May 31, 2016

Trip to Tokyo Japan

This is just a summary of our trip from Manila to Tokyo and vice versa. Just to give you an idea, on what to expect or how to travel to Tokyo, Japan. 

Manila to Tokyo 

Japan is on my bucket list so I was really glad when our visa were all approved. I immediately checked the available flight for our schedule. You can choose Narita or Haneda airport if you are going to Tokyo, Japan


Read: How to Apply for Japan Visa if you have Philippine Passport 


I chose Narita because the flight is earlier but I realized that I should choose Haneda because it is near to Central Tokyo so travel time to Tama Center would be shorter and fare would be cheaper.


From/To Narita International Airport By Airport Limousine Bus

Time: 120 - 145 min.

Fare: Adult JPY 3,400 Child JPY 1,700 

From/To Haneda Airport By Airport Limousine Bus 


Time: 80 - 120 min.

Fare: Adult JPY 1,540 Child JPY 770 


We left at 2AM in the morning for our 6:30AM flight. Before boarding, we downloaded the myPAL Player for our in-flight entertainment but we were so disappointed na hindi siya available sa flight namin. Waah! It was really a long flight for my son, I did not bring his Ipad pa naman para less bitbitin. 



Anyway, I was glad that they served the meal for kids first so no more long wait for them. There were only two choices so we chose both meals. I thought we have an ice cream for dessert just like our Singapore to Manila experience but no ice cream for us, fruits lang ang dessert. Hehehe! So every flight is a different experience.






Read: Singapore to Manila Philippine Airlines Experience



After 4 hours we landed in Narita International Airport Terminal 2, we just walked on our way to Immigration. I was surprised to see a Filipina staff at the airport so she checked our immigration card to make sure na tama ang information and she said kahit wala na answer yung sa "money”. I forgot to fill out the back part, may 4 questions pa pala dun. :) 



Then we got our luggage and went to Airport Limousine Bus Ticket Counter. We landed at 11:30AM and the next schedule of shuttle bus is 2:50PM. Waah! It was really a long wait so no use ang early flight namin, sana nag-Haneda airport na lang kami. We enjoyed our time na lang, people watching while waiting for our airport shuttle bus. 



Then we fell in line, parang airport din. They put a tag in our check-in luggage and you need to show it to get your luggage. The bus is clean, spacious and you need to fasten your seat belt. It is almost 2 hours ride from Narita airport to Tama Center. 




After our long travel, we finally reach the hotel (Keio Plaza Hotel Tama) which is just 1 minute walk from the bus station.


Read: Keio Plaza Hotel Tama




Tokyo to Manila 

After 6 days of vacation we have to say goodbye to Tokyo. We bought our Airport Limousine Bus Ticket at the hotel and there was no extra charge. We just made a reservation and you can pay upon check-out. They gave us the tickets and went to the Bus Station 16 as early as 4:30AM for our 5:10AM schedule. 




Again, almost two hours of travel so we just slept in the bus. We were thankful that we arrived on time because our flight is 9:30AM, di yata uso traffic sa Japan. Hehehe! 




We checked-in and went to immigration, on our way to immigration I was nervous because airport staff picked-up my hand carry bag and brought it into inspection table. Kinabahan talaga ko kung ano yung nakita sa bag ko, yung Japanese curry (in sachet) lang pala ang salarin. Bawal nga pala yung liquid and nawala sa isip ko na liquid yung Japanese curry. Pinagsama-sama ko lang kasi sa isang bag lahat ng pasalubong. Grrr, sayang yung Japanese curry. Lesson learned, check maigi ang handcarry bag. 



Then after immigration, I bought Royce Chocolates. Ang sarap mamili kung marami lang pera. Royce Chocolates are really affordable here in Japan pero ang mahal sa Pinas. Panic buying ang iba but I only bought 3 kinds of Royce Chocolates para makatikim lang ulit kami. hehehe!

Read: Royce Nama Chocolates (Brunei)


We did not wait long, boarding na agad kami and we’re so happy because this time we can watch movie. Yehey! My in-flight entertainment na. I also noticed that PAL doesn’t provide headset na noh so better bring your own earphones. I watched “Everyday I Love You”



My son borrowed hubby's Ipad so he can watch movies. (no games in the Ipad)
These are the meals from Tokyo to Manila, my husband did not like the Poached COD. Buti na lang beef order namin. Hehehe! 



We really had a great time in Japan and I’ve learned a lot in this vacation which I will share in my upcoming post. 

