SUBIC: Dinner at Chef Samurai

February 13, 2017


SUBIC: Dinner at Chef Samurai


If you're craving for Japanese food while you're in Subic, visit Chef Samurai. This restaurant is home-grown and can only be found in Subic. The food is really good and the seafood is guaranteed fresh.

WHAT WE ORDERED

Kani Salad (185 pesos)

We ordered 3 dishes which was served in 1 platter.

Samurai Maki (498 pesos)


Mixed sashimi (550 pesos)
Uni sushi (2 pieces,185 pesos)

AVERAGE COST OF MEAL FOR 2 PERSONS: 1500 pesos

LOCATION:


WALK-IN PASSPORT APPLICATIONS at the DFA: Is it allowed?

February 11, 2017

Photo courtesy of citizenservices.com.ph

WALK-IN PASSPORT APPLICATIONS at the DFA: Is it allowed?


UPDATE AS OF JULY 14, 2017: This popped up when I was trying to open www. passport.com.ph.

This clarifies the question on who can walk-in at ANY DFA OFFICE and the document they need to present:

1. Senior Citizen: Senior Citizen ID (no mention of other proof to prove age.)
2. Person with Disability (PWDs): PWD ID or visible disability
3. Solo parent: valid Solo Parent ID (this is new!!!)
4. Pregnant women: medical certificate (what if obviously pregnant? :))
5. Minors below eight (8) years old: ?(I suppose it's the birth certificate or old passport)




NOTE: For news updates as of June 2017, please see the end of the article.


If you wish to apply or renew a Philippine passport in the Philippines, you have to make an online appointment. The earliest appointment schedule you can get in offices in Metro Manila and nearby provinces is at least 2 months from the date you request for an appointment. If you want an earlier date, earlier dates are available for other satellite offices in less accessible places like Zamboanga, Butuan and Tacloban.

Earliest appointment schedule is 2 months from today.

Because of this situation, a lot of my readers are asking if they can get an earlier slot by walking-in at any of the branches of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). If a satellite office is just new or has not configured their system to allow online appointments, they allow walk-in applications for a limited time before their system is configured to allow online appointments.(See the news on Walk-in passport applications at DFA Ali Mall for a limited time)


However, as of this writing, the existing satellite offices are all online so the only way you can apply or renew your passport is by getting an appointment online. 

THERE ARE HOWEVER, CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS.

WHEN IS WALK-IN PASSPORT APPLICATIONS ALLOWED
There is a line in each DFA office known as a courtesy lane. They process walk-in passport applications in the courtesy lane. People qualified to use the courtesy lane can process their passport applications without getting an appointment. They can arrive at the DFA office without an appointment, walk-in, present proof that they are qualified to use the courtesy lane, and then have their applications processed immediately. 

Below is a list of persons allowed to use the courtesy lane: (source: Department of Foreign Affairs site )

• Regular government employees / with GSIS / appointed by Civil Service Commission

• Dependent of government employee 
  - Legal spouse 
  - Parents 
  - Unmarried children


• Retired government employees (one year availment)


• Incumbent elected officials


• For barangay level, only the following are entitled: 
  - Barangay Chairman 
  - Barangay Kagawad 
  - SK Chairman


• Endorsement from House of Representatives must be endorsed by DLLU (Department Legislative Liaison Unit) of the DFA before lodging their applications to Courtesy Lane


• Media Personnel must first secure endorsement from Public Information Services Unit (PISU) before going to Courtesy Lane.


• Referrals made from DFA employees (limited to 3 referrals per month) and Head/s of other government agencies must secure proper endorsements duly signed by authorized signatories of their respective offices. Only original copies will be accepted for verification purposes. Photocopy of DFA employee’s valid I.D. / government agencies official’s Department I.D. must be attached for verification purposes.


• Minor (7 years old and below)


• Senior Citizens (60 years old and above)


• PWD (genuinely disabled) / with PWD I.D.s


• Pregnant (genuinely pregnant) / with medical certificate

* In case of lost or stolen VALID (not expired) passport (the applicant may proceed directly to the Consular /Division at DFA Aseana without an appointment (http://www.dfa.gov.ph/2013-04-04-07-00-36)

PASSPORT FEE: P1,200.00 (10 working days)
Senior citizens have an optional processing fee of P950.00 (20 working days)
NOTE: All passport fees charged when using the courtesy lane is the same as the express passport processing fee rate. They cannot opt for the regular rate of 950 pesos, except senior citizens. 

I suppose the reason for this is that people using the courtesy lane are in a hurry to get their passport and couldn't wait to schedule an appointment online. It has the effect of filtering people who are really in a hurry to have their passports released and discouraging those who are not in a hurry.

SPECIAL CASES OF OFWS (Overseas Filipino Workers)

OFW's are allowed to walk-in at the following :

1. At any DFA satellite office nationwide, through the courtesy lane 

2. At the dedicated passport center of OFWs located at Robinsons Galleria


Checkout the following news articles:

July 2016 DFA advisory for OFWs wishing to renew at Robinsons Galleria

The announcement that the DFA satellite office in Robinsons Galleria will be exclusively for OFWs applying for passports

FOR URGENT CASES:
You can write a letter request to the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, stating your reasons for asking to be allowed to walk-in and process your passport without scheduling an appointment. Take note, however, that JOINING A TOUR or GOING ON TOUR are not considered valid reasons.

MY TIP:
Try DFA Ali Mall. About a month ago, a friend of ours tried to apply for a passport at DFA Ali Mall and was allowed to process it without an appointment. Take note that she went there after lunch and on a weekday. I presume that if they don't have too many applicants, they also allow walk-in applicants. But that's discretionary and uncertain. 

