How to Get a Japan Visa?

Is it easy to apply for a Japan Tourist Visa? Yes, but of course, we have to comply with the requirements.

In 2005, Philippines is second from China for the most number of visas issued by Japan. Through the years, Japan has always been one of the most visited countries of travelers from all walks of life.

There is a total of 68 countries and regions with visa exemption to Japan for a short term stay. For the not so lucky Filipinos, we have to apply a tourist visa to visit Japan.

What are the requirements for a Tourist Visa?

  1. Philippine Passport
    Passports must be signed and must have at least two (2) blank visa pages.
  2. Visa Application Form
    Available at the Embassy of Japan in Philippines, at the entrance of the Embassy or at any of the accredited travel agencies.
  3. Photo
    Specs: 4.5cm x 4.5cm, with white background.
    Photo must be taken within 6 months.
    Please write applicant’s name and birthdate on back side of the photo.
    Photo must be pasted on the application form.
  4. Birth Certificate
    IT must be issued within one year from PSA Main Office/Serbilis Outlet Center (Nationwide). We got ours from SM Bayad Centers.
  5. Marriage Certificate (if the applicant is married)
    IT must be issued within one year from PSA Main Office/Serbilis Outlet Center
  6. Daily Schedule in Japan (TAIZAI YOTEIHYO )
  7. Bank Certificate
    Validity of Bank Certificate is three (3) month from the date of issue
  8. Applicant’s Income Tax Return (Form 2316) clear Photocopy (latest)
  9. Certificate of Employment or other proof of income like Mayor’s Permit and DTI if you have business.

If somebody will finance your visit, you also have to provide:

  • Guarantee Letter
  • Proof of relationship between applicant and guarantor (e.g. Birth Certificates etc.)
  • Bank Certificate (original) and Income Tax Return (ITR Form 2316) (clear Photocopy) of Guarantor

How much is the damage?

Visa application is actually free but agencies always ask for visa processing fees. It all depends on the travel agency and the kind of visa that you want to apply. Visa for the purpose of tourism varies from P800 (promo, especially on travel fairs) to P1500 and for a visa to visit relatives and friends (price is higher like P2500). Normally, Japan Visa application processing takes about 7 to 10 business days but it takes shorter for recurrent visitors.

Click this link to view the list of accredited agencies. Accredited agencies has International Air Transport Association (IATA )accreditation, which allows them to transact with travel agents and airlines worldwide. As for me, I transacted with JLT Travel & Tours and the processing took 6 business days. I found this agency during a travel fair in Trinoma mall. Though JLT Travel & Tours is not an accredited agency, I didn’t worry because their agency has a license. My friends processed their visas with Reli Tours and it took them 4 days only.

So friends, I encourage you to visit Japan, not just for a short vacation but for a hiatus. It is indeed one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I would definitely go back again. 🙂

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Skin Problems? Go to Skinovative

Our skin is the largest organ of our body. It is an external organ that we wear and people see it from the outside, which gives us all the more reason to take care of it. Skin problems are normal and for me, they vary from manageable to beyond manageable — wherein I seek the help of experienced skin professionals.

It was around 2007-2008 when I experienced breakouts and I didn’t know what to do. My friend Cath introduced me to his doctor friend, Dr. J. Waltenspiel. He is a graduate from De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute and was trained in Dermatology Institute Foundation of the Philippines. He was just starting out and rented a 2-storey house in Dian Street in Makati and turned it into a clinic. I found his treatment very effective and I was so happy with the results.

Come 2009, he moved his clinic to a better area in Calatagan Street in Makati and named it to “Skinovative Clinic” by J. Waltenspiel.” In 2013, he established another branch in Dasmariñas, Cavite. Both clinics are specialized in Aesthetic Dermatology and are still open for business.

I also tried other derm clinics especially those in the malls because they are mostly accessible (I live in Valenzuela) and none of those were effective. For 5 years, I also stayed and worked in Singapore and went to different skin clinics for my constant need for skin treatment (because I was exposed to sun 8 hours a day); but none of them helped me solve my skin problems, plus the services are very expensive. See my blog post on facial services in Singapore.

Derma Rollers.jpg

So everytime I go for a vacation in the Philippines, I always make sure that I make an appointment with Doc J. His clinic has the most professional aesthetic feel and skin treatments anyone would ever need. His staff are amazing and the clinic’s services are really a value for money.

 

Kumusta na si lolo Jose?

