Enthralled by El Nido

I found my paradise in the Philippines.

Spellbounding Siquijor

A brave girl's first ever solo trip was to this mystical island.

The Quiet Charm of Cagbalete Island

Outdoor serenity at its best.

The Rugged Beauty of Islas de Gigantes

The off-the-beaten rockin beauty of Northern Iloilo.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Alibijaban Island: A Sweet Faraway Escape

I felt deprived of a getaway for quite sometime. The last time I went on a vacation was back in May. OMG, that was 4 months! A quarter of just home-office-home, I can't believe I went through that haha! So I asked Beau why don't we go somewhere. The next question was where? We've been to almost all the nearby beaches. That's when I thought about Alibijaban.

A colleague of mine went there a year ago and I saw their stunning photos. I was sold. I knew it is far but we already ran out of island destinations near Manila. I asked Beau to take care of the research and logistics because I was so busy on my Japan visa application and trip preparations.

we had Alibijiban Island to ourselves for a day!


Day 0

We decided on a night departure so we can be in the island early morning and still have the whole day to spend there. From Buendia, we took the 9:00 PM JAC Liner bus bound for Lucena. The trip only took 3 hours so we were already in Lucena at around 12:00 midnight. Both of us didn't have dinner so we took our time and ate at the Grand Terminal. After filling our tummies, we looked for the San Andres van terminal. Unfortunately, the last one just departed so we would have to wait for the next one to get filled up again before we can go. We waited from 1:00 AM to 2:30 AM!

There is also an ordinary bus going that route but it'll take longer because it will stop from town to town. Another thing was, ordinary means no A/C and you'll inhale all the dust for 5 hours. Who wants that? Though waiting in the terminal almost drove me nuts, I don't think I wanna go through that.

Day 1

The van ride only took 4 hours. We were already in San Andres Port by 6:30 AM. The town was just beginning to wake up. We were relieved to see a burger stand at the port entrance. Breakfast! While we were waiting for our burgers, a Manong with his grandson arrived and approached us. He asked if we already have a ride to the island, which was none. Their timing was perfect because there are no signs of other tourists yet, wala pa kaming makaka-share to rent a private boat. We told Ate to just make our burgers to-go so we can already leave. Excited!

the island welcoming committee :)


He initially wanted to charge us 200 pesos each but we negotiated that 200 should be for round trip. It isn't very far. We actually read somewhere that they were only charged 30 per head. But then they were like 4 or 5 in a group so we think 100 per person is already fair enough since we were just a couple. He agreed and we decided to just pay for one-way trip for the mean time.

first order of the day: sleep!


The island is big! I never thought it was that huge. Manong who took us to the island also have some huts and accommodations available but since we brought our own tent, we looked for a much better location where we can pitch it. And this is the perfect place:

loved our camp site!


Original plan was to just set camp, rest a little then start exploring the island and swim. What really happened was, we just rest the whole day haha! After we pitched the tent we said we'll just nap for an hour or two. When we woke up the sun was already setting. Oh no.

sunset and low tide


We underestimated the distance and the journey going to the island. We realized that were so tired even the day before because I came straight from work and didn't have enough sleep during our commute.

nothing to do but stroll because low-tide

 We just had a late afternoon stroll at the beach with the dogs. So much for Day 1. :)


Day 2

To make it up for the lost time the day before, we started early on our second day. We prepared a heavy brunch as soon as we woke up. We planned to explore the island the whole day so we need to be full and energized.

our super yum brunch with fried rice!


And so we began our hike. Our first goal is to find the bridge with the picturesque view of the mangroves. We passed by the village first and asked the locals for directions.

their clean and quiet village

We actually have 2 other companions. The 2 friendly dogs that were guiding us since Day 1. We didn't asked them to go with us, they just instinctively followed even though we don't have food with us. Well, I love dogs so we just let them follow around. Maybe they also sense people who are nice to dogs. :)

hiking it up!

I initially thought it was just near but I was wrong. It took us 20 minutes to reach the first bridge and we're still not seeing the view we're expecting to see. It was so hot that day and we didn't even bring some water! Akala kase namin malapit lang!

the first bridge :)


We also stop from time to time because we were also kinda worried about the thin dog. It's a good thing that whenever they see a stream, they swim to refresh themselves!


very relaxing to see!

Finally, after another 10 minutes we found what we were looking for - the beautiful mangroves all lined up at the side of the crystal clear river. We stayed there for about 15 minutes just to soak in the view.

just happy with nature :)

We continued to hike some more to see where we'll end up. It seemed like an endless trail so we decided to turn left towards the beach.

maybe this way...?


