EASYTRIP RELOADING VIA BDO: How to do it

August 16, 2017


EASYTRIP RELOADING VIA BDO:
How to do it


What is Easytrip?

"Easytrip is the exclusive tag issuer for Class 1, 2, and 3 vehicles at the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX)....With the Easytrip electronic tag, motorists can have cash less and queue-less transaction as they pass through Easytrip dedicated lanes or mixed lanes at all NLEX toll plazas. Each Easytrip lane has a unique sensor that reads the tag, automatically lifting the toll barrier" (source: http://www.easytrip.ph/faqnlex.html)

As you can see from the announcement, you cannot reloadat the NLEX-SCTEX lane anymore.You need to do it in advance in another way.


HOW TO RELOAD OVER-THE-COUNTER AT BANCO DE ORO:

NOTE: I recommend using Banco de Oro (BDO) because of the number of branches they have, with mall-based branches also open Saturdays and Sundays.

1.  Go to any Banco de Oro branch. 

2. Fill in the blue deposit slip (not the bill payment slip) with the following information :


Account name: Easytrip Services Corporation  
Account number: 0015-3011-7826 
Reference Number: 12 digit Easytrip Customer Account number and Customer name


3. Make the deposit. 

4. After making the deposit, make sure to do any of these two things. If you don't, your easytrip will not be reloaded. 


A. Email the copy of the validated deposit slip to vds@easytrip.ph or support@easytrip.ph.
OR 
B. Fax to (+632) 6357752 or (+632)555-7575 (option 3).


5. After sending the email or the fax, call  (+632)555-7575 (option 4), to confirm that they received the fax or the email. 

6. Your easytrip will be reloaded 24 hours after you confirm that they received your fax or email. 

MY EXPERIENCE RENEWING MY PASSPORT AT DFA ALI MALL

August 15, 2017

MY EXPERIENCE RENEWING MY PASSPORT AT DFA ALI MALL



WHAT YOU NEED TO DO BEFORE GOING TO THE DFA OFFICE:
THREE MONTHS BEFORE:

1. Create a valid email address.
2. Get an appointment online at passport.com.ph
3. Choose a date and fill up the application form.
4. Verify your appointment by clicking the link sent to your email address.
This is very important. If you don't verify your appointment and clicking the link, your appointment will be dropped.

DAYS BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT:

Prepare to bring the following:

a. the old, expired or expiring passport.
b. the printed application form
Download your application form from the link emailed to you, then print in A4 size paper. DO NOT SIGN THE APPLICATION FORM. The link will also include the printout of the date of your application. 
c. the printout of the date of your appointment
You will need to present this printout to gain entry to the DFA office on the date and time of your appointment.
d. the xerox copy of the data page (where your information and picture can be found) of your passport.


ON THE DAY OF THE APPOINTMENT:

Dress properly. No sleeveless shirt/blouse.


There are no instructions as to the dress code.
But the requirements for photo states there should be no sleeveless shirt/blouse.

The instructions can be found at the encoding section.



MY APPOINTMENT IS ON A SATURDAY AT 1:00 P.M AT DFA ALI MALL:

12:30 PM: Arrival at DFA Ali Mall. 
I presented my application form and printout of the date of my appointment. I was allowed to enter at once, even if my appointment is at 1:00 PM.
The line in the middle is where you enter and present the printout of your appointment


12:30 PM - 12:40 PM: Evaluation, Signing, Payment
Evaluation: The DFA personnel reviewed my application form to find out if it's complete. 
Signing: The DFA personnel verified my information and asked me to sign my application form. He also gives the receipt for presentation to the cashier for the payment of passport fee. 
Payment: I presented the receipt and paid 1,200 pesos. Only cash is accepted.
NOTE: If your appointment is on a Saturday, you pay 1,200 pesos rush processing fee. You cannot choose to pay the regular processing fee. 
There is a special window for senior citizens, persons with disabilities,
minor children and pregnant women.
This means they do not interfere with the regular line.


In case you forget to photocopy the data page of your passport,
there's a photocopy section and notary public available inside the DFA office.


12:40 PM - 1:10 PM: Lined up for Encoding
The waiting time is 30 minutes. There are only 3 of the 6 encoding counters open. I'm presuming it's because it's lunchtime. When 1:00 PM arrived, other counters opened.
This is the long line at encoding.

