Brewed Thoughts: A trip to the Singapore Philatelic Museum

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A trip to the Singapore Philatelic Museum

Being an avid Postcrosser, I'm really into stamps, letter writing and sending mail the old school way. Just recently, I found out Singapore had a museum dedicated to the oldest and the most awesome hobby of philately. That and the fact they had an exhibit on The Adventures of Tintin. 

The Singapore Philatelic Museum looked so inviting just from the outside, mainly because of its interesting architecture. The building was a former part of the Anglo-Chinese School in 1906, and was the Methodist Book Room in the 70s, so it was also an interesting piece of heritage structure. When I got inside, the museum shop immediately got my attention. I wanted to forget about the exhibit, and just dive in at all those goodies, but that was until one of the staff asked if I wanted to see the collections and promptly offered me a ticket.

For SGD 5, it was a pretty much awesome experience. The museum had five current exhibitions: Imagine Dragons, The Adventures of Tintin, Message Me, Elephant Stampede, and The Story of Dr. Sun Yat Sen, along with their permanent galleries on Singapore's philatelic history. Each exhibit was interactive and interesting as well as child-friendly. There were quite a number of people, with a good mix of foreign and local visitors. 

I really liked the gallery on intro/history to philately. Learning about history through stamps was something of a visual treat. The Tintin exhibit was ok, but it had more of the typical collectibles you'd find at the Tintin store in Chinatown (i.e., figures, books, illustrations, etc.). The actual stamps were quite few and didn't have that much variety in my opinion. 

Truth be told, I absolutely loved the museum shop. I think I spent more time browsing around looking for some stamps for my collection more than anything else. The shop also had an array of items for those who collect coins, currencies, postcards and other items related to the hobby. I bought a stamp album and a pack of used stamps on cats (I'd have bought more, but my mind kept on converting the price to PhP). There were also postcards, but there were only a few pieces that really caught my eye. I was mainly conscious about the price, considering you'd get the same tourist cards in Chinatown for less.

I spent a good amount of time at the museum, but I think that was time well spent. Although it's such a shame we don't have such things back home (and I know it's futile to even suggest this considering the dismal state of our government-run museums to begin with), I just couldn't help but notice how philately seemed so much alive here than in the Philippines. Going to the museum was a great experience, but it left me hoping for something better with what we have for the hobby at this time. 

Ah, well.


  1. I remember during our trip to the post office. It was in a sad, sad state. Plus, majority of those interested looked to be nearing the last years of their lives, although a few young ones were taking interest. It would be awesome if we could help do something to ignite the youth's interest in it. :)

  2. I agree! But we have to admit, hindi naman ito ang priority din ng government. We can only do so much as private citizens.

  3. stamps on cats! please please please post. please. kahit pic lang.

    i used to collect stamps too. until Ondoy happened.