After passing by some residential houses, we reached the beach. And then we found what seemed to be a floating hut. It is already high tide when we came out, so it is the perfect time to swim! We decided to stay in this place because it looks awesome. And you can swim nonstop without getting sun burnt because it has a roof!

tada!!!


After 40 minutes or so, a local resident who owned the place noticed that there were two strangers horsing around in her hut and asked us to pay for Php 20.00 for its usage. No biggie, we paid her 40.00.

natural swimming pool!


Anyway, we were really planning to stay there for a while. I also took it as, us helping them in our own little way. Life is hard in the island. When I actually saw the condition of the school there, I actually felt sad. Our Php 40.00 was so worth it.

When low tide came, it's time to walk back to our camp site but - we have to find that sand bar first! We asked a boat man about it and we were told that it wasn't that far from where we are so we can just walk.

yep, you have to pass through a lot of these!


We can just walk in the shores because it's low tide but we just have to go through  a lot of mangroves on the way. Beau no longer wanted to trek back on the same path we took that morning, so you know what happened next...

this amazing dog guided us all the way!

If you are not very adventurous and courageous, I wouldn't recommend what we did! Not only walking through the mangroves is difficult, there are also a lot of things to watch out for! We saw several sea snakes and other suspicious creatures while making our way to the sand bar! You really have to be very careful and be always on the watch on what you're stepping at.

hello from the sand bar!!! :)


I was actually also worried for the dogs! Thank goodness, all four (Beau, I and the 2 dogs) of us made it to the sand bar safely! 


in the middle of nowhere :)


Other tourists were actually renting a boat from the camp site to the sand bar. Yes, you can do that! So if you're not a hard core explorer like we are, don't do the same thing haha!

a cloudy end of the day
We were very glad with what we've accomplished on our second (last) day. It was tiring but very exciting. That night, we rewarded the dogs who accompanied us with food. We cooked some extra rice for them and fed them the same thing we had for dinner. It was heartwarming that they never left us despite the difficult trails we took. They are even guarding our tent at night. Such sweet dogs.


How we made it to Alibijaban Island:

  1. JAC Liner Bus from Buendia/Taft bound to Lucena City.
  2. Alighted in Lucena Grand Central Terminal and looked for the van terminal for San Andres.
  3. Told the driver to drop us off near the port. They already guessed we're bound for Alibijaban :)
  4. At the port, there are actually no "passenger" boats going to the island. You just have to ask locals if, pwede kayo "tumawid" with them. That is their local term hehe. We were accommodated by an island local for Php 100 each. Haggle if you feel like they're asking for too much. Php 100 is fair enough. If you're a big group, you can hire an entire boat for yourselves. There are some boatmen offering that kind of service too. We did not avail that since we were just 2 pax and it'll be expensive for sure. 

our loyal companions :)

Transpo and Resort Expenses:
Php 420.00 - Bus, Pasay to Lucena (210 one-way)
       540.00 - Van, Lucena to San Andres (270 one-way)
       200.00 - Boat, San Andres Port to Alibijaban Island (100 one-way)
       200.00 - Camping/Tent Pitching Fee (100 per pax per night)
         20.00 - Cottage Rental Fee (20 per person)
         30.00 - Mineral Water (60 per container)
         50.00 - Bathing Water (10 per bucket - yes, it's not free!)

Food budget depends on your group. In our case, we brought our own rice and some cooked adobo that lasted for a day. We just bought our additional food at the island - namely dried fish (tuyo), sardines, misua and what not. Who needs fancy food in a far away island? Unfortunately, no fisherman's catch during our stay because it was full moon! Yaiiks!

no electricity: island life


We spent approximately Php 2000.00 per person for this 3D2N beach camping trip. The biggest chunk (more than half) of the budget went to transportation, well... because it is far. ;)


What I Liked About It:
  • The beach is so clean and beautiful!
  • The island is kinda huge so they do have a big community meaning - a lot of sari-sari stores. No need to bring everything there.
  • No bunch of noisy drunk campers haha. Because it is far from the Metro, it is not crowded. Not sure if it's the same during summer though.
  • And because it's not crowded, it's so peaceful! Perfect for relieving stress from the big city.
  • Budget-friendly. For me it still is. If not for the long commute, it won't be as expensive.
  • The bathrooms and toilets are clean. Hallelujah!  
  • The locals are very kind.

