SM Megamall Passport Renewal and Processing

September 24, 2012

SM Megamall Passport Renewal and Processing:
Making an Online Appointment

It's welcome news that passport processing for new applications, renewal of passports and application for lost passports can be done at SM Megamall. Having this service available at a mall makes it more convenient to the public. A mall is always located at an accessible place. Public transportation is always available. Parking areas are already provided. And to top it all, the mall is usually open all days of the week, even holidays. This particular service is available Mon-Sat, including holidays. Those who do not wish to be absent from work just to get a passport can avail of this service on a Saturday or during a holiday.

How to make an online appointment

1. Go to

2. On the left side of the screen, click "Set an appointment. The screen below shows you what will appear when you do this.

3. Fill up the blank with the captcha phrase then click "Start Individual Appointment Process". If you're applying as a family, there's another item below that you can click to start the family appointment process.

After clicking "Start Individual Appointment Process", you will see the screen below. Fill up all the items below then submit.

My tip: Make sure  the email you put is correct otherwise you will not be able to confirm your appointment.  You need the link in the email confirmation to verify the date of your appointment and to be able toprint your application form. If you wait a long while and do not receive an email confirmation, most probably you made an error putting your email address. Just make a new appointment and the previous appointment you made will be automatically dropped.

4.  After submitting your personal information, you will see the screen below. Pick your date to see what slots are available. 

The days available for passport appointments are as follows:
Monday to Saturday: 
every 30 minutes, from 10:00 am - 11:30 am, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm.
My tip:  If you wish to get your desired date and time, book one month before. The earliest you can book an appointment is a month before your desired date.

5. After you pick your date and click the slot you want, the screen below will appear to indicate that the process has been completed. Then check your email.

My tip (updated as of  November 2012): If the screen above (at paragraph no. 5) does not appear, and you get an onscreen message to go to, this means you are booking an appointment for more than 5 persons using one email address. The appointment software limits the no. of bookings per email address to 5 persons. You need to use another email address for the additional persons you plan to book.
For instance: a. For family applications: You can do a family application for 5 people maximum using one email address. The remedy is to use another email address to book the other family members.
b. For individual applications: Even if you book people separately or at different dates, as long as the appointment has been confirmed and has not been cancelled or used, you  are limited to only 5 people using that same email address. The remedy is to use another email address.

6. You need to check your email within 24 hours so you can confirm your appointment by clicking the confirmation link within the email. Otherwise, your appointment will not be confirmed. The sample email is shown below:

Dear  000000000000,
Your appointment has been set.
Your appointment is on Sat, Oct 27, 2012 from 10:00 am to 10:30 am.Please make sure you arrive at the DFA at 10:00 am.
You will be expected to arrive for your appointment at exactly 30 minutes before your schedule.Even if you arrive early, you will not be entertained until 30 minutes before your appointment.If you arrive late, you will need to secure another appointment for another day.
Please be advised that appointments from 5:00PM onwards will be considered rush processing.
=====================================================- IMPORTANT INFORMATION - =====================================================
Your Reference Number: 000000000000
1. Click the link below to confirm your appointment and print your application form. 2. Use Long Bond Paper when printing.3. Be sure to bring your application form with you on your appointment date.4. Please do not sign the application form. You need to sign it with the presence of a DFA officer in the processing window.
-----------------------------------------------------Confirmation Link: If you do not confirm within 24 hours by clicking -- the confirmation link, your appointment will be  -- canceled.                                        -=====================================================
You will need to have a PDF reader installed in your computer such as Foxit Reader or Adobe Reader.

Please note that we've replaced your previous appointments with this one.You are not allowed to place multiple appointments in our system.

7. After clicking the confirmation link, the screen below is what you will see.

This is your application form. You have to print it and bring it with you to the DFA.
You see the date and time of your appointment
under the heading "E-Passport Application.

My tip: If you make an error in the application form, just cancel your appointment and make a new one. At the homepage, on the left side of the screen, you can click "Cancel appointment".

