The Wallflower

People call me Ruby, sometimes Arren

23 Jul

I love receiving personal snail mail. The simple joy and giddy excitement of reading my messages on paper gives me a boost of happiness. But with emails, IMs and text messaging, it’s hard to find people who share a fondness for snail mail as I do. Luckily I found a website where people from all over the world converge to share in this interest . Now I receive postcards on random days from random people all over the world! :)

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“The main idea is that: if you send a postcard, you will receive one back from a random Postcrosser from somewhere in the world.” -photo and caption from Postcrossing

A few months ago, I created an account on Postcrossing. It was mentioned to me by a friend a long time ago but I forgot about it until recently. Creating an account was pretty simple. Each user is given a profile page where they can write about themselves, about their interests and about the type of postcards they want to receive. As a new user I have to first send a postcard to another Postcrosser. Once my fellow Postcrosser receives it and registers the card on the website, I will be the next one to receive a postcard. My address will be given to another random Postcrosser.

I thought that there were only a few Postcrossing users, but I was proven wrong when I saw the website stats (this is copied from the homepage and is being updated every second):

484,787 members
212 countries
565 postcards/hour
24,716,906 postcards received
464,724 postcards traveling
126,058,969,788 km traveled
3,145,576 laps around the world

When I started, I bought a stack of postcards from National Bookstore and Fullybooked for Php 11-13 each. I also found recycled postcards by Papemelroti at Php 5 each. My main problem was what to write on the postcards I send.

When Postcrossing assigns addresses to me, I read the profiles of the recipients to figure out what they like to receive. Sometimes the users are very specific about what they want written on the postcard so I just follow their instructions. Most of the time I find a common interest from their profile page and write about it. When all else fails I introduce myself, what I do, where I live and the current weather condition when I write on the cards.

Sending postcards from the Philippines is very easy. I only have to bring them to Philpost and pay Php 13 to have the cards delivered. This rate is the same for all postcards being sent to anywhere in the world. I usually go to the Philpost branch in Ali Mall, Cubao because it’s near the office. I have also used the branches in UP Diliman, in Quezon City Hall and Binmaley Municipal Hall. I sometimes ask my mom to send postcards for me as there is a Philpost branch in Veterans Memorial Medical Center where she works. I have also asked my brother-in-law since he works in the Senate and told me there is a Philpost office there. Post offices are not as rare as I thought!

map of my sent and received postcards. red=sent. blue=received.

map of my sent and received postcards. red=sent. blue=received.

Since I started, I have received and sent 13 postcards. I wish I could send as many as I want so I could receive more but there is a limit to how many you can send at a time.

I promised myself that I would visit the country where the first postcard I receive will come from. It’s a promise I intend to keep not immediately but soon :)

My first postcard from Germany!

My first postcard! From Elke, Germany

Here are the other postcards I received so far:

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I’m still figuring out how to organize these postcards. Right now they’re being kept in a clear book but I want to create a postcard album when they increase.

If you also want to send and receive postcards from random places in the world, join Postcrossing. Or if you want to receive a postcard from me, let me know. I only ask for a postcard in return :)

Snail mail is not dead. I love receiving personal snail mail. The simple joy and giddy excitement of reading my messages on paper gives me a boost of happiness.
10 Jul

Throwback: Puerto Princesa (2012)

Another TBT post :)

I was one of the many who voted for the Underground River in Puerto Princesa, Palawan for a spot on the New 7 Wonders of the World List. Ever since the voting started, I wanted to go there and see what made it so special. Then came Airphil Express’s seat sale and the chance finally came for me to go to Puerto Princesa. One of the 7 Wonders of the World was only a short plane ride away… why not…

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20 Jun

My First SEA Trip Part 2: 2 Days in Singapore (2012)

My First SEA Trip Part 2: 2 Days in Singapore (2012)

My First SEA Trip Part 1: 2 Days in Malaysia (2012)

Arriving in Singapore

From LCCT in Malaysia, it took only an hour before our plane touched down in Singapore Changi Airport. It was 10:30 PM when we arrived and my first impression was that Singapore looked so pretty at night. My impression even got better as we entered the airport and I saw carpeted floors, walkalators and numerous shops.…

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19 Jun

My First SEA Trip Part 1: 2 Days in Malaysia (2012)

My First SEA Trip Part 1: 2 Days in Malaysia (2012)

My First SEA Trip Part 2: 2 Days in Singapore (2012)

Going to a foreign country for the first time is both terrifying and exciting. The fright is there because you are leaving everything that is familiar and diving into a totally different culture with no idea what’s in store for you. And the excitement is also there because it will be an unforgettable adventure.

It has always been my dream to…

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03 Jun

Calaguas: A Weekend Escape (2014)

Calaguas: A Weekend Escape (2014)

I have been itching to go to Calaguas ever since I read Chyng Reyes’ personal list of best beaches in the Philippines. Calaguas was first on the list. I looked for other blogs and pictures of Calaguas and I slowly fell in love with the place. The crystal clear blue waters and the white sand were calling for me. I originally planned to go last January for my birthday but it was moved and…

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22 May

Throwback: Baguio in Bloom (Panagbenga Festival 2012)

Throwback: Baguio in Bloom (Panagbenga Festival 2012)

It has been a yearly tradition of my friends to go to Baguio for Panagbenga Festival and for Zhorea’s birthday. You could say it is a 2-in-1 celebration. My friends have been doing it since high school but it was my first time to join this year’s Panagbenga Festival. To be honest, I’m afraid of traveling to Baguio. I hate zigzag roads. But since this is for friendship and for adventure, I decided…

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15 May

Throwback: General Santos City and Davao City (2011)

Throwback: General Santos City and Davao City (2011)

It was 3AM when I was woken from a deep sleep by the incessant ringing of my phone. I thought I was dreaming but 5 rings later, I decided that I wasn’t. I looked at the caller ID and answered the call. Cheryza wouldn’t be calling me at the early hours of the morning if it wasn’t so important. I haven’t even finished saying hello when she demanded that I wake up, switch on my laptop and book a…

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02 May

Riding the Waves in San Juan, La Union (2014)

Riding the Waves in San Juan, La Union (2014)

Out of the blue, one of my friends suggested we go to San Juan, La Union on the Holy Week weekend. It was the perfect idea since I would be in Pangasinan at that time, it was summer and I’ve been itching to try surfing again (and plan to succeed this time). This was a semi-unexpected trip because I only had a month to anticipate and prepare – I usually plan trips months in advance. The search for…

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23 Apr

(Mis)Adventures in Davao 2014

(Mis)Adventures in Davao 2014

When my sister told me that we were going on a trip to Davao City on early April, I was not so excited at the prospect. I’ve been there before and I felt like there was nothing new that could surpass my previous Davao experience. But I was so so wrong. This trip was filled with new experiences – both the good and the bad. This blog post may lack some photographic memoirs because someone forgot to…

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12 Apr

A Timeline of Love and of a Break Up

A Timeline of Love and of a Break Up

This morning. I was browsing through Facebook and I thought of you. I wanted to know how you were doing so I decided to check your profile. I’m not stalking, just curious. But a notification reminded me that I can’t. Blocked… I went through another ordinary day.

4 days ago. I saw your picture. You seemed so happy. Yours was the face I knew so well – so familiar and so missed. I wished that smile…

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