Passport Renewal at DFA SM Megamall

* This post is intended as the second part of my Passport Application post.

Last Wednesday, I accompanied my Mom on her passport renewal. I scheduled her appointment one month before the application date. I chose the earliest time which is 10:00am.

Come her appointment day, the traffic was terrible so we arrived at the DFA SM Megamall at 10:20am. Many people were already inside the Processing Section so we had to wait for her number to be called. Just like in my previous post, present your Appointment and Application Forms before entering the Processing Section for validation. Then get your number at the Queuing Machine. Make sure to select the correct button – whether you’re there for New Application, Renewal, or Lost Passport.

We waited for 30 minutes before my Mom’s number was called. While waiting, there was a guy (who looked like a game show master) who was giving instructions and tips to everyone especially with the requirements. He already instructed my Mom to sign the Application form before going to the processing window.

My Mom’s first passport was the old brown one that was issued in 1991.

Requirements collected by the DFA Officer:

1. Original NBI Clearance

2. Original NSO Marriage Contract (We changed her passport from Single to Married)

3. Photocopy of old passport (Page 1,2,3,4 and last page)

We also showed the original brown passport. Then the staff punched the first page before returning it to us. Yes, do not forget to get your expired passport especially if it has visas.

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Backpacking Singapore and Malaysia Itinerary

Here’s my 5D4N Singapore (with 1 day Malaysia) Itinerary. I hope this helps!


Peso: PHP2,725.00

Singaporean Dollar: SGD384.30 = PHP12,835.62 (August Conversion Rate – SGD1:PHP33.40)

Total Expenses in Peso (excluding pasalubong/souvenirs): =PHP15,560.62

*Please note that we visited 2 Theme Parks (which are expensive) that’s why the budget was a little higher than the usual. 😀

5D4N Singapore Itinerary

5D4N Singapore Itinerary


Universal Studios Singapore


The Theme Park Addict

Contributor: Melvin Corales

Having been able to visit the Happiest Place on Earth last year, it is a no brainer to visit its rival theme park – The Universal Studios. Our trip to Singapore last August 15th-19th won’t be complete without paying a visit to this world class theme park.

Having the tagline “Ride the Movies”, Universal Studios will take you on a journey behind movie magic. Coming from a person working in a Broadcasting Company and very much familiar with all the “behind the scenes”, this is pretty awesome.

Singapore’s Universal Studios occupies 20 hectares, 8 hectares smaller than that of Hong Kong Disneyland. Universal Studios has seven themed lands – Hollywood, New York, Sci-Fi City, Ancient Egypt, The Lost World, Far Far Away, and Madagascar.

At the Gate

At the Gate

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River City Inn

Shiela, finally at her favorite place in Singapore

Shiela, finally at her favorite place in Singapore

Contributor: Melvin Corales

When affordability and comfort met in a subway station and hang out at Clarke Quay, River City Inn was born. Located right at the night life center, minutes away from few tourist destinations, and just an MRT station away from a shopping haven, River City Inn is just the perfect definition of an ideal accommodation.

In any out of the country trip, finding an accommodation is very crucial. You are limited to what the internet will show you, that’s why travel sites such as tripadvisor and hostelworld can help a lot. In our case, since Shiela had been to River City last year with her college friends, accommodation was a pretty easy thing to decide.

River City Inn is a backpacker’s lounge located at 4th Floor 33C HongKong st. Singapore. Getting there is very easy. From Changi Airport, we took the MRT to Tenah Mehra then transferred to the train going to Joo Koon. We alighted at the Outram Park station then transferred to the North East line to Clarke Quay. Hong Kong street is just across the Central Mall. AirasiaGo is on the same street which is really hard to miss. Find the yellow building and there you go.

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How to Speed Up your Airline Refund

Four months ago, I was one of those furious AirAsia passengers who got affected by the airline’s sudden flight cancellations. My flight from Singapore to Clark was moved from the 19th to the 20th of August. For a budget traveler like me, an extra day is already expensive and that would also mean I have to ask for additonal leave at work. I hate cancelled plans and I didn’t want all the hassle of requesting for a refund so I just agreed with the change in schedule.

Then, one month before our flight I got another email from AirAsia and this time ALL the flights from Clark to Singapore and vice versa were cancelled starting August 1. I was so mad at AirAsia that time because that meant all our plans were screwed. These were the options included in the email:

Dearest Valued Guest,

Philippines’ AirAsia has always taken great care when implementing any flight changes that may inconvenience you, our valued guest. Unfortunately, we have to suspend services between Clark and Singapore effective 1st August 2013 due to commercial considerations.

We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this flight suspension may cause you and we would like to offer you the following options:

  • One-time transfer, at no extra cost, to an AirAsia flight on the same route on or before July 31st, 2013 (subject to availability)

  • One-time re-routing to any Philippines’ AirAsia flight within 30 days of the original flight date, subject to airport-specific taxes and surcharges (subject to availability)

  • Conversion of the value of the total fare to an online credit shell with a validity of 180 days

  • Full refund

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Conquer Mt. Pinatubo: My First Solo Travel


I had been looking at Travel Factor’s (TF) tour menu since January this year. I kept on contemplating whether it was worth it to join their tour since I was used to DIY traveling. But because most of my travel buddies already went on their respective summer getaways, I found myself booking a tour just for one person – me, myself and I.

I was very apprehensive at first so  I kept on asking TF about solo travelers joining their tours. I got a good boost from them and from reading solo travelers’ blogs. TF sent the primer one day before the climb.

The day came: May 4, 2013. I stayed in the office the whole night since it’s just a couple of minutes away from El Pueblo. I walked there alone and very much excited. I really didn’t know what to expect but I was really hoping for the…

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On Plane Tickets and Seatsales: Hits and Misses

Flight Upgraded!

Flight Upgraded!

It was not really in my travel plan to go back to Singapore this year since I visited it and Malaysia last year. But my travel buddy and bestfriend Melvin wanted to visit Singapore, so I gave in and went with him and this time with another high school friend, Dan. I was again tasked to do the usual “tour pilot” job.

The months prior to our trip had not been flawless. It was a roller coaster ride rehearsing us to the Battlestar Gallactica in USS. Bittersweet but I think everything happened for a reason. Blessings in disguise.

How do I start? Perhaps with how the trip will begin, anyway. The plane ticket. I had roller coaster of emotions because of this.

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