Category Archives: How To’s

JAPAN VISA APPLICATION FOR FILIPINOS

JAPAN VISA APPLICATION

I’m one of the persons who love reading mangas or watching animes.. Well to tell you, I became addicted with this hobby, just 1-2 years ago. But hey, who won’t forget the nice story and well played roles of Hana Yori Dango? Anyway, I was, and is currently is, in love with Japan. I don’t know why, I feel like coming there instead of any countries in the world. It was my first list in my bucket list. Well, next is United States, and of course Europe.

Anyway, nuff said.

Before anyone, or any Filipino otakus like me  (though I don’t want to be called like one, not that really an otaku) 🙂  can leave their footprints in the land of the rising sun, one should first have a Japanese visa.

Well, people say that Japan visa is a hard-to-get visa since most Filipinos look for job in Japan. 🙂 Well, haven’t seen a soul of Filipinos when I went there, unlike Hong Kong. But, hey, they are strict because, just like US, Japan is a developed, or a first world country, and those living in the developing countries like us Filipinos, would like to test the waters and go there to work. HELL TO THOSE FILIPINOS WHO BECAME TNTs!! That’s why these countries won’t allow us, Filipinos, to go there without a visa– which is totally a headache.

Nuff said. I’m being carried away. So, you, yes you! Don’t be like them and be a good boy/girl! 🙂 and use your visa just how you are supposed to use it. 🙂 Anyway, here are my tips and how to’s in getting your Japan tourist visa.

1. Choose a travel agency

Japan Embassy does not allow in-person application, so you need to get an agency to submit your application.  I chose Reli Tours and Travel Agency in SM Mall of Asia, since they have the cheapest processing fee which is 1200.00. The people in Reli are very professional and will text you once your passport is ready for pick up or once they had already forwarded your application in the embassy.

Reli Tours and Travel Agency is located in SM Mall of Asia, near SMX. Telephone number: 556-1445 OR 632-556-1447  Cell No: 09065136777

map-e-moa1

Here are the lists of accredited travel agencies: Click here

2. Fill up the application form

I suggest that you submit your form in typewritten or computerized form to make it more formal, and so that the person reading your application would not be annoyed if ever your handwriting is akin of that of a chicken (bad handwriting). As I said above, computerized is better as it is more presentable.

You can fill up the application form here: click here

These are the documents which I submitted (I made this post right after I got the visa. i grabbed this from my pinoy exchange account)

I submitted the following in Reli Tours MOA last Monday through LBC, received a text from Reli that they received my documents last Tuesday 7pm, then my Passport was ready for pick up last Friday. Though I got it this Saturday lang.

Okay saakin ang Reli Tours MOA, super bait ni Miss Babes na nagassist saakin, I hope she stays there. wala naman akong horror stories na maishashare unlike sabi ng mga previous pexers about Reli tours Megamall. Sa MOA, approachable and mababait yung mga tao.. 

We are 4 persons traveling together, my mom, me, my sis-in-law, and my nephew. We were all granted a visa! yey! our travel will be this May, sana medyo malamig pa!

we bought airtickets already, sugal lang talaga! kakakaba nga eh! haha, so ito ang mga documents na sinubmit ko, ang iba dito hindi naman talaga kelangan, sinama ko lang kasi na-OC ako, ayoko madeny kasi nga masyado ng madaming gastos (airtickets, hotel bookings etc, sama mo pa ang visa fee na 1,200 each, diba if magpapass ka you’ll make sure na kahit papaano confident ka sa papers mo)

1. Completed Application form (I computerized mine and printed it on A4 paper back to back, although sabi naman ng mga travel agency, kahit long o short, back to back o hindi, okay lang, pwede ngang humingi nalang ng app form sa agency nyo e, although computerized is better since it looks more presentable) Our travel agency Reli Tours’ representative, the very kind and approachable Ms. Babes, told us to not leave blanks in the app forms, so don’t forget to put n/a if the question is not applicable to you

2. 4×5 x 4×5 cm picture, white background, strict sila sa picture na to, punta kayo picture city or any well known picture booths/shops, meron sila ng for japan visa. paste it in your application form. (My ears cannot be seen in the photo, masyado kasing maliit yung ears ko, so I think oks lang kung di kita yung ears, pero as much as possible ilabas nyo pa rin yung ears nyo, yung tipong makikita kahit tip lang. ) And also this should be pasted. I suggest using a double sided tape so that hindi makalat yung glue sa application form.