Lagpas isang buwan na din simula nung huling araw ko sa trabaho sa Makati pero dahil may kailangang lakarin halos tuwing Miyerkules ako pumupunta ng Makati. Dinadaanan ko pa din si lolo Jose, minsan andun sya minsan wala. Nang natyempuhan ko sya nung minsan, tinanong nya ko “Hindi ka ba napapagod”. Sabi ko “Bakit po?”, “Lagi ka kasing may nilalakad.” Napangiti na lang ako sabay kumusta sa kanya. Nakita ko na konte lang laman ng bag nya kaya napatanong ako kung asan na yung mga gamit nya. Nanakawan na naman sya ng mga gamit kaya ayun wala na yung unan at kumot na dinodate ng kaibigan ko. Ayaw na din daw syang patulugin dun sa tinutulugan nya sa Mandaluyong kasi maraming nawawalan ng gamit.

Lolo Jose
Last July 19, 2017

Kinumusta ko din kung magkano na naipon nyang pera dun sa doctor na sinasabi nya na tutulong maoperahan sya, asa anim na libo na daw eh bentesingko ang kailangan para sa operasyon nya. Ganun pa din tinanggihan pa din nya ko kumain kahit sa malapit na fastfood lang. Tinapay lang daw ok na sya. May ilan ilan na ding akong napagforwardan ng kwento ni lolo Jose pero sa facebook lang. Katulad ng Fan Page ng DSWD, TV Patrol, Jessica Soho, DSWD Sec. Judy M. Taguiwalo, DOH, Mandaluyong City, My Makati pero di sila nagbabasa ng message. Nagreply si DSWD Sec. Judy M. Taguiwalo after isang buwan kung andun pa si lolo pero di na nya ulet nabasa reply ko sa message nya.

Lolo Jose
Last August 16, 2017

Sumusulat ako ulet para magbakasakali na may makabasa nito na nakakakilala kay Gilbert Flores Salgado kapatid ni lolo Jesus na asa Bicol. Kung hinde ko man magawan ng paraan na madala dun si lolo baka naman masundo sya ng kapatid nya. Bukod dun gusto ko din magpasalamat sa mga kaibigan ko na nagshare ng post ko at sa nagdonate para kay lolo, God Bless sa inyo.

For lolo Jose

Sa paminsan minsang pagdaan ko sa Paseo De Roxas sa building ng China bank during lunch break nakikita ko ang isang lolo na nanlilimos. Sa kapirasong karton nakasulat na humihingi sya ng tulong pambili ng gamot. Pagkain talaga ako kapag nagpalimos hangga’t maari kaya naman napapunta ako sa nearest convenient store para mabilihan sya ng lunch. Tumatak Sa puso’t isip ko nung inabot ko yung pagkain, napawika si lolo ng “Hay Salamat” and I felt how hungry he was then.

Mula noon I make it sure na may maabot akong good sa kanya pag mapapadaan ako dun. He’s name is Jesus Flores Salgado, may ulcer sya kaya nanlilimos ng pambili ng meds. Dati syang nagtatrabaho as driver hanggang Sa magkacataract na sya. Enthusiatic pa nga si lolo nung sinabi nya na makakapagtrabaho pa sya kung maoperahan lang sya.

Hanggang ngayong July na Lang ako magwowork Sa Makati mamimiss ko yung habbit ng pagdaan daan kay lolo Jose kaya naisipan ko na araw arawin. 80 years old na pala si lolo. One time niyaya ko sya maglunch para sana makakain naman sya ng maayos kaso masakit yung tuhod nya. I asked him kung nasan yung pamilya nya. Namatay sa sunog last year yung mag ina nya. Wala syang bahay minsan asa may ilalim ng tulay sa Mandaluyong daw sya. May kamag anak pa naman sya kaso asa Mindanao pa.

May ibang mga tao din na tumutulong sa kanya pero in a way nakakalungkot na short term solution lang napoprovide namin sa situation nya. Nagpaalam ako if ok lang picturan ko sya para maiblog and he agreed. Sabi ko “Sana po may tumulong sa inyo”. Ang optimistic naman nya na sinabi na “Meron yan”.

I am hoping that this can be a way to find him help that he deserves, yung long term ba. Tipong mapagamot yung mga karamdaman nya and madala sya sa kamag anak nya Sa Mindanao na gusto pa nyang makasama. I believe in the power of social media sana makarating sa mag taong makakatulong kay lolo. To those people na kilala din si lolo Jose and nagaabot ng tulong sa kanya, God Bless!

