How I Got A Multiple Entry Korean Visa

I received a call from a BPI sales rep back in May saying that I am pre-qualified for a BPI Gold card. I immediately declined the offer because credit card = debt. She gave me an email address where I can reach them in case I change my mind, but I wasn’t paying attention and did not bother writing it down.

For some strange reason, I had an urge to check out the card’s features as soon as we ended the call, and I saw their Imagine Your Korea promo. It says that BPI Gold cardholders will be entitled to a 3-year multiple entry Korean visa while BPI Platinum and Gold Express Teller Debit cardholders may be issued 3- or 5-year multiple entry visas. Additionally, said cardholders will be exempted from submitting financial documents (ITR and bank certificate).

So I did what any travel junkie would and frantically searched online for BPI sales’ email address. LOL Thanks to their responsive Twitter account handler, I got hold of the email address and was able to request a call back. I think my card arrived within a week from our correspondence.

Now, I could have applied a month after receiving my first statement of account, but I was so swamped with work.

When my schedule finally cleared up earlier this month, I decided to lodge our application. I made a last-minute decision to include my mom in the application because why not? It’s free anyway, and you’re not even required to book tickets and accommodation. Totally risk-free!

Just to give you a brief background of our profile:

Me: 31 years old, single, self-employed, no OECD visa but traveled to 12 countries in the last 5 years

My mom: 61 years old, widow, unemployed, no OECD visa but traveled to 4 countries in the last 5 years

Please take note that the requirements I’m going to list here only apply to self-employed individuals and, specifically, to BPI Gold cardholders.

Here are the requirements I submitted:

  • Duly accomplished application form with recent passport size photo
  • Original passport and photocopy of bio page (Page 2)
  • Photocopy of my BPI Gold card (front only)
  • Photocopies of latest 3 months BPI Statement of Account
  • Photocopy of my DTI Certificate
  • Photocopy of my BIR Certificate of Registration (Form 2303)
  • Photocopy of my birth certificate from NSO (proof of relationship for family applications)

Click here for the list of requirements for employees.

Continue reading “How I Got A Multiple Entry Korean Visa”

Destination: Dubai

Never did I imagine that I would go to Dubai for vacation. But because my friend and I scored ridiculously cheap roundtrip tickets – like, $30.00 cheap – last January 2015, we just had to go.😀

VISA

First things first. Filipinos need a visa to go to Dubai. Based from experience, we learned there are several ways to obtain a visa:

  • The easiest way is to have someone living and/or working in Dubai lodge your tourist visa application at a Dubai-based travel agency. We just sent scanned copies of our passports, passport-sized photo, and flight details.
  • Some hotels can also ‘sponsor’ your stay and process the visa for you, but most of them require a security deposit of AED5,000 (around Php65,000!). To get the refund, you must send them a copy of your exit stamp upon your return to the Philippines.
  • Some Dubai-based travel agency can sponsor your visa if you don’t have any family or friends in Dubai, but most of the time, you also have to avail of their hotel and/or tour package.
  • Lodge your visa application through a local (PH-based) travel agency. However, we found this very expensive. The visa fee can range from Php9,000.00 (e-visa) to Php12,000.00 (hard copy).
To avoid being offloaded, make sure you have the proper visa, lodging reservation/s, tour bookings etc. to prove that you really are just going there for leisure.

Continue reading “Destination: Dubai”

The Linden Suites: An Ideal Place to Bond with Family and Friends

I’ve always loved living in the south, but there are times when I just want to teleport because it’s such a hassle for me to commute to Metro Manila. Sometimes I had to decline invites from friends because honestly, I dread the travel time and being stuck in traffic.

So when I got invited to a wedding in Mandaluyong, I knew I had to make arrangements.

I found out the couple and their respective families were going to be staying at The Linden Suites in Ortigas since it’s just about half an hour (traffic included) away from the church and really close to the reception venue. Together with my two girl friends, we decided to stay here as well for 3 days and 2 nights.

I took a bus from Sta. Rosa, Laguna and got off at Megamall. From there, I just walked for about 15 minutes to San Miguel Avenue.

After settling payment at the front desk, I was given 2 keycards, our breakfast vouchers, and WiFi coupons. If you have other friends/guests arriving, they need to register at the front desk first so they could be given a keycard for the elevator and the room.

2-BEDROOM DELUXE UNIT

We were given a corner room at the 19th floor where, coincidentally, our friends and their families were also staying. I got to chat with them a bit before they got super busy with the wedding preps.

Living area of our 2-bedroom Deluxe Room.
Apparently, this is different from a 2-bedroom suite. Check rates here.

Celebrating Father’s Day at The Bellevue Manila

Just this past weekend, my mom and I celebrated Father’s Day at The Bellevue Manila.

Yes, you read that right. It was just me and my mom. You see, ever since my father passed away 6 years ago, my mom became both a mother and a father to me, so it’s only right to celebrate her on this day as well, right?🙂
Front Desk at the Tower Wing
Contemporary Oriental-designed sitting area at the reception

We arrived a bit past the check-in time.

As expected, there were a number of families checking in, too, but with 4 Front Desk Associates on duty, everyone was attended to within a reasonable waiting time.

After filling out the form, I was handed the keycard, WiFi password, and 2 welcome drink vouchers.

I was giddy we got assigned a Tower Deluxe room at the newly-opened Tower Wing.🙂

Another sitting area at the Tower Wing lobby
Tower Wing’s hall elegantly decked in black, white, and gold

Continue reading “Celebrating Father’s Day at The Bellevue Manila”