1:10 PM- 1:20 PM: Encoding

Encoding and Data Capture: Taking of passport photo, finger printing of thumb and index finger, checking of accuracy of data encoded, signing.

Average time for actual encoding is 4-5 minutes. 


The encoding section

There is also a special line at encoding for senior citizens, persons with disabilities, minor children and pregnant women.


1:20 PM - 1:30 PM Courier section

My tip: Have your new passport delivered by courier to save time and expense. Why?

1. The date indicated in your receipt is just a TENTATIVE DATE of release. So if you arrive on the date indicated, you cannot be sure that your passport is ready for release.
In my case, tentative date of release is after 7 working days.

The receipt showing tentative date of release.

They make you sign a waiver, which means they cannot commit to the release of your passport on time.


2. Date of release is limited to weekdays, 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM. 

3. The line at the releasing section is long.

4. Courier fee is only 150 pesos.


The courier section is beside the encoding section

1:30 PM: Departure from DFA

We were given this reminder after encoding.

_________________________________________________________________________


TENTATIVE DATE OF RELEASE IS JUNE 28, 2017
ACTUAL DELIVERY OF PASSPORT: JUNE 29,2017


MY PASSPORT ARRIVED ON TIME!!!

Check out my Post: Walk-In Passport Applications at the DFA: Is it Allowed?

ANTIPOLO: What to Order at Tipulo (Modern Filipino Cuisine) Restaurant

May 20, 2017

ANTIPOLO: What to Order at Tipulo (Modern Filipino Cuisine) Restaurant

If you're visiting Antipolo and wish to dine at a good Filipino restaurant, I recommend Tipulo Restaurant. It's located along Sumulong highway inside the First Pacific Leadership Academy.

 


WHAT TO ORDER:

Tinapa Lumpia (135 pesos)



Boneless Crispy Pata (875 pesos)


The Crispy Pata is served with 3 kinds of sauce:
soy sauce, hoisin sauce, lechon sauce


Kare Kare (360 pesos)

The Kare Kare has large oxtail pieces in it.


ON MY NEXT VISIT, I tried the following and they were very good as well but I wasn't able to take photos:

1. Sinigang na Salmon Belly sa Miso (285 pesos)
2. Ensaladang Bagnet (190 pesos)
3. Escabecheng Alimasag (230 pesos)
4. Crispy Hito with Green Mango Salad (320 pesos)

For a clearer copy, click HERE

My tip: 

If you're dining on a weekend, the waiter suggests that you make a reservation. There are usually a lot of diners on weekends, especially payday weekends. Below are the contact numbers. They are open 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM.



WHY THE RESTAURANT WAS NAMED TIPULO
(Please read on)



SINGAPORE: What to Order at ADRIFT Restaurant, Marina Bay Sands

May 19, 2017




SINGAPORE: What to Order at ADRIFT Restaurant, Marina Bay Sands


Adrift is a restaurant by Michelin-starred Celebrity American Chef, David Myers. Adrift is located at the Hotel Lobby, Tower 2 of the Marina Bay Sands. It's the first time we tried this restaurant and we really loved the food. So I'm recommending the food we ordered.


This is the Hotel Lobby in Tower 2 of the Marina Bay Sands where Adrift is located.
The restaurant is dark and cozy inside.



WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND ORDERING THE FOLLOWING:


SALAD

Mesclun Salad
with asparagus, pomegranate and pecorino
16 SGD

Warm duck salad
with mizuna nam jim
16 SGD



MAIN COURSE

When we asked the waiter what the signature meals of Adrift are, he recommended these.

Adrift Wagyu Burger and Fries
with tomato jam, gruyere and pickled jalapenos
28 SGD

Iberico Pork Chop
with umeboshi glaze and leek shoots
32 SGD




DESSERT


Yuzu cheesecake
Berries, matcha
13 SGD



COCKTAILS:

I highly recommend that you try the cocktails. They are created by Sam Ross, a famous bar consultant and icon of the New York bar scene (see HERE). He created the Penicillin cocktail (made of blended scotch, fresh lemon, ginger, honey and islay float). You should try the Penicillin cocktail. I was not adventurous so I tried my usual Margarita. The Margarita was great! 

