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The new computerized and by-appointment Philippines passport application system

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... is a crap. They used to have an expedited processing where you can receive your passport after 3-5 days from your application date. They scrap that. Now, they only have (1) Rush and (2) Normal. In rush processing, you can receive your passport after 10 working days. In the normal processing, you have to wait for 20 working days.  If you want it delivered to your place, add 1 more day.

Not only that. Their appointment system is just an extension of the typical queue. I set an appointment online and I was assigned a date 2 weeks from my request. So on that appointment date, I went 2 hours ahead of my schedule (9am). I learned that we're about a thousand all set for 9am. We were made to queue under the sun for about half an hour; and only until 30 minutes before the appointment time they let us in. Inefficiently, I was called at 9:35. Finished the application byy 10:20

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Taxi drivers in Manila... why are they?

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I feel like Imma 'tourist' here in my home land. For one, taxis really got me pissed off:

Taxi 1 - Buendia, Makati to Antipolo (11:00pm): ...won't take us in unless we agreed to pay higher than 500 because he might not find a passenger on his way back to Manila. Since it's late at night and really hard to get a cab, we agreed to pay 550. Reaching Antipolo, the meter reads 227.50 only (plus a "Tarantado" greeting from another motorist).

Taxi 2 - DFA (Macapagal) to Ayala (10:00am): Almost doesn't want to take me in because of "traffic" on the way. The driver moaned all throughout the trip about the traffic (which apperently was not really bad), while cursing all politicians (listening on AM radio) of being corrupt and trapo. Reaching Ayala, the meter reads 115 - and so I paid an exact 115 pesos. The driver moaned again because "I did not pay right." According to the genius driver, because of 'traffic' I should have given him more. But I insisted not to pay more - and he rushed away. (He has the guts to complain about corruption and yet he's practicing the same bulls***)

Taxi 3 - Cainta to Medical City, Ortigas (11:30pm): Silent all throughout the trip until reaching Medical City. The driver suddenly said, "Naku walang mga pasahero! Mahihirapan tayo nyan sir." I didn't get it. He repeated, "Wala talaga, tsk tsk..." The bill is 70 pesos, I handed 100. "Thank you sir! thank you sir! thank you talaga," were the words by the driver. I asked him to give back my change 'coz I need to rush to ER. He just repeated "Walang pasahero sir e." I did not bother to argue as I really have an emergency to go to.

Hell! Bakit dumadami sila!

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Average Monthly Salary of Web Designer in the Dubai / UAE (and other internet-related jobs)

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Also, below are the salary avarages of Web Developer, SEO Specialist, Programmer, Graphic Designer, dBase Administrator, and E-Commerce executives in the UAE. Thanks to BAYT for this. Just click the thumbnail to view larger chart:

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Jump shots with an 'arte'

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What to do if the water is chillin for a swim? Jump shots! (Best done during sunset). Me, wifey and my sis Kathy took turns to whoever would come up with the best jump shot with 'drama'... [Here's the other 19 photos on Facebook] Location: Ajman Open Beach.

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Dubai Camels crossing

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It's not everyday you can spot camels and donkeys crossing the street in front of your car. Here's what delighted our eyes this morning. Somewhere in Umm Al Quwain, while just driving, heards of camels and donkeys crossed the street. Of course we have to stop and wait for about 3 minuted for the 8 of them to cross through. Here are the photos we had of the camels and donkeys plus the ostriches we saw from a nearby farm [from my Facebook album]

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