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How to apply for passport in the Philippines?

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You can now enjoy the convenience of getting an appointed date and time to apply for your ePassport. All you have to do is provide your personal info online and choose an available date and time convenient for you. Applying for the ePassport is now more efficient. 

That's what the new DFA Passport Appointment System website claims.

Here's how to set an appointment to apply for a new (or renewal of) passport in the Philippines:

  1. Visit www.passport.com.ph and check the Required Documents and Application Procedures. I will only cover about the process here. 
  2. Click 'Set an appointment' link on the left sidebar.
  3. Fill up the Application form about your personal details and contact information, and click submit button.
  4. If you're a new applicant, the required documents will be shown next. Just click the Continue button until it's finished.
  5. You will be asked to select an appointment date (first) and time on the next page. (Note: the calendar begins with the earliest available month for appointments)
  6. A confirmation page containing your Appointment Number and schedule will show next. Click the link to print the page and bring it on your appointment.
* NOTE: In some cases, you might receive an email saying that your appointment date is not available and they will set you on the next earliest schedule.

What you need to do on the Appointment date of your passport application?

  1. You must be at the new DFA Passport Center office at least 1 hour before your appointment time - as hundreds are also appointed on the same time. 
  2. You will still be asked to queue and be given a number. There are more than 20 counters so the queue moves a little quicker.
  3. Once called, present the required documents on the counter. 
  4. Pay the cost - Php950 for normal processing - 20 WORKING DAYS; Php1200 for rush - 10 WORKING DAYS.
  5. You will be asked to go to the 2nd floor for your photo, thumbmarks and signature. You need to queue again.
  6. The officer will ask to verify your details. Please do verify very well.
  7. You will be given with a claim stub with the date of release stamped on it.
  8. If you want your passport to be delivered, proceed to the Courier counter to sign a delivery form. You will have to pay Php100 if within Metro Manila, or Php120 if outside Manila. LBC is one of the best courier to sign-up to.

Is DFA accurate about the release date (and delivery) of passports?

In my case, NO. Since the system is very new, glitches happen. I paid for a rush processing and delivery of passport, but I got it 5 days late from it's release and delivery date.

Is the DFA Hotline helpful? What are the numbers to call for follow-ups on passports?

Hell no! Not at all. I was trying to call the 737-1000 Support Hotline for Passport Centre on the date of my passport release. After several attempts and spending lots of minutes hanged on the phone, somebody picked my call. They DON'T KNOW the status of the passports. They CANNOT TELL if the passports were released on time or picked up already by the respective couriers. All they can do is GIVE PHONE NUMBERS to call to get the status.

They gave me more than 3 numbers to call, just to know the status of my passport. Pissed, nobody answers the phones at all. If not busy, the phone just keep ringing. The other phone line seems inactive - "The subscriber cannot be reached." It was like that for 2 days.  Annoying.

Come 4th day of delay. I was able to connect to their Support Hotline again (the harder way). They still remain that they have no way to know the status of the passports and they insist on telling me to call those numbers they gave me.

I talked to the supervisor (I have to beg annoyingly the agent to give the phone to his supervisor), and before she insisted the same things. I insisted that they call those numbers that they say are active and have people answering, and then get back to me with a clear status report.

After 2 hours, she called me back and said that yes indeed my passport was delayed due to some reasons that some passports cannot undergo the RUSH processing and have to go through the EXTENDED or normal processing. I was asking for a refund since I paid for RUSH and didn't get it. But then again, she wanted me to call another number for it.

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Roofcamp #7: Interesting journey to Web 2.0 & Cloud Computing

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I got an invitation from John Arce on Facebook. It's for Roofcamp. Roofcamp what?

Roofcamp is an unstructured gathering with a friendly yet intense atmosphere of open information exchange, debate, teaching, learning, and discovery.
Apparently it's the 7th edition already of an event where technopreneurs, influencers, innovators, coders, designers, artists, VCs & Angels, philanthropists, startups, and other like minded individuals meet.

The guest resource speaker, Scott Henderson, CTO of Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, will share about their interesting journey into Web 2.0 and the Cloud Computing. Interesting!

If you also wish to attend, just show up. According to the WebGeek website, It's free and we'll also have a free beer. It will happen at Mag:Net Bonifacio High Street on Thursday, April 15, 2010from6:00pm to 9:30pm. I'm looking forward to meet new friends there!

Thanks to Jay Fajardo, Founder of Roofcamp / CEO of ProudCloud.net.

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On this site will rise Mr. and Mrs. Ion and Raqz Gonzaga's FIRST Residence

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The fruit of our hard, hard labor. We're blessed to be able to buy this 271 sq. m. lot at Mission Hills in Antipolo. It's a great community. Clean, orderly and the view of Manila's cityscape from the hills is breathe-taking. We can't wait to see our brand-new house built.

