TALK TUESDAY: #SendMoreMail2020

I don’t think I have verbalized it enough on this blog, but I’ll say it right now, out loud: I absolutely love the USPS.

Coming from the Philippines where we don’t even have mailboxes for mail drop off, the USPS for me is a breath of fresh air. I would choose it over private mail carriers; they’re just far more affordable that I would’ve expected.

I first experienced the beauty of the USPS when I ordered a few of our wedding souvenirs from Etsy. I think every single order I’ve made was fulfilled by USPS, within the timeframe committed and quite affordable too. I’ve been in love ever since.

And if you’ve been here long enough, I’ve talked about how much I love snail mail. Because I really do! They’re much better souvenirs for travels and trips, and far more affordable too. I’ve converted a few friends into the habit of writing mail, and I’ve been enjoying it.

I do admit that recent life events have made me slow down in my letter writing, but now that the USPS is threatened by certain powers in office, I can’t help but get back into the habit of sending mail.

It’s a simple thing, really, and maybe I won’t even make a dent in helping this valuable service to survive — yes, the same service that provides banking services to those who need it (though postal money orders) — but it just breaks my heart to see it suffering the way it is.

The USPS has served my family in so many ways: from my father-in-law being a retiree to driver’s licenses and immigration paperwork to filing taxes and even to sending in votes. It has never failed us. There may have been a hiccup or two — like a missed delivery or a lost piece of mail recovered 18 days later — but for the most part, it has been a joy with them.

So from now on, I am instituting Mail Mondays in support of #SendMoreMail2020. I will keep going as long as I can. If you’re interested in receiving a motivational postcard or a letter with a random trivia or perhaps to start a penpal relationship, I am more than happy to. Just send me a message on my Facebook page or through my Instagram and the rest will be mail history.

I’ve asked my friends on Facebook whoever is interested in some good snail mail, and in the last 5 days alone, I’ve mailed out 7 international and 7 local letters and postcards. Believe me, I’m the real letter writing deal. :)

To know more about the struggles of the USPS, I recommend the following resources:

I will also start posting “receipts” of my mail activity on my Instagram stories, so feel free to follow me there if you’d like to see how many I’ve sent so far. I try to be as creative as possible with my mail, particularly for kids, but I am more keen on sending out good vibes.

<3 You know it.

#SendMoreMail2020 #SaveUSPS

TALK TUESDAY: The Love for Snail Mail

I love snail mail.  Let’s start with that.  I love receiving handwritten notes.  I love going through the bills and spam and seeing a personally scribbled letter made out especially for me.  I love the idea of words flying through air and space, so special that it required extra postage, so intimate that the immediacy of technology just doesn’t give it justice.  Maybe I’m just being romantic, but why not?  I love snail mail.

When I was in the Philippines, my love for letters and postcards was a bit more difficult to communicate.  While we did have postal offices, they weren’t as efficient as I would like.  Most of the time, when I would attempt to send a postcard to our family here in New Jersey, it would be a hit or miss if it ever gets to them.  I always picked out interesting postcards, especially when they came out with 3D ones.  But those never made it to them.

This letter is from my niece Kai Mykonos. I always have two addresses saved for her, and she always surprises me where she’s going to send her reply.

I had this image in my head that the postal worker would see my beautiful postcard, read what it’s the back and decide to keep it for himself.  At first it would make me mad, but soon enough, it would turn into hope — hope that it inspires them, hope that it brightens their day.  Then I just write another one.

My aunt recently went on a Italian tour and she sent this postcard from Rome.

Postcards have become a staple, especially when my niece Machiko started learning how to read and write.  It has become her preferred souvenir whenever I would go on work travels, so I always made an effort to find a post office and mail one in.  When I moved here, she challenged me to find better stamps, make it more colorful.

This combo letter from Machiko and Jared made the Husband and I laugh so much. Thank you for the name suggestions, kids!

I love it when Machiko becomes so creative with her letters. This envelope stationery gave me so many butterflies. She wrote one for each of us.

Slowly, it became my secret courier.  Whenever I would have news, as big as the last one, I would always write it to my best friend/sister Marga first.  I would hold it in as long as I could until she gets the letter, Facetimes me, screams in my face, and then we can talk about it.  Something about writing things down makes it all the more real; holding it in your hands makes it all the more real.

A week before receiving this mail from a very dear friend, I saw her get engaged. This is from where the question was popped. I’m so happy for her.

Soon enough, my friends started doing the same.  In a world of instant messaging, nothing beats the love that comes from the moment the ink is absorbed by the paper.

One of our wedding godparents frequents Japan. She makes sure to send one or two for every visit. I truly appreciate that about her.

From one of my childhood best friends, before her Tokyo postcards, she used to send them from Budapest. I have to dig those out from my box, but these, I often use as bookmarks.

You would get medical bills, phone bills, credit card offers, junk mail and voila!  In the thick of it all, there it is.  A note.  Sometimes with a picture, sometimes so thick that the envelope barely closes over it.  You see where it’s from and your fingers run over the stamps, seeing how far it traveled to get to you.  And there it is.  In the hustle and bustle of the everyday grind and more, the world pauses as you read your letter, your postcard, and for a moment, everything is quiet but the words that lift off those pages.

Mixed media postcard from Machiko. She makes me up my snail mail game.

I love snail mail.

Would you like to receive one from me?  Send me an email with your preferred address at ohcarlaloo@gmail.com.  

For the love of postcards

Do you still believe in postcards?

I ask this question now because as of late, I’ve been travelling a lot.  As of late, my niece Machiko Skye has been learning to write.  With a command of language and comprehension beyond her years, she never fails to ask for a postcard whenever she would hear about my departures.

Source:  Instagram - @margoks

Source: Instagram – @margoks

My Paris trip definitely amped up my creativity.  The City of Lights were not short of picturesque postcards.  I immediately sent her a couple, and if it weren’t for the faulty postal service in the Philippines, it would have arrived before I came home.

Source:  Instagram - @margoks

Source: Instagram – @margoks

Source:  Instagram - @margoks

Source: Instagram – @margoks

During my NJ visit, Machiko wrote letters for her cousins.

Machiko Skye New Jersey Postcards Letters

The NJ kids enjoyed it so much, we actually had a letter writing day just so they can reply to her!  And she was more than happy to read them!

Source:  Instagram - @margoks

Source: Instagram – @margoks

The advent of technology is phasing out the relevance of stamps and mail couriers, but there really is no better way of practicing handwriting, communication and interpersonal skills more than letter writing.  I’m very blessed to have so many of my family still in love with old school pen and paper.  Even the little Jared Franco.

Source:  Instagram - @jannicasusi

Source: Instagram – @jannicasusi

So… do you still believe in postcards?