Traveling Has Made Me Learn A New Hobby!

I love traveling but I’ve never thought I would be learning a new hobby because of this–guess what? It’s travel photography. I used to ‘just’ capture photos for memories but my recent travel to South Korea made me realize that there are rare but beautiful things all around us waiting to be captured and appreciated for a lifetime. So while the other tourists were still sleeping, I got up early and headed to Namsan Park to catch the sunrise and capture my first shots.

As I returned home from the trip, I smiled of the thought that I am a newbie travel photographer who wants to keep her portfolio alive. I walk, I look. I stop, I photograph!

I walk, I look. I stop. I photograph 📷
 
The Official Traveler

I’m not really sure if I did the capturing right but I’d love to hear and learn from professional photographers  or other photography learners for tips as I harness this new skill. Help me.. Yeyyy learning 🙂

1. N Seoul Tower

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If you feel like a character in “My Love from the Stars” or you want to trace the footsteps of K-pop queen Boa, and the Korean heartthrobs “Boys over Flowers,” then hop on a cable car, after a short walk from MyeongDong.

Along with the spectacular view, you can make a love pact at the “Locks of Love” area, a spot that has witnessed numerous proposals and pledges of love—real and the reel. You can also drop by the Teddy Bear museum shop for cute souvenirs, get high at the tower’s observatories, or try the unusual Sky restrooms! We’re not wondering why Namsan tower is a favorite shoot location of Korean shows: it is picturesque, romantic, and worth every penny.

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2. Gyeongbokgung

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If you want to see historical palaces and feel like you were part of the Joseon dynasty, head to Gyeongbokgung Palace, the largest of Korea’s Five Grand Palaces. Gyeongbokgung Palace housed Korea’s early rulers, and every part seems to tell a story. You can also witness a re-enactment of the traditional change of guard ceremony and have your photos taken with palace guards, as long as you treat them with courtesy.

3. Nami Island

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Even if is almost two hours by train from Seoul, Nami island is worth the long commute. For your ultimate Korean-drama experience, Nami island offers a lot of picture-worthy spots, including the Metasequoia footpath, an aisle with perfectly-lined trees where stars of “Winter Sonata” professed love for each other. img_0204_

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At Nami island, you can also ride a couple bike for hours or go on a simple picnic while enjoying the cool air. See squirrels freely interact with visitors—interacting with nature at its finest.

Camera Used: Nikon COOLPIX S7000, IPhone 4

This post is inspired by the Daily Post Photo Challenge: Rare.

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Where To Stay in Seoul: Cheap, Clean & Accessible

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Looking for a cheap place to stay while in Seoul? Let me share with you where we stayed during our trip. Being a budget traveler, I prefer to stay in guesthouses than in expensive hotels. Although it is relatively cheaper than 5-star hotels as to cost, it does not look cheap as the name implies. In fact it is also clean, affordable, and cute. It has almost the same services as hotels offer. It has free Wi-Fi and complimentary breakfast, too. What I like best about this is its location. For a newbie traveler, this has friendly location. It is walking distance to subway station, and the famous shopping street (Myeongdong), and the N Seoul Tower. SO if you are looking for a place to stay temporarily, go for this!

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We stayed in 24Guesthouse near Namsan in Myeongdong station. It is very accessible from Incheon Airport to Myeongdong station, Exit 3 (50 meters walk from 7-11).

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Photo: 24Guesthouse

We made the reservation online for Triple Room (since there’s three of us: 2 adults + 1 child). Within an hour, I received a confirmation through email. When I checked the price through their website, the cost is (KRW85,000) / Fri-Sat(KRW95,000)  per room per night however when we arrived on a weekday, we were only asked to pay for KRW60,000/night (probably the child is free of charge? I’m not sure). Yes, it doesn’t require reservation fee which is also a good thing especially when you suddenly have change of plans.