 What I Didn't Like About It:
  • You have to pay for the bathing water. It's not like they're getting it manually from a well but whatever. Not a big deal. Help na lang din sa community.
  • Though the island dogs are very friendly, don't leave your food or groceries unattended. I think they weren't being fed well that's why they steal food from the visitors. But please don't hurt them, they are just hungry.
  • It is far. I mean from Metro Manila. The long commute was tiring. Don't get me wrong, it is worth it!
*The last three things I mentioned were not deal breakers at all. I still recommend it! I would still love to go back to this island.


I'd also like to recommend where we stayed (where we pitched our tent). They have good facilities and they are attentive to the needs of their guests.

Pension Beach House 
Brgy. Alibijaban, San Andres, Quezon 
Owner: Violyfer Badua 
Contact #s: 0998-571-4614; 0998-569-8047; 0920-760-3204
Email: vijay_vernadeth@rocketmail.com

You can reach out to them if you want a contact from the island or want to arrange a boat transfer and accommodation for your group.


Have fun in Alibijaban! :)



We travel not to escape life, but so life does not escape us.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Japan Tourist Visa Application for Filipinos

Years ago, I always say I'll just visit Japan later because it is just nearby. But after years of traveling elsewhere and seeing a lot of my friends having a great time there, how can I still ignore it? So when that very rare chance of  a piso fare came last  March, I booked it without thinking twice. We snatched a round trip ticket to Japan for only Php 1914.00 per person! The catch though was, it is bound for Nagoya. Well, I don't care as long as it's going to Japan. I couldn't prolong it anymore!

Asakusa, one of my fave places in Tokyo :)


One obstacle you have to go through before planning your dream trip to Japan is getting a visa. They have a quite different processs in getting one. You have to go to one of their accredited travel agencies instead of lodging your own application directly to the Embassy. After some deliberation, we decided to use the services of Friendship Tours. They are more pricey than the others pero wala pa kase kaming nabalitaan na nadeny sa kanila haha! Once it has been decided, time to gather all the requirements!


the preps



Tourist Visa Requirements:

  1. Passport. Signed and should be valid within 6 months. It must have at least 2 blank pages.
  2. Visa Application Form. Just click the link or download it from the Japan Embassy website. No erasures and put N/A on those fields that are not applicable.
  3. Photo. Dimensions: 4.5 cm x 4.5 cm with white background. Paste it in the application form.
  4. Birth Certificate. NSO/PSA issued within 1 year.
  5. Marriage Certificate - if you are married. Same with Birth Cert it should be NSO/PSA issued within 1 year.
  6. Daily Schedule in Japan. In other words, your day to day itinerary. You can download a template under the Sample Forms from this link. Please note that what you put in here should match your details in the application form and your supporting documents.
  7. Bank Certificate. Unlike other Embassies, they don't require specific details. Just a regular bank cert will do. Banks normally charge Php 100 for this.
  8. Photocopy of ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316. Companies usually release this final week of January through first week of February annually. Bring the original copy just in case they want to see it.
  9. Guarantee Letter. If somebody else will be financing or sponsoring your trip. Please check the Japan Embassy website or your chosen agency's website regarding this requirement. I don't have a sponsor so I can't explain it in detail.

Note: I did not submit #5 and #9 because I am single and I funded my own trip. :)


When we finally completed all the requirements, I went to Friendship Tours to submit it.


submitted documents checklist

Unlike other embassies, wherein they only accept the "required" documents - here you can include as much supporting documents as you want. In my case, I also submitted the following documents:

  • Certificate of Employment
  • Round trip flight confirmed booking
  • Hotel reservation bookings
You can go all out if you really want to make sure you'll get approved. You can add more if you're not yet confident with those hehe.


It's very easy. They just checked if all the documents are valid and good to go. We paid Php 1200.00 per person for their services. I was done in less than 15 minutes.


the receipt and claim stub

I was advised processing time is 7 business days but to my surprise, I received their call on the 3rd business day saying we were approved and that we can already pick up our passports. That was fast!


got it!!! ;)

Since we had a hassle-free experience and a very quick turn around with Friendship Tours, I guess it's alright to recommend their services:

Friendship Tours
3F Dusit Thani Manila, Ayala Center, Makati
Tel. Japanese (2) 840-1060 Tel. Filipino 893-8180/893-8183
E-mail: Japanese info@friendshipmanila.com
Website: http://visa.friendshipmanila.com/info.html

