Last month, I found out through a cousin of mine that he had stumbled upon a Stamp Auction at the Manila Central Post Office. It really got me curious. I've never been to an auction and I've also never been to MCPO. I love old architecture and I thought it would prove to be a good excursion for Bianca and I aside from our usual Sunday lunch out.
The Manila Central Post Office is located infront of Liwasang Bonifacio in Intramuros, Manila. It was built in 1926, but was severely damaged after World War II. It was reconstructed in 1946, preserving most of its original design.
Today, the post office building still stands as a grand structure despite the obvious signs of decay. The high cost of maintaining such a massive building has been a challenge with fewer people sending mail the traditional way because of advancing technology.
The Manila Central Post Office was designed by Juan M. Arellano. Its beautiful neoclassical design with the iconic pillars reflects the elegance of the 1940's.
To help preserve the significance of the post office and to help keep it alive, a small group of avid stamp collectors hold Stamp Auctions every 1st Sunday of the month.
We were excited to go to our very first auction last Sunday. Although we are not planning on being serious collectors, we wanted to try our hand at bidding, just to complete our experience and of course to take home a few stamps as a memento of our trip to old Manila.
Stamps, Postcards, Vintage Stamped Envelopes, Banknotes, Old Coins are on display and available for viewing before the auction begins. Bid prices start for as low as P15 and nothing over P2000.
There were even a few foreigners in the group. Bidding goes fast so you have to be attentive when they call out the ones you've chosen to bid for.
Here's what we took home- RP 1991 Butterflies Mint Strip, RP 1987 Manila Hotel Mint Set and RP 1993 Medicinal Plants Mint Set.
*photo credits: Don Flores
*photo credits: Don Flores
We were lucky that no one else wanted the stamps we chose, so we got them at their original bid price. Probably because they were not really collector's items, but we were happy with our choices anyway. The more seasoned bidders were going for stamps that featured Philippine Presidents and events like the Olympics or Special Holiday issued stamps.
I'm glad we got the chance to do this together. Stamps are like little pieces of art with each one representing a particular event, person or place. So the auction was both like a history and art lesson for us. I've already started looking through old letters and envelopes at home, because, who knows? I might have something of value tucked away somewhere : )
Manila Central Post Office
Liwasang Bonifacio, Manila
Tel. No. 525.7028
*Stamp Auction- Every 1st Sunday of the month
Viewing starts at 1:00pm
Auction starts at 2:00pm