Pinay Daily Ramblings

Monday, March 2, 2020

How to bring your pets from Philippines to USA
Monday, March 02, 20200 Comments

Waiting to check in

I recently brought my pets (dog and a cat) with me to the United States and here are the steps I did:

1. Get your pet's vaccines up to date before you even book your flight. Do this 30 days before your flight. 30 days is very important if this is the first time your pet got vaccinated. Some airlines also require boosters to be at least 30 days old.

2. Book your flight and make sure you reserve a slot for your pets. I used Korean Air and they are fantastic with handling pets. Delta doesn't allow pets in cabin for long haul flights.

3. Buy airline approved pet carrier. I got this at Pet Express. Medium size for my toy poodle weighing 12lbs. Make sure to place LIVE ANIMAL sticker on every corner of the carrier.


4. Get a vet health certificate from your local vet clinic. Make sure the vet mentions that the pet is negative for screw worm and other parasites and the vaccinations are updated. You should do this 3 days before your flight because it can't be used for more than 3 days. 

5. Take your pet's health certificate and vaccination records to Bureau of Animal Industry in Quezon city the day after you get your pet's health certificate from the vet. This is where they will issue an import permit. The import permit is free. No need to bring your pets with you.

Bureau of Animal Industry

6. Prepare your pets for the flight! Make sure to line your pet's carrier with a pee pad and include a blanket. Make your pet wear a diaper as well. 

We arrived 4 hours before boarding time in case something goes wrong and we need to go out and buy something else for the pets. When we got to the airport, Korean Air's counter was still closed. We checked in online and had to fall in line at the baggage drop counter. From there, they weighed all our baggages and checked my dog which will be in the cargo area. My cat went with us in the cabin.

Everything went smoothly and Korean air staff were all nice and friendly. 

My cat fits perfectly under the seat.


My dog is now a snow lover. She absolutely loved it. I thought coming from the tropics, the cold temperature will shock her, but it didn't.


My cat loves looking out the window and watching some birds and squirrels playing outside.

I highly recommend Korean Air when traveling with pets on a long haul flight.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

St. Luke's Medical Experience for US Visa - Day 2
Tuesday, January 21, 20200 Comments
Reception area

My appointment was at 9am but I decided to go in early. At around 7:30am, I arrived at St. Luke's. I showed my receipt to the lobby guard and he scanned my index finger. He pulled up my info on his computer and stamped the receipt with "for immunization".

I went to the immunization area located in second floor and gave my receipt to the person in the US counter. I was told to wait for my name to be called. There were at least a dozen people waiting to get their shots there already. I guess it's fine to go in earlier than what they told you.

Around 8:30am, my name was finally called to the immunization room. They briefly asked me for my health history and then proceeded to give me the 3 shots I needed. I was given varicella, mmr, and tdap. It was quick and easy, didn't really hurt much.



I went down to the ground floor for releasing and after about 30mins, I was asked to go to counter E. She made me double check my info and asked for my passport. After everything was sorted out, she handed me my immunization record (personal copy) and a cd containing my chest X-ray. Lastly, she handed me a sealed envelope and instructed me to bring it with me to my visa interview.

I was out of there by 9:45am. It was quick and easy.


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Monday, January 13, 2020

St. Luke's Medical Exam Experience for US Visa - Day 1
Monday, January 13, 20200 Comments
January 13, 2020. Taal volcano erupted and it sent ashes all over the Metro. I was unsure if I could even get a cab to St. Luke's at 3am. I was also afraid to sit there and wait outside while ashes were falling. Instead, I opted to leave Makati around 4:45am and I booked a grab ride to St. Luke's.

Outside line

I got there at exactly 5:05am and there was a line already. After 25 mins of waiting (around 5:30am), the guard finally started letting people inside. I was afraid I'd have to stand outside too long to inhale those toxic dust from the ashfall.

After showing the guard all the necessary documents : passport, letter from US embassy, visa interview appointment confirmation, letter from NVC with the case number, 4 pcs 2x2 pics with your full name printed at the back, and St. Luke's online appointment, the guard gave me a number.