Other Notes:

  • Validity starts on the date your visa is released and it's valid for 3 months.
  • You can do the application and the claiming of passports for someone else. Friendship Tours did not require an authorization letter from my brother. I was the one who submitted and claimed for both of us.
  • Make sure your Birth Certificate was issued by NSO/PSA within 1 year. They are very strict about this. My brother had to get a new one because the first one he submitted was issued more than a year ago. Believe me, they have a way of knowing.
  • I honestly find their visa requirements and application process easier than the other countries.
  • But I was actually more anxious about getting my Japan Visa than my Schengen - mainly because I heard about friends of friends getting denied even if they already have a 10 year multiple entry US visa!
  • Don't get discouraged though even if you heard a lot of denial stories. You are never gonna get it if you won't try!
  • Ganbatte! ;)

You can also find more helpful information regarding visa application from the Japan Embassy website, especially on this page:

http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_en/00_000035.html


Goodluck on your application! :)

***

If you've been watching Japanese dramas and manga live action series and movies, then you probably know him!

#japangoals

It was a success because I "saw" him in JR Shinagawa Station haha! ;) ♥♥♥

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2015: When I Turned Dreams Into Reality

Like last year, I am once again late in writing my year in review. I've been wanting to write this before the year ends but something happened that I can't get myself to write. When I woke up this morning - first day of the year, I told that feeling inside me to fuck off and went to the computer to bleed.

Without further ado, here's how my 2015 went:

Spring in Korea: The Land of Vanity and My Oppas

I am no exception to those who have been hooked to Korean dramas (Koreanovelas). I actually don't know how many I've watched already. You know those fairytale-like stories and dreamy oppas, we ladies secretly wished they'll happen to us haha! Maybe that's why it is addictive.

Gwanghwamun Gate of the Gyeongbokgung Palace
Last spring, I finally had the chance to visit Korea! Surprisingly, I loved spring so much! The chilly wind with some rays of sunshine, the blooming flowers and the excuse to always drink soju because it is cold haha! I loved everything about it.

spring is my new favorite season :)
Those things that we saw in the Korean dramas, they are true! It ain't a bore to hang out at night and drink with your buddies because hot Korean guys are around hahaha! Needless to say, I loved Korea.


Summer in Palawan: Spend Time with People that Matter the Most

For my Dad's 60th Birthday, we decided to celebrate in Puerto Princesa. It has been my siblings and I's tradition to treat our parents annually on a summer trip.

Well hello again, Underground River! 
I love taking them to places. It is now their time to relax after working hard for so many years just to provide for us and give us good education. I'm always glad seeing them happy like this. :)

Honda Bay island hopping
While doing your own thing and working towards your dreams, don't forget your parents and your family. Everyone can leave you but they won't. No matter what happens.


Autumn in Europe: Because Dreams Do Come True

On my last year's post, I mentioned about why I lessened my travels. It is because I wanted to save for something bigger and to focus on that goal. And this was it! All my sacrifices and perseverance paid off. I can't tell you how ecstatic I am the moment it started to come true! :)

Fallin' in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
I met all the goals I set for this trip. It was amazing how everything fall into place one by one. It's like all the stars have aligned for me. It sounds cheesy I know, but that was how it really happened.

the Eiffel moment is real!
My first and last European country is France. I was able to get a good deal for a round trip ticket to Paris. I loved this city. The romance, the joie de vivre - I felt it! Oh and the joy I felt when I saw the Eiffel Tower up close, it was inexplicable. :)

I was able to try those decadent Belgian chocolates while on a 7-hour layover in Brussels en route to Prague. To-die-for!

Belgian chocolates! when in Brussels :)
I got my Schengen Visa from the Czech Embassy because that was where I stayed the longest. I spent 7 days in their country. I've always dreamt about going to Prague and the whimsical town Cesky Krumlov. I was never disappointed. They are as splendid as I imagined them to be.

