Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Douro River

Set of stamps
Souvenir sheet
 Many centuries ago, Douro became a communication route, thus allowing the world to discover an area of unique beauty. If the discovery of Douro as World Heritage takes its course, there is still a lot to be rediscovered of the many wonders that the river can provide in a journey of the senses in which man chooses the speed. Here, time does not condition us, but is rather an opportunity to recharge our batteries and regenerate the mind and spirit through the water element associated with all others swarming around the river. In fact we do not have a single Douro, but many variations that traverse it in a palette of colours, experiences and contemplation. The heritage, the landscape, the vineyards, the bridges, the railway track and the elusive arrival at the estuary and at Porto make this river trip an experience of emotions and feelings that only poets can venture to describe. The river, as a channel of communication and transportation, is a key element in the territorial cohesion, and in the social and economic development of the region. It became a channel of access and opportunities. From the International Douro to the Foz, the path is different and surprising even for those who think they know the river and its landscape! The various “Douros” appear in a sequence of colours revealed in this philatelic issue in a unique way, ennobling the vision of the river and offering every viewer a unique experience and feeling.

Technical Details
Date of Issue: 30 July 2012
Values: stamps of 0,32€, 0,57€, 0,47€, 0.68€ and 0,80€
Designer: Atelier Whitestudio
Printer: Joh. Enschedé, The Netherlands
Process: 4 Colours
Size: 30,6 x 40,0 mm
Perforation: Cross of Christ 13 x 13
Paper: FSC 110 g/m2
Sheet: with 50 stamps
Souvenir sheet: with one stamp of 3,00€

Monday, October 29, 2012

Traditional Portuguese Festivities

Set of stamps
Stamps brochure
The Portuguese popular festivities include religious and secular aspects, breaking the everyday life and attracting participants and spectators from various corners of the country and abroad. The Espírito Santo festivities in the Azores are the most notorious ex-libris of the archipelago. With dates set between Easter Sunday and Pentecost, today they go on until the summer, when the emigrants return “home” to fulfill their promises and be the “emperors” of the festivities. As such, (s)he must offer the calves and heifers used in the confection of the “Espírito Santo soups”. The “roscas” (ringlets) and sweet bread are part of the processions, which, decorated with flowers and plants, are offered as “bodos” (distribution of bread, meat and wine). The highlight of the festival focuses on the coronation of the emperor or empress, during the solemn Mass, followed by the procession, which highlights lavish decorative elements such as the scepter, crown and doves alluding to the “Divino Espirito Santo” (Divine Holy Spirit). The processions were traditionally accompanied by the “folias” (small musical groups), nowadays sometimes replaced by brass bands. The vitality of these festivities is equalled only by the glow they gain in areas where Azorean emigrants live, such as Brazil, the United States and Canada. The festivities in honor of Santo António of Lisbon, patron of the city, attract thousands of people. On the night of the 12th to the 13th
of June, Mouraria, Madragoa and Alfama become a huge fairground, with its decorations, singing, dancing and stalls selling food and drink. On one hand, the old fires have now practically disappeared, whilst on the other, the “tronos” (altars) and the sale of basil vases are still present in every corner. In honor of the saint, the famous popular marches take place, in which the various districts compete for the prize for the best march. As matchmaking saint, under his auspices the weddings of Santo António are held, resumed in 1997. The Feira da Golegã, held in an area famous for its cattle, was for centuries known as the Feira de São Martinho, having changed its name in 1972 to Feira Nacional do Cavalo (International Horse Fair). Its reputation as the most important fair of its kind worldwide attracts breeders of the best purebreds. Saint Martin’s Day is the day of public horse-riding performances. The tribute to the horse includes exhibitions, carriage marathons, equestrian games, contests, rallies and raids. Doing justice to the popular adage “On Saint Martin’s, taste the new wine”, the festive atmosphere linked to the fair includes wine tasting, piquette and roasted chestnuts.
The Carnaval de Ílhavo is known for its exacerbation of allowed licentiousness, characteristic of the carnival cycle. The initiatory group of boys who worship the “santo” (barrel of wine), in the procession that travels through the streets of the village, incorporates the violation of borders between male and female, as reflected in the way they masquerade: the delicacy of lace and embroidery of women’s underwear contrasts with the male sexuality mirrored in their huge red noses, sharp and phallic, and in the act of “teaselling” girls, rubbing their nose, or “teasel”, on them in a game of strong erotic sense.

Technical Details
Date of Issue: 20 July 2012
Values: stamps of 0,05€, 0,32€, 0,47€, 0.68€ and 0,80€
Designer: Atelier Whitestudio
Printer: INCM
Process: Offset
Size: 30,6 x 27,7 mm
Perforation: Cross of Christ 13 x 13
Paper: FSC 110 g/m2
Sheet: with 50 stamps

Sunday, October 28, 2012

European Football Championship - Go Portugal!

On this, our old continent, football is the mass phenomenon par excellence.
The seemingly inexplicable way in which otherwise peaceful people of any age or gender become enthusiastic supporters at weekends, when their favorite club is playing, can only be compared to the ecstasy of the experience found at great rock and roll concerts, where the crowd dances collectively, in this way exorcising some of the setbacks experienced in other normal, grey days.

The victory of a team, of a flag, is also the victory of the hundreds of thousands of supporters and sympathizers, who will, on the following Monday, rave about the success and the credits of their idols, assuming this victory entirely as their own. And if we were to talk about the "team of all of us," the National Football Team, then the passions and feelings that affect us all are even more comprehensive and inclusive.

As the pride and glory of a country, as public representation of a collective way of being and a projection of our uniqueness and idiosyncrasies as a people, the National Team carries a huge responsibility on the wonderful legs of its players that, in truth, is not be fair for it to be to carrying, but it is nevertheless always present each time they enter the field. Portugal's National Football Team has succeeded in being in the final stages of five world championships – 3rd place in 1966 and 4th place in 2006. And in terms of European Championships, since 1996 Portugal has never failed to qualify for the finals and came in 2nd place in 2004.

Clearly we cannot think that we can get out of the crisis because of football, but good results from the selection increase the self--esteem and the pride of the Portuguese people, and can help in overlooking some of the bitterness of day to day living with the "passion and joy" that form part of the essence of football. And the mobilization of our people grows with the swell of the challenge and the possibility of victory.
Go Portugal!

Technical Details
Date of Issue: 4 July 2012
Values: Miniature sheet with one stamp of 1,50€
Designer: Francisco Galamba
Printer: INCM
Process: 4 Colours Offset
Size: 125 x 95 mm
Perforation: Cross of Christ 13 x 13
Paper: FSC 110 g/m2

Saturday, October 27, 2012

RUSSIA – Cover from St. Petersburg, Russia to Braga, Portugal

Special cover with commemorative stamps from the joint issue Russia-Spain about Architecture posted on September, 26 2012.
(Special thanks to my friend Yu. Kitaev)

Miniature sheet with four sets

Technical Details
Date of Issue: 17 July 2012
Values: two stamps of 13P.
Designer: Р. Комса
Process: offset
Size: 37mm x 37mm
Perforation: 11½ x 11½
Paper: Coated
Sheets: Miniature sheets with four sets

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

SINGAPORE – Cover from Singapore to Braga, Portugal

Stamps issue brochure
First Day Cover of the stamp issue ‘Giant Pandas’ posted on September, 06 2012.
(A very special thanks to my best friend Terence Wong)