As a Philippine passport holder, we, Filipinos, are required to get a VISA before we can enter the borders of most, if not all, European countries, particularly the Schengen member countries of Europe.
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 because it was the country where I stayed the most.
What are the requirements for Schengen VISA
VISA Application Form
Certificate of Employment
Proof of Fund – Bank Statements
Approved Vacation Leave from your employer
Flight Reservation (not paid yet)
Formal Obligation or Invitiation, if Visiting a Friend
NSO issued Birth Certificate
How long did it take to get the Schengen VISA approved?
3 days from the date of interview
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” from a German Citizen, Proof of Fund or Bank Statement is no longer required.
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
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.
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 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 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, 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.
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 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, 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 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 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.
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 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 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 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.
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
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 cashfrom 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
Are you an avid fan of F4 in the 90s? Do you love food-trips? Do you want to experience the High Speed Rail with top speed of 310 kmh?Taiwan is waiting for you! VISA-FREE entry for Filipinos is extended until July 2020. Taiwan Embassy announced that the visa-free privilege for Filipinos will continue for another year from August 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020. It is now about time to fly to Taiwan as free as a bird.
Is it expensive to Travel to Taiwan?
NO, it is not as expensive as the 1st world country or OECD Member countries
Will we go back to Taiwan again?
Absolutely YES! Particularly in Taipei
What are the other places we’d like to visit if we are going to go back to Taiwan outside Taipei?
Sun Moon Lake and Orchid Island
When is the best time for us to travel to Taiwan?
WINTER, we are from oriental country, the Philippines. We do not have Winter season. We only have summer. It is hot all year round.
Let us get to our 7-Day Itinerary & Budget in Taiwan
DAY 1: Lost in TAIPEI
02-24-19 Sunday: Arrived at Taipei International Airport aka Taoyuan International Airport
Changed PHP to NTD at Bank of Taiwan (inside the airport)
Rented Pocket Wifi via Klook (claimed inside the airport)
Express Train Ride from the Tayouan International Airport to Taipei Main Station
Headed to our accommodation (Neosoho Hostel), it is situated just 3 minutes away from Taipei Main Station. We were lost on our way to our hostel, it was raining cats and dogs, so we first ate at Mc Donalds and then took a taxi ride to Neosoho Hostel
We took a rest at the hostel. While we were in the our hostel, we figured out our next activity for Day 2. We actually disregarded our planned itinerary for Day 1. The weather was not good and cold, it was raining hard on Day 1. We agreed to book Taipei Sightseeing Bus for our Day 2activities. We could not afford to DIY for each tourist destination if the weather was unfavorable.
DAY 2: TAIPEI SIGHTSEEING DOUBLE DECKER BUS-the weather is perfect!
02-25-19 Monday: Looked for our breakfast near Neosoho Hostel. We tried noodles on the sidewalk, we were shocked of the undesirable taste, we went to Family Mart and had some Japanese rice and coffee instead.
Headed to Taipei Main Station where the waiting area of Taipei Sightseeing Double Decker Bus stops. It is located outside Taipei Main Station M4
Blue Line – bus route heading to National Palace Museum, you can hop on and hop off to any attractions/landmarks, bus arrives every 40 mins
Red Line – bus route heading to Taipei101, you can hop on and hop off to any attractions/landmarks, bus arrives every 40 mins
We basically spent our day and night visiting Taipei Metropolitan’s Top destinations and landmarks. Do not forget to get inside Taipei 101 to dine. You really don’t have to go all the way up on top of the building, just get inside. The building view from the outside is magnificent and stunning!
You can also go to each landmark by Metro or MRT, you can DIY all you can, Taipei’s landmarks are very accessible by Metro trains.
Taipei City’s Top Landmarks
Taipei 101 Chiang Kai Shek Memorial National Palace Museum Presidential Office Building Taipei Main Station Taipei Old North Gate Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall
DAY 4: Be awed of GONDOLA RIDE & Finding Maria-The PANDA
02-27-19 Wednesday:AM-Since we booked our Taipei Sightseeing Double Decker Bus with free Gondola ride, we took a Metro Train ride from Taipei Main Station to Taipei Zoo where Gondola Ride is located. The Gondola Lift/Cable Car Ride surprised us big time. We initially thought it was just an orrdinary cable car ride. Well, it was a 4.3 kms. long cable car ride with four stations all the way to Maokong Peak. We also went inside Taipei Zoo. It is situated on the same site. We searched for Panda. We’ve found her but she was sleeping that day. 🙂 We spent our half day in this place. For a more detailed Travel Guide about Gondola Ride, please visit TRAVEL GUIDE | How to get to Maokong Gondola in Taipei, Taiwan
PM: We headed back to our Hostel in the afternoon. We chilled a bit, then we booked our Train ticket to Chiayi City, it is 261 kms down south of Taiwan. Interestingly, our intention was to take HSR (High Speed Rail) but we booked the train ticket at the wrong window and so we ended up on board on a regular train “no seat“, we were almost standing for 3 long hours all the way to Chiayi City. We could only sit if someone left their seat. So make sure if you are going to buy a ticket, advise the ticket counter that you want to get a reserved sit. Also ask them if it is HSR or Regular Train. Regular train’s speed is fast but it is not as fast as the HSR. Bullet Train has its own dedicated railways.
