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Posts Tagged ‘letter-writing’


And since it is my 7th anniversary, allow me to repost a blog on the beauty of exchanging letters, it’s now what you call snail mail. I still look forward to these snail mails that seldom arrive on our doorstep nowadays.¬† I wrote this more than four years ago but I still think of those friends who used to write those long, long letters. By the way, they are still kept in shoe boxes but I covered the latter with Christmas wrapping paper ūüôā

Have you ever wondered how you were able to get by when the use of typewriters, e-mails, texts and such modern way of communication were not yet in vogue?  Or shall we say, do you still find it a delight  to receive something from the mail, those seemingly heart-stopping-oh-so-exciting moments when the mailman hands a letter to you addressed in bold strokes of the hand, and not just your familiar utility bills?  I still do and  I still get excited receiving one.

Hubby and I spent the early part of the morning cleaning our large floor to ceiling cabinets and disposing some of the things we have accumulated over the years ‚Äď a big box of baby clothes,¬† children‚Äôs dresses, jumpers, sweaters and everything¬† a baby of a month to a¬† child of six or seven would need.¬† After all these years, they are pretty much¬† still in good condition so I selected some¬† layette, around two dozens of bird‚Äôs-eye diapers which my mom painstakingly embroidered at the edges when my two kids were born.¬† The rest, together with some transformer toys¬† still in their original boxes,¬† we bundled and told the garbage collectors to give to their neighbors or to¬† whoever would need them.

Imagine my surprise when hubby handed a big bag of old, old letters which I thought were all destroyed, with the rest of my more recent mails, by flood Ondoy last year.¬† And I mean,¬† they are really,¬† really¬† old, some of which dates as far back as 1971.¬† ‚ÄúSet them aside‚Äô, I told him,¬† ‚ÄúI‚Äôll take care of those.‚ÄĚ Most of them were addressed to me anyway. I found myself in awe of¬† counting around three hundred or¬† so¬† letters from a grade school friend, from a cousin who never failed to send a postcard everywhere he docked, letters from my brother-in-law when he was assigned in the Middle East,¬† letters from college classmates,¬† small notes from some high school teachers, lots of¬† postcards from different part of the globe, concert tickets¬† during my college days,¬† daily notes from my¬† then best friend,¬† and some quaint bookmarks from pen friends from Japan.

Letter1

I was fascinated and I felt I found a treasure just sorting the pile.¬† I spent the whole morning reacquainting myself with these old friends who made an impact in my young life.¬† These are my personal treasures ‚Äst living¬† testaments on how I was as a teenager, struggling with college life and¬† the emotional upheavals.¬†¬† The pain of first love, the disappointments¬† early in life, the support¬† and encouragement from close friends some of whom are still my friends until now, the days of sharing¬† on what life was all about, these made me what I am today.¬†¬† My tears were flowing as I read some of those letters all over again ‚Äď tears of joy,¬† a big YES, tears of reminiscing the past, partly, but most of all I am glad, truly glad that these letters are still here with me after more than thirty and close to forty years.

Letter2

Letter3

This was from a  friend who lived all the way from  Aparri, Cagayan.   I am just sorry that we lost touch after all these years. To think we could touch on such subjects as the values of friendship, the woes of college life, the books we have read and shared.  He was a terrific writer.

I was laughing out loud while reading letters from two of my friends at the Philippine Military Academy.¬† They were recounting their training ‚Äst the jump squat, the push-up etc.¬† They were frankly telling me how to court a girl while touring her around the campus of PMA.

I have another friend who has now migrated to Canada, and believe me, we used to write each other everyday when we were together as student librarians at the UST Main Library.  Please don’t tell, but we used up a lot of date due slips for stationery.   She was  a little older than  I am  so we  kind of adopted each other as the younger/older sisters.  It was through her that I poured my heart out.  I am glad that after 37 years, the friendship is still going strong.

Letter4

I remember this, it was the first day of issue of the  University of Santo Tomas  (UST)  stamp, the 50th anniversary of the College of Science.  It was dated June 07, 1976.

Letter writing is definitely an art and I don’t mean posting and sending them via the internet, it’s the art of choosing a good stationery, composing an interesting message and writing in a style that would enthrall and fascinate  the receiver.  I still get excited receiving one via snail mail. There are still people out there who prefer the good old-fashioned way of letter writing.  And my heart beats an unusual rhythmic sound every time I get a surprise from our Kartero. At least now, they use a motorbike instead of walking from house to house to deliver mails.  They are here to stay, don’t you think?

