Sunday Stamps: Words and numbers

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Hello, friends. I’m coming back to Sunday Stamps again after a loooong period of hiatus. I hope old friends and new ones will find their way back here 🙂

Sunday Stamps from Moldova

From Poşta Moldovei, this was a 2009 commemorative-stamp issued on the 60th anniversary of the Council of Europe. It was affixed to the very first postcard from Moldova that’s in my collection. Moldova is one of the countries that are considered “hard-to-get” by postcards and stamp collectors. I happened to meet a Moldovan in one of the conferences I attended way back and quickly became friends before the event ended. Happy to say we still keep in touch up to this day 🙂

Sunday Stamps 089: Into the wild we go

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The title of my post this week reminds of this movie of the same title that I watched a long time ago. It’s a true story of a young American, freshly graduated from university and abandons his material possessions to live in the wilderness. It’s a heart-wrenching story.

Anyways, I digress.

My entries for this week come from Malaysia.

First up is the Korean tiger, Panthera tigris altaica, and is the largest tiger subspecies that is found from Russia to Korea. This stamp is one of the two issued in 2010 by Pos Malaysia to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Malaysian-South Korean diplomatic relations.

I love the neat postmark! It's mailed from Butterworth in Penang, Malaysia!
I love the neat postmark! It’s mailed from Butterworth in Penang, Malaysia!

The other tiger subspecies featured in this commemorative issue, the Panthera tigris jacksoni, is the smallest tiger subspecies confined to Peninsular Malaysia. The stamp set is beautiful and the issuing date coincided also with the Year of the Tiger. South Korean also issued the same design of tiger stamps on the same day. See the set below:

Source: Pos Malaysia.
Source: Pos Malaysia.

sunday-stamps-wild-animals-on-malaysian-stampI have two more stamps, as you can see on the left. On top is a stamp showing a teludu, also known as the Malay badger, stink or skunk badger common in Borneo’s wild. This stamp is from the nocturnal animals series issued by Pos Malaysia in 2008.

What’s more interesting is that the stamps from this series are glow-in-the-dark! Unfortunately for me, I didn’t know it right from the day I received it. I learned about this only now while researching for some info. I’ll try it tonight and let you know if it indeed glows in the dark 🙂

The stamp at the bottom features a burung pikau, or the Asian blue quail, Coturnix chinensis, and is a part of the same family as the pheasants Phasianidae of the order Galliformes, gallinaceous birds. This stamp was part of the fauna series issued in 2001.

Postcard Friendship Friday 088: Visiting Angkor Wat during the rainy season

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Here’s a view of the Angkor Wat during the rainy season. Rain or shine, visitors still flock to see this World Heritage Site in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
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I’ve been to Angkor Wat many times already but  they were during the hot, dry summer season. I would love to visit during the monsoon season when, according to friends, the landscape is more lush, and the temples look their best – the colours and hues are richer, the trees around them are greener and the weather cooler due to regular downpours.

Postcard above courtesy of Inside Cambodia Postcards.

Sundown or sunup?

That is a good question.  Posting again one of my favourite Angkor Wat postcards –

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I have always loved sunset and sunrise views. However, just by looking at this postcard, we can not determine whether it is a sunset or a sunrise. Maybe other readers know?

I love the silhouette of the temple, its reflection on the water, and the colours. It gives it an enigmatic air to the temple. Don you think so?

Please excuse the shoddy quality of the photo. My scanner is old and needs replacement. Not too urgent a need but will find a replacement soon.

As an aside, I wonder if anyone can give me any idea about portable pa system? My husband’s looking for a pa system that he can use for his English class. He is teaching public speaking and needs something to use in the classroom for better listening experience. His students have prepared really good speeches; some had even incorporated background music and some sound effects. I’ve heard them practice and it would be a shame if the sound fails them on their presentation day. My husband had already read some reviews on the classic jbl eon 210p portable pa system 10″ 2-way reviews at guitar center but he needs more inputs from others before making a decision. I’d appreciate any help, thanks.

Just an update.

I’m still here, alive and kicking!
As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts, changes were to happen this year. First, we acquired a lease for another apartment somewhere southeast of the city, close to the banks of the Mekong. We didn’t actually move there to live but we planned it as a – sort of – weekend rest-house.

