Snail Mail

In the early 90’s, we just called it ‘mail’. Now, we have to say ‘snail mail’ as opposed to  e-mail.I went to school away from home. There was no internet and mobile phones then. One of the ways to get in touch with friends and family back home was through letters.  This may be a foreign idea to kids of today.

Here’s how it works:

We write the letter (usually, in a stationery).

We enclose the letter in an envelope ( and seal it with saliva.) We go to the post office. We pay the cost. Stamps are then handed to us. We paste the stamp to the envelope and drop it to the designated slot in the post office.

I still keep the letters I got from friends. These have become priceless possessions.  I scanned thru them last night and I found that ordinary mail only cost Php2 in 1992.

For an ordinary mail, it takes around 7 days for your mail to reach your intended recipient in the Philippines.

If you like your mail to reach faster,  it will cost more. This means more stamps.

Sometimes, special stamps are created to support a cause.

Sometimes, a metered stamp is used.

I rarely go to the post office anymore. This Tuesday though, I trooped to the post office to mail a postcard for a friend. My friend had this cool idea of mailing a post card to herself whenever she travels.  When she posted her post card on Facebook, I told her that I want to send her a postcard. When I went to Bantayan, I thought about buying her a post card.  The closest I got into a store that sells post card was a stall at the airport. One post card costs P35! The “kuripot” (stingy) in me prevailed.  I figured I can print my own post card using the photos I have from traveling.  Printing only cost me Php6. If I factor in the transportation cost to the printer, that would be Php6 plus Php16 fare (Php22). I still saved Php13.

It would have been a perfect idea. However, the trouble with having it printed was that the printing shop used a photopaper with the brand written at the back. I decided to just write my message at the back and enclose it on an envelope. Postcard fail!

I realized that technology has diminished the quality of my penmanship. I used to write legibly. I should write with pen and paper more often.

Handwritten notes are precious. This is how my father used to close his letters to me.

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