 

Must haves for a working mom to be

Must haves for a working mom to beBeing pregnant is hard. You’ll experience a lot of changes mentally, physically and emotionally.

For most pregnant women, the first trimester is the most delicate, which makes it more difficult for a working mom.

There are a lot of things I wished I knew during my pre-natal months. If you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon, the following might also help you cope up with pregnancy.

Candy – Helped me ease morning sickness and dizziness from everyday commuting. As too much sugar must be avoided, go for sugar free. There are write-ups that peppermint is not good for pregnant women so if you love methol candies like me, you can have spearmint as an alternative.

Plastic bag – I often vomited on my way to work, especially when I smelled something unpleasant for my picky nose. There were times I forgot to bring one so I ended up buying something from sidewalk vendors just to get a plastic bag.

Water – Pregnant women are prone to UTI so always drink water. Always remember, you are drinking for two.

Fan/umbrella – Our body temperature rises during pregnancy thus we feel more hot. And for my case, it was the reason why I got irritated at times.

Lala even bought me a window-type aircon because I couldn’t take the summer heat. And when I wasn’t home I used a mini battery-operated fan whenever the temperature was unbearable.

Balm – This helped me a lot during the times when I smelled something weird like while on public transportation. Vicks and White Flower also worked.

Maternity/Nursing bra – One of the physical changes encountered during pregnancy is that your boobs get bigger. Maternity bras are indeed a must have to make you comfortable. Buy a maternity bra that is also designed to be a nursing bra. I use Coobie bras until now.

Snack/Lunch Baon –
It is normal for pregnant woman to be always hungry or craving for food. In my case, I was also picky so I brought snacks and lunch so that I won’t spend too much on food. Besides, eating clean food is a must so it’s better to eat your baon — at least you are sure it’s clean.

And that’s all. I hope this list can help you on your day-to-day commuting and working. You can also check my cousin’s pregnancy must haves in her pregnancy update posts at http://www.thebluepurse.com.

Baptismal Wish list

Next week, it will be Lucas’ christening and I’d like thank you if you are thinking of giving my little babi a gift.

For those asking for our wish list, please see the list below.

1. Baby chair (for easy feeding)

2. Feeding set

3. Sippy water bottle

4. Food processor

5. Juicer

6. Neck float

7. Swimming outfit

8. Organic baby food

But remember, it is your presence that will make us happier.

An unusual Valentines date

Whenever I think of Valentine’s date, a picture of crowded malls and restaurants is the first that comes to mind. I can’t even remember the last time I was out for Valentine’s day.

Now, I’m back in Manila. Lala and I have been trying to make up for our two years of long distance relationship. We decided to go out and have an unusual Valentines date.

We went to Quiapo, Manila, not to tour around one of the most notorious market in the world for counterfeit and pirated goods but to shop for mountain bike accessories.

Quezon boulevard in Quiapo is one of the well-known places for buying bicycles and accessories. And if you’re up for buying cheap China-made accessories, there are a lot of sidewalk vendors offering a range of products.

Lala bought the following: Bottle cage mount – P80 Bike seat cover – P100 Bike front light – P120 Bicycle bell – P180

For serious cyclists, there are quality products in some of the shops. However I don’t suggest buying bicycles here as it is much cheaper in Cartimar in Libertad, Pasay.

When in Quiapo, don’t eat fastfood at the Filipino restaurants because the place is known for old Chinese eateries. One of the famous restaurants here is Ma Mon Luk.

Ma Mon Luk is named after a Chinese-Filipino chef/entrepreneur who is the innovator of siopao and mami here in Philippines. The eatery is an indoor open space ventilated with huge ceiling fans. The menu, plus framed write-ups and newspaper clips about the eatery hang on their wooden wall.

The place is an image of restaurant settings in Filipino movies during the 80s. They offer a limited selection of food, from mami, siopao, siomai, softdrinks, and bottled water.

We tried the special mami, special siopao, and siomai. The noodles was ok but the mami soup was too gamey for me to eat. Their siopao is good but it has a lot of salted egg inside, making it salty. Their siomai is big and meaty.

The noodles and siopao are handmade and the serving is quite big for me. That’s the reason why the price is not that cheap. It was a good experience eating out in a tradionally old eatery but overall the food there is not something I would crave for.

It was definitely a unique way to spend Valentines Day. It was like a tour in a some ways as I was also introduced to other known eateries in the area.