As most of you know by now, the Philippines is a very beautiful country with wonderful people, but it is poor. Internet access is very expensive and is not available in rural areas. Email introductions can not begin to compare with the thrill a filipina lady will have when she has your letter in her hands.

Airmail postage to the Philippines is inexpensive, one ounce letter which equals about six sheets of 8.5 X 11 typing paper plus a business style envelope is 84 cents, $1.65 for 2 ounces, $2.40 for 3 ounces, and then 80 cents more for each additional ounce. Delivery time is 7 - 14 days. When they receive your letter if they write back to you immediately from the time they mail it, it takes about 7 days. So your looking at about a 21 turnaround. During the Christmas season mail delivery is very slow. U.S. postage stamps can not be used on letters sent from the Philippines to America.

If you're involved in a correspondence-based relationship, and you're not getting as many letters from your penpal as you'd like, the most likely reason is that your penpal can't afford stamps to send more letters to you. Recently some men have been concerned about sending any cash through the mail system because once it reaches the Philippines it has been stolen out by the postal employees. The girls never receive the money. Sending money for stamps isn't a viable solution, however, because many Filipinas will use any money they receive to purchase food or other necessary subsistence items, even if you clearly indicate the money is for stamps. It's not that they're dishonest, it's that they're trying to survive, and surprise, writing you isn't a life and death matter. Even if they really like you.

I.R.C. (International Reply Coupons) are useless in the rural areas because the local Post Office will not redeem them. The ladies would have to travel at their expense all the way to a major city in order to redeem the I.R.C. for stamps.

The solution is for you to purchase stamps on your penpal's behalf and then mail them to her. That way you'll encourage her to write you more often, since she doesn't have to worry about buying stamps for your letters, and you don't have to worry about the money you send her for stamps being spent on other things. Philippine Airmail stamp (Which I have for you) is the stamp that they use to send letters to America. You will receive a better response by helping your Filipina Lady with the cost of writing you a letter. We highly recommend that you send her a Philippines postage stamp in your introduction letter. This will show you have respect for her economy and you are serious about a possible future relationship. This one thing improved the rate of response from the ladies. Many ladies said that they would not have written back if the stamp was not there.

For a Filipina to purchase stamps for overseas letters is a great financial burden and typically they buy only one stamp for each trip to the post office. That stamps are too expensive for Filipinas to purchase might at first sound incredible. But keep in mind that many Filipinos subsist off a few hundred dollars per year, and that for some Filipinas in particularly poor regions, a couple of stamps are equal to a day's work. When it comes down to food or stamps, guess which one they're going to buy?

You want your letters to your penfriends to make a good impression; your thoughtfulness and consideration will be appreciated and the response rate from your letters will increase if you provide postage. A Philippine airmail stamp to the United States is 22 pesos (up to 20 grams), maybe not a lot to you or me, but to them, she may not be able to afford postage or if she has other pen-pals that she may already be writing to and they are not sending her postage she may spend her money on their letters, and not write back to you because she can't afford it, so this way you have taken away all her expense.

Sending a stamp is safer than sending cash in the Philippines. I think most ladies would truly appreciate the help if it is in your budget to send a stamp, I would suggest it. Please know that if you do send a stamp that it will NOT guarantee a response. For large numbers of the ladies in the Philippines, paying for a single postage stamp is a sacrifice. Here in America it is hard to imagine such poverty that a lady has to wait until payday in order to buy a couple of postage stamps. Unfortunately, this is exactly the situation for many Filipinos. And the price of stamps was doubled in February of 1998 as a result of the Asian financial difficulties. Recently in December 2001, another increase was imposed.

By enclosing a postage stamp with your initial letter you will ensure that:
1. More ladies will respond.
2. Fewer ladies will wait a week or two before writing you.
3. Ladies from poor families have the same opportunity as those from middle class or wealthy families.
4. Many gentlemen prefer a Filipina from a poor family.

In general we agree. A lady from a poor family is more likely to have traditional values and will be even more appreciative of her lifestyle in America.  We strongly recommend enclosing a postage stamp with your initial letter, and even with all subsequent letters.

What we have done is to purchase postage stamps from the Philippines so that you can send it to the ladies you are writing to. These First Class Philippine Stamps are each sufficient to deliver one 1/2 ounce letter to anywhere in the world. We purchase them directly from the Philippine Post Office and stock them for your use. We sell Philippine Airmail Stamps for $1.00 each (minimum order of 10 for $10.00 available to Hawaii residents only) if you would like to help your ladies out with postage. Please send Lawrence email if you are interested in purchasing stamps.




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