Japan Visa 2017

This year, our branch is travelling to the Land of the Rising Sun on Holy Week.  No need to talk about our plane tickets as we got it really expensive.  Since we have the tickets already, we can move on to getting a Japan Visa.  For quite some time now, Japan is lenient in granting visas as they are encouraging tourists to visit their country.  But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to prepare for it.

So how do we get a Japan Visa?  Applicants can’t go directly to the Japanese Embassy to apply.  One needs an accredited travel agency.  The first time I applied for a visa, I got it from Friendship Tours located at Dusit Hotel Nikko in Makati. 

This was my 2013 Japan Visa.  I was only given a single entry.  The visa was only valid for 90 days.  A single entry visa allows you to stay for a maximum of 15 days.


Now, I am getting it through Mulan Travel Agency located in Binondo Manila.  Contact them at 2454658.

These are their requirements:

1)  Application Form – get it from the travel agency

Fill it up properly.  If in case there is a mistake, just cross it out with 2 lines, don’t use correction tape.  They want to know what the mistake is.  

Another reminder for the place where you will be staying, don’t put an Air Bnb address, just use some random hotel.  Unless you are really staying in a hotel.

2) 2×2 Passport ID Picture – with white background

3) NSO Birth Certificate – if first time applicant and doesn’t have any other visa issued to you.

4) NSO Marriage Certificate – same with No. 3 and if you are married.

For NSO certificate needs, please see my post here.

5)   Bank Certificate – of course, the embassy needs to know if you are financially capable to fund your trip.

6)  COEI or Certificate of Employment with Income (if employed) – proof that you have a stable job here in the Philippines and that you are coming back.  Also to prove how much you are getting paid.

7)  ITR or Income Tax Return – they would want to know if you are a good citizen paying your taxes. Haha. 

8) Business Papers or Documents (if not employed and owns a business) – same with COEI, this is to prove that you have the means to earn and spend for a trip.

So there, easy right?  Just as long as you are honest and you presented complete requirements, I think you will not have a hard time.

I am wishing for a multiple entry visa this time so wish me luck!

Good luck to you too!

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Stip’s Chips

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This was bought by my husband near the school of our daughters.  It is a splurge because this costs Php295.00 for 200 grams.

No regrets though.  The chips are freshly made out of real potatoes.  The taste? Sweet, salty and tangy.  Just right for my tastebuds.

Too bad can’t eat that much as I am still in the recuperating stage.  

It is worth the try.  Just visit their Facebook Page, StipsChips to check how to order or where to get the chips.  Or follow their Instagram Page, stipschips to know more about this new salted egg potato chips to hit the town and the couple behind it.

Wait, there’s more! They have a Spicy variant!  I can’t wait to for my throat to get better!

Happy eating!

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Reminders about Bank Checks

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Effective January 20, 2017, the Monetary Board will be implementing the Check Image Clearing System.  This is a step towards a 1 day clearing system of other bank’s checks. Checks will be electronically remitted instead of transmitting them physically which takes 3 days to clear.

Since we need the best image possible, BSP came up with some reminders on how to handle checks.

1) Use of Dark colored ink.  Preferably Black or Blue Ink only.

2) Refrain from using correction tapes or correction ribbon in electric typewriters.  This covers the security features of the check.

3) Always start writing on the left most part.  That way, no words can be inserted.

4) To signify end of sentence, put “only” after writing the amount in words.  For the Payee and the Date, you could put “***” or “-” before and after.

5) When writing a check, treat it as something special.  Write nicely and legibly.  Make sure that all the words are readable and understandable.

6) Do not crumple, fold, staple, pin or bind checks.  This will also ruin the chance of the system to get a good image.

7) Checks must only be signed by authorized signatories.

8) The most important of all.  Never ever write checks that are unfunded!  Unless you want to see fireworks and pay a lot pf bank charges.

Hope this helps somehow.

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Food Trip: Lola Ote’s

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One who hasn’t tried a good old barbecue grilled on a barbecue stand along a busy corner in a neighborhood is probably missing a lot!

