Hello strangers! My name is Rac, and I’m the female half of this website. (And also the lazy half. I do apologize.)
November of 2011 Cebu Pacific announced yet another one of its Piso Fare promos and I was lucky enough to have been online at the time. During the Piso Fare promo, the airline could offer base price tickets for as low as PHP1.00 (USD 0.02) plus taxes and charges for flights, both domestic and international. The catch is that the additional charges can get crazy, and the available flight schedules are usually at least three months from the promo date. It’s not that bad, really.
So back in 2011, it was timely that CebuPac offered discounted trips to South Korea since Rambi will be stationed there around March 2012. I immediately booked a round trip ticket for June 2012 and I was to vacay for four days, three nights. I know. Only four days? What was I thinking, right?
I got my ticket at PHP 22.00 (USD 0.5) base price plus charges bringing the total to PHP 2,983.31 (USD 69.39). Wow. I wanted to buy ten more tickets for the whole year when I suddenly remembered I had this thing called WORK. Oh well.
Ticket done. Next item, tourist visa.
I researched online on the process and requirements for visa application, and read forums on other people’s experiences on it. I was worried about not being granted a tourist visa after being denied one by a different country — oh the woes of being a citizen of the third world.
Come May 2012 I nervously trotted to the South Korean embassy along McKinley Hill for my visa application with the following original documents and photocopy in-hand:
- Filled out South Korea visa application form (leave no lines blank, write N/A if necessary)
- 2 Passport Photos on white background
- Passport valid for at least six months
- Round trip ticket / Itinerary
- Bank Certificate (I’ve read successful visa application stories from people who have at least PHP 25,000.00 in the bank)
- Certificate of Employment (complete with my office address and telephone number)
- PRC ID and IAPOA Certificate (to prove that I am a licensed professional in the Philippines)
I lined up at 9AM, no scheduled appointments required. The process was simple: get your number, wait for your turn, submit your documents. No interviews. The consul will check if your documents are complete and will give you a claim stub indicating when to pick up your passport, processing usually takes five days. Best part of the visa application is that it’s FREE. (At least for single entry tourist visas.)
Five days after, I lined up at 2PM to pick up my passport still nervous and a little excited. I was patiently saying a prayer while I was in line and when the consul handed me my passport back, I got my single entry tourist visa, allowed to stay for 59 days. Simple as that, I get to be with Rambi in a month. Hooray!
Visa done. Next item, tell my boss I’m going to S. Korea. Now this would be a little more complicated, haha. But let’s save that for another post.