Category Archives: Philippines

Enjoy Festivals in the Philippines

Happy Filipinos always find a reason to celebrate. MyProperty.ph lists down upcoming festivities around the country that can help you plan your next vacation destination

Pahiyas Festival, Quezon - Photo Courtesy of Kuhreizy - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 WikiMedia Commons

Pahiyas Festival, Quezon – Photo Courtesy of Kuhreizy – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 WikiMedia Commons

To truly experience the Philippines, you should see and partake in traditional festivities that almost every province in the country is proud of. Philippine festivals are perhaps the most effective way to be familiar with the country’s rich and colorful history.

Summer is the best time to make your travel itineraries and experience the Philippines. To help you add an authentic and unique cultural feel to your next getaway, MyProperty comes up with a list of entertaining festivals you can explore. Witness streets come alive with exciting dance and vibrant activities filled with locals and tourists all hyped up to participate in the fun.

Fruit Festivals in March

The tropical country of the Philippines boasts fresh and mouth-watering fruit that are abundantly offered in various provinces; thus, each town celebrates the harvest through fiestas dedicated for the corresponding fruit that a place is known for. For instance, the festivities for the Strawberry Festival of La Trinidad, Benguet, started last March of 2017 and will run until April. Likewise, the world-renowned sweet mangoes of Zambales also have a festival under its name. Held every April in time for the bumper mango harvest, the Mango Festival is surely an exciting feast that attracts mango-lovers as well as tourists who enjoy the exciting tourist spots in Zambales.

Both the Strawberry and Mango Festivals feature street parades, float competition, and trade events where you can sample the best products made from these succulent fruit.

Bangus Festival in April

Celebrated yearly every April in Dagupan City, Pangasinan, is the Bangus (milkfish) Festival meant to honor the bountiful harvest of the province. Pangasinan, the milkfish capital of the Philippines, started a tradition of lighting hundreds of barbeque grills for locals and tourists to sample and savor the delicious bangus. The grills stretch more than a kilometer long, highlighting the importance of the festival to the natives of the province. The grill parade also features a cooking contest, eating competition, dance performances, and street parties. The longest barbeque of culinary experts even earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Sarangani Bay Festival in May

The Sarangani Bay Festival, also known as Sarbay Festival, is an annual event that unites both locals and tourists alike in a two-day fun fair. Scheduled every third week of May, this festival celebrated in Sarangani Province is one of the most popular beach events in the Philippines’ southern island of Mindanao. The event caters to all party-goers as it offers a mixture of activities for all. They have extreme outdoor sports for adrenaline junkies or bay parties for fun-seekers. A Filipino festival will never be complete without a gastronomic feast and Sarangani Bay Festival offers one of the best. The fresh produce of Sarangani is surely an exciting reason to visit and taste the best flavors.

More than being a lively fiesta, you can also contribute to the community through conservation efforts that happen alongside the festivities, such as mangroves planting. Enjoying pristine beaches while taking care of nature is beyond doubt an excellent way to spend your free time.

Pasalamat Festival in May

As a way of thanksgiving to a generous harvest, the Pasalamat Festival is held every First of May or the closest Sunday to the date in La Carlota City in Negros Occidental. The festival highlights a gathering of participants at the base of Mount Kanlaon where cultural traditions to thank the gods of fertility of the mountain are celebrated. Colorful costumes and masks, as well as street music and dances plus delicious local fares, can also be enjoyed in this fiesta.

Pahiyas Festival in May

The Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, Quezon, is one of the most popular festivals in the Philippines, thanks to the very colorful and elaborate decorations that adorn the houses of this quiet town every May 15. The decorations, which are known as kiping, are leaf-shaped rice wafers and are arranged in elaborate patterns forming large flowers or colorful chandeliers.

Celebrated to honor the patron saint of farmers, San Isidro Labrador, the feast is also the town’s way to thank a great harvest. Pahiyas Festival is also must-attend event especially by food lovers as authentic and delectable dishes are prepared by every household. Hundreds of stalls and merchants of locally produced items, such as the town’s famous longganisang lukban and pansit habhab, are also available for all attendees who are looking for unique souvenirs. Known as one of the most colorful events in the Philippines, Pahiyas Festival is certainly an amazing blend of culture, food, and lifestyle in one exciting affair.

