childhood memories

Old Greeting Cards From Friends 101: The Pocket Book

3/17/2014,30 Comments

When I was in grade school, my close friends and I would give each other greeting cards for special occasions like birthdays, valentines and graduation. I miss those sweet days.

I seriously prefer two or three genuine messages in greeting cards, whether handmade or commercial, or handwritten letters over hundreds of status post greetings through Facebook.

Younger generations may not understand but 90's and 80's kids definitely can relate to what I feel right now. That's why I still give out greeting cards or scrapbooks  for people who are dear to me during their special days. It's just my way of expressing my genuine thoughts and love for them.

I have been saving and collecting the cards that my friends have given me over the years. This small brown envelope, that used to house my grade school rating card, is where I've been storing them.

No matter how old and torn it appears, this envelope has helped me preserve my memories with my childhood friends.

At the back of the envelope, I scrawled the label "Elementary Memories" just so it would be easier for me to find it amid all the chaos I have in my room.

So how many cards do I have? I haven't counted them yet. I just took pictures. The number doesn't matter anyway. These cards express the emotions of their makers, my close friends way back grade school. Some are still close to me; others... I have no idea where on earth they are now.

They just feel so sacred. I mean, the cards are so personalized, with their (givers') own penmanship, their own design - each reflective of their maker's or giver's personality, each having their own story to tell.

Not just some random HBD. Imagine how lazy people has become these days. How do I know if they really mean my birthday to be happy? The H could be something else.

Who knows? Perhaps HBD means "Horrible" birthday?

Anyway I'm going to post the photos of the cards here one by one. The first release is here: The "Pagmamahalan" Pocket Book written by... you'll find out later. :)

Pagmamahalan is a Filipino term for romance. So we can assume that it's the title of this pocket book (as the author has named it). This is written by a twelve-year-old grade school student.

He called it a Pocket Book. If you're wondering what this romance story is all about, I can summarize it for you. But first let me tell you how this came into existence.

I used to have a crush on a certain boy when I was in grade school. You know, like any other kid. It's normal alright? I still slap my forehead whenever I remember those days. Sooo corny and... ugh. I can't even find the right term. I guess... horrifying or gross?

So this all started when Dominic (the author of this pocket book) got his hands on a short story I wrote about my crush that I never got the chance to finish. I changed the names with other names to conceal the awkward reality behind it.

And I don't know what inspired Dominic to write his own, completely different version. I guess he wanted to annoy me but now that I think about it, it's kinda cute. His gift to me was (and is) so cute and well thought of. He made this pocket book himself. Despite how annoying he was during those days, he was a really sweet friend. :)

WARNING: Reader discretion is advised. This is definitely not the kind of story that you must read to your kids. Reason? Uh... the morale isn't that good...

This is the first page of the book. Allow me to translate it in English (trying to translate it as close to the original story as possible):

Cindy was introduced to Michael by his best friend Jay. The first time that Michael saw Cindy, he already felt something different. He felt like he always wanted to see her and talk to her. He was usually shy towards girls but his shyness seemed to have disappeared when he met Cindy.

"Can I walk home with you?"

"I'm sorry. A driver picks me up from school because daddy is so strict. That's why I don't want to be late when coming home."

"Really? Then let's hang out right here. Can we have snacks together?"

"Sure. Let's go to the canteen," Michael wanted to know lots of things about Cindy, like if she already has a boyfriend, where she lives and her phone number.

Cindy was attracted to Michael. Aside from being intelligent, being handsome and having a nice physique, he was also a gentleman. That was why Cindy had lots of rival.

They started meeting each other more frequently. Cindy also learned how to lie to the driver. She would tell him to go home without her because she has to practice for a dance.

This is the second page. The translation goes:

The two had mutually understood each other. "Promise me that I'm the only one you'll ever love," Cindy told Michael.

"I won't promise. I swear I will love you so much."

And their lips met.

Cindy's lies to her daddy and mommy had become more frequent and her parents started to become suspicious.

"Maybe you already have a boyfriend. You often come home late."