8. Proceed to DFA Megamall on the date and time of your appointment. 

Arrive 30 minutes before. You will not be entertained until 30 minutes before your appointment. If you're late, you will need to get a new appointment.

Location of DFA Megamall Consular Office: 7th Floor Megamall Building C, EDSA corner J. Vargas Avenue, Mandaluyong City.

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NOTE: The DFA Appointment System is also available BY PHONE via the hotline (02) 737-1000. You can call anytime from 8:00am - 5:00pm, Monday to Saturday.

Leisurely Explore Davao in Two Days

September 8, 2012

Leisurely Explore Davao in Two Days

This is a leisurely itinerary for exploring Davao in two days so the pace is slower. The sightseeing is confined to Davao City. The itinerary allows rest and relaxation but still includes experiencing a little bit of Davao culture and tasting the must-eat local food. This is not a hectic and action-packed two days that attempts to include everything that Davao has to offer. This itinerary attempts to balance the leisurely place with important things that the tourist must experience.

DAY 1. Magsaysay Fruit Market, Davao Museum, T’boli Weaving Center, Marina Tuna Restaurant

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 A   Magsaysay Fruit Market

 B   Davao Museum

 C   T'boli Weaving Center

 D   Marina Tuna Restaurant

10:00 AM  - 12:00 PM:
Magsaysay fruit market / Magsaysay fruit vendor’s association market
Why visit the Magsaysay fruit market? Davao is famous for its durian and suha (pomelo). This is where you should buy durian and suha.

12:00 PM  - 1:00 PM:

1:00 PM  - 2:00 PM:
Take a taxi to Davao Museum
Distance from Magsaysay Fruit Market to the Davao Museum is 5km.

2:00 PM  - 5:00 PM:
DAVAO MUSEUM (this is different from Museo Dabawenyo)
Address: Zonta Building, 113 Agusan Circle, Insular Village Phase I,  Lanang, Davao (near the Waterfront Insular Hotel) 
Hours: Mondays to Saturdays: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM; Sundays: by appointment 
Entrance fee: P100
Contact no. :(082) 233-1734 (082) 233-1734 
Address: Lizarda Drive,  Insular Village Phase I,  Lanang, Davao  (across the Davao Museum)

5:30 PM  - 6:00 PM:
Take a taxi to the Marina Tuna Restaurant

Distance from the Davao Museum to Marian Tuna Restaurant: 1.5 km

6:00 PM
Dinner at Marina Tuna Restaurant

Marina Tuna Restaurant: Home of the Best Tuna and Seafoods
Km. 8, Bo. PampangaSasa, Davao City
Tel: (63 82) 233-2666
Open: 10am-930pm, no break
Better reserve because it’s always full

Highly recommended!! 
Seafood is guaranteed fresh, especially the yellowfin tuna. 
For the superb quality of fresh tuna and seafood, price is cheap.
It's easy to order because the menu is shown in pictures on the wall of the restaurant. 
What to order: tuna sashimi, crispy buntot ng tuna, kilawing tuna, fish eye soup

DAY 2. Infant Jesus of Prague Shrine, Jack’s Ridge, Lola Abon’s Durian Candy Factory, People’s Park, San Pedro Cathedral, Harana Restaurant

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 A   Shrine of the Infant Jesus of Prague

 B   Jack's Ridge

 C   Lola Abon's Durian Candy Factory

 D   People's Park

 E   San Pedro Cathedral

 F   Harana Restaurant


The Shrine of the Infant Jesus of Prague, Jack’s Ridge and Lola Abon are in the same area of Matina.

People’s Park, San Pedro Cathedral and Harana Restaurant are in downtown Davao and near each other

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM:
Ride the taxi to Holy infant Jesus of Prague Shrine

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM:

My tip: If you’re taking a taxi, try to ask the taxi driver to wait for you as you explore this shrine. It’s hard to get another  taxi to go to Jack’s Ridge, although Jack’s Ridge is walkable at half a kilometer.