ABOUT LAMUDI

Lamudi is a leading global property portal focusing exclusively on emerging markets. It offers sellers, buyers, landlords and renters a secure and easy-to-use platform to find or list properties online. Lamudi was established in 2013 in Berlin, Germany, and it is currently available in Asia (the Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka), Latin America (Mexico, Colombia, and Peru), and the Middle East (Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates). Within fewer than three years, Lamudi has established its presence as a key online real estate marketplace in the countries where it is operating. For more information, visit Lamudi Philippines on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

ABOUT MYPROPERTY

Established in September 2010, MyProperty.ph is one of the leading Philippine real estate online and print brand that brings property buyers and sellers together. The website’s main offerings are listings of pre-selling properties and properties for sale and for rent. Both website and magazine also provide relevant and updated industry news and information for its clients and consumers. And with the release of its mobile version, finding or selling a home is made even easier. For more information, visit MyProperty on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram.

Crown of Confidence and Decadence at Marriott Manila

Dine, Drink, and Be Pampered Like Miss Universe at Marriott Hotel Manila

Marriott Café Bakery’s Crown of Confidence and Decadence
Don’t wear it. Eat it! It’s a slice of what it feels to reign as the most beautiful for only P205 nett. The crown of confidence and decadence is a tiara made of moist chocolate cake, salted caramel chocolate ganache, rolled fondant, silver dragée, isomalt blue stone, and handmade pastillage. It is yum!

Marriott Cafe

A Taste of the Universe at Marriott Café

Are you confidently beautiful with a heart? If you are, mark your calendars because as early as January 16, you can dine, drink, and be pampered like a beauty queen at Marriott Hotel Manila!

Have a taste of the best cuisines the universe has to offer at Marriott Café.  To celebrate with the country’s hosting of Miss Universe 2016, it will be offering a taste of the countries that brought home the coveted crown: Mexico’s grilled skirt steaks with tortilla and guacamole, Angola’s arroz de coco e papaia with piri-piri marinated shrimps (rice with papaya and coconut milk), USA’s Texas style BBQ ribs with Mac and Cheese, Venezuela’s Chivo en Coco (goat in coconut stew with rice and fried plantains), Colombia’s Tamales with Hogao (marinated pork wrapped in corn meal with Colombian tomato salsa), and Philippines’ Binacol (chicken soup cooked in tamarind and coconut juice). Great conversations with your family, friends, or business partners will surely revolve around these dishes for dinner at P2,100 per person.

Cru Steakhouse

Queen Bee Set Menu at Cru Steakhouse

Wear your elegant evening dress or gown and dine at Cru Steakhouse with its Queen Bee Set Menu: Salmon Carpaccio (salmon gravlax, beetroot salad, and horseradish cream) for appetizer, a hearty soup of Sweet Corn Velouté (organic vegetable fajitas and chive oil), Fillet Mignon (seared foie gras, rosti potatoes, mushroom ragoût, and blueberry sauce) for main course, and Ube Maclair (purple yam macaron, chantilly jellied dalandan coulis, Good Shepherd ube cream, and pili nut crumble) for dessert. This special menu for P3,000 nett is definitely fabulous in every bite!

Marriott Hotel Manila Greatroom

Marriott Hotel Manila Greatroom

Miss Universe Cocktails

Ms. Universe Cocktails at the Greatroom

Fancy a mix fit for a queen? Find the “sash of cocktails” that fit you best, strike a pose, and toast it with friends. The Greatroom serves Miss Congeniality for P375, Miss Photogenic for P345, The Runner Ups for P375, The Queen for P360, and Beauty and Brains for P280.

Miss Universe Viewing Party at the Hotel Lobby at 8:30 a.m. on January 30
The party continues with a live telecast of the most beautiful day in the universe. With wit and grace, gather your girlfriends and indulge with every bite and sip as you watch every winning moment of the competition on January 30. If your choice for Pia Wurzbach’s successor is right, you and your friends will win an overnight stay at a Premium Room of the newly opened West Wing where you can pamper yourselves in its luxurious amenities complete with fresh cocktails and sumptuous bar chows.

All these are a confidently beautiful experience you shouldn’t miss. At Marriott Hotel Manila, you will dine, drink, and be treated like a beauty queen.

