Preserving postal stamps: Reintroducing old art through social media

Kevin Manalo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 17 2018 04:34 PM

One of the Philippine Philately’s latest designs is a special stamp for the Christmas season. Kevin Manalo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - In the digital age where communication is mostly virtual, old-school letter writing and stamping are an almost forgotten art. 
 
People around the world are more connected than ever, as social media have made sending messages easier.

With these advancements in media and communications, what could the traditional means still offer? 

In time for the celebration of the National Stamp Collecting Month and the 251st anniversary of the Philippine Postal System, the Philippine Philately held a forum Saturday to discuss the importance of preserving stamps.

Postal stamps are miniature pieces of art.

According to the Philippine Philately, stamps serve as a record of history immortalizing important events in the country. 

Maxi Sta. Maria, manager of the Philippine Postal Corporation's (PHLPost) Business Lines Department, said the agency aims to reintroduce stamping to the youth through social media.

“The selling point is the design to attract millennials,” Sta. Maria said.

Several designs were showcased and sold during the event, such as the rare Pope Francis stamp made available when the pontiff visited the Philippines in 2015. 

Kevin Manalo, ABS-CBN News

There is also a stamp that shows the evolution of the famous Filipino road icon, the jeepney. To add to the roster, PHLPost also showed their latest design for the Christmas season.

Stamps also serve as a record of history. These stamps show the evolution of the famous Philippine jeepney. Kevin Manalo, ABS-CBN News

An avid stamp collector and blogger, Lawrence Chan shared how he tries to immerse his audience in the world of stamping.

Lawrence organizes walking tours in historical places in Metro Manila and shows some notable heritage sites as well as floral and fauna endemic to the Philippines. 

“Iyong pagkakaroon ng kaibigan ‘pag-swapping ng mga stamp. There’s value in collecting kaysa itapon," he said.

(Having friends by swapping stamps. There's value in collecting than throwing those out.)

While the use of stamps has been on a decline, these mini works of art are still in circulation, with government offices needing them for correspondence. 

It is also still popular among collectors.

And while a majority now prefer to bridge distances by virtual communication, stamps are here to stay. 

Robert Torres, Head of Creatives for ABS-CBN Corporation's Digital Media Division, told the forum that collectors would continue to preserve history through stamps. 

But getting the youth engaged with the old art is a challenge. 

“In order for you to reach them is to talk to them, show what it means, and the history behind it," he said.