Friday, July 29, 2011

Bad, Bad, BAD Philippine Postal Service

I have heard of stories about how unreliable the Philippine Postal Service or Bureau of Customs is. Stories like how packages with valuable items never get delivered, how post office employees charge the claimants ridiculous fees, and how recipients discover their supposedly-sealed envelopes already opened. I never expected I'd get to write my own TRUE story about it.

About four months ago, I watched an episode of Japanophiles on NHK World and just fell in love with Japanese woodblock prints. So I contacted the featured woodblock print maker Mr. David Bull (Oh my gosh! His woodblock prints are just sugoi! Please check his work.) and ordered a print from him. He was really easy to talk to and he even gave me a payment option that was actually a hassle on his part (I just felt extremely bad after finding out). Anyway, he mailed my print last April 21, 2011.

It's almost August ---that's almost four months and I haven't received it yet. It's just so weird that it's taking this long. My Time of Eve Card and NHK World Calendar were both from Japan and I got them in just a week after they were sent. The thing was they were sent via private courier service.

So basing on this experience, I am going to conclude that Philippine Postal Service is just UNRELIABLE. Whether the Philippine Post Office or Bureau of Customs employees are thieves or not, their system definitely sucks. Helllooo... four freaking months!?! Should I still really expect it?

So if you're from any other country and you want to send something to the Philippines, please-please DO NOT send anything via mail. Your country's postal service might be efficient but our country's is not. It's just too risky. I suggest you take the private courier companies (like UPS or Fedex) instead. Yes, they're more expensive but at least the parcels are trackable and they do arrive in time.

I guess this only proves how beautiful David Bull's wood block print really is. Someone from the post office or customs must have liked it as much as I did. What's sad is that I was supposed to give this to Naldo as a surprise present. I was always getting gifts from Japan and I wanted him to have one too. Hmp!

Bad, Bad, BAD Philippine Postal Service!!! Bad, Bad, BAD Philippine Bureau of Customs!


  1. Well, I would be happy to replace it ... but what can you suggest as a way to get it there? Do you have a friend (say) in the US who visits you sometimes? I could send it to them.

    I notice on this blog that you have received other packages from Japan with no problem. What if I were to send another one, but this time in a very plain bland envelope, with no special stamps or anything?

  2. Thanks so much David! You're the kindest. But no, please don't replace it. I am just sooo sure that the customs or post office here had something to do with it.

    No worries, I'm planning to re-order. It's just that we're moving to another address in three weeks so I'll just contact you again once we're settled. I have relatives and friends in the US but I don't think they'll be visiting soon. Do you have fedex or UPS in the town where you are? I'll pay for the private courier, I just want to make sure you won't have to take the train to get there.

  3. We do have FedEx pickup here, but it's just not practical, price wise. The minimum shipping cost for even this small package between our two countries is over 7,000 yen, which is somewhere around 4,000 pesos ... kind of ridiculous for such a small item.

  4. 7000 yen -Whew! Didn't expect it to be that much for indeed a small item. Yeah you're right... that is gonna be expensive. Hmmm... no worries. Someday we'll have our hands on your prints if we have to go to Japan to do so. Meanwhile, we'll keep that in our to do list. It's kind of you to keep in touch regarding this matter David. Thank you so much! Best regards!

  5. Hi Shirl,
    Did you end up ever getting your package? Or did you ever ring up the postal service and ask them what the go is? They'd probably just stuff you around but I'd say it's worth it. Anyway, hope you get your package soon, this is the only blog I follow.

  6. Hello there! nope not yet. It's so weird coz we just got a package from Aus but we had it sent to the province (where people are a lot more honest). But you know what, we're taking your suggestion and we'll go to the post office. You're right, it's worth a try. Thanks! :)

  7. Hello again,
    So, almost one year later, did you ever get your package? Or did they mess around with you? Anyway, wishing you all the best.

    1. Hello! Nope, we never received the package. They can't even find the record despite all the details we gave them. They don't have a system that can trace when and where a mail was received. Thanks for asking. Hope you're doing well. =)