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For more information, please call 988 9999 or visit www.manilamarriott.com. To join ongoing conversations, like Facebook.com/MarriottHotelManila, follow @marriottmanila on Twitter and @manilamarriott on Instagram.

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Save Money Traveling with iMoney PH

Tips on How You Can Save Money Every Time You Travel

It’s possible to travel and have fun without having to spend a fortune and max out your best travel credit cards, only to pay it all off in the coming months. Spending a lot of money on holiday does not guarantee you’ll have more fun, anyway. Traveling need not be all about lavish and unnecessary spending. Below are some ideas that you can try to save money while traveling without sacrificing fun and relaxation.

Look for Affordable Accommodations

It’s nice to stay in a beautiful hotel. But if you will be spending all day outside visiting must-see tourist attractions, you will only be using your hotel room for shower and sleep. Instead of fancy hotels, you can opt to stay at more affordable boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts, or backpacker’s hostels. If you’re not fussy, you can also check if your destination has couch-surfing options.

Cook Your Own Meals

Food costs can add up rapidly if you’re not careful. Instead of eating lunch and dinner at restaurants, you can buy groceries and cook your own meals. You can just make your own breakfast or have a light dinner at your hotel room.

Most hotel breakfasts are also expensive, and they don’t taste that spectacular as well. If you don’t want to feel deprived of the local cuisine, you can allot one meal to eat outside. Check online for restaurants near your area. Read reviews and compare prices. This way, you’ll know which dishes are worth trying, and how much you have to spend on your meal.

Avoiding Eating in Touristy Places

Sometimes you just have to give in because they are so conveniently near the tourist attractions. But remember to not eat within six blocks of a huge tourist attraction. Prices at these food establishments are way more expensive because locals like to think that all tourists have big money to spend while on vacation.

What you can do instead is to explore side streets and hole in the wall establishments. You will have to be adventurous, but the food is a lot more exciting, costs a lot cheaper, and tastes a whole lot better.

Use Public Transportation

You can Uber your way around town, but what’s the use of going to a place you’ve never been if you have a driver taking you around town? Explore and discover places by walking, cycling, rowing, or taking buses and trains. Take midnight buses or overnight trains when you’re going home late. They’re cheaper and way more fun than sitting at the backseat of a taxi or rented car.

Make the Most out of Free Tourist attractions

Beaches, mountains, museums, and parks are your best bets when it comes to enjoying and exploring without spending anything. Most museums are free in any country you visit. Some may have special exhibits or events that will require a fee or donation. Parks and beaches are usually open to the public. If you want to hike, you can get a local guide or join a group to save on costs.

Already on your toes and ready to go? If you’re traveling on a budget, be sure to check out these best budget places to visit in the Philippines, pure enjoyment guaranteed without breaking the bank!

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Author Bio

Rouselle Isla is an avid book lover who enjoys both printed and digital formats. She also contributes to various reputable online websites and is currently a content creator for iMoney Philippines.

How Much Do You Know About Philippine Independence?

Philippines is known around the world for its rich and diverse culture that has truly captivated the hearts of many tourists—foreign and local alike. But did you know that its rich and diverse culture roots down to one of the world’s most interesting history known to man. While many people are aware that June 12 holds a special place in many Filipino’s heart, there are still many that are unaware of its true essence.

Here’s an Infographic by M2.0, the leading PR company in the Philippines, on what went down on June 12, one of the pivotal moments in Philippine History, plus facts that many Filipinos would want to know.

118 Years After: How Well Do You Know About Philippine Independence?

Looking for Foreclosed Properties to Purchase?

Lamudi Data Shows Where Buyers Can Find Foreclosed Properties

Global real estate portal Lamudi Philippines studied its data on foreclosed houses

In case homebuyers are wondering where they can get affordable houses, cities in Bulacan, Laguna, and Rizal right on the fringes of Metro Manila offer them the most viable options, as these areas are teeming with foreclosed properties, according to data from global real estate website Lamudi Philippines.

In its latest data analysis, Lamudi found that the cities of San Jose Del Monte (Bulacan), Dasmariñas (Cavite), San Mateo (Rizal), Bacoor (Cavite), and Santa Rosa (Laguna) have the most number of listed foreclosed houses in the website. These are followed by Antipolo (Rizal), Imus (Cavite), Caloocan (Metro Manila), San Pedro (Laguna), and Quezon City (Metro Manila). Caloocan and Quezon City are the lone Metro Manila cities that made it the top 10. Together, these cities comprise 51 percent of all foreclosed houses listed in the Lamudi website.