Second, I got a new job and a full-time one. It’s something that I want to do for a long time to keep me from moping around the house. My skills are put to use again and I feel productive and useful to society. Besides, I could use extra moolah for shopping since my nephews and nieces have been hinting for some cool halloween party stuff for they saw while browsing at dept 56 halloween. But I don’t think their Grandma (my mum) is too happy about them asking me frequently, hihihi. But most importantly, I now have some moolah to continue collecting and swapping postcards with you again! Win-win, isn’t it?

Speaking of swaps, I decided to accept some offers but to selected ones. This week, I’m sending these to the Netherlands in exchange for San Marino and Vatican City postcards:

A lesser-known temple in Angkor Wat.
A lesser-known temple in Angkor Wat.
A self-made maxicard. But I'm sending a postcard without the stamp.
A self-made maxicard. But I’m sending a postcard without the stamp.

The swapper is going for a holiday in these places – and I could not really resist initiating the swap – as I have no postcards from San Marino yet (I have only one from the Vatican City).

Postcard Friendship Friday 086: Life in Cambodian countryside

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Hello. I’m back. I haven’t been participating in our meme because I’ve been lending a hand to my husband getting stuff for his class and I recently snagged another short term project. I’m pretty much finished with the project while my husband has almost covered everything except for an interactive whiteboard. What is an interactive whiteboard, by the way? I only know of regular whiteboards. Sorry about the blabber. On to my postcard entry.

Sorry about the blabber. On to my postcard entry.

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This is actually a harvest scene. The verdant ricefields have turned to golden brown, signifying the rice crops have ripened. In Cambodia, most of the farmers harvest their crop manually for they could not afford to buy (or rent) machineries.

Harvest time is actually the busiest and the merriest time of the year in rural Cambodia. Farmers enlist the help of neighbours – men, women, and even children – to help them in the fields. It is a back-breaking work under the sun but people are happy. At the end of the day, a feast is shared by everyone at the house of the farmer. Here in the postcard you can see rice being transported from the fields by ox-carts. Traditionally, the farmers burn the rice stalks and leave it there to fallow.

Kampong Cham province is about 124kms east of Cambodia, on the central lowlands and the mighty Mekong River runs through it. It is the second most populous province in the country and is the hometown of the current Cambodian Prime Minister.

Sunday Stamps 085: The World’s Largest Crocodile

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These are the stamps that came with the postcards I recently received:

Philippine definitive stamps issued in 2011 featuring the country's marine biodiversity (left) and wildlife (right). Please click the photo for a better view of the stamps.
Philippine definitive stamps issued in 2011 featuring the country’s marine biodiversity (left) and wildlife (right). Please click the photo for a better view of the stamps.

The fish featured in this P1 (one peso) value stamp is the Picasso Trigger, a very popular aquarium fish easily recognised through it’s colourful body markings. It can also be noted that these stamps have bar codes on them.

The other stamp features one the four se-tenant stamps of WWF featuring the crocodiles that are endemic to the Philippines.

…Its scientific name is Crocodylus Mindorensis, after Mindoro, where the type of specimen was caught. It is a freshwater crocodile. It can grow up to three meters. Females construct a nest of grass, twigs and sand close to water and lay up to thirty eggs. After two to three months, the eggs hatch. Juvenile crocodiles eat shrimps, insects and snails. Adults prey on fish, birds, rats and snakes and occasionally on larger animals such as wild pigs and deer.

The Philippine crocodile is strictly protected under Philippine law. The Wildlife Act prohibits the killing, selling or keeping of the species. The Philippine government initiates a captive breeding program for the species. The University of Southern Mindanao has a crocodile conservation project in Ligawasan Marsh. The Mabuwaya Foundation and Isabela State University implement a project to preserve the Philippine crocodile in the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park by educating people, protecting fresh water habitat and reintroducing the species in the wild… – Source

WWF works in the Philippines together with different stakeholders to protect and conserve, not only of the Philippine crocodiles, but of nature and environment as a whole.

In a related news, a giant crocodile was captured last year in a creek in a remote farming town in Agusan del Sur (Mindanao island) and was declared, by no less than the Guiness Book of World Records, as the largest saltwater crocodile in captivity. The crocodile was named Lolong, after a government environmental officer who died from a heart attack after traveling to Bunawan in Agusan del Sur province to help capture the beast. Unfortunately, Lolong died in February this year.

