VISA: Crafting an Itinerary for travel abroad on short notice is not a joke!

Here we are again, we are trying to craft our itineraries for travel abroad. We are planning to leave 23 days from now based on our scheduled trip, yet we do not have our VISA yet. In fact, we are still in the process of completing our requirements. Time and time again, it is always a hurdle for us Filipinos to travel abroad in countries that require VISA to be able to enter their borders.

As of this blogging, we do not have any single requirement yet for us to be able to submit to the embassy we intend to visit. It mus be part of travel journey. 🙂

The list of requirements we need to accomplish and secure next week are the following:

  • Duly accomplished application form
  • Bank Certificate 
  • Birth Certificate from NSO
  • Certificate Of Employment
  • ITR 2316
  • Travel Itinerary (includes flight No, Hotel address and contact information)

Wish us luck, we are running out of time, but still very optimistic that we will be able to submit our application form 2 weeks before our travel date. This is our 1st time to plan a travel to a country that requires VISA on a short period of one month before the travel date. We had experienced short notice of 90 days  before when we had our Schengen VISA but not as short as this one which is 30 days. 🙂

Philippine Passport is always a challenge to explore the world we dream of visiting, unlike the OECD member countries, they have an easy access to any borders in the world as free as a peregrine falcon. We’ll make it because I do believe that dreams do come true!

Japan: Change of Travel Plan

10-YR CHALLENGE: Job-hopping is a new NORM?

Long before the millennials were stereotyped as job-hoppers, labelled as the generation with low patience when it comes to staying longer with their jobs, worry not!. I came from Generation X but I was also once a job-hopper like you. I had thousands of former colleagues in the corporate world who I had worked with in the past 26 years from several companies. They are also now scattered all over, in and out of the country, while some of them found themselves venturing into their own business.

Philippines with the large pool of techies, our country has become a lucrative location for offshore operations of multinational companies around the world. Thus, it has been easier for many to secure both Technical Support and Customer Service jobs.

Gone were the days when job security and loyalty were the top considerations on employment. We are now in social media age also known as the era of game of speed and disruption. Jumping from one company to the other is now an accepted norm by the HR practitioners. There are good number of  books about career and employment; some of the authors are advocating that if you don’t get promoted in 2 years of your employment, it is about time for you to look for another job if your primary consideration is position and salary. Being happy at work despite low paycheck however is another story. 

Jumping from one company to the other is also another way to get a higher salary. Many companies nowadays are open for salary negotiations provided you have necessary skill and right attitude for the job you are vying for. Even if you are aspiring to work abroad, the minimum required work experience  is only two years.  These multinational companies abroad are well-aware of the reason why you are applying for them, they know that you are  looking for a new job for a greener pasture, specially if you are from a 3rd world country.  There are large numbers of Engineers, Seafarers, and Healthcare workers who are renewing their contracts every two years as Overseas Filipino Workers. Many of them if not all are jumping from one companies to the others as well.

The 10-Year Goal is the most challenging stint you may ever achieve in working in the corporate world; seeing yourself working  for a single a company for 10 long years. is not so millenial. This is a very old school attitude towards job tenure. However, there should be a very good reason and extra ordinary motivation on seeing yourself working for a decade on a single company. 🙂 We have to find that motivation within our inner selves,  Once you find it, you can easily decipher and decide of what to expect in the future. 🙂

Most importantly, you must be very ready to face all the challenges in the corporate world including the corporate politics, be ready for everything under the four corners of the building that has become your second home. Read books, this will make you strong and resilient. No storm can devastate you to reach your 10-YR goal. 

ALSO READ:

Countdown to Early Retirement: 50 months?

YOLOYAGO: The Social Security System Retirement Fund is not enough!

 

YOLOYAGO: The Social Security System Retirement Fund is not enough!

YOLO (You Only Live Once), the most popular acronym ever invented in the millennium, but there is also an acronym called YOGO (You Only Grow Old). Are these two acronyms coherent? Do they contradict with each other by principle? I’d like to change it to YAGO (You Also Grow Old), to make them coexist and coherent. YOLOYAGO – YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE, YOU ALSO GROW OLD.

