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A old-new blog about random pursuits of a work-from-home mom.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

New Passport Application in DFA Pampanga

By On October 25, 2017
DFA Pampanga Passport Application
After getting delayed due to the recent transport strike, I finally got my passport processed. Yay! FYI, this is a new application (yeah, I'm already this old before I decided to get one--how irresponsible of me haha). I tried applying through DFA Aseana, and DFA Angeles (Marquee Mall), but then I was rejected twice already due to incomplete requirements.

After two failed attempts, I finally was able to have it processed. Never mind my rants previously. Haha. I was just so frustrated that it's almost as if the universe does not want me to explore the other parts of the globe. It's a good thing that those who had confirmed appointments on Oct. 16 and 17 are allowed to come back anytime until Oct 30th so I'm all good. Okay, so how was the entire experience then?

First off, I'd like to commend the whole DFA staff (including the security). Yay! They all made the whole ordeal of lining up seem so less than  when you have to enroll in a State U. From reminding applicants of what to bring and what to do, up to the last stretch (encoding), they all helped in a way I have never experienced in one of my previous applications (FYI, it was in DFA Angeles, back in March 2016--in Marquee Mall--where the guy who was supposed to "verify" the all my IDs and documents I brought didn't even bother to look at them when I said I only have my old employment ID and other supporting documents. It was included in the list of acceptable IDs in DFA's website).

Note: DFA Pampanga, just like other DFA Consular Offices, only accept applicants with confirmed appointment dates. If you don't have one yet, you may schedule an appointment here.

Aaanyway, this time I brought the following IDs and supporting documents (You may also find more about this through DFA's page):

  • Premium (Improved) Philippine Postal ID (Yes, it is now accepted as a Primary ID)
  • Employment ID
  • Birth Certificate (one from PSA, and one issued by our local civil registrar)
  • Marriage Certificate (from PSA, and from local civil registrar)
  • High School yearbook
  • SSS - E1 form
  • College Transcript of records
  • Voter's Certification
  • Old NBI Clearances (one was issued on 2007, when I was still single, and the other one issued back in 2013-already bearing my married name).
  • Police clearance (issued in 2013)
  • Barangay Clearance (issued on 2013)

Before going to DFA, I had these all photocopied so I wouldn't have to waste my time getting them photocopied on site (though there's a photocopier inside DFA, it's still better to prepare beforehand so you wouldn't have to again fall in line). You may notice that I brought mostly old documents. This is for the verifiying personnel to be able to establish my identity's and documents' authenticity. I spent about an hour (or a bit longer) just waiting for my turn for document verification. 

The guy who verified my documents this time accepted only some of the docs I brought. These are the following, and filed the original copies (left to me were the photocopied ones):

  • Birth certificate (both PSA, and from LCR)
  • Marriage certificate (both PSA, and from LCR)
  • Voter's certificate
  • Postal ID photocopy

I was given a receipt which I paid for right away (I paid PhP 1,200--express--as it was a Saturday so I don't have an option to pay for regular processing which is PhP 950) Read more about Passport Processing fees here.

On to the Encoding section, this was where the applicants' photos, fingerprints, and signatures were captured. On this phase, I think I spent around almost an hour (there were express lanes for Senior Citizens and for minors 7 y/o and below so regular applicants had to wait for a bit more). There were actually a lot of capturing booths (19) so the line moves pretty fast. It's just that there were a lot of applicants that day so it took quite a while.

After several hours, it was finally over. Since DFA Pampanga is a good 3-4 hour travel from where I live, I chose to have it shipped to me instead through LBC for an extra PhP 150.  The fare alone is more costly (around PhP 150 one-way), and to wait in line again for releasing made me tired just thinking about it, so I decided it's much better to wait here at home. And besides, I can no longer afford to skip a day's work since it's going to be too busy by the time my passport's released.

Alright! Hope this would help you in preparing for a new passport application. Please note that the experience may stil be a bit different. Till next time!