You get a good view of the city.
It's a favorite retreat center. You can pray before replicas of the Infant Jesus of Prague and Our Lady of Fatima 
It's a resort that used to be the headquarters of the Japanese Army during World War II 
It has the best view of Davao City because it overlooks the whole Davao City and Davao Gulf.
It has Japanese war crash sites and prehistoric clam shells.
It's a dining destination because of the view. 

11:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Lunch at Taklobo Restaurant, Jack’s Ridge

1:30 PM – 2:00 PM
Take a taxi from Shrine Hills to Lola Abon’s. Lola Abon’s is also in Matina and near Shrine Hills
Distance from Jack's Ridge to Lola Abon's Candy Factory: 2.5 km

2:00PM – 3:00 PM
LOLA ABON’S Durian Candy Factory

23 San Miguel Village
Davao City, Davao Del Sur,
(082) 297-2391

My tip:

1. Buy Lola Abon's durian yema (it has a strong durian flavor and durian bits) and durian pastillas (it has a mild durian flavor)

2. Make sure to taste Lola Abon's homemade durian ice cream. It’s the best that we've tasted.
In case you're unable to try Lola Abon's homemade durian ice cream, check out D' Madayaw durian ice cream at the supermarket. It’s also good.
Another famous durian candy factory is Linda’s but Linda’s is sweeter. We prefer Lola Abon’s.

3:00PM – 3:30 PM
Take a taxi to People’s Park.
Distance from Lola Abon's to People's Park: 4.7 km

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM:
People’s Park
Address: Palma Gil Street

4:30 PM  - 5:30 PM:
You can walk from People’s Park to San Pedro Cathedral area. It’s just 800m away.
You can explore other sites as well such as the City Hall, University of Mindanao, or Museo Dabawenyo

5:30 PM  - 6:30 PM:
Saturday anticipated Mass at San Pedro Cathedral (in Cebuano)

Check out San Pedro Cathedral mass schedules here

Why see the San Pedro Cathedral? It's the oldest church in Davao.

6:30 PM - 7:00 PM:
Ride the taxi to Harana restaurant

7:00 PM:
Dinner at  Harana Restaurant
Address: F Torres Street
Tel no: (082)227-3937, (082)227-3937
Hours: 11:00 AM - 2: 00 PM,  5:00 PM -10:00 PM
Note: They close from 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Why dine at Harana Restaurant? It's one of the oldest restaurants in Davao serving great Filipino food.

List of Wineries and Other Participants to Wine Depot's 2012 Food and Wine Festival

September 5, 2012

List of Wineries and Other Participants 
to Wine Depot's 2012 Wine and Food Festival

For more details as to ticket price, discounts and where to buy, see here

Where to buy Dum Biryani and Murtabak at Tekka Market in Little India, Singapore

September 3, 2012

Where to buy Dum Biryani and Murtabak 
at Tekka Market in Little India, Singapore

If you're in Singapore and would like to eat Indian food, the best place to go to are the hawker stalls at Tekka Market. I love biryani and murtabak so obviously this is what we bought at Tekka Market. The stalls we recommend for you to visit for biryani and murtabak are Hanifa Briyani Specialist and Prata Man of Prata Saga Sambal Berlada. They are beside each other so they will not be hard to find. 


Hanifa's Briyani Specialist
(Stall No. 01-256)
Open: 10am-10pm

Hanifa's Briyani Specialist has been awarded
the Presidential award for Fine Culinary Skill

We ordered Chicken dum briyani at SGD 4.50

What's the difference between biryani and dum biryani? In simple terms, biryani is rice cooked with spices. Dum biryani is rice cooked with spices and meat, which may be chicken or mutton.

Prata Saga Sambal Berlada
(Stall No. 01-256)

The Prata Man who cooked the murtabak
is seen at the lower right portion of the photo

The Prata Man of Prata Saga Sambal Berlada makes such a fantastic roti prata
that the Culinary Institute of America flew him to the US to show their chefs
how to cook roti prata. 

The Prata Man showing us how he cooked the
chicken murtabak we ordered

The Chicken Murtabak at SGD 5

The refurbished Tekka Market

Checkout the video below of 
the Prata Man cooking our Chicken Murtabak