6, 2008, the United States Congress passed a condemnation of the Burmese constitution and referendum, by a 413-1 vote.

This next cover has the 2002 FIFA Centennial issue as well as 1 of the stamps on the 2v set from 2002 celebrating the 54th Independence Day.

FIFA is the governing body of international football associations. Interestingly, FIFA has 208 member associations, which is 16 more than the United Nations and three more than the International Olympic Committee, though five fewer than the International Association of Athletics Federations. The stamp also celebrates the victory of the Myanmar team at the first AFF U17 Championship & Fairplay Cup held in Bangkok in 2005.

The other stamps on the lower left is a definitive from a set of 6 issued in 1998/1999. Apparently, the cover used is some sort of official postal stationery as it already has some postage (a virtually worthless 2 Kyat) printed on it.

This last cover seems like it may be an official FDC, but my friend tells me otherwise. It shows has the complete 2v set from 2007 that celebrates the 59th year of Independence from the British. The other stamp is a definitive.

These three covers are apparently FDCs and, according to my friend, there are no official covers or cachets so all FDCs are personal covers.



I show you with great joy some great covers from the Lion City!

The first three are FDCs of the the Singapore-Philippine issue on bridges issued to commemorate forty years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Why they chose to show bridges is really beyond me, especially since bridges are not really as special to Philippine culture and history as the stamps may make them seem. In fact, I've never heard of these two bridges before.... But, since it's pointless to cry over spilled milk, let's move on.

The two stamps on Singapore bridges show the Henderson Waves, Alexandra Arch, and Cavenaugh Bridge. Henderson Waves and Alexandra Arch, both pedestrian footbridges, were opened in May 2008. Henderson Waves is the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore.

Cavenaugh Bridge, which I had the pleasure of crossing during my short, one-night stay in Singapore, was built in 1868 to celebrate 50 years of the establishment of the Straits Settlements and also to connect the commercial side of the Singapore River to its civic side. Before this bridge was built, people often had to pay a quarter of a cent to hop onto a boat ride form one side to the other. Originally meant to be a suspension bridge, this fixed steel structure is the only bridge in Singapore that retains its original form to this very day. Originally, vehicles could pass through, but as traffic increased and vehicles got heavier, a law was passed to convert it into a strictly pedestrian affair. On one end of the Cavenaugh Bridge is the Fullerton Building, which was once the central post office and is now a hotel, and on the other end is the Museum of Asian Civilizations, which houses exhibits on Asian cultures of the past. Sadly, the museum opens at 13h00 on Mondays and I had to catch my 11 am flight! Nevertheless, because it connects the old post office with the Asian Civilizations museum, Cavenaugh Bridge is as of now my favorite bridge in Singapore (not that I've paid much attention to the others! haha)

Now, on to the Philippine Bridges which I don't think are worth putting on stamps (I mean, why not feature the San Juanico bridge instead?). The Bamban Bridge is found on the MacArthur Highway between Mabalacat, Pampanga, and Bamban, Tarlac. Apparently, it is the longest of its kind in the world.

This next cover was sent from the Singapore Philatelic Museum. My visit to the museum was awesome because it was open house when I visited, which means free admission and some activities. To my surprise, the activities were about the Philippines! There was an entire exhibit room upstairs dedicated to Philippine culture, history, and stamps! It was really a coincidence! Downstairs there was a cooking session on Philippine food and I could hear that they were preparing Adobo or something like that. I myself couldn't try the food since there were so many people, which was also a surprise!

The stamps on the cover are 2 from the 4v set issued for the APEC 2009, which concluded the day before. I find it funny that I always seem to visit places when there is a conference of world dignitaries going on. When I went to Beijing in October 2008, the ASEM7 was ongoing, which meant that Tiananmen Square was unfortunately closed off! What a pity it was! Thankfully, nothing in Singapore that I wanted to go to was closed off.

The postmarks on this cover are great because they show the facade of the museum and they match the cachet for the Open House event! The design on the postmark the last time I visited 2 years ago was a post box. What makes the chops even more special is the fact that they were applied by yours truly! :-)

This postcard was also sent from the museum. I asked the agent at the commemorative covers desk to apply the Open House cachet onto the postcard since I had nothing to write myself anyway! The postcard shows the Fullerton Building when it still served as the general post office decades ago.


Just wanted to share these four beautiful FDCs I received from my friend Andrzej. I was really smiling ear to ear when I received these because the EU is one of my favorite themes and also because I find the design and layout of the stamps really nice. And added bonus are the autonyms printed on the envelope behind the Polish names for these EU capital cities. It's intereseting to note that Warsaw wasn't put on the highest value for this set.