UPDATE AS OF JUNE 2017:

I renewed my passport last June 16, 2017 and interviewed the DFA personnel on the issue of walk-in applications. They informed me of the ff:

1. All passport applicants must get an appointment. Walk-in applications are NOT ALLOWED IN ALL DFA OFFICES, except for the following persons:
a. Senior citizensb. Persons with disabilityc. Pregnant womend. Minors 7 years old and below.
Note: I forgot to ask what proof they consider as valid. I'm presuming old passports, birth certificates or any ID bearing date of birth is enough proof in the case of senior citizens and minors 7 years old and below. In the case of persons with disability, I presume the proof of disability is the disability card if the disability is not visible or visible physical disability. In the case of pregnant women, if the pregnancy is not visible, a doctor's certificate may be accepted. 

2. Walk-in applications by OFW's will only be entertained at the Robinsons Galleria satellite office.

3. Walk-in applications by government employees will only be entertained at DFA-Aseana office. 

4. Walk in applications by senior citizens, persons with disability, pregnant women and minors 7 years old and below is allowed in ALL DFA OFFICES. All other exceptions discussed above will be entertained at DFA-Aseana. OFW's will only be entertained at the Robinsons Galleria Office.

Check out my PostMy Experience Renewing My Passport at DFA Ali Mall last June 2017.



PAMPANGA: Must Eat Dishes at Everybody's Cafe

February 6, 2017


PAMPANGA: Must Eat Dishes at Everybody's Cafe


If you happen to pass by Pampanga on your way to destinations north of the Philippines, and wish to make a food stop at a Kapampangan restaurant, Everybody's Cafe is a very good choice. They serve homemade Kapampangan cuisine turo-turo or fast food style.

MUST EAT DISHES AT EVERYBODY'S CAFE

MURCON OR MORCON KAPAMPANGAN

"Morcon Kapampangan or Murcon is different from the morcon we commonly know. The usual morcon if made from wide and thin slice of marinated beef filled with sliced boiled eggs, sausages or hotdog and rolled up to form a cylinder, tied up with thick thread and then simmered until cooked. The Kapampangan version of morcon is made from ground pork and beef, chorizo, onions, raisins, eggs, grated cheese and wrapped in pig’s caul fat. it is then steamed or simmered until cooked. This morcon look very similar to embotido and after it is sliced, the drippings from the steamer will be poured with the oil. The morcon is best when submerged on it’s own fat." (source: Panlasang Pinoy Meat Recipes)

KALDERETANG KAMBING

"Kaldereteng kambing is basically goat meat stew in tomato sauce added with cheese and liver spread. Preparing the goat meat is very different from other red meat like beef or pork because you have to remove or eliminate the gamey or musky odor and flavor of the meat. There are different ways also to prepare the goat meat and some use vinegar and spices but the recipe I have use sherry to remove the musky odor and a more flavorful dish. If you can’t get sherry, you can use dry white wine as as substitute." (source: Panlasang Pinoy Meat Recipes)

SIZZLING SISIG


"Pork Sisig is a popular appetizer that originated from the culinary capital of the Philippines : Pampanga. This delicious dish can also be categorized as a main dish. Pork Sisig was invented by the late Lucia Cunanan. She is popularly know as Aling Lucing – the sisig queen. Originally, pork sisig is composed of chopped pigs face (snout included) and ears with a generous amounts of chicken liver." (source: Panlasang Pinoy) 


FOR THE MORE ADVENTUROUS...

ADOBONG KAMARU (350 pesos per plate)

These are mole crickets found in the ricefields of Pampanga.
They are sauteed in garlic and onion, then tomatoes are added then simmered in vinegar.

The kamaru is crunchy and creamy.
This is a mole cricket.

(Photo from dreamstime.com)

Chanced upon some workers preparing the Kamaru (mole crickets)

They remove the wings and legs before cooking it.
According to Everybody's cafe facebook post, the restaurant consumes 1600 kilos of crickets per year.
 

OTHER UNUSUAL DISHES TO TRY:
  1. Adobong Batute (stuffed frogs)
  2. Tapang Kalabaw or Pindang Damulag (carabao meat jerky)
Note: These dishes were not available when we ate there.
AVERAGE COST OF MEAL: 1500 PESOS FOR 2 PERSONS



THE DINING AREA
We arrived at Everybody's Cafe around 12:30 PM on a Saturday and the place is full.
However, turnover of diner is fast because it's usually a pit stop. So you won't wait long for a table.


FOOD IS PRESENTED TURO TURO STYLE
Fried Itik, Pork Asado, Tidtad, Kare Kare



Kilain, Kalderetang Kambing, Bulalo

Lagat Hito, Mixed Vegetables

PASALUBONG/SOUVENIRS YOU CAN BUY AT THIS RESTAURANT

1. Taba ng Talangka made by Everybody's Cafe





2. Other famous Pampanga food products 

Nathaniel's Buko Pandan Salad, Ocampo's Sanzrival, Sylvannas
Probinsyano by Everybody's Cafe: Ube Halaya, Benito's Barbecue


HOW TO GET THERE:


Across a Shell gas station

PARKING:

The only available parking in front of the restaurant is good for 8 cars.
Street parking available.
Double parking is allowed. The parking attendant will inform you when a car is leaving.
(Photos courtesy of google maps)
(Photo courtesy of google maps)


HOW TO CONTACT THEM: