P10,000 4-Day DIY Budget Travel to Taiwan

Because we love Taiwan, we returned back to Taiwan for the 2nd time around in the same year of 2019. We will actually return back in 2020. We find it cheaper to take some relaxation in Taipei, and probably the cheapest in East Asia on the ranks of city sophistication. Alright, you may argue that Tokyo and Seoul are the best in East Asia. We will get there, we are a big fan of KPOP! For now, let us enjoy the very affordable and relaxing city of F4. Where is Meteor Garden? 

DAY 1: August 29, 2019

  • Departure from NAIA Terminal III to Tayouan International Airport 11:15PM
  • Airfare cost P4000
  • Grab Makati to NAIA Terminal III P200

DAY 2: August 30, 2019

  • We arrived at Tayouan International 1:30 AM, we just stayed at the airport to catch the earliest Express Train from Tayouan International Airport to Taipei Main Station, Train Fare NT150
  • Arrived at Taipei Main Station at 8:AM, we also had our breakfast [Breeze Sandwich and Tea NT79] . We also roamed around the vicinity looking for other options to travel to Keelung City.
  • We decided to head directly to Keelung City via BUS. Tthe Bust Station is situated right beside Taipei Main Station, Bus 1813 , it departs  every 15 mins. Bus Fare is  NT57.
  • Arrived at Keelung City at 10:00 AM, we decided to roam around the city and had our starbucks coffee first as we were discussing where we were going to go next. There were bunch of choices from the Blue Bus Station, each attraction has its corresponding Bus No. The blue bus station is right across Starbucks Kee lung.
  • We decided to go to Heping Island, situated in the northernmost of Taiwan. It was summer in Taiwan so beach was good choice. We took a Bue Bus No. 101 route. Advised the driver that drop you off to Heping Island Station, Bus fare  NT15. At Heping Island Station, be ready for a 5-minute walk to Heping Island Resort, entrance fee NT80.
  • We spent few hours in Heping Island, and then we headed back to Keelung City. We decided to head to Juifen Old town by Bus again. Keelung City to Juifen Old town Bus Faire NT37
  • Overnight in Juifen Old Town at Juifen Hui Ming Home Stay NT799  – overlooking view is stunning for a reasonable price

DAY 3: September 01, 2019

  • Early morning in Juifen Old Town.  After our lunch in Juifen, we headed to Taipei. Roam around Taipei 101. We just enjoyed MRT rides. Basically, chilling in the city. We also checked in at Neosoho Hostel in the afternoon. NT700 [If you are a 1st timer in Taipe, I would highly suggest to take advantage of Hop ON/Hop Off Bus Tour as it goes to Taipei’s Top attractions.] It was our 2nd time for this year so we just made everything a chill. We decided to end our Day 3 at Famous Shilin Night Market.

DAY 4: September 01, 2019

  • We just strolled around the vicinity – Food Trip left and right around the vicinity of Neosoho hotel which is just 2 blocks away from Taipei Main Station. Walking and Biking.
  • Departure from Tayouan International Airport to NAIA Terminal III – 02:35 AM. We just slept in the Ariport. 🙂

 Currency Conversion Rate: NT1 = PHP1.70

TRANSPORTATION COST
Airfare cost P4000
Grab RT P 400
Express Train RT P 510
Bust to Keelung City P 97
Keelung Downtown to Heping Island RT P 50
Heping Island Entrance Fee P 136
Keelung Downtown to Juifen Bus Fare P 63
Smart Card - Train P 500
Total P5756

ACCOMMODATION
Neosoho Hostel - P1190
Juifen Hui Ming Home Stay P1358
Total P2548

FOOD
P 2000

TOTAL COST
TRANSPORTATION COST - P5756
ACCOMMODARTION - P2540
FOOD -P2000
TOTAL PHP 10,304

SB19: The rise of PPOP

The Korean-trained P-pop boy band had previously released two songs but their latest release “Alab” is their first official single under their new label, Sony Music Philippines.

The track, produced by Han Tae Soo, sings about finding true love and doing whatever it takes to win that person over.

“Here, we thought of fire as our burning desire, emphasizing that there’s no other way to confess your love but to tell the person directly, and that you shouldn’t waste time,” said the band’s leader, lead vocalist and rapper Sejun.

SB19 is composed of Sejun, Josh (lead rapper and dancer), Stell (vocalist and lead dancer), Ken (main dancer and vocalist), and Justin (vocalist and visual).

The fast-rising boyband debuted in 2018 with the song “Tilaluha,” and soon gained traction with the video release of their choreography-heavy “Go Up” in July 2019.

