Friday, January 29, 2016

Where to buy Postcards in the Philippines


Years ago, almost all bookstores and stationery shops have that humongous white racks of greeting cards. Each card is enclosed in a transparent plastic and categorised according to occasion. On those special months, there are additional racks to accommodate seasonal events such as Graduation, Christmas and the most that irritates me, Valentine's Day. Hahahahaha When access to internet became more prevalent, the racks of greeting cards were gradually eliminated. The cards available today are still nice, but the selections have become limited. I miss the classic Hallmark cards containing vintage photos of babies and children, usually filtered in sepia or black and white. The cards are cute and the pre-made messages inside the card are either hilarious or heart warming.

Aside from greeting cards, I rarely encounter selections of local postcards. Although I have to admit that years ago, I only buy postcards for school projects. I grew up in the 90s without Google images yet. If not cut out photos from old books, past calendars, newspapers and magazines, postcards have become my usual source of images for projects. Most postcards depict popular tourists spots and former presidents.

Fast forward now, the postcards I see from my go to bookstores are still the same. The designs I saw decades ago, were the same postcards displayed in those classic rotating racks. I remember buying a postcard that bears a photo of the Luneta Park when I was 8 years old. It surprised me to see exactly the same postcard today. Luneta Park looks so different now. I'd like to convince myself that the outdated postcard of Luneta Park is vintage. But no, there's a difference between obsolete and vintage. Also, the postcard isn't vintage because the paper looks like a fresh but lousy reprint. 

I also have to mention the postcards bearing portraits and key information about national heroes and former presidents. The inconsistent color of the prints are so funny. On a serious note, it spells absence of quality control. In one postcard, Apolinario Mabini looked so pale. I picked up another copy and saw a pinkish face. It looked like his face was patched with tons of pink blush on.

It was only when I started the Postcard Challenge when all these observations and experiences dawned on me. Unique, creative and high quality postcards have become a rare commodity. There are postcards sold in local bookstores. Unfortunately, most of the designs were unappealing, obsolete, uncreative and boring. It is quite unforgiving to see such kind of postcards, given the digital age when anyone can edit photos to perfection. 

All these made me avoid the popular bookstores for the Postcard Challenge. I was forced to search other stores. In this post, I will share a few but reliable shops that provided me with better postcards.


I bet everyone has purchased something from this arts and crafts shop. What I love most about Papemelroti postcards are the hand painted designs printed in their classic brown paper. On the average, I think they have 20 postcard designs. Best about everything, they release new designs on a regular basis. My favorite has to be the teapot and teacup postcards.

Silahis Center and The Paper Toile Shop in Intramuros 

I blogged about Slahis Center here. I have seen the Paper Toile Shop a few times. Problem is, this is not an option if you don't have intentions of visiting Intramuros. 


They have a few postcards and most are depicting photos of local tourist destinations. What I love about Island Souvenir are the selection of (still) tourist destinations, but this time with better and updated photos. 

Museums

If you happen to visit museums, the gift shops surely offer postcards. Designs are sometimes limited but they are surely unique. Although I have to say that over the past  months, I have spotted museums selling those obsolete postcards of different local destinations. 


If you love prints and patterns, check out this local site. A little caution though, they have other paper products that might spark your shopaholic hormones.

Inspired by Philippines

This is a surprise discovery for me. The real life couple behind this online shopping site reached out to me via my Instagram account. Based in Dumaguete, the couple creates unique and artistic designs. It's far different from the boring and usual postcards we see in bookstores and stationery shops. The designs involve caricature and photographs of the best in the Philippines. Whether you are a postcard enthusiast or not, I encourage you to visit their online shop. You'll be impressed with their designs.



The selections are endless. The designs are unique and pardon the shallow adjective, beautiful! Postcards bearing photographs, calligraphy, water colors, charcoal painting are all contained in these two popular worldwide online shop. I haven't ordered from Etsy. I have tried Society 6 and I don't ever regret it. The postcards are printed in thick and matte white boards. I may sound a bit biased but I prefer buying prints from Society 6 than Etsy. For those who are not familiar, Society 6 has a centralized printing facility. Independent artists, who sell their artworks in Society 6, simply upload their artworks in HQ format and Society 6 takes care of the printing and shipping. Society 6 also has regular promo offers like free shipping on all orders. The only thing I don't like about Etsy and Society 6 are the shipping fees. One word, expensive. 