I wish they’re here to stay. Just like holding a new book in your hands and smelling its printed pages, there is that certain thrill of receiving a letter written in long hand and delivered via snail mail.

 

 

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Woke up this¬† morning to the persistent sound of my son’s cellphone¬† which he left inside my room last night. Gosh, it was 4am. I tried to sleep a few hours more¬† but it was a useless exercise. I guess, it is a perfect time to visit this blog, the internet connection is quite fast.¬† The rest of the world (from our end) must still be asleep.

Wow, a hot cup of coffee with hot pan de sal to boot. A few minutes ago, I braved the five-minute walk to our neighborhood bakery to buy¬† pan de sal.¬†¬†It is a bread roll that is a staple in most Filipino families’ breakfast. You can pair it with scrambled eggs, coco jam or what we call matamis na bao,¬† slivers of cheese or even saut√©ed ¬† sardines. Take your pick, it goes well with everything. I’ve long wanted to learn to bake pan de sal¬† but it is more practical¬† to buy it.

I went back to reading e-books , discovering new titles, excited to acquaint myself with new authors.¬† Last night, I started¬† reading Letters From Skye by Jessica Brockmole. It’s my first encounter with the author. Fancy a different approach to writing a book – conveying a story through letters, no dialogue, a perfect spin of two stories fused together. Since I am still in the middle of reading it, I will reserve my five stars later. I love receiving letters, in any form but there is nothing that beats a real one with stamps attached on the envelope with that pasted smile on your face anticipating what’s written inside. It is even exciting when there is no written address and you guess who suddenly thought of you to send a letter by mail. When I was in college, my friend and I used to write letters to each other every single day although we were together at work as student librarians in our university. It was quite fun to write at the back of date due slips while absorbing the silence that a library setting brings. She is now based abroad and we get in touch through private messages on Facebook. Years ago, my sister-in-law gifted me with a complete set of Griffin and Sabine, a trilogy written by Nick Bantock. It is one of the precious collections I have in my small library.¬† In every page, you’ll see a facsimile of a postcard or a letter actually enclosed in an envelope, hand-written letters that excite. Imagine reading a book in¬† real letter format.¬† Reading the trilogy made me more in love with letter-writing.

The rain last night and the gentle drizzle  this morning made my plants happy. They are dancing in the rain and I love to dance too.

P.S. WordPress says this is my 1,400th blog entry.

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I could still remember the very first time I kept a journal –¬† it was almost 38 years ago. It was a pink, ordinary notebook but on the cover was written Journal in black letters. I still have it until now, all tattered at the edges and the cover is already detached from the spine.¬† And I wrote these quotes on the first page.

“Your idea of me is fabricated with materials you have borrowed from other people and from yourself. What you think of me depends on what you think of yourself. Perhaps you create your idea of me out of material you would like to eliminate from your own idea of yourself. Perhaps your idea of me is a reflection of what other people think of you. Or perhaps what you think of me is simply what you think I think of you.

These are quotes from Thomas Merton, one of my favorite authors when I was in college. I think it was from the book No Man Is An Island. I am  lucky to have one of his books, Thoughts on Solitude which I received on my birthday together  with nine more books that I have on my wish list.

I digress. That was the start of my love affair with pen and paper.  Back then, snail mail was something to be treasured and writing your thoughts daily was some kind of magic, the magic of stringing words into something  worth-keeping and worth re-reading. The fascination of keeping one never waned all these years and collecting journals became an obsession. I must admit though that I now prefer writing my thoughts through a blog, an easier way  but it has become public.  For the past three years, my daughter has gifted me with those lovely journals from Bank of the Philippine Islands where she works  with pictures of artworks/paintings  in their own collection by world-renowned Filipino artists. Some close friends who know  of my fascination for collecting journals gifted me with some.

You see, I have this ambitious dream of writing (by hand) all the entries I posted here at WordPress, all 1,072 of them and that’s just for Dreams and Escapes. I still have two more blogs that I don’t often update.

There is something nice about writing with pen. Just feel the smooth touch of pen to the pristine pages. It’s more personal and more appealing to one’s eyes and senses. Do you agree?

I remember those years when I used to buy scented pens  and what dreams I have shared  in all those notebooks. I use them now for my reflections and short prayers at our Catholic page and for some quotes that I find worth sharing.

This afternoon, I went to National Bookstore to buy plastic covers for my new books and look what I found, two lovely boxes which I could use for my arts and crafts projects or  maybe  for those stationeries, ribbons and greeting cards that I keep  all year round.