In terms of prices, San Jose Del Monte offers the most affordable foreclosed houses among the top 10 cities. Foreclosed houses in this Bulacan city average Php336,000. Quezon City, meanwhile, offer much pricier foreclosed houses, averaging Php5.33 million.

CITY AVE. PRICE NO. OF LISTINGS
San Jose del Monte P336,000 1,046
Dasmariñas P686,000 635
San Mateo P503,000 487
Bacoor P1.67 million 320
Santa Rosa P1.08 million 253
Antipolo P2.45 million 225
Imus P1.40 million 221
Caloocan P1.54 million 171
San Pedro P1.49 million 147
Quezon City P5.33 million 145

Average prices of foreclosed houses listed on Lamudi Philippines. Data as of March 31, 2016.

Onsite Search

In terms of onsite search volume, Quezon City is the most-searched city for foreclosed properties in the Lamudi website from January 1 to March 31, 2016.

More than 6 percent of all searches for foreclosed properties conducted during the period involved Metro Manila’s largest city. Quezon City is followed by the cities of Las Piñas, Parañaque, and San Jose del Monte, the provinces of Benguet and Laguna, and then by Caloocan. Together, these areas captured almost 20 percent of total search volume for foreclosed properties in the Lamudi website.

Filipinos’ interest for foreclosed properties has also been increasing every quarter, at least according to Lamudi data.

The property website showed that search volume for foreclosed properties increased 5 percent from Q2 2015 to Q3 2015; 9 percent from Q3 2015 to Q4 2015; and a remarkable 75 percent from Q4 2015 to Q1 2016.

On the other hand, the proportion of searches attributed to foreclosed properties in relation to total searches made has also been increasing every quarter: 1.42 percent in Q2 2015; 1.68 percent in Q3 2015; 2.15 percent in Q4 2015; and 2.34 percent in Q1 2016.

Filipinos Still Uneducated About Foreclosures

However, foreclosed properties may not be on most people’s game plan when buying their first property. Perhaps because of pity or because they feel they are taking advantage of others’ misfortune, Filipino homebuyers may hesitate to buy foreclosed houses.

But this should not be the case. According to Ramil Arquileta, CEO of My Saving Grace Realty and Development Corp., a firm that specializes in foreclosed properties, foreclosed properties offer homebuyers that best affordable option in order for them to finally afford a home.

There are several advantages of buying foreclosed homes, according to Arquileta. “For one, the buyer can use regular housing loan or mortgage financing to acquire the property.”

In addition, the property will also be sold for the outstanding mortgage balance owed by the previous owner to the foreclosing mortgage holder. This means the property will be sold at a much lower price. Most importantly, as properties that became foreclosed are under the name of the foreclosing bank or mortgage holder, the titles will be clear, eliminating the risk for homebuyers to get scammed.

However, Arquileta advises would-be buyers of foreclosed properties to buy only from banks and their accredited brokers/brokerages to minimize the risk of ending up with a problematic property.

But Filipinos’ attitude toward foreclosures looks to be changing gradually, as shown by Lamudi’s data. As more and more banks and financial institutions are exploring online tools to market these non-performing assets, Filipinos will find it easier to discover and inquire about foreclosed properties. At least three major banks are now working with Lamudi to effectively market their acquired assets. As of this writing, there are almost 19,500 foreclosed properties listed on Lamudi, ranging from houses and condos to parking spaces and residential lots.

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ABOUT LAMUDI

Launched in 2013, Lamudi is a global property portal focusing exclusively on emerging markets. The fast-growing platform is currently available in 34 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, with more than 800,000 real estate listings across its global network. The leading real estate marketplace offers sellers, buyers, landlords and renters a secure and easy-to-use platform to find or list properties online. For more information, please visit http://www.lamudi.com.ph

Visit Lamudi Philippines on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Derek Ramsay, My Candidate

My Candidate

My Candidate, the Movie

My Candidate, the Movie

Derek, Iza & Shaina give the election season a romantic twist in “My Candidate”

Now, that the election fever has died down. The Filipinos have voted, and lucky candidates have emerged the winners. I think it’s time to get that much needed break and watch a movie. If you have unfriended your favorite movie buddy during the campaign period, well, pick from your loyal friends. *wink*

Showbiz hunk Derek Ramsay, Iza Calzado and Shaina Magdayao give us a different tale of love and romance this election season via “My Candidate” from Quantum Films, MJM Productions, Tuko Film Productions at Butchi Boy Films, producers of the award-winning and critically-acclaimed romantic-comedy films, “English Only, Please” and “#Walang Forever.”