The Triple room comes with free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, private restroom, free toiletries, towels, and slippers. It has television, air conditioner, blower, coffee maker, hot & cold shower, emergency light, etc. Other budget rooms are also available in their website.

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For reservations, you may visit:
http://www.spaceinno.co.kr/sReservation/rvMain.asp
or Call:  +852-774-1212

Hope this helps! Enjoy your stay! 🙂

👣 The Official Traveler

5 Lessons From Our Autumn 🍁 Trip To South Korea

Teacher. Researcher. Soul-winner. Musician. Volunteer. Blogger. Traveler. No matter how busy we are, we should not forget to take time to see the beauty all around us–I call it ‘de-stressing’. I applied for my visa and booked my ticket together with my camera, backpack and small luggage to chase the beautiful autumn colors in South Korea. I usually travel alone but this time, I travelled with new travel buddies (Planned Travel: 6 ; Actual Travel: 3). What happened? It was not as easy as it used to be.. but I finally got over it. Lessons are learned. ^_^ After this trip I’ve realized, I should run my own travel agency 😀 I am writing this so some might learn from this experience.

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A year ago, we already booked our ticket for a price of USD231.45 for 4 people (it’s the cheapest promo we’ve got!) but we still didn’t have our visa at that time. A month before our travel, we started to prepare our documents according to what is required form each of us from the Korean embassy. We planned to travel as a group but due to our personal and professional schedules and consolidation of visa requirements, we could not submit our documents together to apply for visa as a group. Person B + 1 Child applied first (result is out after 5 days); then Person C (result is out after 3 days); then Person A + 1 Child (result is out after 5 days). The latter lacks ITR because she is new to her job so they had to write a written letter of explanation to the Consul.

The outcome:

Profile Visa Status
Person A + 1 Child Person A never traveled outside the country; new job (no previous formal job); employer cannot provide ITR; bank certificate–ok; bank statement–ok; COE–ok; the child never traveled outside the country Denied

Denied

Person B + 1 Child Person B traveled to Korea at least once; has ‘denied’ visa to 1 OECD country; complete visa requirements; the child never traveled outside the country Single-entry visa

Single-entry visa

Person C Person C Self-employed; Traveled to Korea twice; traveled to OECD countries; COE–ok; Bank statement–ok; Bank certificate–ok; no ITR provided this time Multiple visa (3 years)
Person D Visa Requirements= No problem; permanent employee; she just decided to cancel her trip *Did not apply for visa

Okay! So, when you are planning to travel with your friends or family, make sure everything is planned and well-prepared so as not to cause any trouble with anyone in the group  and otherwise it might cost you a lot of money. Here are some tips to get you started:

Lesson 1: if you plan to travel to Korea or any country requiring a visa, plan to travel first to cheaper destinations such as Hongkong, Singapore, Malaysia, Macau to get a passport stamp. This will increase your travel credibility through your travel records.

Lesson 2: if you are not employed and you want to travel to a visa-requiring country, get a job first. Before you commit though, ask if the employer or the company is providing ITR or BIR 2307 or BIR 2316 form. If not, find another job available. Without ITR, it would be difficult for you to hit your travel goal. Give yourself at least 6 months-1 year in this job then you can confidently request for an ITR.

Lesson 3. if you do not have a bank account yet, open now! Not only you will need to save up for your travel but also the Korean embassy requires an Average Daily Balance. Meaning to say, your bank account should be at least 6 months old. If you are curious what is the safe amount to put in this account–put at least 2-3 months of your monthly salary. If I were the officer at the embassy, I would check if your monthly salary commensurate  your savings.

Lesson 4. Do not book your ticket or accommodations before applying for a visa especially if you are a first-time traveler. Save yourself from costs and headache. You might not know until you get the result. There are a lot of accommodations in South Korea and the rate is most likely fixed so nothing to worry about.

Lesson 5. Don’t miss your flight! Traffic jam is unacceptable excuse. I arrived few minutes (5 minutes to be exact) after the start of boarding time. The plane had not departed yet (the security even told me that the departure time would be delayed) however the airline attendant did not allow me to pass through no matter how I plead so I had to rebook my flight and refund my unused ticket.