"I have no boyfriend, Dad. We're just busy practicing for the dance."

"I'll take your word for it."

"Yes, dad."

They started having limited time together.

"What are we going to do now, Love?" Michael asked sadly.

"Just endure it a little more, Michael."

One day, Cindy saw her Dad leaving.

"Dad, where are you going?"

"I'm going to New York, dear. I need to. They need me there. You behave well."

"Yes dad."

They sent her dad off to the airport.

This is the third page. I'm sorry for my poor translation skill:

"Yes! Michael and I finally have our chance!"

The very next day, Cindy happily told Michael about her Dad leaving for New York.

"Yes! We can finally watch a movie!"

"I don't know," said Cindy.

"What?!" his surprised reply.

"Jeez you can't even take a joke, can you? Why would I even tell you about this good news if I'm not going to join you?"

"Really?! Jeez you really love me. Come here."

"Hey stop it! People are staring!"

"Can you stop screaming already? I'm going deaf!"

Cindy lied once again to her driver and told him that she'd come home late because they have to practice.

Michael waited for Cindy at the gate.

"Finally you're here."

"I'm sorry but I had to wait for the driver to leave."

This is the second to the last page. I mean, the fourth page. I'm sorry if the translation isn't that accurate. :)

"Okay. Let's go,"said Michael.

"Where are we going?"

"We're going to heaven."

"I don't like that kind of joke!"

"Of course to the movie theater and we're gonna eat somewhere."

And hand in hand, they walked their way to the theater.

One day, as Cindy was entering the school gate, she immediately saw Michael talking to another girl. Cindy felt jealous because Michael was talking to Vicky and she knew that the girl likes Michael very much.

"Why are you so grumpy today?" asked Mhay.

"Because I saw Michael talking to Vicky! You know that she likes Michael."

"You really get jealous easily."

Cindy didn't show up. Michael waited for her and almost gave up waiting.

Because of boredom, he went over to her classroom. And so Mhay told Michael that Cindy was angry at him.

Here goes the last page of the pocket book. And my translation goes:

"I'm going to their house."

"No you can't. Just give her time."

The next day, Michael went to school early to fix things up with Cindy. He knelt in front of her and said, "Please forgive me, love."

"Hey! You stand up it's so embarrassing! You're forgiven already."


"Yes. Why? You complaining?"

"No Ma'am."

And after their studies, they ended up together. They married each other in a grandiose wedding. And they had a child, Daniel.

So here goes to author. He had quite an imagination didn't he. Sweet.

To be honest, the first time that I read the story, like a decade ago, I was mortified! I mean, lying to my parents for a boy and kissing someone on the lips were like mortal sins to me. Innocent little me that time. :)

So for the summary:

Cindy met Michael through Jay, the latter's best friend. They liked each other ever since. They kept their relationship secret from Cindy's strict parents. That's why Cindy had to lie to her driver every afternoon so that she could hang out with Michael.

Then, Cindy's dad had to leave for New York. She was happy because she was finally free to hang out with Michael. They watched a movie and had dinner.

One day, Cindy saw Michael talking to Vicky. Vicky was also one of Michael's admirers. She got jealous and told her friend Mhay about it. Michael wondered why Cindy didn't turn up so he went to her classroom. Mhay told him what happened.

The next day, Michael apologized and Cindy accepted his apology.

After their studies, they got married and had a child. His name was Daniel.

There you go. I still have a few more cards with me. I'm going to post them here some other time. Sorry to disappoint you but there won't be another pocket book story the next time around. This is the only one :)

Other Interesting Stuffs


  1. Old school! I remember writing love letters way back in high school and in college. T'was a time when courtship was real and did not involve hooking up after a few Facebook chats. Good times. Good times.

    1. Indeed Sir! Those are awesome times we can never bring back. :)

    2. I agree! I also like writing and reading personalized hand-made cards than those digitized ones nowadays. :) Sometimes old is better.

    3. I agree with you Rochkirstin. For me, digitized ones are a little too... plain. They lack the personal touch. Thank for dropping by!