The film is set against a political background and so, it is timely as today’s headlines.

Derek plays Congressman Sonny Suarez, now seeking a Senate seat. He may be a perfect candidate but is painfully shy and a bit withdrawn.

Iza, meanwhile, is Vera Sanchez, Sonny’s erstwhile girlfriend and archrival in his senatorial bid.

She possesses strengths lacking in Sonny.  She's charming as well as engaging but is not able to relate to people from the grassroots.

Shaina is Billie Pono, a life coach and communications trainer.  Sonny’s campaign team hires her services to help polish their candidate’s public speaking skill and innate charisma.

Billie succeeds at turning Sonny into the dream candidate and the two become close while at work.

In turn, Sonny is able to unleash some unresolved issues  in Billie’s life, including her insecurities thereby making her a better version of herself.

The movie’s teaser immediately earned almost a million views, shares and likes the minute it was posted on the “MC” Facebook page.

Netizens swore by Derek, Iza and Shaina’s outstanding performances.

Shaina held her own against Iza in the film, and this may be considered as her biggest break as a lead actress.

Shaina definitely gave the role her all, especially in scenes where her character finds herself slowly falling in love with Sonny.

Take note, Derek and Shaina also register very strong positive vibes on screen. Their romantic scenes together are neither hard sell nor put on, so, their pairing is indeed one of today’s freshest, newest romantic-comedy tandem.

No wonder, Direk Quark Henares is satisfied with his three main stars plus the support cast composed of Al Tantay, Nico Antonio, Ketchup Eusebio, Ricci Chan, Jun Sabayton and Tirso Cruz III in a special role.

The movie imparts all these funny situations during election time coupled with the resounding message that it must indeed be: “Bayan Muna Bago Puso.”

Also part of the movie is box-office director Dan Villegas, who serves as Creative Producer.

Direk Dan is the genius behind such award-winning and blockbuster films as “English Only, Please” and “#Walang Forever.”

His latest hit project is “Always Be My ‘Maybe.'”

Fresh concept. Hilarious story telling. New screen combination.

“My Candidate” gives the election season a romantic twist starting May 11 in theaters nationwide.

FILM              :           “MY CANDIDATE”
CAST              :           DEREK RAMSAY, IZA CALZADO, SHAINA MAGDAYAO, NICO ANTONIO, AL TANTAY, KETCHUP EUSEBIO, RICCI CHAN, JUN SABAYTON ,CHRISTINE BABAO and TIRSO CRUZ III in a special role
DIRECTOR    :           QUARK HENARES
PRODUCERS :          QUANTUM FILMS,  MJM PRODUCTIONS, TUKO FILM
PRODUCTION and BUTCHI BOY FILMS
PLAYDATE   :            MAY 11, 2016

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Potipot Cove

#Destination, Potipot Island

Potipot Island

#Destination: Potipot Island

Potipot Island. Some call it the most photogenic island, and I tend to agree. It’s a small strip off island in Zambales. It’s a kilometer or a 5-10-minute motorized banca ride from any drop-off resort in Uacon, Candelaria, Zambales. I just couldn’t remember the resort across from the island that we stayed in. Ha ha! Will update this blog once I get the name of that resort.

I actually went there in May 2011 with my former colleagues. I know super late post! But better late than never. I can’t show you all our photos because those are like pictorials already. He he!

So let me show you, Potipot Island through these photos.

Banca to Potipot Island

Take a 5-10 minute ride in a motorized boat (banca) to Potipot Island.

The banca to Potipot Island

The banca ride to Potipot Island

Approaching Potipot Island

Approaching Potipot Island

Potipot Island

Nearing Potipot Island

Periphery of Potipot Island (FLM)

Reaching Potipot Island

If I remember, this is the only structure in the island, which serves as an office. There are no inns, no accommodation. But you can pitch a tent, but by nighttime you have to leave the island.