Back when we were living in our house in Cavite, we were fortunate enough to be in front of a house who sells the most delicious barbecue I have ever tasted.  Too bad we are too far away now!

Barbecue is a staple to many Filipinos’ food table during special occasions.  Just the aroma of the barbecue grilling will make you hungry.

The food we call barbecue is actually grilled pork meat on a stick.  It can be grilled chicken on a stick as well. 

Lola Ote’s is a resto that serves these barbecues with a twist.  Instead of serving it on a wooden stick and on a plate, they serve it with style on these customized stainless skewers that are hanging.

Can’t get what I am talking about.  See for yourself.

Can have these bbqs by 12 or 18 inches.  

Aside from these, they also serve other Pinoy BBQ Favorites.

What’s nice about Lola Ote is that the owners are hands on.  You could see her going around the resto.  She is very accommodating and helpful.

Here are some of our own pics when we were there.

So there, if you are looking for a place to eat some yummy bbqs, drop by Lola Ote’s.  Make sure to do so early as the place gets packed.

Follow Lola Ote at their Instagram Page, lolaote.

And yes, there is a Lola Ote in real life.

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Food: The Crave Park

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With the influx of foodies in our country, food parks are opening continuously.  Just recently we went to the newest food park to open and it’s in Marikina.  The Crave Park opened last October 22 and when we got there, it is buzzing!

The almost hour trip was worth it given that there were so many choices.  
Tokyo Tempura – A staple to almost all the food parks in Metro Manila.

Km 128 Wing Joint – wings and fries galore

Lil Taipei – a taste of Taiwan cuisine

Dabs and Popcorn – for your corn fix!

Kwatro Cubanos – tasty and tummy filling Cuban sandwiches

CreamCo Creamery – serves fried ice cream rolls

And there’s a lot more food that we ordered that has no more photos, as they were devoured by my cousins once they hit the table.

Below are some of the food stalls that we didn’t get to try anymore.

Visiting Crave Park with my family was definitely one for the books. 

The family that eats together gets fat together! ♡♡♡

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Tonsilitis – Take It Seriously

It’s my first post for the year and guess what, it is me battling Tonsilitis!

Never knew Tonsilitis could knock me out like this.  It has been almost 4 days now.  Started with chills and slight fever on Tuesday night.  No signs of inflammation of my tonsils yet so I thought maybe I was coming down with the flu.  Didn’t sleep well that night so it resulted to on and off headache.  Not to mention the body ache I felt, well uhm, for the whole body.   

All of these symptoms were at least somewhat bearable, I slept through it the whole Wednesday.  But this time though, I was having difficulty in swallowing already.  So my hubby checked my tonsils and boy, were they inflammed!  

The hardest and most painful part is just plain swallowing.  Minimized my food intake already but needed to force myself to eat as I started taking antibiotics already.  Even water’s having a hard time passing through.  Started gargling with Listerine as well but doesn’t seem to make any difference.  

Body ache and chills vanished the 2nd day.  Feverish still.  But pain in my throat is just unbearable.  Nothing like I felt before.  Makes sleeping a little hard also.  Unless it is already 4 in the morning and your eyes just shut off by itself.

Staying at home in exile makes the internet my bestfriend.  Checked out home remedies and tried the lime water with salt for drinking. 

Also tried gargling apple cider vinegar mixed with little bit of water.  You can feel the sharpness of the vinegar.  Just doing the process is so painful for my throat. Gargling makes you gag and if I gag, the pain triples.

I was hoping I could go back to work on the 3rd day, hoping that my apple cider vinegar gargle will lessen the inflammation when I woke up.  But hey, it is still the same.

Still gonna continue gargling with both Listerine and vinegar.  Still gonna take my antibiotics.  I need to tough this one out.

This Tonsilitis already took 3 days away from me from New Year’s 1st week and it’s painful for me, literally and figuratively, and it’s pretty hard for the kids as well.

You see, as I have mentioned, I have been exiled in another room away from the kids for the same number of days as we are preventing the virus / bacteria to transfer to anybody else.  