Day 1 Arrival to Tokyo Japan 
Day 2 Sanrio Puroland 
          Shibuya Crossing + Hachiko Statue
Day 3 Tama Zoological Park 
          Keio Rail-Land
Day 4 Takahata Fudoson Temple 
          Showa Kinen Park 
          IKEA Tachikawa
Day 5 Tokyo DisneySea 
Day 6 Exploring Tama Tokyo 
Day 7 Departure. Tokyo to Manila

May 30, 2016

Kidzania Manila: Where Kids Do Big Things

Last year, I was excited when I learned that Kidzania will be opening in the Philippines because I know that my son will have fun doing those activities. I even joined in their giveaways and got some stuff. But when I asked my son if he wants to go to Kidzania, he said no. 

Ethan: I don’t like that! I don’t want to work! I can’t do that! 
Me: No, that’s not difficult. They will teach and train you how to do the activity. Remember when you grow old, you really need to work to provide your needs and wants. 

As a mom, I felt scared when my son said that he doesn’t like to work. Waah! I don’t like to raise a lazy man, one day he will have his own family and he needs to provide for them. I want him to have a family na hindi nakaasa sa parents.

He said those lines too when I want him to register for McDonald’s Kiddie Crew Club last year. My husband told me, relax! Bata pa yan, hindi pa niya gaano maintindihan yan mga bagay na ganyan. 

Well, sana nga! 

Read: McDonald’s Kiddie Crew Club

So from first grading, his birthday celebration, semestral break, Christmas break up to fourth grading of the school year, I was asking if he wants to go to Kidzania, the answer is always no. 

I follow Kidzania’s Facebook page and Instagram to keep me updated so when I saw that they have Art & design Academy, I immediately told my son about it. 

Me: Di ba you like painting activity? Check these pictures o, you can paint in Kidzania. 

Read: Painting at Sip and Gogh

After several months of persuading my son to go to Kidzania, he finally said yes. We’re supposed to go here last April 21 for my niece birthday celebration but we went to Cebu and my nephew got sick so we moved it to April 28. 

16 Activities in One Day Trip at Kidzania Manila

Click here for the video

We were there as early as 7:15AM, sumabay kasi kami sa pasok ni hubby sa office so he dropped us in Kidzania Manila and we waited till 8AM (ticket counter opening time). 



We bought our ticket and the staff placed security bracelet on our hand and gave us boarding pass and check. Then we waited for my sister’s family. Upon boarding, the staff gave us the map so we checked the different activities while waiting for opening.



Though I’ve been seeing pictures of Kidzania Manila in Social Media and even TV, I was still amazed when I saw the mini buildings, establishments and even transportations up close and personal. It is like mini city where everything is walking distance. I wish meron ito nung bata pa ko. Hehehe!



At 9AM, we immediately fell in line so my son can encash the check as soon as possible. Then we went straight to 1. Fire Department, it is one of the in-demand jobs in Kidzania so I was happy that we were able to cross it out on our list. Click here for the video

Then after the first activity, we went to Pazzport Office to avail the CitiZen Pazzport for P250. Being a CitiZen, you will have more benefits like earning more Kidzos or paying less Kidzos. (+2 and - 2 Kidzos). You get a discount at Department Store, National Store and Photography. You will receive emails about the special offers and publications and you can check your resume online. You will get a stamp for each establishment that you will visit. Sayang lang, we have no stamp sa Fire Department kasi inuna namin. 



I told my son to work first so he can earn more Kidzos, so second job is at 2. Courier Service, my son said “Hirap ito mommy” hehehe! At least he knows what job he doesn’t like. 

Next is 3. Workout at Fitness Lab, effort talaga to get Kidzos, pawis na pawis after. Hehehe! Click here for the video


Then they work at 4. Vet Clinic, 5. Laudromat, 6. Hotel, 7. Construction Site and 8. Gas Station. Click here for the video



After working so hard, it’s time to spend some Kidzos; my son went to another in-demand job which is 9. Pilot. Sayang lang I don’t have photos because I cannot go inside and I cannot see him outside. I went to Photo Studio so I can buy pictures but he has no picture inside the Aviation Academy



He learned 10. how to make pizza and we ate it too. Click here for the video.


We went back to Car Design and Dealership so he can apply for 11. driver’s license and I was proud of him because he passed the test. May bumabagsak pala sa exam na yan. Buti pa anak ko my driver’s license na. Hehehe!



Then of course, we went back to Gas Station so he can 12. drive the car. Remember, you cannot drive the car without the license. 



Then his last activity at the Automotive is 13Car Designing and he got a print out of his masterpiece. 

After spending Kidzos, it is time to work again so he went to the 14Fish Market, 15. Art Academy and 16. Farm House Store



We were there from past 7AM til 4PM but we did not notice the time because we really had a good time. We were so glad that we were able to do 16 activities during our first visit and I can definitely say that we will go back again. 