Tree and Beach on Potipot Island (FLM)

Trees lined up along the beach front, and this surrounds the whole island.

Periphery of Potipot Island

More trees and beach, and clear waters surrounding Potipot Island.

More Trees on Potipot Island

Trees provide shade in the inner or center part of Potipot Island.

A clearing at the center of Potipot Island

A clearing at the center of Potipot Island

Posing on Potipot Island

Happily posing on Potipot Island. I just got back from a trip in Boracay here.

On a drift wood at Potipot Island

On a drift wood at Potipot Island. Driftwood abound there, and usually serve as photo opp background. :D

Getting a tan at Potipot Island

Getting more tan at Potipot Island, after spending a week in Boracay. Ha ha!

Posing with a driftwood

Posing with a driftwood, Potipot Island

Reflecting on life on Potipot Island

Reflecting on life on Potipot Island… naks! ;))

The clear water kisses the white sand of Potipot Island.

The clear water kisses the white sand of Potipot Island.

Clear waters surrounding Potipot Island

Clear waters surrounding Potipot Island

Sunburnt at Potipot Island

That was the first time that I got really sunburned!

Resort in Zambales

We stayed in this resort. We rented that house that you can see in this picture. From this resort, you can already see Potipot Island.

Sunset view of Potipot Island from across the resort.

Sunset view of Potipot Island from across the resort.

We had fun going around the small island, taking photos, walking, talking, laughing, and just feeling the sand and ocean water.

We took a private van going to the island, so I can’t really give you clear directions going there. All I can remember is that it took us 6 hours to get there, but it was all worth it!

I stumbled upon a good resource about Potipot Island HERE. Check it out!

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Maria v. Ma., How I Had My Name Rectified

What's in a Name

I am writing this not to discredit anyone but to learn from the experience. Read on and learn!

Let me ask you this quesion first. When you see Ma.,what do you think it stands for? It stands for Maria, right?

But in my world, I have to prove that it is so. There begins my Change Name saga.

My birth certificate bears the name Merdekah. Then I don’t know why, but I have been using the name Ma. Merdekah in all my school, banks, HMO and insurance records. My old passport only had Merdekah, following the birth certificate. So, when I finally had to apply for a passport with my married name, my records don’t match. My marriage certificate bears the name Ma. Merdekah. Which is which?

I had no choice but to go through the process and have it rectified. My friends say it was going to be quick and easy. I wish they were right.

First, I had to get the advice of a lawyer who will do all the paperwork.

Second, I filed a petition at the Local Registrar. Since my birthplace is in Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor, and I am in Manila, it was impossible for me to be traveling to and fro. Good thing my father is already retired and can do the legwork for me. So, I had to ask the lawyer to make a Letter of Authority appointing my father to be my legal representative in all matters pertaining to this case.

Third, publish my petition in three local newspapers for three to four weeks straight. This does not come cheap, ha!

When the publication requirement was almost over, I got feedback that there was something wrong in the process. The publication of the petition was done before the petition was filed. How did that happen? Any sane person would know that that should not be the case. But I was told that they got confused and didn’t know how to do it because it was their first time to handle a case like mine. Whut? Change name is a popular issue. Besides no, SOPs/guidebook in this office?

I remember telling the lawyer and the local registrar that I wanted this resolved quickly as I needed the passport for official business. Perhaps, that triggered their confusion and they wanted to meet the deadline I set. But then I didn’t say anything about doing it the wrong way just to get my way!

So, we had to do it all over again. And because it was their fault, they had to shoulder the cost this time, which led to the delay as they had to rely on their own resources this time.

I was so frustrated but I was SO busy with work, that I didn’t have time to do anything to improve the process. I had to wait… for one year and a half!

Finally, the whole process was done. Now the problem is the Local Registrar himself. He got sick and eventually passed on. May his soul rest in peace.

The local government now needed to find a new Local Registrar. Perhaps because of the requirements and qualifications, they couldn’t find a replacement right away, so they had to put an Officer-in-Charge (OIC). Fine.

Now came another hitch. The OIC cannot sign my final petition because it should only be the Local Registrar. What? Isn’t that the role of the OIC to act as the official that he is representing? The innocent (and perhaps stupid me) believed them and waited again…for half a year!