Can’t help with the chores as well, thankful that my husband and our househelp are taking care of the kids while I can’t.

So there, that sums up my journey in battling Tonsilitis.  Will keep you updated.

Update *01.06.2017

I have tried the home remedies and have taken 5 capsules of self prescribed Erythromycin.  The inflammation has worsened and the pain is going up to my right ear already.

Decided to go to E.R. to have my condition checked.  

Upon seeing my tonsils, the doctors already kept pushing the idea of me being admitted for proper treatment of my tonsilitis.  My tonsils are kissing already!  Meaning the airway has almost been blocked due to the severe inflammation of my tonsils.  Doctors don’t want me risking myself and get to the point where I will have difficulty in breathing.

I opted not to be admitted and promised the doctors that I will religiously drink my oral meds and do all their reminders.

I also had 1 dose of antibacterial med injected through IV for faster result.

Stayed a total of 4 hours in the E.R. tonight and I am grateful that my husband was there with me.  We were even laughing about my condition knowing that I can be better in a few days.  Keeping my fingers crossed.

For now, it’s hands free for me!

Update* 01.09.2017

Getting better and definitely on my way to recovery!  Nothing beats total and complete rest for 5 days!  

Have been taking my meds round the clock, once every 6 hours.  Too strong that I needed to take a nap every time.  A little head ache here and there, part of its side effects.  Tonsils still swollen but not painful anymore.  Can now swallow and eat normal food, just as long as it’s not hard and sharp.  A raspy throat is better than a painful one.

Update *01.15.2017

Finally off my antibiotics, but as advised by my pharmacist brother in law, I need to take Probiotics to cancel all “cancer-prone” particles I could have gotten in my antibiotics.

Not much to lose if I follow right?  So I am taking Erceflora now.  Doesn’t taste good.  So better have some candy or anything that could cover the taste every time you take it.

My tonsils are not swollen anymore, not 100% ok though.  Still has a feeling of raspiness and when I swallow, I still feel a little bit of something.

Don’t take Tonsilitis for granted.  It’s painful and it’s a serious disease because you might not be able to breathe if your tonsils close your air passage.  If your tonsils are big, try to gargle water with salt as a precaution.

The battle is  not over but I am thankful that everything is better now.

Maybe I just needed to slow down and have REAL REST.  My body couldn’t take it anymore.

Thank you to everyone who said their prayers and to everyone who were concerned.

Love you guys!

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Home: Sticker Fun

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Discovered some easy on the pocket decals at Kily!

Still in the process of decorating the kids’ room.  So I started with the spaces that can be done already.

I bought a Cutie Food Decal for only Php 35.00.

Decided to put this sticker on our fridge.  To keep an old fridge cutesy.

For the bathroom, I bought a sticker with a funny design.

For a just a few pesos, you will be able to decorate your space a little with these colorful stickers and at the same time, bond with your kiddos!

There are so many designs to choose from!  Get yours now!

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Shopping: DIY Christmas Presents

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Busy. Busy. Super busy!

With the Christmas Rush and all, it is really hard to make time for shopping for individual presents for friends and families.  Add to that Exams Week and increased orders for my Lock-It Lockets business.

But this doesn’t mean you just have to let the spirit of giving personalized gifts just go away. This present may be somewhat “generic” but we still made some effort in preparing it.

An ordinary cookie jar turned into something a little extra ordinary.

Lined up and ready to be filled!

Bought these cookie jars and they are boxed.  We decided to take them out of their boxes so it’ll look nicer when given.

Christmas Tags

Printed these tags and cut them out.

Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate

I don’t bake cookies but we wanted to put something inside so we bought Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate Drink.  Who doesn’t love chocolates anyway?

We put at least 6 sachets in each jar.  Some of them can’t fit more than 6.

Looped the Christmas Tags into a gold string and wrapped the gold string around the jars.

Gift
Santa
Snowman
Christmas Tree

Aren’t they cute?  It will not be the cost that will make these presents memorable but the effort you put into it.

Merry Christmas!

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