Checking Korean visa status online

After four years, Mon and I will be visiting South Korea again! Just like in 2012, we will be there during winter. It is not without its roadblocks, though.

First of all, Mon had a problem with his passport. I was too afraid that he would be held up at the immigration in the Philippines when he followed me to Bangkok last October after my training. Our flight back to the Philippines was on the 31st of October. Two days after that, his passport would have been less than 6 months. Provided that it was still within the validity period during his stay with me, but it nevertheless made me quite nervous.

The earliest schedule for his passport renewal was on November 18. Counting the days for an expedite processing, his passport should have been released on the 29th. But, alas, it was not the case. We had quite a scare and his passport was due to be available on December 9. We still have to process our visa and we were already stretched thin. Good thing he took a chance the other day and got his passport 3 days ahead of the already-delayed schedule. Word of advice: please make sure your passport’s validity is well more than 6 months your travel date. It is very stressful, given that the release date set by DFA is getting too unreliable for comfort.

As I write, his visa is on process, while I already got word that my visa was approved. How? I checked it online.

Waiting for my turn at Window 3 - Korean Embassy Philippines visa

Waiting for my turn at Window 3

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Travel/Work Thailand: first phase

*extremely picture-heavy post

A month ago, I mentioned that I’d be in Thailand for two weeks to attend a training. Well, it finally happened and I could not be more excited to undergo our organization’s rite of passage.

I arrived a bit early at NAIA Terminal 2, with enough time to look for the participants from our other office. My colleague from a different team will be arriving at a later date because he had a class for graduate school. I was a bit nervous as well because the typhoon Lawin was due for landfall the same day as my flight. I had enough of a traumatic flight in the midst of a typhoon, after the horrid travel back to Manila in October last year after the WHO meeting in Guam.

Anyway, I sometimes wonder up to what extent I do my best not to talk to people I personally do not know. At times I can be very friendly, but most often, I just shut my trap and freeze on my tracks. This time was different though and I mustered the courage to approach my colleagues from the other office. I already know one of them from a previous course this year, where I discussed something. On the other hand, it would be my first time to meet the other two. Nevertheless, I was delighted to know that they were very friendly and we immediately hit it off. With a quick lunch at Jollibee and a minor gossiping on what to expect during the training, the next thing we know was we were already boarding the flight to Bangkok.

Flying over the South China Sea

Flying over the South China Sea

For starters, I recommend installing MyPal app on your mobile device. Aside from civil aviation rules prohibiting people from turning on their cellphones, the app will allow us to watch a selection of movies, series and even get copies of back-issue local magazines. The coolest thing of all — seeing our exact location on the map as we fly across the South China Sea.

After a couple of hours, we landed at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok. It is a beautiful airport and as a Filipino, you always tend to ask yourself ‘Why are our airports not this pretty?’. But that is a subject for a separate discussion altogether.

At Suvarnabhumi International Airport

At Suvarnabhumi International Airport

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To infinity and beyond!

Years ago, I told myself that I would make amends with people who I had severed ties with if I came out alive from my ordeal. Then years later, we find ourselves in the middle of a glorious day when they finally tie the knot. I haven’t seen them since 2014 and to see them as they take their vows could not have been the best timing.

It was Mama’s 60th birthday yesterday and we arrived in Marikina to celebrate the day with her. But for the Saturday after, I know she understood that we had to attend a wedding.

We sometimes dress up

We sometimes dress up

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An unexpected QC turn

While I don’t usually post work-related stuff, I think I will make an exception today. Nothing in the content is sensitive with the work that we do and it was too interesting for a day not to write about.

I was only given a couple of minutes to breathe after I arrived in the office, when my boss asked me if I could join her to Quezon City. At first, I thought we were visiting QC Jail, which I have never visited. I have been inside a couple of detention places before but I have never visited the one in QC. It turns out, we had to go to QC to quickly drop by a workshop.

Rainy Guadalupe

Rainy Guadalupe

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Pygmalion, revisited

It’s exactly 11:36 PM tonight, 11th of September and I am still wide awake. I have no work tomorrow because of Eid al-Adha. With a bad movie playing on the background, I have some white noise to block out the rain outside. I also took this photo with my laptop camera for no apparent reason.

My "Hello 9/11" face

My “Hello 9/11” face

Anyway, it was a very eventful week. I got a great news before Friday ended. I will be flying to Thailand this October for about half a month. My friend, Becca, was unfortunately unable to come to the course and I had to go, instead of the supposed November schedule. I was the fourth person on the list and I was suddenly asked to jump in. Just imagine, about exactly a year ago, I was in Guam for work-related travel and a year after, here I am again. There are certainly things I have to be thankful for, considering I had this soliloquy more than four years ago and another one a year after. But I would like to go back to the latter one, as it is more pertinent to what has been bothering me lately. The Pygmalion effect has come into consciousness once again.

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