Robaim Tep Monorom

I recently went on a stamp-shopping spree and this is one of the incredible stamps I purchased that day:

First Day Cover featuring one of the Khmer Classical Dances, Robaim Tep Monorom

It shows one of the classical Khmer dances, called robaim Tep Monorom, and is one of the most popular dances in the Khmer court dance repertoire. The dance depicts the gods and goddesses, dressed elegantly in silk phamoung (a traditional Khmer pants for men) and sampot (traidtional skirt for women) and adorned with golden headdresses, dancing gloriously.

The origins of Khmer classical dances could be traced back to the Indian court dances, to the mystical apsaras of Hindu mythology. Apsaras are, in Buddhist and Hindu cultures, angels who are born to dance for the gods. The dances are usually performed in a slow but graceful moves. I have seen dances performed in weddings, big social gatherings but I want to see it on stage, a real stage, and a big production!

In the olden times, the women performed all the roles in the dances, a tradition that is still being held up to now, except for the role of monkey and demons (in Ramayana, for example), which are now given to men. If you look at the stamps, it shows two women, and you could tell them apart - which one is playing the female role from the one playing the male role just by looking at their clothing. Apart from the costumes, the headdresses, masks, and especially the movements identify each of the dance's characters.

Anyways, while it does have enough postage for registration, I expect the staff at the post office in  Phnom Penh is still going to charge me like they did whenever I send FDC. It pisses me off because I know I already paid more for the FDC and still charging me extra for postage. That's pricing overkill!

I hope the gods of philately hears our pleas and intervene, and lessen the woes of hobbyists and collectors like me. AMEN.

Filipino comic superheroes FDC: Darna

For my very first post here, I am featuring an FDC sent by Myron of Filatelia Filipinas.

... because I am a comics-fan at heart!

On the left side shows some of the Filipino superheroes created by the prolific Mars Ravelo. On the right  shows Darna, arguably the most popular komiks superhero made by Mars Ravelo himself. Darna appeared in Pilipino Komiks on May 13,1950 and has been around ever since I can remember.

Back in the late 70s to 80s I can still recall watching Darna movies in black and white when I was little and it never failed to amaze me even if I'd seen it over and over again. And who wouldn't be? She may be a fictional character but to any growing up kid back then, she was cool, with great power from another planet, who came to earth manifesting through a girl named Narda. She was, and still is, my idol (at least the one in the komiks, and not the one in the movies ugh!).

When the Philippine Post issued stamps featuring Pinoy superheroes -- to celebrate the national stamp collecting month and, most especially, to honor the great achievers in Philippine art -- I got so excited. I've had the pleasure of seeing my favourite komiks characters on stamps and in effect, it brought out many pleasant childhood memories. Thank you, Myron, for the FDC =)

Here's an excerpt from *surprise-surprise* an online catalogue of international superheroes:
Darna has been around since 1950 (that makes her 60years old now!). According to the Manila Times "Darna is a cultural icon born at a time when the Philippines was struggling to come out of the devastation of the World War II. She served as a salve to a country looking for champion. " She has appeared in films, played by Rosa del Rosario, (Darna, 1951, plus Darna at ang Babaeng Lawin, 1952), Liza Moreno (Si Darna at ang babaeng impakta, 1963, plus Isputnik vs. Darna, 1963), Eva Montes (Darna at ang babaeng tuod, 1964), Gina Pareno (Si Darna at ang Planetman, 1969); Vilma Santos (Lipad, Darna, lipad, 1973, plus Darna at Ding, 1980), Brenda del Rio (Darna Kuno, 1979), and Nanette Medved (Darna, 1991). She was also the star of a 1977 TV series by Lorna Tolentino, a 1986 cartoon series by GMA 7, and a stage production by Ballerina Manila which starred Lisa Macuja. On April 4, 2005, the pilot episode of "Darna: The TV Series" aired on GMA-7 both in the Philippines and in Japan. Starring Angel Locsin as Darna, the series is the highest rated Filipino Prime-Time TV series. 
What are Darna's natural abilities? Who are  her enemies? To know more about Darna, please click this link:

My Stamp Menagerie -- a stamp collector's blog

Hello and welcome to My Stamp Menagerie.
This is to accompany my main blog, Postcards Crossing, where I feature the postcards I receive. I normally include the stamps in my postcard blog but, after much thought, I decided to create a separate blog for stamps to give them the attention they so deserve and also to include the stamps used in the letters and parcels that were sent to me.

I have already featured some stamps in the other blog, so please, don't be surprised if you see it here again. I am merely giving these stamps a new home where they are the main attraction.

I am also open to swap stamps, covers and FDCs, and bank notes so please drop me a line or two should you like to make some arrangements with me. I, however, reserve the right to decline some requests whenever I see necessary. 

This blog is still a work in progress, there's still much to be done so please come back from time to time to see what's changed and what's new.

See you!