Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Ever since I was young, I call my pencil, lapis. Only Mongoloids call them "mongol." I love my lapises. Sometimes I still buy them whenever I pass by them. I love the "B" series of Staedler and one time, chanced upon a case of 6B in an ukay-ukay shop. Then leter I saw Pyx Picart searching for pencils. I brought him there only to realize that someone else already bought the other two boxes. All thats left are about 10 Faber Castell colored pencils and they are all of the same color: white! I gave Pyx one 6B pen and one FB pencil eraser. Cute pencils from Japan I buy to give away and can not use them. I hate Bensia pencil which is advertised as the "ever sharp" because they come in "bullets" which is not what I know about pencils. There's a collector of pencils and he has amassed more than a thousand different pencils all over the world bannered under 136 brands. There is no Mongol! Maybe it is under EF or Eberhard Faber and sho' enuf, it's there.
I also learned that there's money in so-called natural pencils, defined as "natural, unpainted variety of incense cedar pencils." Unpainted ones are preferred. One of the natural pencil brands is Mongol but funny because one commented, "I’m skeptical about the Mongol pencils cited here (pencilrevolution.com) and also for sale at PencilThings.com. Maybe they are fine pencils, but they are manufactured in the Philippines by a company called Amspec Corporation. Their stamping of “EF” on the pencils and their inclusion of the name “Eberhard Faber” on the box is suspicious. Maybe they have a license to do so–I don’t know. What may be a bit of irony is that Amspec itself has suffered from Chinese counterfeiters faking their Mongol pencils!"
This drew a reaction from another: "AMSPEC does indeed have the EF & Mongol Licenses for the Philippenes. They also have Crayola and other licenses for that market. If this pencil is sourced by PencilThings directly via AMSPEC or one of thier authorized distributors then it is likely under proper license agreement. Although I do not know if this license applies to exporting their products to other markets such as the US or not. Mongol and EF remain part of the Newell-Sanford owned marks however they are not used on their US produced pencils any longer. You are absolutely correct that AMSPEC has been under lots of pressure from Chinese counterfeiters in the home market in the Philippenes."
So our Philippine Mongols are their last holdover. And it is ironic that the Chinese Mongols are counterfeit because the Mongols as in Genghis Khan are in China. Mongol was America's Number One pencil until the 1920s so the old Mongols are indeed valuable.
By the way, there is also no "Lapis" brand in the site above. I learned later though that FILA, Italy's top pencil brand, is an acronym of Fabbrica Italiana Lapis d Affini. And that Indonesians call their pencil, lapis, also.
Then this naughty 1957 Mongol ad:

So they indeed calculated in the 1950s that Mongol has 16,230 words in it because the scientific claim was sourced to one blurry laboratory. How long are the words? I calculated that to about 50 pages of almost continuous writing similar to a novel. So Ernest Hemingway (not Hemmingway like how Inquirer spelled it in their article on the beatified priests)msut have exhausted to stumps at least five pencils. This reminds me of "Kilometrico" ballpen and how my best friend Bernardo Abad indeed tried to test if it can wrtie a kilometer long so he drew lines on the paper and he got bored and we never got to the end.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have the nasty habit of chewing on your pencil?
...or your tot does?

Well, make sure it is lead free (i.e. non-toxic).

3:29 AM  
Blogger frank cimatu said...

That's why natural pencils are expensive and the Chinese-made (sorry) are so vile

5:04 AM  

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