Philatelic Store @ GPO Festive Collection Launch

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When I was informed that I had a chance to visit the pre-launch opening of the Philatelic Store at the General Post Office (GPO) located in Singpost Centre, I was stoked! OG readers would know that I had been to the Philatelic museum 6 years ago. I really enjoyed my time there because it was more than a stamp museum because the people there also try to educate and enlighten visitors about Singapore's history, culture and traditions.


The outlet at GPO is not a museum (aren't stores become 'museums' when we window shop? haha) but it's a store filled with philatelic items; basically anything related to postage and stamps. Now, before you judge it to be a boring old store with stamps, I'm here to prove you wrong.

I used to also associate stamp collecting to something dull; imagining some old man with his thick albums filled with old stamps that has been collected over the years as a hobby. But stamp collecting or anything relating to postage can be cool, hip and artistic! A quick visit to the Philatelic store can prove you that.

Owned and operated by Singapore Post, the Philatelic store offers a comprehensive range of Singapore & Foreign Stamps, Thematic MyStamp, Souvenirs, and Philatelic gifts. Every item in the store marks a special moment in Singapore's history. The commemorative value and exquisite designs of the collections make them perfect for all occasions - such as business gifts, or as cherished inclusions on every philatelist's personal collection.

There's an item for everyone, the young, old, artsy, practical and not forgetting the hobbyists.





At the entry, you will be welcomed by a beautiful display of Thematic Mystamp which is the Changi Mystical Garden with Sanrio Characters. The Stamp folder features Hello Kitty, Dear Daniel, Cinnamoroll, Pompompurin, My Melody, Gudetama and Little Twin Stars with free lanyard retailing at S$21.80. Who says stamps can't be cutesy?



What put a smile on my face was the "Greetings" stamps collection which features Singapore's very own Merlion wishing your friends and loved ones "Good luck", "Miss you", "Congrats, and other popular Greetings. We were informed it was inspired by the ever so popular emoticons but with a Singaporean touch. This annual collection of 2017 consists of Mint Stamps, First Day cover (only on 15 Nov 2017 and postcards ranging from S$1.60 onwards.



On the left side of the store, you can find Philatelic Store @ GPO Exclusives among many varieties of stamps and collectibles. One of them is the Posting Boxes of Singapore Collection which includes a pouch, tote bag, cushion cover & tea towel from S$5 onwards.

There's also a treat for the kids too because they can have the Singpost Postman & Postwoman Mini Figurines Collections à la Lego figurines at S$25 each & S$50 for a set of 2)











If that is not enough, there are premium gifts. There is a Local Delights Collection which is definitely one of my favorite collection, well, because, food! It features childhood sweets to festive treats. Just looking at the pictures remind of me of my yearly routine with Mak baking traditional kueh for Hari Raya.

You can get your hands on Traditional Biscuits Magnets set & greeting cards and Local Delights Tea Towel with MyStamp Sheet all prices from S$8.90 onwards. I just couldn't resist the magnets that I bought a set for myself!









On the right side of the store, there was a plethora of stamps of almost every theme you can think of, from Singapore's history, iconic people & landmarks, animals, culture & traditions and many more. Believe me when I say you will be spoiled for choice and even if you are not interested to buy, it's rather enlightening and interesting to browse through all the collections.







This side of the store also has an assortment of Festive Gift ideas on items with philately designs in a range of S$5 to S$10. There are notebooks, tote bags, plastic holders, postcard sets, magnetic bookmarks, passport holder, pencil case... I mean, do I need to go on?









My favorite display and items got to be the ones at the back of the shop. On both sides, there are artistic displays of Peranakan and Singapore shop houses themed stamp displays that I've never seen before. You know how I mentioned before, collectible stamps has always been kept in albums, these are perfectly displayed in beautiful frames with touches of item or artwork pertaining to the theme.

The Peranakan themed display would have pieces of their traditional cloths and even their signature soup spoon. The shop houses themed display would have 3D display of the shop houses and beautiful artwork. Yes, they are probably the most expensive items in the shop but if I think this concept is so elegant. You can display them up on a wall for every one to see instead of hidden in an album.





At a few sections of the store, it also holds philatelic historical artifacts such as original hand stamps and ink pads from the former General Post Office at the old Fullerton Building, as well as from post offices across the island. There is also a copy of a postal manual, published in 1960 which contains rules and guidelines for various departments.