The Astronomical Clock in Old Town Square, Prague
Wroclaw is not as famous as other Polish cities like Warsaw and Krakow but I found it fascinating so I added it to my itinerary. Plus, it is not that far from Prague. I enjoyed my time there so much!

the charming city of Wroclaw, Poland
Another favorite city of mine during my Euro trip is Rome. It's not as orderly and glamorous as the other European cities but I loved it! The history, the art, the food - all of it! I originally planned to stay for just 3 days then it became 5 days. :)

standing in front of the Colosseo in Rome
Having the chance to see His Holiness and being blessed by Him was one of my most memorable experience throughout the trip. I was teary-eyed. Seriously.

blessed to see and hear the Pope's blessing in St. Peter's Square, Vatican City
Just like Wroclaw, I chose a less popular city in Spain over Madrid and Barcelona. I went to Sevilla. I liked it because it is laid back, not very touristy and it gave me a glimpse on how we are similar to them. This short visit made me want to come back and explore more of Spain!

rainy stroll at Plaza de Espana in Seville, Spain
To be honest, I didn't like Lisbon that much. But when I went out of the capital, I found interesting things and places which made me fond of it. This country of discoverers and navigators has a lot to offer. Just get out of Lisbon!

appreciating the old and new in Lisbon, Portugal
Contrary to Lisbon, I loved Porto so so much! It is stunning. It is not only beautiful in the eyes but it has something in it that made it feel magical. JK Rowling got inspired to write the first chapters of Harry Potter in this city because it really has that entrancing charm.

I left my heart in Porto...
My month-long trip to Europe were the best days of my life. Going there alone and experiencing everything for the first time on your own was liberating. I wouldn't trade anything for that.


Winter in Hong Kong and Macau: Where I Started and Where Things Ended

I still have some leave credits left at the office, so why not use all of them? Before the year ended, I embarked on a week-long trip to HK and Macau.

in Harbourfront, Kowloon, Hong Kong
My first international trip was in HK 5 years ago. So I thought, why not? 5 years is already a long time. Though Nepal really was where I wanted to go. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed it for the food trip and shopping!

night stroll in Macau
If I hesitated going back to HK, all the more going back to Macau. I didn't like anything about it. But my companion wants to see it, so okay fine. It's still the same. I still didn't find anything I liked. It's just that place where rich Chinese people flock to, to spend their overflowing money at the casinos.

***

Definitely, the highlight of my 2015 was my Euro trip. I wished for it in the lantern in Chiang Mai and when I saw shooting stars in the desert of India, I whispered it to the sacred mountain of Tawi-Tawi (Bud Bongao), I earnestly prayed for it every chance I get. The universe heard my wish and the Lord answered my prayer. I'm so thankful to you, 2015!

For an ordinary girl like me, it wasn't easy to achieve so I am very grateful that it finally happened. Paulo Coelho was right. When you really want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. Thank you, Universe! :)


Lessons from 2015:

  • Just go for it. No matter how unattainable you think your goal is. Take chances. A lot of it. You will never know, if you won't try.
  • Do it now. You will thank yourself for doing the things you really wanted now. Don't delay your dreams. The future is promised to no one.
  • Don't be scared to be alone. Me-time. It is one of the best things you can give to yourself. A time for just you and only you. It may sound selfish but it will actually make you wiser, stronger and more independent. You will realize that you can be happy without attachment to anyone or anything. After all, happiness should come from within yourself. And I think loving yourself once in a while isn't selfish.
  • Give time to the people you love. 2015 also gave me the opportunity to travel with my family, friends and significant other all on different occasions. Solo travel is life enriching but sharing unique experiences with your loved-ones is also priceless.
  •  Always do a Reality Check. When everything is rosy and all your dreams are coming true, don't forget to look at everything and everyone around you. Do you still have time for them? Sometimes, we were too happy and excited we become blinded we didn't see anything else.

2015 had been amazing for me. I can't thank God enough for the blessings He showered me throughout the year. But of course it's not always rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes a part of your life will be roses, other parts will be thorns. But I am standing still. I chose to be and will always be a wildflower. ;)


Like wildflowers; you must allow yourself to grow in all places people thought you never would.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Schengen Visa Application at the Czech Embassy Manila


As I write this post, I am still trying to absorb the fact that I already have my Schengen visa. It still seems unreal haha! ;) Not too long ago, I was so stressed trying to complete every single thing in the requirements list. I would even spend my rest days from work researching and trying to finish my itinerary. That's the most grueling part. Making a DIY Euro trip itinerary was difficult I almost gave up. I'm so glad I did not!

see you soon, Praha! photo by praguecitytourism.cz


Scheduling your Appointment:

Setting an appointment with the Czech Embassy is very easy. There are no costly phone calls unlike the other embassies.
  • You simply just have to go to their website or click here. Go to the link For lodging a visa application
  • You will receive an email to confirm your reservation. If you don't do this within an hour, your appointment will not be confirmed.
  • Print your confirmation email. This will grant you your entry at the Embassy. Now, you're good to go! ;)
Update as of October 1, 2015,  Schengen visa application times:
Tuesday and Wednesday
Requirements:

