Tag Archives: Philippines

Baguio envy

11 Feb

My family was up in Baguio over the weekend. I miss spending time with them, especially on trips like this. The last time I went to Baguio with them was 4 years ago.  While my parents were off to some fancy schmancy dinner, my brothers and I ordered firewood and told stories around the fireplace. Good times. I miss the BCC cottages too. They’re so relaxing, homey and woodsy. Makes you feel like you’re in the woods in some far away country.

I was looking at their photos and I was soooooo envious and homesick. I heard they bought tons of raisin bread from the BCC bakery too. That bread is the bomb!

Anyway our Baguio trips are always fun. People watching, crazy revelations, free food, free booze.

*Sigh*. I wonder when I’ll be able to go back there with them.

How to get a Japan visa

9 Feb

I don’t know how it is in the Philippines but I was surprised at how easy it was for me to get a Japan visa in France. I was a bit stressed when preparing the documents for the application because I didn’t read the requirements all the way through. On the website, I saw the following sentence in red and I just stopped there.

les fichiers électroniques/duplicata/ fax/ imprimés depuis des automates ne sont pas acceptés sauf si certifiés par un cachet original de l’établissement émetteur.

You see, all our bills are electronic so we don’t actually receive any original copies by mail. Whenever we need those, we just print them out. But the Japan embassy does not accept printed out copies. So I nagged and nagged and nagged the husband to call EDF to get them to send us a copy of our electricity bill. To those not in France, the EDF bill is considered as proof of residence and is needed in all transactions with the government and even in buying a phone line.

Plus I have to renew my titre de sejour soon after my planned trip to the embassy for the visa and I need my passport for that one.

The copy arrived a month later. It was just then that I read the list of actual requirements.

The EDF document was not in the list of requirements. Toink! The rest of the requirements were basic visa application documents (bank statements, passports, itinerary, etc).

Here’s the list of requirements in english. You can find more information at the Japan Embassy website (in french).

  • a valid passport (non-biometric ones are accepted, like mine)
  • titre de sejour
  • visa application form
  • 1 ID photo
  • roundtrip plane reservations
  • last 3 bank statements proving you have enough funds to go on the trip
  • proof of revenue (last 3 payslips)
  • hotel reservations for the duration of the stay
  • itinerary

Not a lot of papers really. Just the usual. So imagine the face of the husband when I told him I didn’t need the EDF document after all.

You don’t need an appointment to submit the application form. You just go to the embassy between 9:30am – 12 noon. I arrived at around 9:45 and I was the 2nd one there. No lines, no hassle. It helps that the French don’t need visas to go to Japan.

So the lady gets my papers, tells me to wait for a bit while she sends the documents to her superiors.

5 minutes later, she comes back and calls me. I can claim my passport with my visa after 2 days. The cost: Free.

Cool! Apparently there’s an agreement between the Philippines and Japan that tourist visas for less than 45 days are free.


2 days later, I go back for the visa. I was the only one there. No lines, no waiting. I was in and out in 2 minutes. I love how efficient the Japanese are compared to the French. To renew my titre de sejour, I have to go to the prefecture to wait for at least 2 hours to schedule an appointment for renewal in 3 months. How lovely.

Anyway long story short….I’m all set and ready to go!


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?