LESSONS learned! All throughout the preparation up to the implementation, bear these three things in mind: BE PREPARED, BE CONSISTENT and DON’T BE LATE. I cannot emphasize it any further. Autumn is a beautiful season. Don’t miss it! Wish you best in your next travel!

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This photo is taken in Gyeongbokgung, Seoul, South Korea

Happy Autumn,

👣 The Official Traveler

Spring 2016: Travel Seoul from Philippines

While it is super hot summer in some parts of Asia, it is also my most awaited beautiful season in South Korea–SPRING❀❀. I had a chance to have a 2-Day trip to Korea recently. It was a sudden and unplanned trip. Traveling solo, I brought with me my most valuable possession– COURAGE.

This trip left me one impression: Spring is indeed a beautiful season


I love the imperfections and spontaneity of this DIY travel.

Going to Manila Airport
I never wanted to travel in Manila alone (just!). But I had no choice but to face everything on my own this time (fighting!). From Region 3, I took a bus going to GMA Kamuning then went to MRT station. It is the surest way I know to get to Taft Avenue. From Taft Avenue Station, I didn’t know exactly where I would go next. For some reasons, I hardly give my trust to strangers especially #WhenInManila so I just followed the crowd as well as my instinct. I kinda’ got lost but I did not mind since I had the luxury of time before my departure. I guess this is the most exciting part of every adventure: going somewhere you do not exactly know how to get there.

Fortunately, I saw a security officer in uniform. This is the only time I peacefully ask the best way to reach the airport on time. Thank you Officer! 😊  Down the overpass beside Mc Donald’s,  I rode a jeepney bound for Nichols (instead of the Airport Shuttle Bus). I, too, did not know why I did that haha! I did not know where I was supposed to say, “para” and how much is  but it was a sure relief to see a lady wearing Cebu Pacific Airline uniform just in front of me 😀 When she got off, that’s my cue to get off as well. Unfortunately, her destination was different from mine 🙂 So I had to walk a few meters more to get to NAIA.
Lesson: Ask

At the Incheon Airport
I did not arrange with someone to fetch me at the airport. I had to make it to Seoul station on my own 🙂 We arrived late at night. Everyone is expected to go through the immigration process. Since Korea is popular place to visit for many reasons, passengers (mostly tourists) are swarming the hall. It took almost two hours for me to stand on the line and wait for my turn. My experience at the immigration area was my not-so-outstanding experience on the entire trip but at last, I’m done. I’m safe. Apart from it, everything was awesome.

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From the plane, you will use a train to go to the immigration hall

After the immigration, I just walked my way to the train station. It was not hard to find where it is. But to save time, there is an information desk nearby if need for help may arise.

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If you take the bus, check the map. In my case, I preferred the train because of higher guarantee that I stop at the exact location. There are two types of trains: a commuter train (no reservations necessary) and an express/non-stop train. It takes 1 hr and 20 mins to get to Seoul station using the commuter train (all-stop train) while only 45 minutes for the Express train.
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I took the commuter train (all-stop) train using a single journey ticket which can be purchased from the ticket machines near the entrance of the train station. The price for a single journey ticket from Incheon to Seoul Station is KRW 4150. Visit this useful link for up-to-date information.