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iBLOG 6 Itineraries (from iblogph.org)

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Day 1 (April 16, 2010)
9:00 – 9:15 Opening Ceremonies (National Anthem, Welcome Remarks by JJ Disini)
9:15 – 9:35 Blogging for Business: Tapping Bloggers to Generate Buzz (Janette Toral)
9:50 to 10:10 Advertising in Blogs (Abe Olandres)
10:25 – 10:50 BREAK
10:50 – 11:10 SPONSOR talk (Ivy Jean Vibar)
11:25 – 11:45 SEO & Blogging to Promote Your Business (Francis Gary Viray)
12:00 – 1:30 LUNCH / NETWORKING
1:30 – 1:50 Measuring Blog Buzz (Carlo Ople)
2:05 – 2:25 Legal Concerns in Blogging for Business (Emerson Bañez)
2:40 – 3:00 BREAK
3:00 – 3:20 Blogger and Advertiser: What is the Win-Win Relationship? (Diana Paterno)
3:35 – 3:50 Online Attraction Marketing (Manuel Viloria)
4:05 RAFFLE and GROUP PICTURE

Day 2 (April 17, 2010)
8:45 Opening Ceremonies (National Anthem & Welcome)
9:00 – 9:20 Blogging 101 (Hannah Villasis)
9:35 – 9:55 Video Blogging 101 (Vince Golangco)
10:10 – 10:30 Photo Blogging 101 (Juned Sonido)
10:45 – 11:00 BREAK
11:00 – 11:20 Blog Policies (Emerson Bañez)
11:35 – 11:55 Blog on Mobile (Racquel R. Cagurangan)
12:10 – 1:20 LUNCH & NETWORKING
1:20 – 1:30 Performance (UP Concert Chorus)
1:30 – 2:15 Political, Online Commentary, Social Media, & Election Blogging 2010 (Marck Ronald Rimorin and Noemi Dado)
2:30 – 2:50 Launching Successful Blog Contests (Jinoe Gavan)
3:05 – 3:20 BREAK
3:20 – 3:40 Impact of Blogging to the Community (Joseph Gonzales)
3:55 – 4:15 SEO: A Must for Making Money Online (Marhgil Macuha)
4:30 RAFFLE, iBlog Video Contest Winner Announcement, & GROUP PHOTO

Emcees: Flowell Galindez and Atty. Michelle Dy (UP-ISP)

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Social Networking Conference... in real life!

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One of many reasons why I love staying in the Philippines is that 'networking' is everywhere and is not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Plurk, Youtube and other online media. In my 3 years in Dubai, I'm always hungry for a REAL-LIFE "social networking about social networks." Sadly, Dubai has got almost nothing about Internet-savvy professionals and social media enthusiasts (except Dubai Twestival).

So when I chanced upon Janette Toral's Plurk post, I visited the link to Fiera De Manila's page about this Social Networking and eBusiness Conference Philippines 2010. Finally!

FYI, I'm into Internet Marketing and recently I started learning about Social Media Marketing and how businesses are fast embracing the once mistakenly thought as "fad." The lineup of speakers and topics are just powerful. I'm excited to hear:
  • Social Media Marketing Strategies Insights and Lessons Learne
  • The Future of Social Networking and Social Norms
  • Harnessing the Power of Social Media by Yahoo!
  • How Brands are Becoming the Media
  • Using Social Media in Search Engine Marketing Campaigns and It Influences Your Search Engine Rankings 
I would also like to hear the Case Study Presentations of the would-be Winners in Social Networking Awards 2010. Check this link for the complete list of topics and speakers.

I've had failures in the past and I'm expecting to be enlightened on the better roads to take. I would also want to have an idea how and where to take-off from this social media age. I dream to be part of the next big thing on or after Social Media.

I have not blasted yet on my Internet Marketing activities. I have been silent for the past couple of months (preparing our websites and social media accounts). I guess after this Social Networking Conference, I would be ready to position myself in the social map.

The Social Networking Conference 2010 is an event geared towards companies and digital marketing/advertising professionals and businessmen/entrepreneurs who are interested to use social networks for advertising/marketing their products and services. It is for dynamic and innovative companies, start-ups, and upcoming players who would like to leverage on current technologies to communicate and sell their products/services through social networks; and, gain knowledge as to how this industry is working and evolving.
The event will be on April 22-23, 2010 at the Grand Ballroom, Hotel Intercontinental, Makati City, Philippines. This is presented by Fiera de Manila, Inc. and Digital Filipino Club. Also supported by Blog4Reviews.

See you there! 

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My latest Twitter background design

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My latest Twitter background design for a Dubai-based SEO specialist who also does Conversion Optimization and Online Reputation Management. Design inspired by the Dubai road signs. Check it out at http://twitter.com/dorksterdave

When would you want me to design yours?

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Leaders vs Followers

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"Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems." - Brian Tracy............. So among the president aspirants, who talks solutions and who doesn't get tired of talking about problems?

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