Posted by: nastypen | April 25, 2007

Postcards from My Edge

Recently, I received a card from Karina and her husband from Houston, Texas. Thanks for the nice Easter greeting, you two. I am pleasantly surprised because the only things that are mailed to me these days are bills and more bills. Of course, there is that “Envelope received in this state” stamp with the item “Taped flap” checked. I bet some people in the post office opened it to check for cash.

The letter was a bit thick. Karina sent pictures and the post office people thought it might be otherwise. How am I so cruel to accuse the post office people so? Well, Karina sent in mails to our other friends via my address. ALL of the envelopes had that “received in this state” stamp. Coincidence?

Years ago, Sharon bought me a naughty grift from France. She sent it via mail. I have yet to receive it. Probably there is a happy Filipino postman somewhere exploring the nuances of butt plugs. So, I don’t really trust the Philippine postal system.


I might be going “home” to Cebu this May. I don’t know yet for sure. I am mulling over the costs. I do not want to ride the boat there. Oh hell no. Plus, the airfares are a bit steep. But I want to visit my dad’s grave before I start my new life this June.

Last time I went home to Cebu was a couple of years ago. That was for work so that does not really mean a homecoming. And the last time I went back to Cebu before that was way back in 2000. I want to return to Cebu, visit my dad, eat steamed rice, go to Carcar or Boljoon to take pictures….
And Addie’s there! I hope he and I can have a proper date under the hot Cebuano sky. ahahahaha.

So, Blas heard that I might be going home to Cebu. He asked me to send him a postcard. I haven’t even bought my airline ticket and I already have a request?

I told him I never really send letters from Cebu and do not know where the post offices are. Undaunted, Blas texts me the different locations of the mailing stations. this guy is adamant that I send him a freaking post card.

I agreed but what postcard shall I send him? If I am fortunate enough to travel abroad, I send some of friends postcards with notes like “Hey, people mistook me for a sumo wrestler in Kyoto. I love my life.” I wrote that on a postcard featuring an 18th Century print of Sumo wrestlers going at it.

The postcard industry here in the Philippines produces nothing but bullcrap.

You have the smile of the Filipinos carrying guitars, the beach, the jeepney (I hate this “symbol” of the Philippines, they’re a nuisance and emblematic to our pressing problem which is lack of discipline), fruits. Blas told me to go to Bookmark because he saw some nice postcards there of Cebu.

So, let me get this straight. I will go to Bookmark in Makati, buy a postcard there of Cebu, go to Cebu, then mail it back to Manila?


Apparently, Addie reminded me that Blas did that before. He bought some postcards here in Manila, went to Mindanao and Cebu to mail them abck to friends. I thought it was strange but quirky. Addie showed that I do not have a formidable memory despite I remember lots of things.

He told me Blas spent four weeks in his house in Cebu back in the 1990s. Blas sent me a post card from Cebu with the usual “Wish you were here” ditty. I don’t recall that. But Addie said that I sent him a letter with a snarky remark about Blas’s postcard. Blas sent me a post card of Ifugao people, to which I replied, “I didn’t know Ifugao people are found in Cebu already.”

Post cards may be generally ignored by us, but these are collaterals that can help “sell the country to would-be tourists.” Go to a bookstore in Manila and you see nothing but hackneyed images, heaps of cliches. This would be a great challenge to photographers and graphic designers here in the country: to come up with an interesting and aesthetically pleasing batch of postcards.

But for now, the post cards here feature frightened tarsiers.

So, if and when I buy my ticket back home, I will do Blas’s strange but quirky request. I will buy a postcard and send it to him. I told him what I had in mind. I will buy a postcard featuring the kitschy portrait of former Philippine President Sergio Osmeña. I will write at the back: “Dear Blas, This is a former president who hailed from this island. Wish you were here. Love, Chong”



  1. I wouldn’t mind getting a postcard of two Sumo wrestlers going at it. Yum. Mee. teeheehee

  2. “Wish you were here” is also what JFK wrote on a postcard he sent to Jackie O. Either that’s a message favored by misogynists or it’s the universal postcard-speak for “I miss you.” I prefer the latter. Or better yet, one can write, “I wish I wasn’t here.”

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