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

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Happy Holidays!

By On December 30, 2017
new year


Hey, all! Might be a little late, but I'd like to wish everyone happiness during the holidays 😊. Imma say this is going to be a yearender post (I haven't posted a lot this year though) as well. Though there's not a lot to read (and not a lot of readers coming to my space either), I'd like to thank anyone who actually paid a visit. Hope you're able to gather some takeaways!

Anyway, it's actually a bit quiet on this part of the globe as a write this (taking a quick break from work--I'm actually on a rush), and I'd like to be able to savor the peace and calm. A lot has happened over the year and I'm thankful for everything--memories, material things (of course! haha), health, and anything I have now that's there to be thankful for. I may have messed up along the way, but I'm sure I'm doing good in some departments 👊. That sounded a bit too braggy hahahaha. But seriously, I never thought I'd be able to pull this off. There were things that went out of hand, but hey, I'm just happy that this year's almost over and I'm so excited for the next and what it has to offer. 

Ayan, tama na ang kadramahan. Note to self: you seriously have to save up (good luck to me hahahaha). I hope you are also thinking about it. Just makes sense, right? I mean, come on, sino ba hindi gumastos ng bonggang bongga ngayon? Kailangan mag-ipon, magbawas ng kain (alam mo na, nakakataba ang holidays), and some other positive shit that will make me a better person (nuks haha better person).

Okay! I'm starting to sound like the annoying kid I used to be so I'm going to sleep for now. Tulog ka na rin! 🌛 Good night!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

PayPal To Security Bank Transfer

By On December 03, 2017
Previously, I used to transfer my PayPal funds to my Security Bank account for a fee of PhP 200.00 per transfer. That's automatic. It's been that way since I've opened my bank account, until March, 2017. Yes, that's right! No more inward remittance fees when transferring from PayPal to a Security Bank bank account. 

I just recently found out about it when I was reviewing my bank statements for the last six (6) months. When I could find the fees in my March statements, my initial thoughts were that I might get billed for it one-time, big time. But then just to be sure, I checked out the Security Bank's Fees & Charges page. There it was, sittting all-smiles and pretty at me. Okay, that's creepy. Haha! Anyway, although there was no notification from Security Bank about this, this is a welcome change and they made sure to update their Inward Remittance fees table to reflect it. Awesome! I know there are also other banks also have the PayPal fee waived for transfers ie EastWest bank. And it's a good thing that Security Bank joined the bandwagon.

This is good news for people like me who get paid via PayPal and have a bank account with Security Bank. If you'd think about it, the amount that I was billed for for the last several years, it's quite a large amount. And I don't really earn that much so, this means I now get to save an additional PhP 800.00 per month (I transfer funds weekly). Yay! This just makes me feel happy and it's so good not to share 😁. Security Bank, again, gave me another reason to be the happy camper that I am.

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). Some may have had the same experience as mine so I came up with this post to lessen that kind of situation, especially for those who had to travel several hours just to get to a DFA Consular Office.

Note: DFA Pampanga (2nd Floor, Robinsons Starmills, San Fernando, 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. However, if you belong to the following list with the corresponding proofs, you can utilize the PRIORITY LANE as walk-in applicants:

1. Senior Citizen with Senior Citizen ID 
2. Person with Disability (PWDs) with PWD ID or visible disability
3. Solo parent with valid Solo Parent ID 
4. Pregnant women with medical certificate (and uh, of course with a big preggo-tummy?)

5. Minors below eight (8) years old (I'm assuming with birth certificate)

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. He filed the original copies. Those that were left to me were the photocopied ones. Here's the list of the documents filed:

  • 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 lines move 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 still 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.