Archive for  January 2012

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Finally, here it is! This is the most current post I have on PHILIPPINE PASSPORT RENEWAL procedures to date. Please take note that this post is  only about passport renewal and NOT for those applying for the first time. If you are a first-time applicant and you need a bit more detailed info about the requirements, check out my posts here and here.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the system has improved quite a lot since the last time I renewed my passport. The DFA  made the process simple and easy to follow, so a hat-tip is in order here. Let me show you how I did it:

How to Renew Your Passport in 10 Easy Steps: (Individual Passport)

STEP 1 – Make an appointment online HERE.  This is how the form looks like.





STEP 2 – Click the “Start Individual Appointment Process” button and fill up the online Individual Application Form. You will be required to supply the following information.

STEP 3 – Select and confirm the date of your appointment after which you will receive a confirmation email with your filled up application form and reference number. Print these. You also need to bring the following documents. Although they didn’t ask me to submit everything, it’s better to have everything ready all the time.


  • Present Machine Readable Passport (Maroon) and photocopy of pages 1,2,3 (amendment) and last page. (They only asked me for a photocopy of the first and the last pages.)
  • The pages showing latest Bureau of Immigration departure and arrival stamps. (didn’t give these anymore)
  • Photocopy of Birth Certificate for minor applicants.
  • Original Birth Certificate from NSO in Security Paper (SECPA) if city/municipality & province on birth place is not specific (Example: NCR instead of San Juan, Metro Manila) (I had certified true copies of my birth certificate and marriage contract, not necessarily the new NSO ones and they accepted it just fine.)
  • For illegitimate minor, personal appearance of mother is required.

Other Supporting Documents

Please bring the following if they are available. (I didn’t show them any of these.)

  • Marriage Contract
  • PRC / IBP ID
  • Land Title
  • Driver’s License
  • Government Service Record
  • Digitized SSS-ID
  • School Form 137 or Transcript of Records with Dry Seal
  • Other documents that show full name and birth details of applicant and/or citizenship
  • Voter’s Registration Record from COMELEC Intramuros
  • Baptismal Certificate w/ Dry Seal
  • Seaman’s Book
  • Income Tax Return (Old)


STEP 4 – Be at the DFA 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment.

My appointment was at 9:30am. I arrived at around 8:30 and there were a lot of people inside already. 

 – Enter through Gate 3. Escorts are not allowed

Gate 3 is on the bottom left side of this photo where the covered walkway is.

STEP 6Present the online application you printed to the guard. He will check your reference number and direct you to the DFA staff  who will verify your appointment.

After your appointment is confirmed by the DFA staff, find a seat in the designated waiting areas. These areas
are grouped
 according to the time of your appointment. (eg. 9:00, 9:30, 10:00, etc.)

 Make sure you are waiting in the right designated area. Check your documents while you are waiting.
Lines are amazingly orderly and organized.  People who looked lost were assisted promptly.
Huge thanks to the DFA staff and guards.

NOTE: While you are waiting the guard will remind you to have your documents photocopied. For renewal, the first and the last pages of your passport need to be photocopied. You can have your docs photocopied near Gate 1.

STEP 7 – Proceed to Door 3.

Applicants enter Door 3 according to their appointment. If you are early, you might just get in before
your scheduled appointment especially if the earlier applicants are all done.

This is where your documents are evaluated and checked for completeness. Your old passport will
be canceled  and you will be asked what type of processing you prefer. Regular processing is
P950.00 while Express processing is P1200.00.

STEP 8 – Proceed to the 2nd floor for payment.

All you need is the OR and cash. No documents will be checked here.

STEP 9 – Get a number and wait for your documents to be encoded and your picture taken.

You need to present your application form before you can be given a number.

Your number will be flashed on the monitor once a staff is available to process your documents. 

Make sure all your documents are ready.

STEP 10 –  Encoding and Picture Taking.

When your number is called, proceed to your designated booth. Your information will be encoded
while you watch. Make sure everything is correct. 

Your left and right thumbprint will be taken. After that, they’ll take your picture. No earrings allowed, ladies. 

I arrived at 8:30am (an hour early for my appointment) and I was done by 9:30am (the time of my appointment)!

If  you don’t want to pick up your passport yourself, you can just have it delivered to your house for P120.00 by 2GO. Just present your OR to the courier service located at the second floor, pay for the delivery fee, get your receipt and you are DONE. I had mine delivered because time is like us mint to me so a hundred twenty bucks is sooo worth it.

Here’s a little video from the DFA that you might want to see.



Bonus post: 

While inside the Enrolment Section… 

Here are some Guidelines to be followed :


Your frontal pose looking directly at the camera lens and showing your full face must be used. Rotation or tilting of the head either in an up/down or left/right direction must be avoided. The mid points of the mouth and the bridge of the nose should lie on an imaginary vertical line in the center of the image.
Your expression should be neutral with both eyes open and mouth closed. There should be no hair covering the eyes. Contrived expressions such as raised eyebrows, squirting or frowning are not acceptable.
When having their photos captured, applicant may smile, but without showing their teeth and gums. The ‘Mona Lisa’ smile is recommended.
Eyeglasses should always be removed before capturing the applicant’s photo.
The use of contact lenses for medical reasons is accepted, provided that the contact lenses do not change the applicant’s true eye color. Therefore, applicants are advised to take off their contact lenses before having their photos captured.
As much as possible, both ears of the applicant should be visible.