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and another beautiful journey has began! 😊 Hello 안녕 Korea!~ It’s me again!
👣The Official Traveler

Visit South Korea 👣 Seoul Itinerary (#3): Chasing the Cherry Blossom [Spring 2015]

Have you ever thought of your simple hopes and dreams when you were young(er) and you had no idea how to make them happen because you think/thought you have no means to realize them?? That was me at 13. I have dreamed of experiencing winter, fall, and SPRING in real life since I could only watch them in movies but not to experience them in my country! Soon enough I realized that if you don’t chase your dreams, you will never catch them 🙂 After doubling the number, I finally made it! Who says it’s too late?  🙂 IMG_0356CHILDHOOD DREAMS DO COME TRUE ^_^ [Psalms 37:4]


Travel Date: April 2015
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Travel Buddy: None



Spring is my season and this is my story ^_^



Namsan Park 남산공원
Namsan Park is the largest park in Seoul attracting a lot of people who visit here to experience a little slice of nature in the middle of the urban city. What I like best about this park is the beauty of the season itself. The serenity of the place in one blissful morning is just so perfect for soul searching. The Cherry Blossoms are so alluring and irresistible. To be honest, this itinerary was unplanned but I enjoyed it so much. I already visited Namsan Tower the other day with a friend but I didn’t know I would be led here again–but this time, it’s a DIFFERENT experience.

I booked a 2-days stay in Aroha Guesthouse, two-minute walk from the Seoul Station. I really didn’t have any idea where it is exactly. Fortunately, I found out it is very accessible to most major tourist spots in Seoul. Although the staff assigned during my stay was not really accommodating and looked sooo dizzy. I didn’t bother much since I’d leave the place the next day anyway. I just needed a place to stay for the night.

Quick Tip:  If you want to include this kind of experience in your itinerary, choose a place to stay near Seoul station

On that morning, I bravely, went out from the guesthouse and followed a path (I didn’t know where it would lead me to). At the intersection, there are several signposts. As I went up the hill, I saw locals–young and old– jogging or walking with someone, with their cute pets, while some were walking alone (just like me). Everybody seems to be enjoying Sakura in full bloom. As I made my way up, I realized I haven’t really walked that far without any purpose 😀 Until it occurred to me that I really had to do some soul-searching because I had to ponder and decide on something MAJOR 💔 haha~.

It was an incredibly meaningful ME-time.I didn’t even notice I already spent almost 4 hours touring the place/mountain/park 😀 Then I had to figure out my way back to the guesthouse. I didn’t actually recognized I got lost. All I knew is… I enjoyed my journey.

Quick Tip: Don’t worry if you cannot understand Hangeul, English signposts on major spots are also available (especially in the city).

NAMSAN PARK, SO WHAT?Token of Spring

Yes, it’s also true that there’s nothing much you can see in the park apart from beautiful cherry blossoms trees.Others are just typical flowers of varying colors, herds of people, dating couples, statues, Namsan Tower, Locks, etc. But my ultimate point is.. if you have the chance, devote a day of your travel without any concrete itinerary. Screw the map and get lost for at least a day. BREAK FREE!  IF you do this wholeheartedly, you’ll discover and understand what I mean.

Quick Tip: Screw the map and get lost for a day. BREAK FREE! If you do this wholeheartedly, you’ll discover and understand what I mean. Although I do not recommend this for first-time travelers who have weak mind when it comes to taking the risks of traveling solo. It is by getting lost that you find yourself.
-The Official Traveler

Spring 2015Namsan ParkThe Namsan TowerHello Sunshine!


Ways To Get There


  1. Walking
    There is a pedestrian walkway across the street from the Namsan Cable Car lower station.
    (+): You will beautifully appreciate nature
    (+): Perfect for soul-searching
    (+): Take memorable pictures with Cherry blossoms in the backgroundThe hike up the stairs to the base of N Seoul Tower takes at least 30 minutes. From the cable car station parking lot, turn left and walk for about 50 meters. The stairs are located across the street.
  2. Namsan Cable Car
    The cable car is the easiest and most convenient way up to the N Seoul Tower.
    (+): See a good view of the city;
    (+): Free from feet sore/cramps;
    (+): No sweat, you’ll reach the top in few minutes.From Myeongdong Station go out of exit 3 and continue south on Toegye-ro 18-gil street. When you reach the Pacific Hotel, turn left onto Toegye-ro 20-gil street. When you see the Ministop, turn right onto Toegye-ro 20-na-gil street. At the end of the street is the lower cable car station. The ride only takes about three minutes to the top but you have to queue since there’s just 1-cable car operating at that time.
  3. Bus:
    (+): See a good view of the city while going up;
    (+): Free from feet sore/cramps;
    (+): No sweat, you’ll reach the top in few minutes.Buses are regularly boarding to the peak of the mountain. You can board the Yellow Bus outside Chungmuro Station (Line 3 or 4, Exit 2) or Dongguk University Station (Line 3, Exit 6). The fare is 500 (metro card) or 550 won (cash).