Growing old, with sufficient retirement fund, is something we all need to prepare and work hard for, unless you were born with silver spoon and members of the privilege few or you still believe that your children are your investments. If not, relying solely on Philippines SSS Retirement Fund appears to be not enough based on the existing Retirement Fund Policy. Well, it has never been “enough” anyways since time immemorial.

Those who are employed in private sector, SSS monthly contribution is mandatory. This is mandated by law as employee’s social security. On September 1, 1957, the Social Security Act of 1954 was implemented adopting the social insurance approach to social security, covering the employed segment of the labor force in the private sector.

While there are other benefits associated with SSS. Retirement Pension is the primary objective of the creation of this institution.  If you are curious and you want to find out how much monthly pension or lump sum you may receive from SSS when you retire at the age of either 60 or 65, SSS (Social Security System) has online simulator where it will give us the estimated monthly pension and our date of retirement.

To access your Simulated Retirement Calculator:

  1. login to you SSS online
  2. Go to E-Services Tab–>Simulated Retirement Calculator

I myself, being in the working class for decades already, is also interested to find out how much monthly pension I will be receiving on my retirement age,

Looking at the Simulated Retirement Calculator, if I were to retire at the age of 60, the estimated monthly pension is P12,700 while if I opted to retire at 65, I will get a monthly pension of P14,300.

The head banging question now is, will it be sufficient enough? With the average annual  inflation rate of 5%, the P12,700 monthly pension will never ever be enough! 🙂

How to Request Stock Certificate at COL Financial for Visa Application?

Being a Filipino citizen and a Philippine Passport holder, it is always associated to a certain restrictions before we can enter the borders of 1st world. WE are always required to acquire a VISA from the embassy of the country where we intend to visit. One of the most common requirements before they grant us a VISA is “Proof of Funds Sufficiency” in the duration of our stay in the country we dream to visit.

 

Topping the list of requirements  to prove Proof of Funds are Bank Certificate, ITR 2316 – Income Tax Return, and Certificate of Employment. Stock Certificate does not show much on the list of requirements but it is  equally as good  as supporting document . It is a paper asset as well and a strong evidence of “ROOTEDNESS”. It is like you are telling to the embassy that you have investments in your home country and no way for you to overstay but to return back to your country of origin, your beloved country. 🙂

Having stated the importance of Stock Certificate,  Let us find out the easy steps How to Request Stock Certificate at COL Financial for Visa Application:

  • Login to your COL Account and click on Forms Tab and download the form [Certification Request (Certification request for Visa & other purposes] as shown below:
  • Fill out the form as shown below. 
  • Scan the completed Form and email the completed form to stockcerts@COLFinancial.com . The email information is shown below, go to Service Inquiry Tab for easy access.
  • Please also see the sample email below

  • Once the completed application form has successfully been emailed to stockcerts@COLFinancial.com. Wait for 2 to 3 Business days to receive your Stock Certificate. This will be sent via your email. Please see the sample Stock Certificate Below:

10 YEARS | Countdown to Early Retirement: 48 months?

As the saying goes, “We do not live just to pay bills“, thus we have to prepare for our Early Retirement so we can get out from the cycle of paycheck to paycheck. It does not make sense in today’s world. We all live to pay bills, it is how civilized world is designed for. Even during the Middle Ages when world currencies were not yet introduced in the world, there was already the so called “barter system”. Barter System is an old method of exchange, people exchanged services and goods for other services and goods in return. Today, we give our service and we get our salary in return to pay for our needs and wants, the BILLS.

When planning for an Early Retirement, there is always a million dollar question, how early is early for us to retire? The Retirement Age in the Philippines is 60 years old. This is also the required age for us to be eligible to claim our old-age pension from our Social Security System. Therefore, earlier than 60 years old can be considered as an Early Retirement.

I have my own personal definition of Early Retirement. For me, it is a 10-year goal of employment. It is staying with your current employment for a maximum of 10 years only, if and only if the circumstances permit. It is also my time frame to manage my income/finances within a 10-Year period. This span of time is enough to determine if I will still need to work for the rest of my existence.

