Sunday Stamps 078: Amber marimba

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Screenshot-from-2013-01-26-12-09-38I come from a country known to produce fantastic singers worldwide. If I remember it right, the American talk show host Ellen Degeneres once declared on twitter that some of the best singers she knows come from the Philippines.

Sad to say, I am one of those unfortunate souls who don’t have any musical gene in my DNA. I love and appreciate good music, don’t get me wrong. But please don’t make me sing. My talent for singing is best hidden,lol. When it comes to music, I prefer instrumentals such as esp acoustic guitars but I also love the classic, oldies but goodies kind of stuff. Now, why am I talking about music stuff? Well, guess what, I have a stamp from Mexico that was on a postcard that mi querida amiga Ana sent to me. It features one of Mexico’s traditional musical instrument, a theme that I like.

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A marimba is a musical instrument, usually made of wood, from the percussion family that was developed in the southern state of Chiapas in Mexico and northern Guatemala. The marimba is said to be a “descendant” of sorts of the instrument called balafon used by the African slaves in Central America. (Source: Wikipedia)

I’ve never seen a marimba before but I think it resembles a xylophone and a traditional Khmer xylophone made of bamboo called roneath. According to marimba sites, they sound lower and richer than a xylophone.

I found a video on youtube that demonstrates how a marimba is played and how it sounds like. Enjoy the marimba music!

Sunday Stamps 072: Stamps for children’s causes

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Today I have two stamps that bear advocacy messages concerning children. They were posted in my old blog and I’m re-posting them  here since they pretty much fit the theme this week.

First up is a stamp from Down Under. It is one of the five stamps issued by the New Zealnd Post in 2006 in support of the global health campaign “5+ a day”. Showing sliced kiwi fruit in a stamp from the land of the Kiwis,  the stamp is being used by the NZ Government to encourage young and old alike to eat five or more servings of colourful fruits and vegetables everyday.

Kiwi fruit on a stamp from Kiwi country. Isn't this a great way to spread the word?
Kiwi fruit on a stamp from Kiwi country. Isn’t this a great way to spread the word?

The second stamp came from the United Nations Postal Administration in New York sent by my good friend Conniechiwa of the blog Writings on the Wall.  The stamp was issued in September 2008 under the theme “We Can End Poverty” depicting the winning artworks of children in the art competition sponsored by the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

I am a fan of children's art and I could not believe that the artwork on this stamp was  a child's work. What an immense talent this kid has!
I am a fan of children’s art and I could not believe that the artwork on this stamp was  a child’s work. What an immense talent this kid has!

The  theme of the competition was “We Can End Poverty”  and it was held as part of the celebration of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and the end of the First Decade for the Eradication of Poverty.

Midweek Mails: From Mike of Miami

My mail this week came from Miami, Florida. Thanks a lot!
My mail this week came from Miami, Florida. Thanks a lot!

I fell ill – for the second time this year. With flu. Again! 🙁 Flu caused me all sorts of misery – from the coughing to fever, to sore throat and congested nose, to headaches and muscle pains. I don’t take flu shots though even though I wish I did so as to erase all of these symptoms in one shot, you know, just like an anti-virus wiping a hard drive clean.

Since I abhor medicines and antibiotics, my first line of defense to boost my immune system and to fight the flu has always been natural home remedies. I drink lots of fluid, get a lot of rest, eat a lot even if my taste buds aren’t exactly working, and gargle with salt water. It’s the most effective way for getting rid of that stubborn mucus at the back of my throat. So, I’m sorry that I could not update as much as I want to. And while I’m recuperating, my dear husband was kind enough to drop by the Post Office from work. He brought home my mails! Thank you, dearest.

Sunday Stamps 065: Furry companions

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There have been a lot of cat and dog images on stamps all over the world that makes us all go oooh and aaah. I have a few but beautiful stamps featuring our  furry friends for this week’s Sunday Stamp theme.Let’s begin with our feline friends. I’m not exactly a cat person but I couldn’t resisting the charm of a playful kitten and petting them. They are wonderful companions, very intelligent, sensitive, affectionate, but… with a diva/divo attitude, lol.  Our neighbouring country, Thailand, is known to have several breeds of beautiful cats.

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Left: Burmese cat ; right: Khao Manee cat, both are native to Thailand.

Okay, these two cats have the fiercest look on their faces — I wouldn’t want to get in their way, seriously. These two were part of a four in a series issued in 1995 to commemorate the 11th National Philatelic Exhibition in 1995.

Thailand deserves lasting fame and a big “thank you” from the human race for having produced several of the world’s great breeds of cat. Some of us think Thailand produced THE world’s greatest breeds of cat. They include the Siamese, the Korat, the Burmese*, the Tonkinese**, and another great breed not yet recognized in the West, the Khao Manee. And there are a number of Western variants of the basic Thai breeds that are well known, such as the Balinese, the Oriental, the Havana Brown, the Snowshoe, and the Bombay. If that’s not enough, there are many, many other breeds of cat that benefited at some time during their histories from having at least a few Thai cat ancestors. The Himalayan is an extremely popular breed that falls into the latter category.

More info and pictures of Thai cat breeds are found here – Cats of Thailand.

Now, let’s go to our other furry friends, the playful, lovable, loyal dogs! In 2010, the US Postal Services issued a pane of 10 first-class stamp designs featuring adopted dogs and cats. This move by the USPS is to raise awareness of rescued animals and the need to adopt them.

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Above, left: Jake, the American bulldog; above, right: Frankie the cat; and bottom,  Teddy, the long-haired Jack Russel Terrier. Aren't they lovely? I've always wanted a bulldog or a JRT myself :)
Above, left: Jake, the American bulldog; above, right: Frankie the cat; and bottom,  Teddy, the long-haired Jack Russel Terrier. Aren’t they lovely? I’ve always wanted a bulldog or a JRT myself 🙂

Oh my gosh – this is cuteness overload – my heart just melted. As you probably know by now I am more of a dog person. (I have two at home!)

The pets depicted on the stamps were photographed by Sally Andersen-Bruce near her home in New Milford, Connecticut. All had been homeless at one time; all but one had been adopted when they were photographed. – Source

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Joe, the mutt.
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Max, (a she), the half-breed Keeshond.

Please allow me to introduce to you my PAWesome furry companions at home, Max and Joe:

Max is a just a sweet, big fur ball and princess that chokes on her own fur, lol. Joe, meanwhile, is the adventurous one and a softie at the same time. He never lets me out of his sight! The other night he proudly presented me his first-ever hunting trophy – a mouse! They get along most of the time – they play-fight, they guard the house against C-A-T-S and other unfamiliar entities, and most of all, they get into mischiefs together! You can find their adventures here – at My Dogspot 🙂