Just outside the store, there is a colonial-era pillar posting box that has been restored and mail dropped into this posting box will be postmarked with a special date stamp in red ink!





I really had a good time at the Philatelic Store at GPO as I "ooohh" & aahh" with itchy hands trying very hard not to go all out buying the items there.

I would like to say thanks people at the GPO for hosting & goodie bag and also Brunches Cafè for catering the food for the event. Brunches Cafè is the latest Chic Vintage Themed Bakery/ Cafè along Rangoon Road (in the neighborhood of Farrer Park MRT). The cafè serves all-day breakfast menu, gourmet sandwiches, waffles, coffee, tea and other beverages for the funky cafè-goers. Unfortunately, it is not Halal so I only took bites on the fish and salads. The food was pretty okay but check out their ambiance!




[http://www.brunches.sg/]

Anyways!

You can shop these items and more on SingPost's online shop at https://shop.singpost.com/ but it would be better if you can physically visit Philatelic Store @ GPO (#01-127 to 128) at the heart of SingPost, the General Post Office. It is because I can also promise you, it's also a very nice photo worthy spot perfect for your Instagram feeds.




   

Nur Sarah's Cukur Rambut & Tahnik

I've posted about cukur rambut before when I blogged about my nephew and niece's ceremony in the past. Somehow, it never occur to me that one day, I will be blogging about my own child's. Before I start my post, I would like to say thank you to Floral Garage for sponsoring beautiful sunflowers for Sarah's ceremony. Who says flowers are strictly for weddings, anniversaries or commercialized occasions? But more on that later.



Just in case you missed previous posts, cukur rambut & tahnik, just like aqiqah, is sunnah muakkadah which is strongly encouraged but it's okay not to do it. It involves with shaving of baby's head and having a smidgen of Ajwa date and/or honey on baby's palate. It is also encouraged to do on the 7th, 14th or 21st day of birth but other days are acceptable too.

The reason Muslims do cukur rambut (translated to shaving of head), is because in hadiths (a collection of traditions containing sayings of the prophet Muhammad s.a.w. with accounts of his daily practice), it was practiced by our prophets. Shaven hair is also weighed and to be donated to charities of your choice, a sum of money equivalent to silver or gold. Shaving of the head is also for cleanliness as newborn babies tend to have cradle cap (greasy white or yellowy scales on the scalp) which sometimes cannot be seen especially if you baby has plenty of hair.

I invited my immediate family members and a few close friends because the ceremony was intended to be a small one; no under the block one. hehe We didn't have marhaban (a group of people reciting prayers and zikir) as the entire ceremony is mostly based on focusing on the necessary, not the extras.



Sleepy Sarah's OOTD:
Sunny yellow, flower themed dress from Mothercare with a big yellow flower head gear and a pair of pink shoes to compliment the pink touches on the dress. The shoes not surprisingly did not last long because they kept falling off even with socks on but it's okay. The socks was pink too.






I had engaged Aqiqah.sg (not the same aqiqah company I engaged for her actual aqiqah). I know it's confusing but Aqiqah.sg also do cukur rambut & tahnik services too.

Uztad Amir was assigned to us and told us to have these items ready on her day.

↝ 1 Batik / Pelikat cloth to catch baby's hair
↝ A bowl to collect baby's hair
↝ A small plate for an Ajwa date
↝ A basin of water, shampoo & towel to clean baby's head

Optional items by my own choice:
↝ Serving tray to put all the items on
Gorgeous yellow sunflowers in a box to compliment Sarah's outfit to pull the items together by Floral Garage. Unfortunately, delivery was a quite later than appointed time but luckily I ordered 1 hour earlier so it although it was late, it came in time for the ceremony.


[Don't mind the random Bougainvillea in the basin because Mak said to make the basin look livelier although I found it clashing but Mak never ever commented on how I take care of Sarah and plan her ceremonies so I figured, such a request wouldn't hurt]

I absolutely love the sunflowers which attracts a certain radiance not only to the seemingly dull items but also the entire ceremony. I'm just a sucker for fresh flowers in the household. The bouquet was bigger than expected which I was not complaining and it came in a pretty circular polka dotted box which we eventually reused as a remote control holder.