We were not able to open saving account in the bank because of the limited time so dinala na lang namin pag-uwi. We ate at McDonald while waiting for my husband, 5PM pa out sa office so matagal na paghihintay. Lol My husband was teasing my son, “Akala ko ba, you don’t like Kidzania, bakit babalik pa” hehehe! Lesson learned, don’t say no, try it first. 

Read: 12 Activities in One Day at Kidzania Manila - second visit 

Operating Hours 

Monday to Thursday 
9 - 4PM 
Saturdays to Sundays and National Holidays
9 - 2PM 
3PM - 8PM 

Kidzania Ticket Prices 

Kids (4-14 years old) P900 (Mon to Thurs) P1,100 (Sat, Sun and National Holidays) 
Toddlers (1 - 3 years old) P500 (Mon to Thurs) P600 (Sat, Sun and National Holidays) 
Babies (below 12 months) FREE 
Guardians (15 years old up ) P630 (Mon to Thurs) P770 (Sat, Sun and National Holidays)

May 24, 2016

How to Apply for Japan Visa if you have Philippines Passport

Our family loves to travel but if you are an old follower of this blog, you will notice that we only visit those countries that do not require a visa. We always travel on a shoestring so applying for a visa is still an additional cost. There are so many countries that Filipinos can travel without a need for visa application. 

Read: Visa - Free Travel for Filipinos


In addition, I’m so scared that my visa will be denied. I dislike wasted time, effort and money for visa application. But I cannot deny that there are countries that I really want to visit that requires visa including Japan.


Japan is on my bucket list because I want to experience Cherry Blossoms but I was not able to experience it because my husband’s training was rescheduled. It was supposed to be April 4-6, then it was moved to April 25-27 but because of the Golden Week, it was rescheduled again. So no more Sakura for us but of course I still want to visit Japan. 


My husband sent me the list of requirements for Tourist Visa and I immediately checked the list. I was sad at first because we need NSO birth certificate and marriage certificate that is valid within the year. Thank God that the training was rescheduled so I have enough time to prepare the requirements. 




Tourist Visa Requirements 


1. Passport


- Validity of more than 6 months/signed passport 

- Broken lamination of the picture portion will not be accepted 
- Must have at least 2 blank pages left in the passport. 

2. Visa Application Form 


Download the form here


Fill out the form and print or print and write in block letters 


3. Photo (1 Copy of 4.5cm x 4.5cm with white background)


I informed the photographer that I need picture for Japan Visa and we were surprised when we got the pictures, nakaformal clothes na kami. 


4. Birth Certificate (NSO issued with receipt and valid within 1 year) 


Applicants holding (old or valid) passports with used Japan Visa will be exempted from submitting of birth certificate. 


Read : Ways to Get your NSO Birth Certificate and Marriage Certificate 


In case of non-record of registration of live birth


- Non-record in the NSO. Need certificate of Non-record from the NSO and Birth Certificate from the Local Civil Registrar. 

- Non-record in the NSO and Local Civil Registrar. Need certificate of non-record from the NSO and the Local Civil Registrar. 

If NSO issued is not clear 


- Birth certificate from the Local Civil Registrar 


If Birth Certificate is Late-registration


- Birth certificate from the Local Civil Registrar 

- Original Baptismal Certificate, School Record (Form 137 or report card) School Year Book. 

5. Marriage Contract (if married) NSO issued and valid within 1 year 


Applicants holding (old or valid) passports with used Japan Visa will be exempted from submitting of marriage contract.


In case of non-record. You must submit certificate of non-record together with the one from Local Civil Registrar. 


6. Tour Itinerary 


Prepared by the applicant or the travel agency 


7. Bank Balance Certificate or a Copy of bank Book Pages for the past two years


8. Income Tax Return (Form 2316 or 1701) original and 1 photocopy. 


I’m a full-time mom so I submitted the following requirements 


1. Passport 

2. Visa Application Form with Photo 4.5cm x 4.5cm with white background) 
3. NSO Birth Certificate with receipt 
4. NSO Marriage Contract with receipt 
5. Tour Itinerary (Followed the format)

Date         Activity Plan              Contact           Accommodation 


6. Bank Balance Certificate 


I have my own savings account but I submitted our joint account just to be safe since I am not working. 


7. Photocopy of Valid ID (not in the list but my husband add this) 


For my son (minor / student) 


1. Passport 

2. Visa Application Form with Photo 4.5cm x 4.5cm with white background) 
3. NSO Birth Certificate with receipt 
4. Tour Itinerary 
5. Photocopy of School ID (not in the list but my husband add this) 

April 19 


My husband submitted the requirements in their travel agency. He got an email few days after, the travel agency was asking for his Income Tax Return, maybe because I did not submit ITR. 