3. Passport, 6 months valid, so better check your passports expiry date.  And also make sure that there are at least 2 remaining pages and that the passport was properly signed in its back portion. Broken laminations of the first page (the information page, where your picture is located) will not be accepted, so better renew your passports if you have problems with such.

4.COPY OF  INCOME TAX RETURN and ORIGINAL BANK CERTIFICATE. Since my mom will be sponsoring all the expenses for this trip, we attached her bank certificate and ITR and we also put an Affidavit of Sponsorship on each of the applications which expenses will be handled by my mom. 🙂

5. Daily Schedule (day to day itinerary). I submitted my daily schedule– Osaka–Kyoto–Tokyo. we are staying in Japan for 6 full days. Click here to see my Schedule of Stay or Daily Schedule.

6. Birth Certificates for the four of us, this needs to be original and is issued within one year of visa application. So if you will apply on April 30, 2016, then the Birth Certificate should be or was procured on or after April 30, 2015. (they are very strict with this, so please comply)

  1.    If Birth Certificate from NSO is unreadable, submit Birth Certificate from Local Civil     registar
  2. If there is no record in NSO
    In addition to “Certificate of non-Record” from NSO Headquarter.
    Attached together with the one from Local Civil Registrar.
  3. If Birth Certificate from NSO is “LATE REGISTRATION”
    Baptismal Certificate
    School Record (from 137)
    School Yearbook (if applicable)
    *Please indicate complete address and land line(telephone, if applicable) of the              church in the baptismal certificateand of the school record.

7. Marriage Certificate for married people, I got one for my mom and one for my sis-in-law. This should be an original copy from NSO. and like the Birth Certificate, it should be issued within one year of Visa application.

TAKE NOTE: If you’ve been to Japan before, and you were given a single entry visa, then you don’t need to submit your birth certificate and marriage certificate for your next application, however, you are required to submit your old passport where the used Japanese visa is attached. It’s better (though not really a requirement) to have it photocopied (together with the entry and exit stamps) and attach it in your application.

OTHER DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED: The following docs are not necessary, I just added them pampapogi. Pero promise, hindi ito kailangan.

1. Airline tickets. since meron na kami, sinama ko na, unlike south korea embassy they remove those documents not stated in the list of requirements, for japan embassy, you can add them. Sugal to, grabe, kung alam nyo lang kung paano ako ka-OC sa mga requirements dahil sobrang laki na ng ginastos sa airtickets, pinatulan ko kasi sale eh, pero humigit kumulang 12k pa rin per person (Clark-Osaka, Tokyo-Manila). Inuulit ko ang sinasabi ng ibang pexers dito, having confirmed tickets will not give you 100% chance of visa approval. It is up to your financial documents.

2. Hotel Reservations. Meron na kaming booked hotels paid through Agoda, expedia and Booking.com. Kung ano yung rineserve namin ay yun din ang linagay namin sa mga blanks sa application form

3. Certificate of Employment and Schedule of positions handled throughout the start of service. This is Not necessary, kaso sinama ko pa rin.

6. photocopy of Land Titles owned by my mom,

7. Sponsorship Letter. Since my mom would be the one handling all the expenses for this trip, we asked her to execute a sponsorship letter, and we made it a public document by having it notarized.

8. Bus Reservation (Kyoto to Tokyo) from Willerbus (willerexpress.com)

FOR STUDENTS LIKE ME: I added the following supporting documents, although no.1 and 2 will suffice, OC lang ako kaya dami ko sinama. sorry na. 
1. Photocopy of ID
2. Certificate of Enrollment
3. Certificate of Units Earned
4. Transcript of Records
5. Flowchart

FOR NSO BIRTH CERT WITH LATE REGISTRATION: I was late registered so I submitted the other docs:
1. Baptismal certificate
2. Transcript of Records
3. Form 138 (high school) FYI: nasa Law school na ako. sinubmit ko yung sa hs pa ako! haha!
4. Form 137-a (high school)

Upon submitting all the documents to the travel agency, everything is out of your control already, so before doing or wagering in your 1200 or the costs of your airplane ticket, make sure that you gave all the requirements needed, and also not to make you go back and forth in the travel agency just because you are missing one requirement. Save yourself a few bucks by being organized and also by making sure you have all the requirements.

It is not bad to give other paper documents that shows your capacity to finance your trip and shows your ties in the Philippines. So, I suggest if you have these things, why not include it in your application?

That’s all Hope this helped you. HAPPY WANDERING! 🙂

I will post my Japan itinerary soon! Keep wandering! 🙂

HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR WINTER ESCAPADE?