Made it to number 41

I was told to go straight to the reception area where you sit down and wait for your turn. After about 30mins, I was able to go to window F and I handed all my documents along with my passport. She checked it carefully and then told me to go to the cashier for payment (5th floor).

5th floor

Medical exam fee is 17,025 and it already includes all the vaccinations required. After paying, the cashier gave me the receipt and instructed me to go to the X-ray department. There was a line already when I got there. Waiting time is about 35mins. Their X-ray room is much more advanced than the ones you see in local clinics here.

After the X-ray, the laboratory was next. I gave them my checklist and passport and they made me sign a waiver for std testing and told me to wait for my turn. It took about 40mins before they called my name. They extracted blood and then I had to pee on a cup they provided. Note: don't even try to wash the outside of the sealed cup or they will reject your urine sample and you will have to wait an hour to pee again.

Vital signs was next. It took around 45mins waiting time. They measured my weight and height at first and was told to sit and wait again for my name to be called. After another 15mins, they called me over to get my blood pressure. I was then directed to the eye exam room where the doctor checked my vision. After the eye exam, physical exam was next.

I waited outside the doctor's room for about 30mins and when it was my turn, she just asked me some routine questions about my health history, etc. She then told me to undress (with my underwear on) and lie down. She looked at my wrists, my tummy, and she asked me to get on a side-lying position with my knees slightly flexed. That's about it. She told me to get up and put my clothes back on. I was out of there in just 15mins. She gave me back my checklist and I handed it to the person in the US counter.

I took a seat and waited for my name to be called. After around 30mins, my name was called and she handed me my receipt and told me to come back the next day around 9am.

Here's the timeline of the whole first day:

5:05am - arrival
5:30 - line up to get a number
6:00 - reception
6:30 - cashier
6:45 - xray
7:20 - laboratory
8:00 - vital signs
9:00 - physical
9:45 - US counter
10:15 - Everything's done and they told me to come back the next day

SLMEC's address is:

1177 Jorge Bocobo St, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila

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Friday, October 4, 2019

Renewed My Passport for 2019
Friday, October 04, 20190 Comments
We finally had our passports renewed yesterday and it didn't go as smooth as I expected it to be. I prepared all the necessary documents beforehand but M didn't bring her original birth certificate.

Her passport was just for renewal yet they asked for her birth certificate even though she has her old passport with her and her school id, and a copy of her birth certificate. They won't accept the copy without seeing the original with the PSA receipt attached to it.

Our appointment was at 7:30am but we arrived around 6:30am. There was a long line at the entrance already when we got to DFA Aseana. Since M needed the original bc, we went back home to pick it up.

Traffic was already heavy by the time we got back on the road around 8am so we took the NAIA expressway to skip the traffic in Edsa.

The whole process was fast since the number of applicants weren't that much during the time we got there. It only took us less than 30 mins.

The documents they asked me were:

2 copies of E-receipt
1 copy of application form
1 copy of my ID
My old passport

And of course you have to show them your actual ID.

I was expecting them to release the passport after 12 days but I was wrong, it is actually 16 business days plus 2 extra days for delivery.
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Friday, September 13, 2019

Get your Postal ID in Two Working Days via Rush Processing
Friday, September 13, 20190 Comments


Since we couldn't get a student license ID for M, we went to Makati post office to apply for postal ID. DFA now accepts postal ID for passport application and renewal in case you don't have any other valid ID.

Normally, it takes 15 working days to receive your postal ID. But with their new rush processing service, you can now get it in two days!

The requirements we submitted are just a copy of birth certificate and proof of address (barangay certificate or utility bill showing your name and address).

Since we applied on a Friday, the ID will be available on Monday afternoon instead. That's still better than 15 working days! I paid 650 pesos for rush processing. Regular processing is 504 pesos
which can take 15 working days to receive.
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Sunday, September 8, 2019

No Student Permit ID card Available in LTO Branches
Sunday, September 08, 20190 Comments
M needs to get a student permit ID card in order to renew her passport at DFA coz they asked for two IDs and she only has her school ID and her old passport. It sucks that they only issue a paper receipt and not the ID card itself.