The standard must have family shot. Too bad Sarah was sleeping and Jhon looked so old here! lol




Uztad Amir came 10 minutes early which I truly appreciated but of course, majority of my guests haven't arrived yet. I told him to proceed on the agreed time even if there are no guests. So while waiting, we chatted for a while and he inspected what we had prepared for him. It turned out my bowl to collect Sarah's hair was too small, that's why you see a different bowl in other pictures.



Uztad Amir also added a bottle of olive oil, a mini jar of honey and a small container with Ajwa dates on the tray. Out of frame is also a mini weighing machine to weigh her hair later, plastic sheet and a baby hair brush.

Before commencing, Uztad Amir simply gave a short introduction of himself and the reasoning of cukur rambut and tahnik. He said we (Malays) tend to get culture and religion mixed up and that includes this ceremony too. People tend to go over board with big shindigs, marharban and trimming of hair only, not shaving and especially not weighing the hair. Not that it is wrong; they are allowed but sometimes, culture triumphs religion to the point of being left behind. To each its own, ya?



The ceremony takes probably 1 hour or so. After Uztad's mini sermon, he commenced the shaving which came in 2 parts. After brushing Sarah's hair, he shaved to remove her long locks and another different shaver for a closer shave. Sarah was pretty much a good girl. She moved a lot but due to feeling ticklish. Uztad said it's better to shave a new born's head because they are sleeping most of the time but little did he knew that Sarah had reflux and she would be more of a handful then than now.

The fans were switched off to avoid her hair flying away so yeah, everyone else was sweating like crazy, especially Jhon and later, Abg who helped with the slipping plastic sheet and calm Sarah down.










What was I doing? Playing peek-a-boo besides taking photos. haha





Sarah dislike's pacifiers and even if she sucked, she doesn't hold it in her mouth thus having Abg as her assistant to hold her pacifier. haha Anyways, after her hair was being shaved to the closest shave possible, we saw she had a decent amount of cradle cap, something we didn't know she had. Uztad washed her hair with shampoo, dried her head and massaged her head with olive oil.

He later proceeded with tahnik.



As for tahnik, people would always bring their newborns to Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. and he will a small piece of date, chew and fed the baby with honey as an act of blessing and hopes that the baby will also have His act of piousness and great character passed to the baby. Of course, now, pious people are hard to come by because we are merely humans so our Uztad had Jhon mashed up the flesh of an Ajwa date and feed her. He also offered to anyone to feed her so of course, I volunteered and asked Mak to join too.

By the time the cukur rambut was done, Sarah was hungry so she was sucking all her might of the Ajwa date and honey.









Soon after, Uztad Amir weighed Sarah's hair (which was a lot by the way for a new born). He showed the weighing machine was at 0kg before weighing, showed the at that time current gold market rate derived from the internet and the calculations. So basically, we had to donate not less than S$103 to any needy person, mosque or charity of our choice. The reason it was rounded off was because just in case we missed any stray away hairs.



The ceremony was closed with Uztad Amir reciting several prayers. It included, not limited to, prayers for Sarah to be a obedient, good, pious child, prayers for everyone in the ceremony good health & sustenance and prayers in remembrance of Allah s.w.t and Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.

Of course, after that, makan time!
My buffet was as simple as the ceremony. We had white rice, bread, beef curry & fried nuggets and chicken from Mak, fried bee hoon noodles by Kak Yana and I bought kueh talam keladi & kole-kole for desserts. We bought packet drinks for convenience and easy clean up too.



Sarah had her lunch too. haha


[Don't mind my crooked ankle haha]



Most of the babies of 2017 attended, Sarah being the youngest at 2 months old.
Hair band tak nak kalah. haha



I also bought a birthday cake for Jhon's birthday which fell on the same day. Of course, I gathered all the October babies to celebrate together.

From left to right,
Kakak's FIL, Shibly, Syazan, Jhon, my cousin; Abg Arin and Kakak.




And that's about it. Sarah's simple cukur rambut, tahnik and a quick birthday celebration of all October babies. Alhamdulillah everything went smoothly and I'm happy Sarah has went down this milestone. More to come!


Oh, by the way, here's Sarah's before and after photos. 
Suddenly so round! lol