Visit South Korea 👣 Seoul Itinerary (#2): History & Culture Day [Spring 2015]

To DISCOVER CULTURE–if this is one among your reasons for traveling then..YOU ARE AWESOME. 🙂 Some people travel because they want to discover, learn and experience various cultures. If you are planning to travel to Korea, why not consider the theme, “History & Culture Day” in your itinerary? In this post, let me share my experience regarding this theme. I found them easily accessible, cheap (even free!!) and worth the experience. 6 spots-in-one stop. Half-day. Can you believe it? 🙂

1. Grand Royal Palace: Gyeongbokgung (경복궁)
Cost: 
Adults (ages 19-64): 3,000 won / Group (over 10 years): 2,400 won
          Children (ages 7-18): 1,500 won / Group (over 10 years): 1,200 won

This is something you should not miss in your History and Culture Day Itinerary! 🙂
There are Five Grand Palaces in Seoul,Korea namely, Gyeonghuigung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, and Gyeongbokgung Palace which are located in different locations. You don’t need to go to all of them if you do not have enough time. I went to Gyeongbokgung Palace since it is closer to Seoul station. Surprisingly, I found out that it is the largest among the palaces. It served as the main palace of the Joseon Dynasty.

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Make sure you catch the reenactment of the Changing of the Royal Guard and the Patrol Ritual are performed every day between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in front of Heungnyemun (Gate).

The guardsmen perform several ceremonies including the opening and closing the royal palace gate and the changing of the guard.

Address: 161 Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tel.: +82 2-3700-3900

Closed on Tuesdays

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2. King Sejong Statue (세종대왕 동상)
Cost: Free
At the entrance of the palace you can see a huge statue. Say “Annyeong hasaeyo” to 세종대왕. King Sejong is best remembered as the inventor of Hangeul, the Korean alphabet.

I’ve often heard Korean students talking about his notable contributions to Korean society. During his reign, he consolidated the basis for ruling the Joseon Dynasty by
incorporating Confucian philosophy of politics. Furthermore, he led the nation’s great strides in agriculture, literature, science and technology.

3. National Folk Museum
Cost:
Free
The museum is just located inside the palace. IMG_6116Here you can fully immerse yourselves in traditional, domestic and agricultural lifestyles, and learn about Korea’s cultural beliefs. Admission is included in the Palace’s Entrance Fee.


4. Blue House (청와대)
Cost: Free
If USA has White House, Korea has Blue House. 20150413_104118This is the executive office and official residence of the President of the Republic of Korea. Surprisingly, the Blue House is just few minutes walk away from the palace. 🙂 The unique buildings are covered with Blue-tiled roofs which blend beautifully with Mt. Bugaksan in the backdrop. The paths just outside the Blue House grounds is a pleasure as the surroundings are peaceful and beautiful.

Closed 
Every Sunday, Monday and National holidays

5. Mt. Bugaksan20150413_110614
Cost:
Free
While at the Blue House , take time to take a peek on the Mt. Bugaksan from afar. If you are not satisfied, you can go hike. It is a 342-meter high granite mountain in the middle of Seoul. It is home to Gyeongbokgung and a Joseon Dynasty fortress.

