Reminiscences: Errors, Freaks and Oddities


These days, it looks like philately is the only way I could be true to that part about “travel” in my blog’s tagline.

I used to collect stamps but I can’t claim to be a philatelist since I am no expert in them. I am not even sure if my collection of thousands is of any value other than the sentimentality.  I got bored (as usual) before I got to add thousands more. One has to admit, stamps can be a little expensive… and boring.

The collection began way, way before my time. The old stamps were given to my dad by his great aunt and my dad passed them on to me when I was in grade school when he found out that I was interested in them.

One can learn about a country’s history, the culture, tradition through stamps although I can’t remember if I really learned anything from them except that the term “Magyar” refers to Hungary/Hungarians and Belgique is French for Belgium. I wonder how my great aunt was able to collect stamps from all over the world back then especially considering that she lived in a small town.

Here are some of the stamps which I digged up over the holidays when we stayed at my parents’ home. I love digging up old stuff and finding old treasures and thingamajigs I had forgotten I owned.

Philippines Postage Stamps


Philippines postage stamps

Commemorative Stamps of Pope John Paull II Philippine Visit in the 80s

Philippines Postage Stamps: Pope John Paul II Visit

My dad’s high school project:

Postage Stamps

Of course, our collection would never be complete without these Philippine Military Academy First Day Covers:

Philippine Military Academy Postage Stamps

He was the reason why I got interested in them in the first place. When he was in some Armed Forces schooling in South Korea during the late 80s he would send us letters all the time and put lots of really colorful and beautiful stamps on the envelopes like these below. He would also sometimes send us those really colorful and artsy chewing gum wrappers by Lotte which I also used to collect.

Korean Postage Stamps

He was there during the Seoul Olympics so he also used and bought a lot of commemorative stamps and other memorabilias.Seoul Olympics 1988 Postage Stamps

When he returned to Manila, he used to bring me to the big old post office in Liwasang so we could purchase Philippine stamps. Yaiks, imagine me saving my allowance and splurging on bits of colorful paper. But still, who at such a young age could claim that they had their own miniature art collection?

Philippines Postage Stamps

Philippines postage stamps

Oh, so November is National Stamp Collecting Month. I have forgotten about that.

Philippines Postage Stamps

Philippines Postage Stamps

I liked the stamps mainly due to the art work. I used to look at them all the time because they were so beautiful. But since I have some time to over analyze today, I’m going to put more meaning into my former interest in stamps.

Just like any work of art or memorabilia or thingamajig, rarity of the stamps is crucial to one’s collection but what makes collecting them unique is that, as my dad told me back then, “errors, freaks, and oddities” (EFO) or design flaws can add to the value. One stamp with, say an error in print or a different color, would have a higher value than that of its correctly printed counterparts. That’s just a rough, amateurish example. There’s more to the EFO than that, of course, but I will not delve into that anymore and talk instead of my over analysis.

I wasn’t entirely an outcast back in school and I wasn’t a reject (at least I think I wasn’t) but it just felt like I was not entirely “there” or “involved”.  I wasn’t really bad or wayward, I was just not in the mainstream of things. If “EFO” people were as cool back then as then are considered now, I’d have been rockin’ cool all the way through high school. But no, I was even made to believe that my being an introvert was a big flaw. So if I were a postage stamp, I would have been a “misprint”. But flaws, like that in stamps, do not mean crap. I wish I knew about this back then. I wish someone told me that IT’S OK TO BE AN INTROVERT.

Oh well, enough about that. In all honesty, this is just me pretending to be profound. I’m just trying to make this post a little more meaningful than being merely a superficial showcase of yellowing, moldy tiny pieces of paper.

More of the collections:

Stamps from Vietnam

Vietnam postage stamps

Again, I don’t know if these are of any value other than the sentimentality. I bought these in the streets of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam sometime in November 2000 from a very charming Vietnamese girl who spoke good English. She was just irresistible and the stamps were really cheap and I wanted some souvenirs. It was also one of my first “reluctant” dates with hubby, who used to trail me everywhere I went and who was then my very persistent and devoted suitor. I wonder what happened to the persistence and devotion now?

Fast forward to 2006. I don’t even remember owning these. I saw the receipts and I actually bought them during a family trip to Solvang, California. These are so pretty and cool I just had to include them in this post:

DC Comics Super Heroes

USA Postage Stamps. DC Comics Superheroes

The Art of Disney RomanceUSA Postage Stamps: Disney

Wonders of America

USA Postage Stamps: Wonders of America

I have also unearthed an old letter of my paternal grandfather to my grandmother during the 30s. Here’s the envelope but I’d rather not share the content.

old letters

Fun. I’d love to dig up some more stuff. If only the dust wouldn’t make me sneeze so much.


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