  2. That is so cute! LOL! I can't believe a little 12 year old boy wrote that? He's quite an author (although maybe not for children books)! I remember having hundreds and hundreds of greeting cards and keeping them as well as snail mails (i loved snail mail correspondence like crazy, yes that reveals how OLD i really am) and still think they are super special. E-mails are so cold!

    1. I can't agree more! It's not about being old. It's about appreciating the "real thing." Virtual stuffs and greetings are just... well, virtual. Can't even touch them, can we? Snail mails and "real" cards really are special: thoughts plus effort combined. They make great souvenirs. :)

  3. This is so cute. I could clearly remembered the elementary and high school times when me and my best friends were sending greeting cards and bartering stationary. hahahah. that was ful of memories and that simple thing makes me so happy.

    1. Thanks for appreciating my post. People from our generation really treasure this part of our lives. I also used to collect stationery when I was younger, especially the fragrant ones. :) Sweet old days... Thanks for sharing your thought! :)

  4. I like that pagmamahalan with Scooby-Doo! cover as it was my favourite childhood cartoon.

    1. Well my friend extracted the Scooby Doo image from the cover of one of this Notebooks. Who doesn't love that dog, right? Thanks for your comment! :)

  5. I just remembered when I sent greeting cards to my tita on New Jersey. My favorite's the Scooby Doo one.

    1. Sounds cool Jien! Thanks for dropping by!

    2. Greeting letters made by the hand would contain the handwriting of the sender that reflects the personality and mood as well, so you would know more about the person. :)

    3. Hi Rochkirstin! You're right. It really feels good to browse old letters and personalized cards. They feel so authentic and personal! Thanks for dropping by! :)

  6. How nostalgic this was! I have kept letters since 5th grade, and I used to have elaborate notebooks of grad messages and slum books :)

    1. Hi Samantha! I remember doing those things too in my younger years! I used to collect stationery pads and cute notebooks too! Thanks for dropping by! :)

  7. I also remember during my elementary times. When cellular phones in not yet that famous. Letter where the source of communication. Also barter of stationary. Anyone doing it too?

    1. I did! Those memories I really treasure! That's why I managed to salvage these letters and cards given to me by my friends. Thanks for sharing your experience! :)

  8. Aww this is cute. I have a whole shoe box filled with letters, cards, notes, comic strips and short stories from high school too. Those were fun times. :)

    1. Hi Patty! Feels like time travelling right? Great to know you have collections too! Thanks for sharing! :)

  9. I actually found my old diary and I was laughing while I was reading it. Kasi yung angst ko dati and my issues were so petty compared to what I am going thru now.

    1. Hi Leira! I understand you perfectly. Those things you've written and complained about... When I had the misfortune of reading mine, I found myself hooking one eyebrow up, thinking, "Ang corny ko!" Haha! Thanks for sharing your experience Leira! :)

  10. aahhh sweet memories... too cute! so vintage. i love doing this too when i was in high school. although i lost mine, cant find it anymore. aahh..

    1. Hi Shiny! Thanks for dropping by! Too bad you lost your collection, though.

  11. Greeting cards are really more heartfelt especially with the thought and the personalized touch.

    1. You're right Franc! Thanks for dropping by!

  12. That's a thing of the past but I felt the value of it within my heart when I wrote one.

    1. Hi Fernando! Thanks for sharing! :)

  13. Let's just say that we're lucky na naabutan pa natin ung generation that sends letters and greeting cards on hand. I know in the coming generations, sending hand written letters will be difficult because let's face it, we want everything fast. We're now impatient to do and wait for stuff to happen.

    My friends and I used to send letters every week (we're on different classes). My best friend used to give me gifts all the time kahit as simple as a ballpen that matches her. She even bought me an Anime poster before going to school.

    1. Yes I have to agree with you, Irish. But these "fast" ways of greeting each other through social media, e-mails or text messages really lack the "feels" or the sentiments. We're really lucky. :)

      Thank you for sharing your experience about this topic! You sure have had awesome and sweet friends! Thanks for dropping by! :)