In November, the group gained international attention when they landed on Billboard’s Next Big Sound chart, which “tracks the fastest accelerating artists” weekly. They ended the year on a high when they topped Google Philippines’ list of most searched male personalities in December.

On a personal note, I am actually a silent TITO fan of this group. I have been observing them on social media for 5 months now.  I know that SB19 will soar high  in the coming days.  This group raised the bar of what really a total performer is. This is the real talent that our local entertainment industry is lacking nowadays.  I will not be surprised that one day,  SB19 will be performing on international stage.

How to get a Schengen Visa Do-It-Yourself?

We, Filipinos, as Philippine passport holders, are required to get a VISA first before we can enter the borders of most if not all European countries particalrly the Schengen member countries of Europe.

GERMANY


If you are planning to visit Europe, It is highly recommended to secure a Schengen VISA for you to be able to move freely, as free as a bird,  in 26 countries within the Schengen Zone.

Let us say you want to visit Eiffel tower of France, and you also want to visit Vatican of Italy, and all other beautiful cities in Europe, Schengen VISA is all you need to explore each and every country in Europe.

What is a Schengen VISA?

A Schengen VISA is a short-stay visa that allows a person to travel to any members of the Schengen Area, per stays up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes.It enables its holder to enter, freely travel within, and leave the Schengen zone from any of the Schengen member countries.

Which countries in Europe are in Schengen Area?

These countries are: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Where to apply for a Schengen VISA?

You should log your application to the embassy of the country where you will stay the longest. In my case, I submitted my application at German Embassy Manila because it was the country where I stayed the most. To log your application online, please visit German Emabassy Manila 

German Embassy Address:

Postal address
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, P.O. Box 2190, Makati CPO, 1261 Makati, Metro Manila, Philippinen.

Street
25/F Tower II, RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Ave. 1200 Makati City, Metro Manila.

Office hours
Monday to Friday from 8.00 am to 9.30 am.

Monday to Thursday from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm
Friday from 7:30 am to 1:30 pm

What are the requirements for Schengen VISA

  1. VISA Application Form
  2. Certificate of Employment
  3. Proof of Fund – Bank Statements
  4. Approved Vacation Leave from your employer
  5. Flight Reservation (not paid yet)
  6. Formal Obligation (“Verpflichtungserklärung”)  or Invitiation, if Visiting a Friend.  However,  You can still receive a visa even without a formal obligation. For this, you must submit proof that you are able to finance your travel yourself. 
  7. NSO issued Birth Certificate
  8. Travel Insurance

How long did it take to get the Schengen VISA approved?

  • 3 days from the date of interview, the passport with 30-day multiple entry Schengen VISA approval was returned to me via courier
  • The most recent update from German Embassy Manila as of 2019,  the average processing time now is 2 weeks

How long did I prepare for my Schengen VISA application?

  • 3 months or 90 days

What are the interview questions from German Embassy?

  • Generally, the questions are related to your submitted documents.

Let me share with you the interview I had with the consul of German Embassy in Makati.  Below were the questions that were thrown at me:

Q: How long have you been working?
A: 3 and a half years in my present company, 24 years for a number of companies of various capacities and positions. 
Q: Are you going to Germany alone?
A: NO, I am leaving with the other person being interviewed on the other window.
Q: Have you been to other countries? When and where was the most recent?
A: YES, Mainland China back in February 2014 – It also requires VISA to enter mainland China. 

The interview proper was completed in 3 to 5 minutes. It was the preparation of requirements  that took me like 3 months. 

My VISA application had been made easier though because I had a “Formal Obligation” from a German Citizen. In fact,  if you have a “Formal Obligation” or “Verpflichtungserklärung” from a German Citizen, Proof of Fund or Bank Statement is no longer required.

Top 8 Ramen House in Metro Manila

First off, I am not a culinary expert and so I am not in authority to blog about the best of the best when it comes to Japanese culinary standards. It is on my top 8 list based only on my personal taste as a pure-blooded Filipino who love Filipino cuisine. I did not even like Japanese Ramen when I first tasted it only until I had my 2nd attempt at RYU RAMEN & CURRY house, that was the only time when I started to like and explore Ramen. “MASARAPA PALA”.  It is about time to visit Japan. I have already overcome my IGNORANCE to Japanese Ramen. 