Last December 2012, my friends and I went to Beijing, China, and as you know, December is part of the winter months in Beijing. The temperature may drop up to -15 degrees celsius so, before going there, I made sure that I was ready to face the cold winter weather in Beijing!

Beijing China winter back drop near Bird's nest
Beijing China winter back drop near Bird’s nest

Snow in Jingshan Park

Well, I’m in love with the cold weather, so I was really excited to enjoy this climate-change (no, not that climate change that you are thinking! :))  but what I didn’t know about is the craziness, yes the craziness of preparing for a winter escapade! The craziness started when I knew that the cold freaking weather can go down at -20 degrees celsius, crazy right?? A person living in the tropics might just die (o, ika nga sa filipino, mangisay nalang ako! haha) Therefore, as early as 2 months before my flight, I started shopping for my winter outfits…. it is crazy ‘coz unlike my other trips, I just wear whatever I already have, but this, this needs preparation.  if we are not prepared going to that “war” ! Knowing that our climate is +32 degrees celsius more, and the lowest that we can get is 18 degrees. If we weren’t ready we will never be able to go out and look around the areas that we are supposed to see, so before going out your tropical-usually hot climate country, you should be prepared. Anyway, nuff said. So here are my little tips, for your crazy climate temperature-change, ermm… snow-laden vacation:

1. Research on how low the temperature can get. If the temperature goes down to a negative, then you need to follow my advice, if it’s not, but you are the type of person who cannot withstand a 20 degrees airconditioned room, then you can also follow my advice (especially those going to HK, since last year December 2012, when I went there, the temp dropped to 5 degrees celsius, which it is not supposed to do because HK temp is usually above 10 degrees!! and yeah, I was really glad that I have my Beijing clothing with me that time! :))

2. If you can fathom buying second hand clothing for your winter escapade, then why not? that’s what I did. I bought clothes from the ukay-ukay or thrift shops in Harrison Plaza, just behind the national book store. For only P150,00 to P350.00 you can get a down jacket or a coat. This is the best way to save money for your trip, why? because a down jacket or a coat may cost you more than your airticket going to your destination (I’m talking about my kind, who patiently waits for seat sales of various airlines and get the usual P15,000 worth or airticket for only P2000-P5000). heh! 🙂  But, if you have the money, why not splurge? My philosophy why I bought second hand clothing is that I will only use it once. Just make sure that you soak it up with the best cleaners that you have! But, if you are the yucky-it’s second hand type, then try the Surplus stalls located in the Mall of Asia (the biggest surplus store, they sell coats and down jackets too, quite expensive than the usual second hands but it is all worth it too). However, I bought my other two coats in the Surplus Store inside a mall in Divisoria, that mall nearest to Lucky China Town, and along Reyna Regente Street, it is before you arrive the much well-known 168 mall. I’ll put the name here when I remember its name. Well, in the top floor of that mall, there is this surplus shop which sells various branded clothing for only a dime. I bought there an Anne Klein coat for only P100.00. hah! such a great deal? ayt?! Well, these are surpluses, so they are not “ukays” or second hands, they are overruns or surpluses, but always check for damages! 🙂

3. The type of textile/cloth used in your clothing may make or break your vacation, so please.. please…. please… (3 cute pleases, with a wink! :)) you should remember this clothing that will never ever ever ever make you warm during this vacation, don’t make any of these are your jacket, but you can use them as an outer pants. 🙂

  • Cotton
  • Maong or those in your jeans
  • leather – don’t use leather jackets there, except if you wanna die or  if you have a bike! hah! 🙂 peace, to the leather lovers!

Because these textiles or tela does not retain moisture, they absorb them! your clothes need to retain moisture because that very same moisture will warm you up. Nah, I don’t get the idea, but from my thorough research, that was what I found.

Best textiles/cloth that can help you:

  • wool
  • polyester
  • and alike..

So, just check while you buy your clothes, it can be found in the tags of the clothes.