Instagram has replaced the defunct Multiply site that started as another social network site, transformed to a market place and now, it's gone. Haha Type #postcard and the rest is a long process of sorting and checking. You can find sellers but given the number of Instagram users, time, patience, stable internet connection and fast device are needed.


I spotted a few that were sourced out from independent artists. If you are quite patient and hardworking, try searching for the independent artist instead and directly coordinate.

eBay and olx.ph

The two online selling sites have everything. Although the disadvantage brought by the two websites are the shipping fees. To cover up the shipping fees that range from Php 60 to 100, you are forced to purchase in bulk. If the bulk includes an assortment of designs, I'm willing to pay even shipping fees that amount to Php 100. Unfortunately and most of the time, it's not the case. I have however seen eBay sellers from Hong Kong and China that offers varied design in packs. Best about them, they offer free shipping or maybe, they have already imputed the shipping costs to the product's price. 

Freelance artists, bloggers and the like

Their artworks are one-of-a-kind. Unfortunately, there are quite hard to look for. I'm actually waiting for my favorite, Aleyn Comprendio, to release another prints again. 


Trade Expositions and Bazaars

You'll never know what you can buy from these trade exhibitions. I once encountered postcards from a food festival in Manila. The annual Manila International Book Fair also contains book sellers offering postcards. Same with the Noel Bazaar and annual Travel Tour Expo sponsored by the Philippine Travel Agencies Association. 

Some quaint and fine dining restaurants

Some local restaurants such as La Cocina de Tita Moning have a separate gift shop that offers items, apart from food. Restaurants usually promoting local delicacy have postcards and other novelty items for sale. 

Five Star Hotels

Another surprise for me, I've seen a number of hotels offering postcards of their place and other popular local destinations. 

Coffee Shops

Yes, some coffee shops offer postcards! Some even give it away for free.  

If everything else fails,

DIY

Hahaha DIY is fun. Problem is, not everyone is blessed with the talent and interest. The good news however is that the internet contains gazillion of samples and instructions of DIY-ing postcards. I initially planned to DIY my postcards using the photos I uploaded in my blog. Problem is, I can't find a printing house that offers quality paper that can serve as postcards... minus the hefty price tag.

8 comments

  1. I'll take note for the places for someday when I visit Philippines. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much for this Diane! I recently joined the post crossing community and I'm wondering where else to get materials from as I wanted each one to be different from what I have already sent to other people. This is very helpful. :)

    ♡ Louise | www.louisechelleblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Diane! I agree that the postcards from the bookstores are decades old already. I also just joined the post crossing community and so I googled for some ideas on where to get more unique/interesting postcards.

    If possible, can you recommend some instagram accounts (postcard sellers) that you have transacted with in the past? You know, just to confirm the legitimacy of such accounts.

    Thank you! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sealtiel! I'm from Inaramid. We are selling handcrafted postcards (related to cats, travel, photography, and more)! You may check out our IG (https://www.instagram.com/inaramidph/) and FB (https://www.facebook.com/inaramidph) accounts. Hope to get orders from you soon! :D

      Delete
  4. Hi Sealtiel! I'm from Inaramid. We are selling handcrafted postcards (related to cats, travel, photography, and more)! You may check out our IG (https://www.instagram.com/inaramidph/) and FB (https://www.facebook.com/inaramidph) accounts. Hope to get orders from you soon! :D

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hello, you might be interested in http://postcardsbychrissiecruz.tumblr.com :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hello Diane! You might be interested in http://postcardsbychrissiecruz.tumblr.com :)

    I've recently sent postcards via PHLPost for p15 a piece. The postcards usually take about 3 weeks to get delivered to international destinations :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the standard price should be Php 15. Unfortunately, not all staff from the Philpost consider all postcards as postcards. They have certain criteria or standards which I can't understand.

      I checked your blog. You have good photography skills. Are you selling those postcards?

      Delete

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