DEFINITELY, I will continue to work, for as long as I breath, however my employment to a single company or corporation will be terminated as soon as I reach 10 years. It is not that I do not like my job, it is always my personal goal when it comes to employment. In other words, I will retire early and take advantage of the Gratuity or Early Retirement benefit if there is one. The amount may not be big enough but an opportunity for me to do other things. It is a 10-Year service! It is an obvious indication of tremendous loyalty! We all deserve to explore and experience other things in life.

I have worked for several companies of various capacities and industries already, and if I were to count, I’ve been to more than 10 companies to date. Interestingly, I had achieved my 1st decade of stint from a Technology giant company where I retired early when I reached my 11th year. After my retirement, I ventured to a business however felt that I still wanted to be part of corporate world. I am back to corporate world and I am now on my 6th year, aspiring to reach my 10th year. 

It is always good to have a plan and essentially become your goals. The goal is just our guide, like a map to our intended destination. As I always say, “I can only speak for today, not for tomorrow”. If I can speak for tomorrow, there is no point to look forward to my Countdown to Early Retirement: 50 months.

Aim High and Sweat?

We have been taught to aim high and reach for the stars. We always hear this saying as we grow. It is because we all want to succeed in life. The definition of success may be subjective as it goes along with transcendence.

It is also very true that if we aim high and if we eventually fall, we fall somewhere at the higher level not on the ground level. Aiming high in our career, whatever we choose to be, is always associated with monetary returns. No one would ever sweat in the corporate ladder without financial benefit in mind unless we choose to be in social work and public service where ideally we serve others not asking for any financial returns.

We basically sweat to achieve something or reach our goals. The goals that we ourselves define. I would like to share Robert Kayosaki’s short motivational clip – If you ever say I can’t afford it. He said,“the reason God created nice things is for us to use our brains and figure out how to get it”. He wants Ferrari and he will figure it out how to get it. He chose Ferrari over Toyota. He happened to fall in love with US brand Ferrari. 🙂

Achieving our goals require us to sweat; a good career, long lasting relationships, and personal passions in life. The pursuit in achieving our goals takes hard work and knowledge. Some popular books however also teach us that it is not about what we know but who we know.

The undeniable truth is not everyone can be a corporate warrior. There are number of factors and considerations in stepping up to corporate ladder and I am not going to enumerate those one by one. Our world evolves on various energies that affect how we see things around us. We cannot confine ourselves on a limited definition of Aiming High!

Aiming High along with its associated description is an overused phrase. There is a rocket ship launching pad, we just have to find its location. It is a location where the rockets can reach the moon. 🙂 Have you ever dreamt of walking in the moon?

The day without Facebook

In the advent of internet when most of socialization was  face to face with our warm bodies; the days when we had to communicate and interact with our families and friends miles and miles away by post, telegram, and telephone, the days when life seemed to be very slow but calmer.

With the amazing introduction of Facebook decades ago, it is now popularly known as the No. 1 social media platform, everything has been very fast, communicating to anyone in this world is like the speed of light. Facebook is astonishing and impressive! Isn’t it? Name it, it has it! It has become a platform full of magic!

The magical world of Facebook however has reached to an extent that it consumed me. Yes, it consumed my free time, to a point that it has been part of me big time. It was great at the beginning; I’ve got to find my long-lost friends and relatives, most of all Facebook gave me an unlimited cloud storage of my memories, particularly my travel memories.

Facebook – to hold my neck and occupy my precious time every single day is something that I’ve come to realize to be unproductive. It has gone beyond communicating and interacting, but to an addictive point, the worst scenario was it reached the point when I could no longer live without browsing FB day and night. I just woke up one Sunday that I had to put a halt on it; it has to stop! I deactivated it!

As of this writing, I am now on my 4th day without Facebook. I feel more freedom and consequently more productive. I no longer look for FB app on my mobile phone, I deliberately uninstalled it.  I need to train myself without FB for 3 months. I should get used to live without Facebook, I love the day without Facebook!

I have nothing against Facebook and all other social media platforms, they are all part of our digital world. It is just my personal take, it is only ourselves who can identify which is which is to prioritize in our lives; the things which we believe are more important and of significance.

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