We arrived at night in Chiayi Main Station, we’ve met our friend, we headed to our hotel first at Gene Long Att Hotelto leave our bags, and then our friend strolled us around at Chiayi Night Market.
DAY 5: CHIAYI TOWER, HIGH SPEED RAILWAY, SKIPPED ALISHAN
02-28-29 Thursday: We were supposed to visit Alishan but we changed our itinerary in an instant for Day 5. Although Alishan is the main attraction in this region, we skipped visiting the place due to travel time. We realized that we had had enough of nature park adventures when we explored Shifen Old Street in the Northern region of Taipei.
AM: We decided to just go to CHIAYI TOWER in the morning instead. Chiyai Tower was just 5 mins away by taxi cab from our hotel (Gene Long Att Hotel). We went all the way up the tower for a 360 degree overlooking view of the city of Chiayi. We are based in Makati so nothing is spectacular as far as skyscrapers are concerned.
PM: We decided to head to the Southernmost part of Taiwan to Kaoshiung City via High Speed Rail. I asserted to my friend that one of the reasons why we visited Taiwan was to experience the High Speed Rail. We had luckily booked the correct HSR ticket this time. Always take note that High Speed Railway is different from Taiwan’s regular railway.Due to lack of research, we never expected that Chiayi HSR Station was several miles way from Chiayi downtown, and as a result, we paid hefty taxi fare of NTD 480. If we did our homework and research, we should have taken a bus ride from Chiayi downtown to Chiayi HSR Station instead. HSRis a must-experience in visiting Taiwan, it has top speed of 310 kmh.
HSR Train from Chiayi HSR Station to Zouying District HSR Station (25 mins travel time), then train transfer from Zouying Station to Kaoshihung Main Station.
Took a taxi ride from Kaoshuing Main Station to our accommodation at Home Lane Busniess Hotel, left our bag anf strolled around the vicinity to Love River. We also had Starbucks Coffee along the love river in Carefour
In the afternoon, we headed to Kaoshiung International Airport, it was our exit point to the Philippines
DETAILS OF TOTAL EXPENSES
AIRFARE & PRE-DEPARTURE EXPENSES | PHP 10322 Airfare RT = P8500 (the aifare booked from Air Asia is low cost but not on promo, still considered as expensive, you can get it for as low as P2000 to P3500 RT if on Promotions) Travel Tax = P1620 Grab from Makati to NAIA III = P90 Grab NAIA III to Makati = P112
ACCOMMODATIONS | PHP 3750 TAIPE CITY: Neosoho Hostel (3 Nights) = P1500 CHIAYI CITY: Gene Long Att Hotel (1 Night )= P750 KAOUSHIUNG CITY: Home Lane Busniess Hotel (2 NIGHTS) = P1500 **We booked these hostels and hotels via agoda while we were still in the PH
TRANSPORTATION, TRAINS, & ENTRANCE FEES IN TAIWAN | PHP 5056 Express Train from Tayouan International Aiport to Taipei Main Station = P250 Pocket Wifi (7 Days) = P250 Taipei Sightseeing Double Decker Bus booked via Klook (24 hrs) = P1015 TMS Local Train to Chiayi City Station (The local train will pass city to city as you head south) = P1010 Shinkansen BULLET TRAIN HSR with Top Speed of 281 Kmh from Chiayi to Kaoshiung = P693 Total Taxi Expenses (Taipei, Chiyai, & Kaoshiung) = P1149 PingXI Line DIY North of Taipei – Shifen Old Street Lantern Flying, Shifen Warerfall Xing PI, Jungtong *Taipei Main Station to Ruifang (Regular Train) – P72 *Transfer to PingXi Line (One Day Pass for PingXi Line & Sheniao Line) – P135+ *Taruko Express Train from Ruifang to TMS = P128 *Lantern Flying = P253 GONDALA RIDE, CHERRY BLOSSOMS, & TAIPEE ZOO (Panda and Koahla Hunting) at Maokong Peak*Gondola (3 Mountains Ride RT) = Free from Klook 🙂 Walk-in for Gandola would cost you P405 RT 🙂 *Taipei Zoo Entrance = P101
FOOD & DINING | PHP 7000 Average of P 1000/day – you can cut it down, it depends on where you will eat & DINE 🙂
“PASALUBONG” & SOUVENIRS | PHP 2502 Pistacio & Alician Tea = P 1014 Souvenir = P 474 Souvenir Bag for myself = P 1014
SUMMARY OF TOTAL EXPENSES AIRFARE & PRE-DEPARTURE EXPENSES – P 10322 ACCOMMODATIONS – P 3750 TRANSPORTATION, TRAINS & ENTRANCE FEES IN TAIWAN – P 5056 FOOD & DINING – P 7000 PASALUBONG & SOUVENIRS – P 2502 TOTAL = P 28630
You can always trim down your expenses as short as your military haircut, it is all up to you, whether you are in Taiwan or Manila 🙂 However, you have to take note that you are on Holiday Vacations, I just learned that from an American friend that If you are on Holiday, try to live like it is your retirement already. My travels though in the past 10 years were mostly budget meals 🙂