I keep old letters in shoeboxes covered with gift wraps at the sides but these look more sturdy to use and they are more spacious.¬† I simply can’t resist¬† these colorful rose designs ūüôā

A few years ago,  I found this lovely rattan box in one of my forays at Dapitan Arcade. How I wish I bought more. It is so handy as an organizer for my journals.

October is about to end and I am looking forward to another lovely month of fulfilled dreams and surprises. Happy All SaintsDay everyone!

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Have you ever wondered how you were able to get by when the use of typewriters, e-mails, texts and such modern way of communication were not yet in vogue?  Or shall we say, do you still find it a delight  to receive something from the mail, those seemingly heart-stopping-oh-so-exciting moments when the mailman hands a letter to you addressed in bold strokes of the hand, and not just your familiar utility bills?  I still do and  I still get excited receiving one.

Hubby and I spent the early part of the morning cleaning our large floor to ceiling cabinets and disposing some of the things we have accumulated over the years – a big box of baby clothes,¬† children’s dresses, jumpers, sweaters and everything¬† a baby of a month to a¬† child of six or seven would need.¬† After all these years, they are pretty much¬† still in good condition so I selected some¬† layette, around two dozens of bird’s-eye diapers which my mom painstakingly embroidered at the edges when my two kids were born.¬† The rest, together with some transformer toys¬† still in their original boxes,¬† we bundled and told the garbage collectors to give to their neighbors or to¬† whoever would need them.

Imagine my surprise when hubby handed a big bag of old, old letters which I thought were all destroyed, with the rest of my more recent mails, by flood Ondoy last year.¬† And I mean,¬† they are really,¬† really¬† old, some of which dates as far back as 1971.¬† “Set them aside’, I told him,¬† “I’ll take care of those.” Most of them were addressed to me anyway. I found myself in awe of¬† counting around three hundred or¬† so¬† letters from a grade school friend, from a cousin who never failed to send a postcard everywhere he docked, letters from my brother-in-law when he was assigned in the Middle East,¬† letters from college classmates,¬† small notes from some high school teachers, lots of¬† postcards from different part of the globe, concert tickets¬† during my college days,¬† daily notes from my¬† then best friend,¬† and some quaint bookmarks from pen friends from Japan.

I was fascinated and I felt I found a treasure just sorting the pile.¬† I spent the whole morning reacquainting myself with these old friends who made an impact in my young life.¬† These are my personal treasures –¬† living¬† testaments on how I was as a teenager, struggling with college life and¬† the emotional upheavals.¬†¬† The pain of first love, the disappointments¬† early in life, the support¬† and encouragement from close friends some of whom are still my friends until now, the days of sharing¬† on what life was all about, these made me what I am today.¬†¬† My tears were flowing as I read some of those letters all over again – tears of joy,¬† a big YES, tears of reminiscing the past, partly, but most of all I am glad, truly glad that these letters are still here with me after more than thirty and close to forty years.

This was from a  friend who lived all the way from  Aparri, Cagayan.   I am just sorry that we lost touch after all these years. To think we could touch on such subjects as the values of friendship, the woes of college life, the books we have read and shared.  He was a terrific writer.

I was laughing out loud while reading letters from two of my friends at the Philippine Military Academy.¬† They were recounting their training –¬† the jump squat, the push-up etc.¬† They were frankly telling me how to court a girl while touring her around the campus of PMA.

I have another friend who has now migrated to Canada, and believe me, we used to write each other everyday when we were together as student librarians at the UST Main Library.¬† Please don’t tell, but we used up a lot of date due slips for stationery. ¬† She was¬† a little older than¬† I am¬† so we¬† kind of adopted each other as the younger/older sisters.¬† It was through her that I poured my heart out.¬† I am glad that after 37 years, the friendship is still going strong.

I remember this, it was the first day of issue of the  University of Santo Tomas  (UST)  stamp, the 50th anniversary of the College of Science.  It was dated June 07, 1976.

Letter writing is definitely an art and I don’t mean posting and sending them via the internet, it’s the art of choosing a good stationery, composing an interesting message and writing in a style that would enthrall and fascinate¬† the receiver.¬† I still get excited receiving one via snail mail. There are still people out there who prefer the good old-fashioned way of letter writing.¬† And my heart beats an unusual rhythmic sound every time I get a surprise from our Kartero. At least now, they use a motorbike instead of walking from house to house to deliver mails.¬† They are here to stay, don’t you think?


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