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Month: May 2018

My Experience in Getting A Slot in DFA Online Appointment System (2018)

You’re gonna apply or renew your passport, huh? But as of today, you would’ve seen DFA’s passport appointment website like this:
@no appointment1.

Last Feb, the same thing happened. I went to to set an appointment for passport renewal. But all slots were full until June, in all satellite offices around Luzon. I was fidgety and worried since my passport would expire in 5 months. Unlike few years ago, I didn’t expect that setting an appointment would be this da*n hard! Nao-chan was even surprised that we need appointments to renew our passports since they don’t need one (Of course, Japan and Philippines are incomparable when it comes to systematicness).

I think there is something fishy about appointments getting fully booked like a flash. Others say that travel agencies/fixers reserve a lot of slots then offer them for a hefty price. And as a ‘kuripot’ person (I don’t have money tbh hahaha), I didn’t want to pay about Php5000 for something that is supposed to be free. Also, we shouldn’t let those agencies and ‘crocs’ gain profit from their monkey business. So it didn’t become an option for me and I already accepted my fate that I won’t get any appointments anytime soon.

Until the first week of March arrived. I was so lucky to be able to secure an appointment for passport renewal. It really felt like I accidentally scored a 3-point buzzer beater shot! So let me share how:

I was consistently checking the site to see if there were open slots for July and the following months. I checked all the schedules of consular offices around NCR and Southern Luzon, except Puerto Princesa (‘cos it’s way too far from here). Fortunately, I found a few open slots for April, DFA Legazpi. It was okay for me though it’s a 12-hour drive from here because it’s my dad’s hometown. He could definitely accompany me and it would nice also to see my titos and titas there. So I reserved that one, yay!

MY ADVICE: Fill out the application form quickly and make sure that there are no errors as you type your info. We are only given 15 minutes to temporarily reserve the slot and if you’re not fast enough, you’ll probably blow your chance away.

However, a week before April 7, I got busier and busier, that made me unsure if I could make it to my appointment. I was considering to cancel it, but I felt I’d wasted my chance. So instead of cancelling it right away, I tried to check again if there are any other open slots and thanks to my lucky stars, I found a VERY few of them open in DFA NCR North (Novaliches, QC) for April 4. It was sooner than my first secured slot but it’s relatively nearer and besides, I didn’t have to be away from home for few days.

MY ADVICE: Never EVER delete your first appointment as soon as you found a better schedule on their calendar otherwise you’ll end up losing your only precious appointment slot. It’s because most of the time, the DFA site gets very slow and goes down. Since the ‘Change Appointment’ option never worked when I found a better sched at that time, What I did was I chose the newly preferred schedule I found and filled in all the information needed at first. I only cancelled my previous appointment right before I hit the ‘Submit’ button for my new application. Take note that DFA prohibits multiple appointment applications so it’s a risky thing to do. It will be a lot better if you’d come to your first reserved appointment, when the ‘Change Appointment’ option is not working.

By the way, you might ask what time of the day can we get a higher chance to see available slots? Well, in my experience, I got my first appointment around 4PM and for my second one, I successfully got it around 2AM-3AM. It’s really hard to tell actually. Recently, I think DFA is kind enough to advice people to check their site daily for any re-opened slots, unlike last February, a cold ‘NO TIME SLOTS AVAILABLE’ message would just pop up on your screen, as far as i can remember.

Just like you, I’m also an ordinary person who’s annoyed with the current system. So, following my advice won’t guarantee 100% that you can get a passport appointment. We really need luck and eyebags to get one, friends! Please share your experiences in getting your passport by commenting below 🙂

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REA(L)OVE on Netflix: My Review

I subscribed to Netflix six months ago so I’ve started watching a few series (though my siblings are using it more than I do ^^) Recently,I’m into some reality TV series particularly Terrace House. It’s about six people, with different personalities and passion live in one roof to look for a potential partner. I got to know it from my former co-workers who had been watching it during lunch breaks. I find it very interesting – They live in a big, fancy house and they also have gorgeous cars that they can drive during their ‘dates’ or when the group is going to hang out together. The members are also wonderful as most of them have cool personas. Some of the members are models (that’s why they are so good-looking!), university students, or even athletes.

But few days ago, I bumped into this new Japanese Netflix show. I could say that it is a bit similar to Terrace House since the objectives are pretty same. Rea(l)ove is a Japanese dating reality show which participants will get to know each other for three days in Okinawa. But the twist is as the show continues, each of them will reveal their dark pasts that they have to get over with to find a new love. This one seems to be intriguing, so I gave it a try!

Watching the first episode, I thought it was a scripted drama, but no~ With regards to location, it is superb. It makes me want to go to Okinawa! However, it’s quite apparent that the show is not as classy and sophisticated as Terrace House as some reviews say it was ‘trashy’. The hosts of the show are quite popular, Atsushi Tamura and Mari Yaguchi who are said to have had been involved in some controversies before. They revealed the male participants first, then the female ones followed. Unlike the Terrace House members, most of them look very ordinary, (less good-looking tbh) and that made me more curious what kind of secrets they have. They had a segment called ‘Free Time’ where they could speak with any members freely. They are observed concurrently by the hosts, making commentaries about what’s going on. Atsushi-san is ruthlessly frank and harsh, which makes me annoyed a bit. Thankfully, Mari-san is a considerate one and always try to make him stop saying such offensive words!

What made me watch more is each secrets were revealed in every episode. In the middle of the segments, those members are randomly picked by the host and they had to tell their dark pasts in front of whoever they were with. In the first episode, the secrets revealed by the (un)lucky participants are shocking and a bit difficult to bear. Some are compassionate enough and tried to comfort each other. But most of them get discouraged after knowing the secrets of their prospects which I think is a normal thing, a typical human reaction.

I managed to watch all episodes of this reality show. And I must say that it was somehow OK. Though I doubt about its authenticity after since the ‘couples’ didn’t really succeed. Like right after the program, one member was hanging out with the other member whom she rejected during the show. I couldn’t get it really.

Anyway, if you want something extraordinary and want to take a break from fancy series, i think this is worth the try 🙂

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