  1. Things to buy for your winter escapade!
  • Outer Jacket – must be made of wool, or goose feathers (you know, the one which will make you look like a Michelin man, but if you have this you will definitely survive the battle 🙂
  • Inner Jacket – you should have 3-4 layers of clothing, so here is the other one, it can be a cardigan made of wool, polyester and all. But not those mentioned above that should not be worn.
  • Your woolen or stitched/ gantsillo kind of sweater.Or any shirts not made from those mentioned above (cotton etc.)
  • Underwear– no, not that usual underwear we use in the tropics, but you can still wear them. No, you should still wear them. So what I’m saying here is that, after wearing your usual panties-bra or briefs, you should wear this “winter-ready underwears” which is called long-johns, or what we call warmers with heat-tech technology. It looks like leggings and tights, but aside from the same appearance, the latter does not have the same capability of making you stay warm. What you buy here is the heat-tech technology. I bought one pair mine in UNIQLO which is P795.00  and one pair from Marks and Spencers which costs P1395.00 per piece. For a pair in M&S I bought it for P2500.00 and it will depend on the type or quality of the warmers you’ll gonna buy. But, you can go to 168 mall, 2nd floor, and there is a stall there selling underwear, ask them to give you warmers or long johns. And you can buy a pair for P450.00. Well, the difference between those sold in UNIQLO and 168 mall is the thickness. the one sold in 168 is thicker which means it will be bulkier to look at once you worn all the outfits, on the other hand those sold in Marks and Spencers or UNIQLO are super thin, it feels as if it’s your second skin. By the way, this is very important, don’t forget to buy this!
  • Socks – Please buy a pair of heat-tech socks, not those ordinary ones as most of them are made in cotton, which is not a good textile to use because when it gets wet, it absorbs it, and stays cold for the rest of the time. Remember, you are going to a snowy filled place, and snow is water, and when it gets to you, it will feel wet and cold. This happened to one of my friends who used cotton  or ordinary socks, she said, her feet felt numb.
  • Scarf – Buy one in any stores that you will find, Buy those stitched/gantsillo/knitted ones, or those pashmina kind of scarves not those bought for the beach, the ones which are transparent or look like it would not shield you from anything.
  • Gloves – Don’t buy leather gloves unless you want to sacrifice your hands by making them feel numb all the time. leather does not, never, makes you feel warm, and actually it will make you feel cold. Knitted or mittens are recommended.
  • Hat – Though you can buy it in your destination, it is still good if you already have this with you. It is one of the most important, as heat escapes almost 90 percent from our head. Hence, to keep you warm, you should make sure that you have a head gear
  • Earmuffs- Oh, I tell you, this is not for show! They have their own use, which is to make your head and ear nice and warm. I’ll tell you, you wanna protect your ears, they are also prone to frost bite. you don’t wan’t to home, earless, aren’t you? hahaha. But you can buy this in the place of your destination, as it is cheaper there than buying here.
  • Boots/ Shoes- don’t use leather, unless your shoes are those trekking-in-southpole-mount-everest- kind of leather shoes, then why not? Boots sold here in our country is nothing but for the purpose of design, not functionality, so it would not help you at all. I saw one in Aldo, it’s an uggs type, so it would be helpful. You can also try buying in Forever 21, or if not, visit the thrift shop I metioned above, since they also sell these goodies. However, I didn’t buy it because I’m afraid of athletes’ foot. 🙂 So, I got mine in F21. Make sure that it looks warm and cozy. Rubber Shoes ladies and gentlemen, is not, never will be a winter shoes. the cold slips through the rubber, which will make you say “I’m cold” all the time. Trust me, my friend told me that she had made a mistake! hahaha. But, I tell you, you can buy shoes in the place of your destination. It’s actually better to buy there as it is cheaper, so you can use your rubber shoes for a time, then just buy there, make sure, you will be shopping during your first day, but if not, better buy here or in your home country
  • Petroleum Jelly – Instead of the usual lip balm, use this. Your lips will be extremely dry that an ordinary lip balm (may it be burt’s bees or nivea) cannot withstand. Petroleum Jelly is the best to prevent wind burns and dryness. Believe me, in our group, they insisted in using their balms and later on they said that it doesn’t work, and they asked to share in my petroleum jelly
  • Skin lotion and face moisturizers- due to the dry temperature, you need this to prevent wind burn.

One of the down side of traveling in winter, is how bulky your luggage can get, or that you will have the same jacket for the rest of the trip. Worry not, my fellow travelers who loves winter clothing. You can minimize your luggage by buying those vacuum bags that make your clothes thinner when you put it in your luggage. Trust me, they will be flat, but there’s no need to iron it again!

I bought 5 vacuum bags from Japan Home Store for P88 or P66 pesos each. and then…. it does it magic.

Winter clothes in a vacuum bag
Winter clothes in a vacuum bag

This is how we looked! BTW, i practiced wearing my clothes before my flight to Beijing, just to see how it looks, but nah! when you’re there already, sish to fashion!! This is true, I didn’t care about how I look because I care more about how I’ll survive the cold! 🙂

bw5.jpg

winter clothing
winter clothing

So, that’s all! Hope this helps!