Self portraits used to be the domain of artists and photographers in centuries past, and usually involves a long and tedious process before completion. With the advancement of technology, self portraits, now known as ‘selfies,’ have become synonymous with today’s generation of individuals eager to capture fleeting moments and experiences at a snap. Whether you’re part of the Gen Z crowd, a Millennial, or a Baby Boomer, you’ve definitely taken a selfie sometime and posted it on social media. With the help of PHLPOST however, your selfies can now conquer new territory: philately. Thus, the selfie stamp is born.
The Selfie stamp
In 2014, the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPOST) launched the country’s first personalized selfie stamp as a way to bridge the gap and heighten appreciation and awareness of the age-old practice of philately with today’s youth; the project also sought to educate Millenials on the value of philately as permanent records of important historical events.
Diosdada Marquez, Chief of Marketing Division for Mega Manila Area of PHLPOST, also adds, “Sumusunod kami sa trends. ‘In’ na ‘yong mga selfies nung 2014, so we came up with this project. Actually, uso na rin ‘yong mga photo booth kapag may mga party. Ang amin, hindi lang siya basta picture, pwede mo ring gamitin kung gusto mong magpadala ng sulat. So, it’s personalized. ‘Yong makakatanggap, makikita ‘yong mukha mo.”
The first selfie stamps were originally taken inside an actual PHLPOST photo booth, which was then toured to 12 different tourist destinations in the Philippines, like Boracay, to encourage local and foreign travelers to have their photos taken and printed as personalized stamps.
How it works
Anyone who wishes to turn his or her photos into stamps can go to the Manila Central Post Office and have their photos taken. If you live too far or you don’t have the luxury of time to travel to Manila, you can also send your own photo via email or flashdrive and they will print it for you.
PHLPOST is also open to bringing their selfie stamp booth to events or parties. “Sa ibang areas, may plan din na magkaroon din ng selfie stamp booth. Inuna lang dito dahil nandito ‘yong bulk ng demand,” shares Alvin Fidelson, PHLPOST Information Officer.
You may select a specific design theme from the currently available designs and number of stamps in a stamp sheet (four-stamp and six-stamp sheets). The four-stamp sheet sells for 150 PHP, while the six-stamp sheet is for 250 PHP. If you’re taking your photo at the post office, you’ll be able to get your selfie stamp within a few minutes.
Marquez explains that the selfie stamps can be used to send letters like actual stamps; just ensure that the form and perforations stay intact.
Companies or organizations can also avail of the personalized stamps in volumes to celebrate milestones and anniversaries. PHLPOST also plans to bring the selfie stamp booth to festivals and history conventions.