Time to Mail those Greeting Cards…

November 10, 2014

One of the largest sections in school supply shops before are consigned to greeting cards. As year passed, this section gets smaller and smaller. Tale tell signs that sending greeting cards is slowly fading out.

I was in National Bookstore earlier to buy greeting cards. This time of the year, you have to send them out early. The volume of letters handled in the post office skyrockets during the Christmas season. You don’t want your Christmas cards delivered next year.

I just finished reading the first book of “LETTERS” by Bienvenido N. Santos. One of our writers who spent many years writing in the US. I don’t know why he’s always presented as a Filipino-American writer. Do they introduce Carlos Bulosan as Fil-Am too? He must have acquired US citizenship during his years there. I have to admit that I have not read Bienvenido Santos’s works but I had read Bulosan’s “America is in the Heart.”

The ones that I bought are postcards that donates a portion of the profit ti the L.I.F.E program that benefits leukemia patients across the country. The postcards features works from contemporary masters like this one from Angel Cacnio, one my favorite painters today.

I relished reading Santos’s LETTERS for I find pleasure in writing letters as well. The book must have been difficult for it was a compilation of his letters—how did they manage to select which letters to publish?

The writer’s letters to Ambeth Ocampo were my favorite. I could tell that the young historian, who at that time was a monk, fascinated him. According to the book editors, even when Santos lie bedbound, in a coma, they would update him about the book and even ask questions. He would answer with simple facial motions.

I got both book one and two of Bienvenido Santos’s LETTER discounted. Less than half the original price. I’m the happiest when they do “sales”. These are titles they’re trying to dispose to free up some space on their shelves.

Writing letters is something that I would continue to do until they shutdown the post office.

I remember receiving a Christmas card from my Tatay that plays a Christmas melody whenever you open it. I played with it until the battery run out. My Nanay would encourage me to write letters to my father which I resented. When I was older, he told me “I would wait for letters and when I received none and the others did, I felt very sad.” Those letters he said meant the world for him. My father was a truck driver in the middle east.

There’s something about writing a letter, sealing it, then carrying it to post office. And, yes, licking the stamps before dropping the letters in the mail box. My brother, now retired from the US military, would send post cards to himself when he’s in a new country. He said he collects these as simple mementos. He still sends greeting cards and postcards to this day. I’m obliged to return the favor even when I have nothing to say because we frequently email each other.

I received some farewell letters before I left this month. Of course, I appreciate these more than the emails and text that came. In handwritten letters, the connection is personal— the communication is binding. I find electronic messages too detached.

Well, I guess, that’s the direction we’re headed. Everything would one day become digital. That’s the future right there. But I’d still be writing using my cyborg hands!

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