Saturday, November 16, 2013

2013 Nov: Support Typhoon Haiyan Survivors

In Anderson Cooper’s reporter’s notebook @AC360 video

When everything else is taken away - you see things, you see people as they really are.

With aid and assistance, compassion and care, this place these people, they will make it through. They've already survived the worst. 

They are perhaps tired and traumatized, but THEY ARE NOT BROKEN.  

Mabuhay Philippines, Maraming Salamat for all you've shown us. Maraming salamat for showing us all how to live.

As people traveling in this world, as Filipino traveled or soon visit these affected provinces in Visayas, Philippines - make a difference and let's do our share.  Click below and save lives!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

2013 Oct: Binondo, Manila: Miracle Art Museum

On our side trip in Binondo (aside from our China Visa application), we have visited Lucky Chinatown.  It’s a miracle, yes! It came as a surprise that there is on-going Miracle Art Exhibition there (until December 2013).  

Entrance Fee:  It is normally at 300php, but was able to get 20% off.  Now it is offered to only 199php in

You’ll not be disappointed at the exhibit and the fee is worth the photos.  So grab your cameras now and experience the miracle art!

What is Miracle Art?  It is the multi-dimensioned illusion pictures drawn by special technique. 

2013 Oct: Visa Application for Beijing, China

My last trip in China was in Shanghai on 2010. After 3 years, we'll be going back and this time to Beijing. Since personal visa application in the embassy is not a convenient experience (read my first time Chinese Visa application), we decided to get the travel agency service for this requirement.

I initially inquire at Reli Tours in SM Southmall Las Pinas and they quote me with a shocking 5000 service fee and a deposit of 1000 for the list of requirements. How come it is overpriced? Probably, because they are a partner agency of Japanese Embassy and not China. If I say yes, that would mean my roundtrip ticket is equivalent to the visa service fee and that will not be a smart traveler decision.

Thank you to for recommending Asia Pacific Travel in Escolta, Manila. 

Asia Pacific Travel
G/F AIC Center Bldg., Escolta St., Brgy 291, Zone 027., Binondo, Manila
Tel #:3533127/3533729/3533697
Also, open on Saturdays: 8:0am - 12:00n

Going there: By commuting take a jeepney going to Divisoria.  This will pass Jones Bridge, AIC building is the first building on your right side.  

For private cars, you can take the street parking in front of the office/building. On your way back, since Jones Bridge is one-way, take the street going to Santa Cruz and take the Mac Arthur Bridge to reach Lawton area.

What are the requirements for second-timer applicants:
1. Passport with your old China visa.  
2. Photocopy of the identification page of the passport and old China Visa
3. Photo (2by2) with white background that should be paste (not stapled) on the form
4. Filled-up application form (available on web and in the office)
5. Itinerary can be attached (but also asked in the application form)
6. Others would say they need Invitation Letter (But I only prepared: round trip tickets and hotel reservations)

I prepared Certificate of Employment and Bank Statements (but these were not required for second-timer applicants).  After submitting all the documents, we only paid 1600Php, 1400Php for the actual visa fee and 200Php for the travel agency service fee.  After 4 working days, it is already available in their office. I was able to get my passport and visa (30-day stay) the following weekend and all transactions went well.  Thank you very much Asia Pacific Travel for making this easy for us.