They top  the list because I keep coming back.  RYU RAMEN CURRY is all my all-time favorite. All Ramen are reasonably priced from P200 to P500

 

RYU RAMEN & CURRY 
Nicanor Garcia Corner Jupiter Street Ground floor, SM Jazz Mall, Bel-Air, Makati, Luzon 1200 Philippines

 

Wabi-Sabi Noodle House and Vegetarian Grocery
UG-4 MCS Fernando, Makati Cinema Square, Fernando St, cor Chino Roces Ave, Makati, Metro Manila

 

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
UG Floor Ayala Mall, Circuit Makati

 

ORI Japanese House
GGround Floor, Ayala Mall Circuit Makati 

 

IKKORYU FUKUOKA RAMEN
2nd Level Century Mall Bel Air, Makati

 

UKOKKEI
Basement, Magamall B Manadaluyong City, Metro Manila

 

YAYOI
3rd level, Mega B, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila

 

Ramen Kuroda
3/F Podium 3 Tower 2 RCBC Plaza, Ayala Ave, Salcedo Village, Makati

 

FILIPINOS SALARY ABROAD

If there is a country in the world where you’ll hear from the people’s lips, “I want to work and live abroad”, it is the Philippines  that top the list. In fact, there are 2.8 Million Overseas Filipino Workers as of 2018. Interestingly, there are approximately 10.2 million people of Filipino descent working and living all over the world. The figure is almost 10% of the total population of the Philippines.

Salary always comes first when we hear about working abroad. We see our friends and relatives working abroad as dollar earners. Thus, it is fair enough to find out how much they really earn if we decide to migrate or work abroad. Let us all face it, we work to earn big amount of money to support our family in the Philippines or sustain our lifestyle. Some (Filipino elites)  just want to experience working and living abroad mostly in the 1st world countries.

I myself at one point aspired to immigrate in 1st world more than a decade ago but withdrew my application for some personal reasons. Today, I have been following Pinoy Vloggers who are honest to goodness sharing their SALARY on you tube. Not only I get entertained how their share their lives abroad but I am also learning a lot from our fellow Filipinos who are living and working abroad. Truly, they are our new heroes!

It is always a rule of thumb that we do our research first before deciding to work abroad.

Here are list of  VLOGGERS /YOUTUBERS who truthfully share their monthly salaries on their respective  jobs in the countries they chose to work for.

SALARY IN SINGAPORE
SALARY OF CRUISE SHIP WORKER
SALARY OF HOTEL STAFF IN  MACAU
SALARY OF FACTORY WORKER IN KOREA

Korea is a region in East Asia. Since 1948 it has been divided between two distinct sovereign states, North Korea and South Korea. Korea consists of the Korean Peninsula, Jeju Island, and several minor islands near the peninsula.

SALARY OF FACTORY WORKER IN TAIWAN

Taiwan, officially the Republic of China, is a state in East Asia. Neighboring states include the People’s Republic of China to the west, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south.

SALARY OF FACTORY WORKER IN JAPAN

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

SALARY OF CLEANING ASSISTANT IN DENMARK
SALARY OF FACTORY WORKER IN POLAND

Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres, and has a largely temperate seasonal climate.

SALARY OF CAREGIVER IN CANADA

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world’s second-largest country by total area.

SALARY OF NURSE IN UNITED KINGDOM

The United Kingdom, made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, is an island nation in northwestern Europe. England – birthplace of Shakespeare and The Beatles – is home to the capital, London, a globally influential centre of finance and culture. England is also site of Neolithic Stonehenge, Bath’s Roman spa and centuries-old universities at Oxford and Cambridge.

SALARY OF NURSE IN GERMANY

Germany is a Western European country with a landscape of forests, rivers, mountain ranges and North Sea beaches. It has over 2 millennia of history. Berlin, its capital, is home to art and nightlife scenes, the Brandenburg Gate and many sites relating to WWII. Munich is known for its Oktoberfest and beer halls, including the 16th-century Hofbräuhaus. Frankfurt, with its skyscrapers, houses the European Central Bank.

SALARY OF NURSE IN BELGIUM

Belgium, a country in Western Europe, is known for medieval towns, Renaissance architecture and as headquarters of the European Union and NATO. The country has distinctive regions including Dutch-speaking Flanders to the north, French-speaking Wallonia to the south and a German-speaking community to the east. The bilingual capital, Brussels, has ornate guildhalls at Grand-Place and elegant art-nouveau buildings.

SALARY IN DUBAI-UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates known for luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture and a lively nightlife scene. Burj Khalifa, an 830m-tall tower, dominates the skyscraper-filled skyline. At its foot lies Dubai Fountain, with jets and lights choreographed to music. On artificial islands just offshore is Atlantis, The Palm, a resort with water and marine-animal parks.