UPDATE:

Since I chose to have my passport mailed to me, a tracking/claim slip was given to me. Estimated  delivery date indicated was November 16, 2017. I was surprised that it came on a Saturday, November 11, 2017. Five days earlier than the date it was supposed to be delivered. Great! 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Stuck! (National Transport Strike)

By On October 18, 2017
Mag-ra-rant lang ako ulit. I understand that though our government is working towards improvement of the transportation sector, many groups (of drivers and operators in particular) just wouldn't welcome this change. Probably, due to the fact that the jeepney is one of Philippines' symbol, that there are a lot of families depending on earnings they get for operating these "beasts" transporting commuters to and from wherever. Or many other reasons. I can't name them all.

Ang point ko lang naman is that, though nai-declare na walang pasok, may mga importante pa din naman na lakad. Like on Oct. 16, 2017, I have a passport application appointment on DFA. Buti na lang, I caught the announcement early on before that date. Nakapag-bargain pa ako to move my leave to Tuesday (Oct. 17). But then on Tuesday, nandun na ako sa DFA Office (which is a good three-hour travel from my place), when another announcement of #WalangPasok was made. F*ck, di ba? Nasayang na ang pamasahe ko, nasayang din ang pagod ko.

I picked an appointment in DFA Pampanga as it was closer to our province, so to get there, I rode a bus. However, I won't be able to come back home right away as there were very few buses coming that are bound to Nueva Ecija. Kung mag-aabang ako ng bus sa katanghalian tapat ng ilang oras, baka nautas pa ako sa heatstroke. The fastest way I can come back home is ride a jeepney to Dau, then from Dau, I'll ride a UV Express Van. You know what's the most annoying part of this experience was? There were no jeepneys! Nada. I tried waiting (turns out, in vain) but no sign of jeepneys to Dau  or even other neighboring provinces anywhere. 

It was a hot, sunny day (as I always remember this province to be), I haven't eaten my breakfast just so I could get there early. But the thought of me getting stranded there just because some groups decided to stage their protests, it made my insides churn, it felt warmer than the sun. Oo, ganyan ka-OA. As in sagad sa buto ang inis ko. Kailangan ko pang kumontrata ng tour taxi para lang makapunta ng Dau for PhP700. Yes, mi dearies. It's a huge chunk of my sweldo for a day, thrown away just for me to get a ride back home.

Oo, naintindihan ko ang point ng Piston, na importante pa din sila, bilang ang mga jeepney ay isa sa mga main modes of transportation for daily commute. Government said that the effect was minimal. Fine. Minimal, kase wala ngang pasok, less commuters ang affected, like yours truly. Though I don't go to a traditional office for work, yung ganitong lakad na
nakakaleche ng pasensya at pera yung hindi ayos. Sana man lang, kung mag-strike ulet, wala na yung gagamit pa ng dahas (the taxi driver and I  had a little chitchat and he said there was a lone jeepney driver who decided to go on his usual way and picked up passengers. The results was his jeep was almost toppled over by armed men who wore bonnets over their heads, just because nagdecide syang pumasada). Kung may gusto pumasada (para na rin sa kapakanan ng ibang mamayan na may pupuntahan at wala naman sariling sasakyan), wag nang gaguhin. Hayaan na lang. Tutal, hindi naman yung piston ang amo nila. They're working for the jeepney operators or even their own selves. Juice colored. Sana di na lang nagstrike at nag-arrange na lang ng pakikipag-usap without disrupting the normal flow of daily activities. Kung walang strike, walang magsasara na government offices, may kita ang drivers, lahat ng commuters can move from point A to point B, wala din sana naaabala. P*nyeta.

-- End of rant.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Lucky Me

By On October 11, 2017
Lucky me. No, it's not the instant noodles most of us Filipinos buy in the grocery stores. I just realized that out of all events that transpired for the past few weeks, I'm lucky that the people I truly care about are safe, well, at least for now.  Have you ever thought about it? We can't really tell what tomorrow brings us. We may have planned ahead, but those plans will most certainly be disrupted. Sometimes by unspeakable things that only the mind of a corrupt human-being can do, sometimes by circumstances that nobody can ever prevent.

