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Renewing my passport and a bit of rant

6 Jan

I haven’t finished blogging about our Japan trip yet and we’re already booked for our next holiday. My husband procrastinates like hell for doing chores but when he sees a promo he grabs it like the last pack of pasta in the supermarket. That’s how he rolls.

In the middle of looking at cities we can visit, he turns to me and says “When does your passport expire?” And I calmly reply that it’s not expiring until October.

Then he tells me to count the months from the last day of our planned trip.
We leave April 8 and my passport expires October 1. I lack 7 days for my current passport to be valid. Gros panic.

I immediately check out the Philippine Embassy’s website and download the application form. According to them these are what I’ll need:

    – Personal appearance for the EPassport’s photo and biometrics
    – Original + photocopy of my passport and pages 1, 2, 3, the page where the Schengen visa is, and the last page
    – Original + photocopy of the residence card
    – Original + photocopy of marriage certificate from the NSO and certified by the DFA (red ribbon)

Good that they don’t need you to bring passport sized photos anymore. That’s one good thing with the EPassport.

Another good thing about renewing it here is that there are no lines. I arrived at the embassy at 9:30 am and I only had to wait for like 5 mins. Record breaking dealing time with the DFA.

The bad thing though is the price. I can’t believe how expensive it is to get a passport here. It was 86 freaking €s! That’s like 4400 pesosesoses.

Also, the embassy person didn’t even check my documents. My gosh, I stressed out for nothing for that authenticated marriage certificate. I thought that those documents only had a limited validity time, like 6 months at the most. So I asked my mom to order from the NSO, get it to the DFA and send it to me. Then one of my mom’s friends told me that I can use the old one. I emailed the embassy and they confirmed that I do need an authenticated marriage certificate but that once I have one like that, the issuance date is irrelevant. So in short, what I already have will be valid forever.

And when I got there to apply, they didn’t even take a look at the marriage certificate nor take the photocopies. They didn’t even take the copies of the residence card. Hello! Then why were they asking for them in the first place? Added stress for nothing. He could have at least pretended to look.

Then when I was paying for the passport, the first thing the cashier tells me is that I should have the exact amount because I was the first payer of the day and that she didn’t have change. Okay ka lang? Parang nasa Pilipinas ka lang no? Baka gusto mong suklian ako ng candy?

Good thing I was in a good mood that morning and I let it go. I told her that I’ll get my change when I come back to claim my passport.

So that was my experience in renewing my passport. Easy but exasperating at the same time. But it had to be done or else I will miss our first major holiday of the year and that will suck more than having to deal with the embassy people.

What about you? Is it time for you to renew?

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Missing Christmas in the Philippines

2 Dec

A few of my friends shared this video on Facebook. And as one friend appropriately described it: “Crayola”. I can totally relate – being abroad myself.

Since moving to France a few years back, I’ve never spent Christmas with my family in the Philippines. We’ve thought about going this year but Xmas is on a Sunday, the husband has to work the week between xmas and new year, stuff – in short, not this year.

Basta, just get the tissue and watch the video.

5 weeks out

15 Apr

So many stories, so many things happened. Sometimes it felt like we have been on holiday for a year and sometimes for only a week.

I was very happy during the entire trip despite the schedule changes and maybe 2 days of depression after the cancellation of our Japan trip. The big one that got away. Overall it was an awesome 5 weeks off. Just what the doctor ordered.

But I am glad to be back in Paris too. So glad that I even got excited doing the dishes – first time in 5 weeks. I look forward to doing the laundry myself tonight as well.

It’s funny that living in the Philippines is soooo different from living here but I like them both.

Or I just need to take a break from each lifestyle every once in a while to really appreciate them both.

Pictures and more stories to come soon. Watch for it.

Coconut Macaroons

7 Mar

A friend invited us to dinner the other night and assigned us to bring dessert. I instantly ran all the recipes I’ve been wanting to do in my head but I didn’t really find anything I wanted to make for that night. Pies are the easiest classic dessert to bring and honestly I am sort of sick and tired of eating pies already. Also, I just made apple crumb pie the other week and G and I finished it off in 3 days.

So I thought, why not something sort of Filipino-ish? Yes! So I searched for easy desserts on the internet and stumbled upon this site: Panlasang Pinoy and it’s full of easy to do Pinoy recipes with mouth watering photos to boot.

I used to Love, with a capital L, coconut macaroons. But ever since a horrible experience when I was about 9 or so, I have never ever ever eaten a single macaroon until now. And after making this recipe, I remembered why I loved them so much and that horrible experience is now just a thing of the past.

Coconut Macaroons – from Panlasang Pinoy

* I cut this recipe in half and got maybe 60 or so small macaroons

  • 400 g sweet shredded coconut or dessicated coconut
  • 225 g butter
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 380 g condensed milk
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cream butter. Add sugar until well blended
  3. Add eggs then add condensed milk, mix well until blended
  4. Add shredded coconut and mix with a spatula
  5. Place 1 tablespoon of the mixture in a mold lined with paper cups
  6. Bake the macaroons for 30 minutes or until the top turns golden brown
  7. Deguster

Isn’t it easy as 1-2-3?

And everyone loved it as well.

Registered voter

5 Mar

On May 10, 2010 millions of Filipinos will be flocking to voting stations to cast their votes for all governement positions. From the president down to city councilor. I however will not be one of those people…because I have it better.

First, I don’t have to wait until May 10 and second, I can vote from my own warm sheepskin covered armchair at home. No need to fall in line under the scorching Manila sun to have indelible ink marked on my well manicured cuticles. I got my ballot in the mail!! And all I need is to fill in the names and affix my right thumb mark (like in all Filipino documents), seal it and send it back to the embassy.

It’s my second time to vote as an overseas absentee voter, actually it’s my 2nd time to vote, period. I was in the country for the last local elections but never bothered. I like voting for the big guns. And as an OAV-er we only vote for the president, vice-president, 12 senators, and a party list.

And this year’s elections seems like a great big circus full of controversies. For the first time, automated voting machines will be used.But the best part is the candidates themselves. So F-U-N. I like reading about them bashing each other out and reading about their supporters bashing other supporters for their choices. I wish I was there to see baby James do the moonwalk so his tito Noy would have lots and lots of voters. I’d also like to see what outfit Nikki would wear in the next Gibo sortie. I also want to see if Villar’s hair is really nicely cut and colored. But alas, I cannot. But I can vote for my guy. I hope he wins even if it seems like it’s a long shot.

Now where is that inkpad?