We have inquired in almost every LTO branches in Metro Manila and they all said the same thing "wala pong available na ID card for student permit, nationwide po yan".
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Thursday, September 5, 2019

How to Reschedule Your DFA Passport Appointment  2019
Thursday, September 05, 20190 Comments
I couldn't make it in time for my passport appointment at DFA Aseana so I thought I should just reschedule it. I have already paid for it so I wondered if rescheduling an appointment is free.

This came up when I did a Google search:


Based on that tweet, rescheduling is not free when you have already paid the processing fee. But that tweet was from 2018.

I decided, the heck with it, I will just pay if I have to, coz what else can I do about it? Here's how to do it:


Just type your appointment reference number and click view. Then click "reschedule" and just enter the new dates and the DFA branch you'd like to go to.

Surprisingly, rescheduling your passport appointment is free! 

Just make sure that you click the "reschedule button" and not the "cancel" button. Cancelling your appointment will forfeit your previous passport payment and it will be treated as new application.

Also make sure to click the "Booking confirmation" that will be sent to your email right away. If you do not confirm within an hour, your appointment reschedule will not take effect and you will lose the previous appointment as well. You will have to apply again for another appointment and pay the processing fees again.

P.S. Make sure you reschedule it more than a week before your current appointment.

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Saturday, May 25, 2019

Wildlife in Need in Subic Accepts Pet Boarding
Saturday, May 25, 20190 Comments

Since we couldn't take our cat in the hotel room with us, we looked for a place where he can stay. The pet spa located in a mall nearby doesn't accept pet boarding anymore so we looked for another one and found WIN. 


Wildlife in Need is a rescue center and a vet clinic. Aside from treating wildlife, they cater to pets too and accepts boarding. For only 500 pesos/night ,our fur baby got an airconditioned room for himself,. The staff are friendly and accommodating. 


You can find them at:

WIN Animal Care Center
Building 8494
Naval Magazine
Subic Bay Freeport Zone 2222

Contact them at:
(047) 252-8494

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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Texas Joe's House of Ribs, Subic Bay
Thursday, March 28, 20190 Comments

Our visit to Subic isn't complete without going to Texas Joe's House of Ribs for dinner. Food is great and the price is reasonable.

Nachos
We ordered their Ultimate Nachos to start with. It was reaalllyyyy good. I like it better than TGI Friday's Nachos. It has Corn Tortilla Chips, Smoked Chicken, Pork or Beef, Onion, Nacho Sauce, Pico de Gallo Salsa, Sour Cream and Jalapeño Peppers.

Filet Mignon
Their Filet Mignon is a winner! 9 ounces of bacon-wrapped heart of Tenderloin. Very tender. It comes with their popular Roasted Garlic Green Beans and choice of 2 delicious sides.
Their steaks are USDA Choice or higher, hand cut and char-boiled.

Beef Brisket Platter

Beef brisket is my favorite! It melts in your mouth and has that rich hickory flavor!




Texas Joe's House of Ribs is located in Corner of Waterfront Rd. and McKinley St., Subic Bay Freeport Zone. 

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Monday, March 25, 2019

Crazy Drivers in the Philippines
Monday, March 25, 2019 4 Comments
Philippines is not the ideal place to test your driving skills. If you are a foreigner and you want to explore by driving around some places here, take a look at those gifs I took during our roadtrip.


This was taken in Marcos highway on the way down from Baguio. We almost got rear-ended by a truck as we slowed down when this van came out of nowhere.

This truck came so fast and if we weren't driving slow, he could have hit us head-on as there was literally nowhere to go to avoid him.

Saw this accident in NLEX. It caused a massive traffic jam.

I hope the driver survived the crash.

This one was in Subic. Seriously, how can you have a nasty accident in SBMA roads? 

Don't even attempt to drive in Edsa! That road is filled with stuff you don't wanna mess with. From pesky motorcycles to people trying to sell stuff right in the middle of traffic, and worse, corrupt mmda officers who would flag you down for fake traffic violation to try to get some $$$ from you.


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