I'm all for making-your-own-path kind of mind-set. No one can blame anyone for whatever outcome results from one's own actions. But is it really what it is? That I am responsible for whatever happens to me, or to any person who I have close ties with? NO. Just, no. Sometimes I wonder, if this whole vicious cycle will ever end. Will it be punctuated in bloodshed? I fervently hope not. It has just started out that way. But what can I do? It's as if the entire universe conspired and made a sick joke out of this life. I can only do so much, kindle this rage I have inside. I can only hope I can retaliate in a more painful way. Inflict a damage tenfold more potent. But I can't. I won't. My moral compass is just so persistent, no amount of rust could ever cause it to fail and make me do unjust things.

Whatever it is that is somehow been "planned" for us, I wish it changes the game. I wish we wouldn't have to endure what we've already gone through ages ago. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Bloggers vs Influencers, Earnings, Etc.

By On October 04, 2017
I'm trying my best not to comment on the previous days' events. But ikennat  (as ThinkingPinoy says) refrain from talking about it. I guess you already know that it's the Senate Hearing about the proliferation of fake news, where RJ Nieto/ThinkingPinoy (I really dig this guy's writing style, so intelligent, and I so love his mad research skills 😊--been following him since last year), together with other SocMed (Social Media) bloggers, were invited as resource persons. Much has been said about this event but I have even more to say.

Anong problema ko, ngarod? Ang laki, kasi someone said bloggers were paid/hired as influencers for promoting the President during the campaign period. Anudaw? Alright, this I have to disagree with with my entire being. Why? The terms "bloggers" and "influencers" have been used interchangeably when they're not exactly the same. What's a blogger and what's an influencer, anyway? I'll try to explain it in my own (tedious) way below:

BLOGGERS VS INFLUENCERS

To clear things out, a blogger is someone who's writing on his/her own webspace. To be a bit more technical, a blogger has his own space on the interwebs, that's called a blog (like the one you're reading/looking at right now), where the writings are housed, coupled with dates when those posts were published. 

Aside from blogging platforms such as Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, etc. Facebook and Twitter, (microblogging platforms that allow "micro blogs"--short, frequent updates/posting) are being used by the socmed bloggers as their platform for sharing their thoughts. Hence, the term "soc-med" bloggers. They write their opinions on their own walls/pages. 

However, an influencer (may be a blogger or just a known personality such as celebrities) is a personality who can "influence" (through blog, social media, TV, YouTube, whatever) a certain set of people--specifically, a target market-- into buying products and/or services, or even turn them into "fans" of some known personalities ie TV personalities, politicians. Influencers may be paid by those companies behind those goods/services, of course, depending on them if it's their job/business. One can be an influencer without getting paid, though, in the case of celebrities who are simply advocates/patrons/product-evangelists of stuff they use.

In the digital age, one common denominator between bloggers and influencers is social media presence. A blogger may have a social media page, which is, used as well to "influence" readers into patronizing something. Some bloggers write reviews/promotional posts for certain products and/or services, which they get paid for. This way, a blogger is considered as an influencer. Influencers mainly use social media, but they can also use their own webpages (though not as much as a blogger does) in doing so.

BUT not all bloggers are influencers. Most bloggers have social media profiles, sure. They use social media platforms as a tool to gain engagement or to be able to reach a wider audience, aside from visitors gained from search results ie Google Search. Like what I do, I blog but it's not my goal to influence people into becoming customers for some brands and all that commercial stuff. In short, I'm not getting paid by different companies to promote, like what influencers do. I only get a very small amount from running Google AdSense ads (I don't get much, as people don't come here often--and I'm not actively sharing my posts on social media, so there's less chance that I get paid for views/visits). And you know moi, for each review I post, I nitpick. I spit it out here it when I don't like something. It's highly unlikely that I'd get hired to become an evangelist. Hahaha. That's about it. No frills. I have a day-job so I'm not totally dependent on what I "earn" from the ads (if you can call a few cents as earnings 😂).

There. Ang haba ng sinabi ko di ba. But my main point here is that in general, a blogger should not be mistaken for an influencer.

Now, are those socmed bloggers paid/hired to become influencers? This I can tell you: no amount of money can buy that fire and passion in standing up for what's best for our country.