By watching their videos, it will be easier for you to decide if working abroad is for you. Please take note that working abroad means leaving your family back home (Philippines). 

Applying for work abroad is also always associated with Placement Fees for temporary work abroad while Proof of Funds along with other requirements if you are planning to migrate or permanently reside to open countries like Canada and New Zealand.

If you are interested to immigrate to Canada as a Permanent Resident, and you would like to find out the processing time and how much it would cost you to migrate in Canada. You may check the vlog from  a Pinoy Vlogger in Canada below.

EAST ASIA: VISA-FREE COUNTRIES FOR FILIPINOS

Majority of Filipinos are extremely passionate to either travel or work abroad. However, our Philippine Passport is always associated with struggles in acquiring a VISA. Some borders from other nations are extremely elusive to set foot to. The good news is most of the countries countries in East Asia do not require  a VISA for Filipinos to set foot to their borders, we can fly to these countries  as free as a falcon bird. All we have to do is book a ticket and we are all set to explore these East Asian countries.

Malaysia 

Malaysia is a Southeast Asian country occupying parts of the Malay Peninsula and the island of Borneo. It’s known for its beaches, rainforests and mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian and European cultural influences. The capital, Kuala Lumpur, is home to colonial buildings, busy shopping districts such as Bukit Bintang and skyscrapers such as the iconic, 451m-tall Petronas Twin Towers.

Cambodia

Cambodia is a Southeast Asian nation whose landscape spans low-lying plains, the Mekong Delta, mountains and Gulf of Thailand coastline. Phnom Penh, its capital, is home to the art deco Central Market, glittering Royal Palace and the National Museum’s historical and archaeological exhibits. In the country’s northwest are the ruins of Angkor Wat, a massive stone temple complex built during the Khmer Empire.


Indonesia

Indonesia, a Southeast Asian nation made up of thousands of volcanic islands, is home to hundreds of ethnic groups speaking many different languages. It’s known for beaches, volcanoes, Komodo dragons and jungles sheltering elephants, orangutans and tigers. On the island of Java lies Indonesia’s vibrant, sprawling capital, Jakarta, and the city of Yogyakarta, known for gamelan music and traditional puppetry.

East Timor

Timor-Leste, or East Timor, a Southeast Asian nation occupying half the island of Timor, is ringed by coral reefs teeming with marine life. Landmarks in the capital, Dili, speak to the country’s struggles for independence from Portugal in 1975 and then Indonesia in 2002. The iconic 27m-tall Cristo Rei de Dili statue sits on a hilltop high over the city, with sweeping views of the surrounding bay.

Laos

Laos is a Southeast Asian country traversed by the Mekong River and known for mountainous terrain, French colonial architecture, hill tribe settlements and Buddhist monasteries. Vientiane, the capital, is the site of the That Luang monument, where a reliquary reportedly houses the Buddha’s breastbone, plus the Patuxai war memorial and Talat Sao (Morning Market), a complex jammed with food, clothes and craft stalls.


Singapore

Singapore, an island city-state off southern Malaysia, is a global financial center with a tropical climate and multicultural population. Its colonial core centers on the Padang, a cricket field since the 1830s and now flanked by grand buildings such as City Hall, with its 18 Corinthian columns. In Singapore’s circa-1820 Chinatown stands the red-and-gold Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, said to house one of Buddha’s teeth.


Vietnam

Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country on the South China Sea known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas and bustling cities. Hanoi, the capital, pays homage to the nation’s iconic Communist-era leader, Ho Chi Minh, via a huge marble mausoleum. Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) has French colonial landmarks, plus Vietnamese War history museums and the Củ Chi tunnels, used by Viet Cong soldiers.


Brunei

Brunei is a tiny nation on the island of Borneo, in 2 distinct sections surrounded by Malaysia and the South China Sea. It’s known for its beaches and biodiverse rainforest, much of it protected within reserves. The capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, is home to the opulent Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah mosque and its 29 golden domes. The capital’s massive Istana Nurul Iman palace is the residence of Brunei’s ruling sultan.


Burma

Myanmar (formerly Burma) is a Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 ethnic groups, bordering India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand. Yangon (formerly Rangoon), the country’s largest city, is home to bustling markets, numerous parks and lakes, and the towering, gilded Shwedagon Pagoda, which contains Buddhist relics and dates to the 6th century.