It's up to you whether you want to complete your requirements prior to setting your appointment or you want to do it after getting one. I've noticed that they always have immediate availability since they don't get as many applicants as the other European embassies. As for me, I only started taking the requirements seriously right after I set my appointment. I only had 12 days to prepare all of these.
  • Schengen Visa Application Form. You may download it from this link.  Instructions on how to fill-out the form correctly can also be accessed through that link. Also double-check additional instructions in Embassy's information board once you get there.
  • 1 piece Passport size (3.5 x 4.5 cm) picture in light background. It should be pasted/glued in the designated space in the Application Form.
  • Original Passport. It should be valid for at least 3 months after your intended date of departure from the Schengen area.
  • Accommodation Confirmation. I booked all of mine in Booking.com. All free cancellation and no pre-payment. No obligations even if you don't get a visa which is perfect.
  • Official Bank Certificate. The Official Bank Certificate must include a paragraph containing waiver of rights to release information to the Embassy of the Czech Republic - Visa Section or at least similar to that.
  •  You must also include any of the following documents to support your Bank Certificate:
    •  Bank Statements with transactions for the past 3 months
    • Copy of passbook showing transaction history
  • Roundtrip flight reservation/booking. You don't have to purchase your tickets yet. All you have to do is secure a booking at any airline of your choice.
  • Travel medical insurance. Follow this link for more details of the requirements by the Embassy. I got mine from Malayan for only for Php 2,310 for 45 days. They are the cheapest that I found. Keep in mind that your coverage should be the number of days of your stay plus 15 days.
  • Certificate of Employment
  • Leave Approval from your Employer or Direct Manager.
     Other Supporting Documents you may present:
  • Payslips for the past 3 months
  • Photocopy of ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316*
  • Credit Card Statements for the past 6 months*
  • Photocopy of your previous passport visas and stamps
  • Photocopy of your Birth Certificate
They won't necessarily ask for all the other supporting documents I've mentioned. They asked me for my birth certificate which I don't have with me! So, I just offered to give them the first 3* on the list. After that, they were already satisfied. They no longer asked me for anything. They didn't even bother to ask me about my previous passport to check more of my travel history.


The Interview:
  • The guard collected our appointment confirmation email and we were asked to turn-off our phones before entering the embassy. 
  • He then told us to prepare our documents and the exact amount of the visa fee while waiting for our interview turn.
  • There is a small interview room so it'll just be you and the consul(s). Other applicants won't hear a thing.
  • When the consul(s) are already satisfied with your documents and with how your answered their questions, they will ask you for the visa fee which is PHP 3,030 during my time of application.
  • Then they will collect your biometrics (fingerprints).
  • After this, they will ask you to just wait for your receipt outside. Along with the receipt is some sort of a claim stub.

Passport Pickup:
  • Their processing of Short-term or Schengen visa usually takes 5 to 15 working days.
  • There will be no definite date as to when you will get the result. You will need to follow-up on the status of your own application via phone at least 5 working days from the date you applied.
  • Follow-up calls can be done at these times only:
    Monday through Thursday 2:00pm – 4:00pm
    Friday 9:00am – 12:00nn
  • Passports may be picked up at these times: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 12:00 nn to 1:00 pm unless otherwise stated.
5 business days after my application, my passport is already good for pickup. That fast!

weee! I am so going to Europe!!! :)


Honestly, I wasn't very sure whether I'm going to get a visa or not. Especially when I remember how shocked the Consul was when I told her I'll be traveling alone in Europe haha. I also had some doubts because my new passport currently just have Thailand stamps, India VOA and Korean Visa. I forgot to show them my old passport which has 5 years of my travel history because they didn't ask for it.

But hey, all my doubts were unfounded because I was granted a visa! Woohoo! :)

Thank you very much, Czech Embassy! DÄ›kuji! :) 


Embassy Address:

Embassy of the Czech Republic
30/F, Rufino Pacific Tower
6784 Ayala Avenue
Makati City, Philippines 
Telephone: 811-1155, 811-1156


While preparing for this trip, I always remind myself the mantra: If you can't stop thinking about it, don't stop working for it. I dreamed about going to Europe for the longest time. Now, I am one step closer to that dream. ;)




All our dreams can come true, if  we have the courage to pursue them. ~Walt Disney