6. Wear Hanbok for FREE
Cost:
Free
Korean wanna-be? Yes, you can also try on Hanbok for free. In front of  the King Sejong statue, you can see a small booth nearby. People flock in the area so you can easily spot it. A friendly Korean staff will ask you to write your name and other details on a paper provided. She will then ask you to take your pick from the Hanbok hanged on display! ^_^ (I wanted the green and red one but someone didn’t want to take it off so.. I just had to get this color..Hmm.. quite big for my size though (yay! but lucky to have this last one).
You can now walk along the runway and smile on to every paparazzi 🙂

Grand Royal Palace20150413_115643Hanbok is the traditional outfit for Koreans. They normally wear this outfit only on festive days or special anniversaries, however it was worn daily up until just 100 years ago. Although this norm has slightly changed through the years. Nowadays, children wear hanbok on their first birthday and adults wear it for their wedding ceremony and on their 60th birthday. The Hanbok is also worn for funerals or religious services, and is still used as casual wear in villages or districts where the traditional ways of life are still maintained. Indeed, 6-in-1 spot 🙂

Duration of the itinerary: 9:00AM-12:00NN
Summary of Cost: 
I got it all for FREE ^_^ Lucky Me.
I had an awesome photographer & tour guide 🙂


Next Theme to be featured: Chasing the Cherry Blossoms

For the next series, Follow Me! 🙂

👣 HistoryMaker/The Official Traveler

Visit South Korea 👣 Seoul Series (#1): Korean Visa Granted!

Namsan ParkHave you ever wanted to visit South Korea but bounded by some limitations or should I say.. HESITATIONS? This is a blog series about traveling to South Korea in Spring. I have known many people who eagerly want to explore this country for many reasons but they couldn’t due to limited knowledge on how to make it happen. Thus, I am inspired to share how I made it to my CHERRY BLOSSOM FULL BLOOM EXPERIENCE in Korea (April 2015) as a budget traveler. Who knows, you might be the next! Finally, I want to dedicate this to other ESL/EFL teachers who in many years have been teaching English to Koreans but couldn’t even pay a visit to South Korea. I have 2 words for you, “You can!” 🙂

It has been a childhood dream to visit places where I can enjoy SPRING, autumn, and winter for the reason that these beautiful seasons are not present in tropical regions such as the Philippines. For many years, I have eagerness to travel abroad however people would discourage me by saying, “Either for leisure or work, it would require a generous amount of money and excruciating visa-application process.” I finally decided to overcome it and I just want to share my experience to someone who might benefit from it.

When I checked the embassy’s website, the Visa Requirements for Filipinos (shown below) made me have second thoughts on whether I should go for it or not. But my motivation? VISA IS FREE!!! So why not try it anyway? You just have to provide some documents and off you go.


I was nervous at first due to the following reasons:

☑ No ITR Form 2316 or 1701. What I only have was a Form 2307 (Self-employed);
☑ 6-month old bank account with very small money in savings (<P30,000);
☑ Low credit card limit (P15,000);
☑ Expiring passport (Travel Month: April 2015; Passport Expiry: November 2015);
☑ COE from a no employer-employee relationship company;
☑ Traveled to other non-visa Asian countries (at least once)


After organizing my documents based on the embassy’s requirements (see below) , I uttered a prayer and courageously handed in my application.
Quick Tip: Provide only what is required. No more, no less.

To my surprise (and relief), the application process for a South Korea tourist visa was so organized that I must have spent no more than 20 minutes at the embassy in total. Seriously, it took me much longer just to travel to the embassy and back!

You Are HereAfter I got my claiming stub, I waited for five days and went back to the embassy. This welcomed me, “Congratulations, Ms. ____, you are granted a visa to South Korea. ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY, 🙂 ” the woman said. My heart ❤ leaped with joy. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I could finally realize my Vision Goal to travel to Korea in Spring!! So I just said, “Kamsahamnida!” and left the embassy. Yahoo. VISA GRANTED! 🙂
Single-entry tourists visa are good for 3 months from their date of issue, so I suggest applying 1-2 months before your trip. In my case, my travel was in April so I applied for visa in February.