Thailand

Thailand is a Southeast Asian country. It’s known for tropical beaches, opulent royal palaces, ancient ruins and ornate temples displaying figures of Buddha. In Bangkok, the capital, an ultramodern cityscape rises next to quiet canalside communities and the iconic temples of Wat Arun, Wat Pho and the Emerald Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Kaew). Nearby beach resorts include bustling Pattaya and fashionable Hua Hin.

 

CHINA SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION


Hong Kong

Hong Kong is an autonomous territory, and former British colony, in southeastern China. Its vibrant, densely populated urban centre is a major port and global financial hub with a skyscraper-studded skyline. Central (the business district) features architectural landmarks like I.M. Pei’s Bank of China Tower. Hong Kong is also a major shopping destination, famed for bespoke tailors and Temple Street Night Market.


Macau

Macau is an autonomous region on the south coast of China, across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong. A Portuguese territory until 1999, it reflects a mix of cultural influences. Its giant casinos and malls on the Cotai Strip, which joins the islands of Taipa and Coloane, have earned it the nickname, “Las Vegas of Asia.” One of its more striking landmarks is the tall Macau Tower, with sweeping city views.

GRAND LISBOA


Taiwan

Taiwan, officially the Republic of China, is a state in East Asia. Neighbouring states include the People’s Republic of China to the west, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south.

TIPS & TRICKS

  • Book your airfare in advance (6 months to 1 year) Airfare Promotions are normally offered by low-cost airlines when booking ahead of time
  • If possible, contact your classmates, friends, and relatives living and working abroad to accommodate you in their residence
  • Check for hostel online, it could save you a lot on accommodation expenses
  • Browse Travel Guides from bloggers personal experiences

HONGKONG

PHP7,299 4D/3N HONGKONG AND SHENZEN WITH FREE DISNEYLAND

HOTELS: SILKA FAREAST and FAD HOTEL

INCLUSIONS :

  • Hotel accommodation with daily breakfast .
  • Round Trip airport transfers
  • Half day compulsory Hong Kong city tour
  • Half day compulsory Shenzhen city tour
  • Tipping included
  • DISNEYLAND TOUR WITH ROUNDTRIP TRANSFERS

 

Itineraries :

DAY 1 – Meet & transfer to hotel.

DAY 2 – Breakfast outside / inside, compulsory Hong Kong city tour.

**VISIT: Stars Avenue, Aberdeen Fishing Village, Mid-levels of Victoria Peak (pass by), Factory Outlet & Jewellery Factory.

Afternoon Disneyland tour or Ocean park tour.

DAY 3 – Breakfast outside / inside, AM transfer to Shenzhen by train. Shenzhen city tour.

**VISIT: Window of the World ( picture raking only , entrance tickets not included ) Mineral Museum, Silk and Pearl Factory or local specialties store.

Accommodation at Gorgeous Fad Hotel or similar class.

DAY 4 – Breakfast inside, free time in the morning (Hotel check-out time is at 12:00noon)

Afternoon transfer to Hong Kong Airport by coach (evening flight, departure time must after 19:30)

P1800 Round Trip Ticket  we booked 1 year in advance

SILKA SEAVIEW HOTEL IN HONGKONG

FAD HOTEL SHENZHEN

 

TIPS & TRICKS

  • Do not get hooked on buying unnecessary stuff during the city tour
  • The foto memories from the Tour guides are incredibly expensive – unimaginable tourist price
  • Buy what you can only afford, keep your credit card locked
  • You are in no obligation to bring “gift” aka “pasalubong” to anyone, you are on travel holiday vacations, you are not an OFW – Overseas Filipino Worker
  • Most of the stuff in Hongkong are also in Divisoria, we are in a globalized world – no need to shop and carry heavy  bags on your way home

Is buying a house or condo a good investment?

I haven’t heard someone who never ever dreamt of owning a house or condo. I myself was able to acquire a small house and lot back in 1998 in Cavite and sold it in 2017.


Buying a house is the biggest financial decision we’ll ever make in life. Regardless if we are acquiring a house in cold cash from our life long savings or through bank financing; we are talking about a huge amount of money. Considering the whopping valuation of properties nowadays, buying a house or condominium unit is definitely a major decision of a lifetime.

From my parent’s personal experience who acquired house and lot in 1976 though Bank Financing with terms payable in 10 years, I must say, it was a good investment. We are living in the same house for 43 years now.

Things to consider in acquiring a house or condo unit

  • The amount of house or condo should only be 3 times of Annual Income
  • If mortgage, monthly amortization plus association & maintenance dues plus hidden charges should only be 30% of your Monthly Income
  • The location of the house should be a place where you see yourself and your family will reside for decades, a place you call home

"Just go if you feel like going"