The Margarita
Tequila, cointreau
23 SGD






DINNER MENU




For a clearer menu, click 
HERE

For the drinks menu, click HERE
For the dessert menu, click HERE

Where to Buy R & M Dried Mangoes

May 18, 2017

Where to Buy R & M Dried Mangoes

R & M Preserves is the company that pioneered dried mangoes in the Philippines. So naturally it's the brand that people prefer to buy when bringing dried mangoes as pasalubong or gifts to friends and relatives. In recent years, it has been difficult to find stores that sell R & M dried mangoes. I used to be able to find it at SM supermarkets or Robinsons supermarkets. But in the past few months, I couldn't find any even in these stores. 

In my recent trip abroad, I was able to find R & M dried mangoes at the airport, specifically, at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. There are a lot of pasalubong stores after the immigration counter and near the gates but there is only ONE pasalubong store/stall where you can find R & M dried mangoes. All other stores carry the other brands.

Here is where you can buy R & M dried mangoes at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3:
1. It is located at the International Departure Gates.
2. After passing through immigration, you turn left and walk to the gates.
3. The stall selling R & M dried mangoes will be on your right side, beside The Great Man Han Restaurant 


R & M dried mangoes, 100g. , 130 pesos

HOTEL 101 MANILA: A REVIEW

May 13, 2017

HOTEL 101 MANILA: A REVIEW


I booked Hotel 101 as a place where I can stay overnight before running the half-marathon at the 2017 National Geographic Earth Day Run. The venue of the run is the SM Mall of Asia grounds. The start line is at Seaside Boulevard, which is around 1 1/2 km. walk from Hotel 101. The half-marathon gun start is at 3:30 AM. So I decided to stay at Hotel 101 so I can rest more and avoid having to compete for parking space at the SM Mall of Asia, especially since thousands join the Earth Day Run. Apparently, it was a good decision. A lot of vehicles are stuck in traffic on the road leading to the start line.

My Reasons for Liking Hotel 101

1. The price
The price of the room is only 2,755.68 pesos per night for two persons. We didn't get the room with breakfast included because there's a Jollibee store beside the hotel and a lot of restaurants within short walking distance of the hotel.



2. The hotel room and its basic amenities
The room has a minimalist design but very clean. And basic amenities are complete.


Water is strong and the shower has heater.

It's very good that the toilet has bidet unlike other hotel rooms.

They provide complimentary 2 bottles of water, a snack (Pillows) and coffee.

As you can see, bottled water and Oishi pillow snack is complimentary.

There's a microwave.

There's a small ref.

You can see the storage space of the ref.
The items you see inside the ref is not free.

They provide a bathrobe, in-room safe and slippers.

They provide a flashlight inside the cabinet in case of emergency. 

They provide a hair dryer.

There's a dental kit, shaving kit, cotton and earbuds. 

They provide shampoo, conditioner, lotion and soap
Of course, there's also toilet paper, facial tissue and towels provided.


3. The shops and services near the hotel


There's a 711 store at the ground floor of the hotel building

There's a Jollibee store beside the hotel

There's a Baan Khun Thai spa and a Phoenix gas station beside the hotel.


4. Ube express shuttle stop
The hotel is one of the stops of the Ube Express shuttle that goes to the airport, the NAIA Terminal 1, 2, and 3.
From 5:00 AM until 12:00 mn.
The buses pass through this stop every 30 minutes.

The Ube Express shuttle bus stop is in front of the hotel entrance

5. Ample hotel basement parking space



Hotel 101 is a value-for-money hotel choice if you wish to have a place to stay when:


1. You're running a marathon very early in the morning in the area of Mall of Asia/Roxas Boulevard and wish to stay overnight at a hotel nearby to avoid the traffic and having to look for parking space.

2. You're attending a concert at the nearby SM Arena.

3. You wish to go shopping before going abroad and leaving for the airport.
The hotel is near the airport and the shopping mecca, which is the SM Mall of Asia.
4. You leave far from the airport and wish to stay at a nearby hotel to ensure you make it to the airport on time.
In case you have difficulty finding a taxi, the hotel is one of the stops of Ube Express as shown above.