Yummy tarantula

As I was listening to an acoustic music CD, a friend of mine who I was chatting with online asked me if there are other postcards from Cambodia aside from the usual Angkor Wat and other ancient temples that I’ve been sending out. Of course, I felt a bit offended. She sounded a bit snotty. I told her there are other kinds of views but they are more expensive and limited.

Now that she flagged my attention, I went to check my postcards box to see if I have indeed in my possession some non-Angkor Wat, non-temple, postcards. I was happy to find this:

Postcard moment.
Postcard moment.

Scary? Hell, yeah! I bet all hell will break loose if ever I’d encountered one crawling on my limbs. Just as I had this thought, the music I was listening to rose to a somewhat dramatic. Sounded like a six-year-old-kid playing Fender Stratocaster guitar center. Hah. With that as background music, I’m giving you a bit of info  about this postcard.

Here’s the deal. There’s a town in Cambodia, halfway between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, called Kampong Cham. Buses from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, and vice versa, stop here for a short time for rest and food and to pick up some more passengers. This is also the place where the popular a’ping or local tarantulas come from and offered/sold as snacks. Along with crickets, termites, grasshoppers, and many other bugs, they  are considered a delicacy in Cambodia and neighbouring countries. Some other enterprising locals offer live tarantulas as props for photograph. For a fee, you can pose for the camera with the tarantula.

So there you have it. Friends, yes, this postcard is for swap but I’m not currently entertaining private exchanges.  You can see from my side bar the list of countries where my postcards are from. If you’re country is not in it,  then, by all means, please drop me a line.

Sunday Stamps 080: Embroidered orchids on Singaporean stamp

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Here’s a special stamp for orchids lovers all over the world!
I won a contest at Cherished Moments by SingPost page in Facebook and scored a special and unique stamp in a souvenir sheet. It is special in a sense that it features an embroidered stamp depicting the pigeon orchid.

The SingPost issued this souvenir sheet in May 2009 along with two other definitives under the Flora and Fauna category.
The SingPost issued this souvenir sheet in May 2009 along with two other definitives under the Flora and Fauna category.

As you can see, the stamp has three embroidered pigeon orchids fixed on the stamp. According to sources, this white fragrant flowers with yellow “throat” resemble a flying pigeon when viewed on the side. Hence, the name. The printing company must have used special types of machines to do this. I know that this is not the first time embroidered stamps were issued. I think the Swiss was the first to do so in 2000. However, this is the first of its kind in (and very much welcome addition to) my collection. How awesome is that? I mean, unique stamps like this are very much what collectors are after, isn’t it?

What’s more awesome is that I received this souvenir sheet with details and a personal note from a SingPost executive.

Okorn charan, Singapore Post! Thank you!
Okorn charan, Singapore Post! Thank you!

I don’t know many women who received orchids, instead of roses, on Valentine’s Day but I sure would be happy to get one. I think orchids, when chosen and arranged beautifully,  are gorgeous and a unique gift for Valentines. What about you?

We are also celebrating the Chinese New Year here in Cambodia, so Kung Hei Fat Choi to everyone! May the Year of the Water Snake bring out the best in each of us.

Postcard Friendship Friday 084: Jeepney, the King of the Philippine Roads

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I was out cycling the other day with a friend when we passed by the Post Office. Of course, you know me, I would never ever let a chance to check my mailbox pass at every chance I get. Since we do not have any softride bike rack, my friend agreed to wait outside the building while I go check my mail.

I wasn’t disappointed! I had lots and among them… this postcard from my dear, Sam, from the Philippines!

The Philippine Jeepney. They were once the King of the Philippine Roads.
The Philippine Jeepney. They were once the King of the Philippine Roads.

The iconic jeepneys arethe most common mode of transportation and offers cheapest fares throughout the 7,000-plus islands of the Philippines. Jeepneys have no aircon and they are constantly packed with passengers.

The moment you get out of the Philippine airports you will be greeted by this colourful vehicles. They are like moving artworks because of the flashy paintings and decors that are guaranteed head-turners.

I should say this, that no trip to the Philippines would be complete without a jeepney ride.

Here’s an interesting article about the Philippine jeepney.