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DFA: Philippine Passport

I read in a blog of a fellow Filipina in France that renewing your Philippine Passport in France is like pulling teeth; and so without further ado, we decided to personally head to the Department of Foreign Affairs to renew our passports before we leave. We could have opted to do this via Pilipinas Teleserv, but we thought it’ll be good to personally process it on our own and see how DFA’s system is.

Well, it didn’t come as a surprise that there is so much room for improvement in DFA’s Philippine Passport renewal process. We arrived at around 7:00am, and braved the long queue of people until 8:30am, only to be told that they have reached their quota and we have to come back tomorrow! After standing in line for an hour and a half under the brutal sun, I just had to summon heavenly powers to keep myself from transforming into something hideously monstrous. :D

Tip 1: Get an appointment if you don’t want to take your chances. Follow this link to secure a schedule: Philippine Passport Application Appointment

What makes me more sad, though, is the presence of scammers/fixers near DFA who victimize unknowing Philippine Passport applicants, especially those who came from provinces. They would sell them anything from forms, pens, pictures, etc…and claim that these are all required by DFA. Their wares don’t come cheap, mind you. Sadly, a lot of people actually fall for these things. :(

Tip 2: Read the requirements of DFA before heading there so you won’t be duped by these scam artists. The list of requirements and fees for Philippine Passport applications, renewals, and replacements, can be found in this link: Philippine Passport Requirements and Fees

After a week, we were asked to come back for our Philippine Passports, but because we were already dreading the long queue, we decided to sign up for courier services instead.

Tip 3: If you don’t want to go back to DFA  to pick up your passport, you can enlist with the couriers that abound inside DFA’s premises. They will deliver your passport for only P100 within Metro Manila. They also do provincial deliveries, but they have a different delivery rate for this.

Pilgrimage Tour to Europe: October 2008

We have a special affection for Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, the priest who carried the stigmata for 50 years. So many wonderful stories of faith, healing, and forgiveness surround his simple life, with most stories bordering on the impossible. It is pure grace to be reading the stories that surround his life, and I swear, even a full-pledged atheist will find his religion in the presence of a great spiritual leader that is Padre Pio.

My insatiable quest for more Padre Pio stories led me to a beautiful chapel in Libis, Quezon City called The Philippine Center of St. Pio of Pietrelcina. When I entered the chapel, rows and rows of testimonies of Padre Pio’s intercessions for people from all walks of life lined its walls. A cloth from his blood-soaked glove, along with his life-size statue were made part of the altar. There, you can kneel down and write him a letter to empty your heart’s burden. Truly, it is a place of sanctuary for anyone who wants to seek Padre Pio’s intercession, as I have did a thousand times over.

I will soon dedicate an entire post to introduce Padre Pio; I have so much to share about this controversial priest. But for now, let me just help The Philippine Center for St. Pio of Pietrelcina promote their 2nd Grand Pilgrimage Tour to Europe which is scheduled on October 1 – 18, 2008.

The said tour will have Fr. Emmanuel Victor Clemen as Pilgrimage Chaplain. The cost of the whole tour is $4,178 per person, and will have the following itinerary:

Read more »

Amazing Find: Travelife Magazine

One rainy weekend, my sister brought home an old magazine which caught my attention. On the front cover, it read, “10 Best French Restaurants (Outside France)”.  Food and France had always been, and will always be, a delightful combination for me. I liken this combination to a freshly baked baguette from a nearby boulangerie (bakery) with a perfectly seasoned pesto. One is no good without the other. :wink:

So, this magazine which caught my undivided attention the whole weekend is Travelife. I tell you, its articles on travel were so diverse it was as if I went continent-hopping while sitting on our good old comfy sofa. The bed weather added drama to my discovery of this wonderful travel magazine. I was so mesmerized with this magazine that I decided then and there that I shall add it to my roster of magazine subscriptions. At present, I am subscribed to Real Living and Yummy, both of which are well-decked with creative inspirations for an otherwise normal girl like me.

What made me super interested in this magazine? I could go on and on about the single issue that I’ve read, but I don’t think that I’ll give enough justice to Travelife magazine. So, I decided to just just lift from their website (verbatim) what you can expect to see in this magazine. Here goes: Read more »

Vieux Chalet

This is one entry you shouldn’t miss if you’re a food addict. Seriously.

Do you know of that particular stress that comes to you every year when your spouse’s birthday is just around the corner? When you’re like so dead set on finding a really good restaurant for his/her birthday and you feel like you just can’t go wrong; not on this particular day of all days, at least. Gosh, I’ve had that oh-so-familiar stress since 1997, the year I met my husband. Sigh. Smile. Whatever.

I must have read close to 30 food and travel blogs, forums on datable places, secret hideaways, and the likes, in my search of a really special resto for my favorite pet, Papa Mike. My research keeps on pointing on one particular restaurant — Vieux Chalet, a Swiss restaurant nestled in Taktak, Antipolo. Read more »

Summer Outing: FEU – East Asia College

I’m more of a night swimmer…and so, during our summer outing, I did nothing but take pictures of my officemates. I have been receiving email requests for copies of pictures, and since I always forget to send them, I thought I’d post some of the best shots here. I hardly got to snap my lady officemates as they are mostly hiding from the sun. Sayang. Oooops, do remember that I’m an amateur photographer, so please pardon the out-of-focus shots…hihihi! Read more »