Tourist Visa Requirements for Filipino Employees
1. Application Form
2. 1 piece of Passport size colored picture
3. Original Passport (should be valid for more than 6 months)
4. Photocopy of Passport Bio-page (page 2)
5. Original & Photocopy of valid visa/s and arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past 5 years (If applicable, and Korean Visas will not be counted)
6. Original Certificate of Employment (new!)
(must include applicant’s position, date hired, compensation, office address, HR landline number(cell-phone number is not allowed), HR e-mail address)
7. Original Personal Bank Certificate
(must include account type, current balance, account opening date, ADB)
8. Bank Statement (new!)
(original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months)
10. Photocopy of ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316

* If personally invited by Korean
. Invitation Letter
. Photocopy of invitor’s Passport or Identification Card
(authentication not required)

* If invited by Company in Korea
. Invitation Letter
. Photocopy of Korean Company Business Permit
(authentication not required)

* Frequent travelers who have traveled as tourist to OECD member countries within 5 years are exempted from submitting ITR.

■ Processing Time
: 3 working days (for those who have been to OECD member countries within 5 years as tourist)
5 working days (for those who have not been to OECD member countries within 5 years)

■ Visa Fee: 59 days (or less) stay in Korea — GRATIS
60 to 90 days stay in Korea — PHP1,800.00


Republic of Korea Embassy in the Philippines

122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City 1634
Tel: +632 856-9210
Fax: +632 856-9008
Website: embassy_philippines.mofa.go.kr
Email: philippines@mofa.go.kr
Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:30AM-5:30PM
Filing: Mon-Fri, 9-11AM
Releasing: Mon-Fri, 2-4PM

HOW TO GET THERE:
Going southbound on C5, veer right soon as you pass SM Aura. You’ll see a Petron/Jollibee shortly after. The exit to Upper Mckinley Rd will come immediately after this, with the embassy almost at the start of the exit.

My Experience: I never traveled to Manila alone in the past. I did not want to trust strangers completely so I kept my phone with me and got in touch with friends for directions. To ease confidence, I also downloaded Google Map 🙂 I rode a bus to Manila from the province; rode MRT from Quezon Ave. to Guadalupe Station. From Guadalupe, I walked to the Jeepney stop and hailed a jeepney going to C5. I asked the driver to drop me off at the embassy at Mc Kinley.

My VISA APPLICATION EXPENSES:

Bus Fare (Region III to Manila)      P230.00
Bus Fare (Manila to Region III)      P230.00
Jeepney to and from C5      P20.00
City Bus                               P20.00
Visa                                     FREE
TOTAL                                P500.00

For the next series, Follow Me! 🙂

👣 HistoryMaker/The Official Traveler


Disclaimer: The example above is more accurate for Tourist Visa application. Like you, I’m just a traveler. I’ll try to help as much as I can but please understand that my knowledge is finite and limited to my personal experience and purely research only.

South Korea: Education System

Education is seen as driving force behind Korea’s rags-to-riches story. Being an EFL Teacher in the past, I have seen how Korean students exhibit high regard on education (although, some are still lazy to do homework, though). But generally speaking, the amount of time spent they spent in schools and hagwons is legendary. After studying tediously, they roll up their sleeves, build a lot of factories, get their job done, look to the outside world, and outwork almost everyone around them.

The picture below is a typical style of kindergarten in Korea. How lovely, isn’t it? They are all in uniforms. No discrimination. Of course, sending children school is a huge investment for both parents and the government. But surely, it pays off.

Education is seen as driving force behind Korea's rags-to-riches story.

Education is seen as driving force behind Korea’s rags-to-riches story.

The challenge: Korea has transformed itself from war-torn mess to one of the richest countries in Asia.
Aking pangarap at panalangin, Pilipinas, sana next ka na! 🙂
I hope the reform in the education system in the Philippines, K-12 would really make a huge impact in the lives of the Filipinos soon.

The Lesson: “Education is an investment. Pursue your dreams, live out your passion.”

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