Then a eureka moment came to me. I went to NSO main office in Quezon City and inquire from them once and for all. Before I would only call because I admit, I am scared to go to government offices because of the sad stories I hear and read.

Right from the horse’s mouth, the officer in NSO Main said that the OIC can sign. I called the E.V. Local Registrar and told them to let the OIC sign my documents and send it to NSO Main. Don’t worry, I will explain to the NSO Main Office here myself, I said. Ok, they said. But maám since, this is not the SOP here, we have to shoulder the courier fees, they added. Fine, I’ll handle it. I will send money for that, I countered.

My goodness! More than being frustrated, I pity them.

So after a long process and three years later, I finally got my name rectified. As they say, all’s well that ends well.

I wish we could improve our processes, and I hope everyone learned from my case so that others who find themselves in the same situation won’t wait that long to have their names changed.

Since, misspelled names is a popular issue in birth/marriage certificates, I suggest that NSO comes up with a SOP/guidebook and distributes it to all local registrars, if there isn’t any yet, and make sure the guidebook is being followed. And it shouldn’t take years to resolve an issue like this!

So, for new (and old) parents, make sure your children’s names are spelled correctly in their birth certificates and other pertinent documents.

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#APECSuccess, Congrats PH!

PH and Papua New Guinea Cooperation

PH & Vietnam Cooperation

PH & Chile Cooperation

PH & Canada Cooperation

PH & Colombia Cooperation

PH & Russia Cooperation

PH & Mexico Cooperation

PH & South Korea Cooperation

PH & Australia Cooperation

PH & US Cooperation

Congratulations to the Philippine team who organized the event!

We all know the inconvenience it brought to the traffic and to the cancelled flights.

Yes, they could have prepared better for this like holding the meeting off island like the other host countries did in the past years. But our country decided to do it this way… their way.

Still, we cannot discount the effort, the sleepless nights, and the anxieties of the organizing team. I know because I worked for an events company for a year. It’s no mean feat.

Here’s to looking forward to fruitful economic cooperation with the APEC member economies!

Cheers!

Special Note: Thanks to Rappler for the images and information.

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Metro Manila Standstill

Banners_APECRoadAdvisories_151103_1503_MOA-road-closure-tw 2

NCR road advisory for APEC leaders’ meet. More road advisories here http://apec2015.ph/2015/10/27/apec-aelm-road-advisories/

Metro Manila, or even NCR, is now preparing for a one-week standstill. No, it’s not because of a Manny Pacquaio boxing match. It’s not even because of an AlDub Nation activity.

The country will host the most high-profile event, the APEC Leaders’ Meeting. Here’s the Primer. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation 21-member economies will gather here in the Philippines. Top leaders, senior officials, top businessmen and industry experts will meet and discuss about three main items namely trade and investment liberalization, business facilitation, economic and technical cooperation (Ecotech).

It is an important event for the member economies, as it is for the country.

But why the standstill?

Classes in all levels in the National Capital Region (NCR) are called off, government offices and public services, airline flights flying out and flying in to Manila are cancelled for one week from November 16 to November 20. Private offices, including banks, will be closed for business for two days, November 18-19. Road closures/reroutes have been set up.

The city does not only go on a standstill, business is also shut down.

In my sons’ school, they did away with their original schedule of semestral break and would just take the break during the APEC week. But because of the disruption of flight and business skeds, we cannot do anything much.

I wonder how the airlines would fare with all the flights cancelled; how the banks will do it without any transaction for two days; how we will cope with further delays in our public services.

If we are to be concerned of appearances, I wonder how it would look to the world that our country cannot host an important meeting without sending its people and businesses to sleep BECAUSE of lack of foresight and planning.

Articles about the APEC Meeting

APEC 2015: Where delegates met in PH
Not ready to host APEC
LIST: Schedule of bank operations during APEC PH 2015
Manila goes into lockdown mode for Apec summit

Flight Cancellations

Philippine Airlines – PAL cancels over 200 flights in relation to APEC Meet in Manila; offers free flight rebooking

Cebu Pacific Air – CEB Advisory – 2015 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting

Air Asia – Flight cancellations for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting 2015

1,364 domestic, int’l flights cancelled, more roads closed due to APEC meet

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