17 December 2010

Yuletide Stamped Envelope Barrage

Bimboy checks in.

One of the modern aspects of Christmastime in the Philippines, not often spoken about due to its unspectacular and mildly unpleasant nature, is the barrage of service providers that ask you for "holiday tips".

Max, the Sun Cellular guy has strange word placement.

Messengers routinely leave small, white envelopes with their greetings, names, and company name stamped on. They are to be stuffed with a bill or two and returned during the next bill/statement delivery or during a special "collection trip".

PSBank guy scrawls his details.

Some have their names carved onto a stamp and glued onto the wooden handle together with the greeting. Others simply scrawl their name down on a corner of the envelope, or have a smaller, detached stamp of their name made (to allow for greeting-stamp sharing).

Buendia stampmaker.

Preparations for the season are done a few months ahead by stamp-makers, who create a few standard greeting stamps. The mind-numbing task of scrawling on hundreds of envelopes is made easier by the street artisans of mechanical reproduction. It is engaging to wonder how their presence had broadened the practice, enabling higher efficiency and stamp-sharing. Enjoy the following photos, spot a misspelling and a repeat design from last year.

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