These accessories should be removed prior to photo capturing. Frizzy/afro hairstyles should be neatly arranged showing full frontal facial image.
For men, wearing earrings is not allowed.

Infants or very small children who are unable to support themselves should be assisted by either parent or their guardians.Hands, arms, etc., used to support the child should not be visible. High-chair for minor applicants may be used, if needed.


My son recently started his very first formal piano lesson (thru the kindness of good friend, Nathan G.) with probably one of the best piano teachers ever, Ms. Suaco. He was totally over the moon after the first lesson. Of course I knew he would enjoy it. He’s been tinkering with our old keylight keyboard at home which isn’t quite the same as your good old fashioned piano. Not a Steinway,  but for now, it will do. I could probably connect it to my computer and amp it up with something like this:

2BA-221 Tube Mic and Line Module

Summit Audio 2BA-221 Tube Mic and Line Module

Check out the specs:

The variable-impedence Summit 2BA-221 Tube Mic and Line Module is a microphone preamp that has individual controls to mix mic with Hi-Z or line inputs for variable vacuum tube output. You can mix them together through 12AX7A/ECC83 tube output or separately through individual solid state outputs. A stackable input design allows multiple 2BA-221s to be linked for a modular mixing device with individual outs, inserts per channel, and a final vacuum tube gain stage. Its swept high-pass filter, multiple simultaneous tube and solid state outputs, insert jack, and internal power supply makes the 2BA-221 a powerful tracking and mixing tool.


  • Variable mic input impedance from 100 ohms to 10K ohms
  • Variable high-pass filter
  • Hi-Z instrument, line, and mic level inputs
  • Hi-Z input and mic input available simultaneously with separate gain controls
  • Separate solid state and tube outputs
  • Insert jack
  • Stackable with more 2BA-221s
  • 1/2 rack size
  • 3 year warranty
  • XLR and 1/4″ I/O
  • 3 variable, independent gain stages
Cool, huh?
Today Chopsticks, tomorrow Czerny! 🙂

And it has no citizenship, no race, no color, no age group. It is not bound by country or continent or IP address. Just a loud, powerful, influential voice that can make the whole world know it has spoken. A voice that can influence current events and shake, make or break anything or anyone that tries to shackle it down or imprison it.

The days when you get imprisoned for saying something against any establishment or any political figure are slowly becoming a memory of the past. Today, you can express either your praise or  adoration for anyone or anything,  or cuss, curse, and use all the seldom used characters on your keyboard to give your 2 cents worth on the Top Headline for the day.  SOPA and PIPA are shelved, give yourself a pat on the back and hand out the Padron. Or maybe not…yet.

This enormous POWER that’s been placed in our hands – the power to communicate in real time. To make our COLLECTIVE VOICES be heard as ONE  to change our world’s landscape as we know it. This freedom to build our virtual Tower of Babel should be BUILT with words seasoned with salt, not to overpower it but to improve it’s taste.

Yes we are FREE. Free to speak our minds. Free to have our say. This is the generation we live in right now. However, this freedom could also usher in a new era and speed up what has been spoken of long ago –  until it finally reaches the ends of the earth.

Yes, Virginia. There is no doubt that the Internet has a VOICE. The question is, what comes out of its heart, I mean, mouth.

They call it action figures. That’s according to my son who got a really cool Transformers “action figure” for Christmas. Okay, fine. But it really is a cool one. I haven’t seen one like it until he opened the box. It wasn’t your typical multi-colored DIY toy. Of course it’s not a Gears of War 3 beast mode toy (whatever that one is). But here’s my son beaming with joy, quite content over his new “doll”, oops, “action figure”. 🙂

Of course, this was shot with my new toy too. 🙂

Making daily meals for your family can sometimes get frustrating.  For me, it’s a challenge.  I found a collection of great tips that will help take the stress out of making meals. Hopefully, this will help make this task more enjoyable for you.

Cooking for large groups can create a lot of anxiety and stress. Instead of panicking, do all the preparatory work a night or two before the big event is to occur. For any dishes that can be made ahead, do so; for all others, prep the ingredients in advance.

Fresh ways to prepare oysters. Most people eat oysters raw with lemon juice, but you can serve them in other ways. Lather a bit of cream on the oysters after you place the opened ones in a broiler pan. Then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and black pepper, place under broiler until bubbling. Another option is to saute the oysters. Dredge your oysters in a seasoned flour mixture, then fry them in some hot butter for a couple minutes until they become a warm golden brown. Another way is to keep the oysters in their shell and bake. Put them in a deep baking dish, season them with breadcrumbs and a little butter over each, then put them in a 425 degree oven for about five minutes. Serve hot on toast points or a baguette when your butter is bubbling.

For a homemade soup that is very low in fat, use fat-free stock or broth as your base. By using lean meat and plenty of vegetables, you will add very little fat to the soup. Once it is ready, stick it in the fridge to chill. Any excess fat will harden and rise to the top. You can remove and get rid of this hardened fat. For each tablespoon you remove, you can save about 100 calories.

Regular meal preparation can seem like a major chore at times. Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to help simplify the meal making process. When all else fails, you can always look up those personal executive chef jobs ads and hire one to do all that for you. 🙂