April 26 


He submitted the ITR. 


April 28 


He had personal appearance (interview), it is a requirement for Business Visa. The agency put our application in one envelope even we are applying for different visa. 


May 3 


My husband was advised that our passports are ready for pick-up. He advised the staff to deliver it to his office. 


May 4 


We got our passports. Visa approved. Yehey! 


Note: Japan Visa is FREE but visa applications must be made through agencies accredited by Consulate of Japan. Check it here


The handling fee depends on the travel agency, in our case napamahal kami. My husband submitted our requirements to their company accredited travel agency, then the agency submitted the requirements in Friendship Tours and Resorts Corporation


So when I learned about this, I told my husband, “ako na lang kaya mag-apply, sayang yung bayad kahit ako na magbayad ng Business Visa mo mas makakamura pa rin tayo.” Sobrang mahal ng handling fee, libre nga lang Japan Visa. 


But my husband didn’t like the idea na hiwalay pa pagprocess and he reminded me na first time ito, sige ka baka madeny pa. He even said, wala na ko time mag-asikaso pa, may schedule interview na ko. 


Ok fine, lunok na lang sa gastos. Good thing that we are all approved, so I immediately searched for cheap airfare Manila to Narita since I did not like the Manila to Haneda flight time. Yes, we applied for Japan Visa without a plane ticket. 


Visa is valid from May 2 to Aug 2, 2016 (3 months)


Visa Application Expense

P255 - picture 

100 - bank certificate (BPI) 
1,050 - (NSO birth certificate (2) and marriage certificate (1))
2,400 - handling fee of Friendship Tours and Resorts Corporation (P1,200 x 2)
3,360 - handling fee of (company accredited travel agency (P1,680 x 2) 

Total damage is P7,165 for 2 pax, kung ako nag-ayos P3805

May 23, 2016

3 Ways to Get your NSO Birth Certificate

My husband has training in Japan so he wanted us to join his trip since it’s been years since we went out of the country. Our last family trip was in Malaysia and Singapore

Read: 6 Days in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore 


I was excited because Japan is on my bucket list and I’ve been meaning to see Cherry Blossoms. So I immediately checked the Japan Tourist Visa requirements. Waah! I need a birth certificate and marriage contract and it should be NSO issued with a receipt and valid within one year. 




We have the documents but we don’t have the receipt and the documents are way beyond one year already. So I was searching the easiest way to get our documents so we could apply for a visa, as in one-day processing lang. 

Read: How to Apply for Japan Visa if you have Philippine Passport

March 18, 2016 (Friday)


1. Serbilis Outlets 


I checked the internet and the nearest Serbilis Outlet in our place is in Muntinlupa. 


PSA Muntinlupa 

2nd level East Parking, StarMall, 
Alabang Muntinlupa City 1772 
Telephone: (02) 831 9882 

My husband called the number and he was advised that we can get the documents within two hours. So after my husband dental appointment, off we went to StarMall but I was so disappointed because there is cut-off time, we were late by few minutes. 


I just can’t remember if 1:30 or 2PM is the cut off time. Grrrr, they should informed us about the cut-off time. Sayang talaga ang time and effort sa pagpunta and I was so sad because we could no longer join my husband’s business trip. Business Visa doesn’t need NSO birth certificate and marriage contract so my husband can apply.


On our way home, I was not talking, dinidibdib ko ang aking kalungkutan. Lol Then my husband remembered that he has Malaysia trip so he cannot apply for Japan Visa. He needs his passport to go to Malaysia and according to their travel agency, visa processing period is 5-7 working days. Hindi aabot because of the Holy Week. 


March 30 to April 1 - Malaysia 

April 3 to 6 - Japan 

So he informed his officemate in Japan about the situation and they moved the date of the training. 


2.  SM Business Center 


I was so happy because we can still join the business trip so we went straight to SM Business Center so I can request for the documents. The SM staff gave me these forms and I was advised na one month processing daw. 




What?!? This was not the first time that I requested for NSO birth certificate and Marriage Contract so I told her, “di ba one week lang?”. She said, “Ma’m, Holy Week po kasi”. I told her 2 days lang yun, March 28 may pasok na ulit ang government. She said something pa but I just decided na wag na lang kung one month. 

March 20, 2016 (Sunday)


3. NSOHelpline.com 


My husband said that we will just go back to StarMall to get my documents. I said ok pero napaisip ako, I’ve seen the long lines in Serbilis Oulet, for sure magugutom kami sa haba ng pila, may tollgate, parking at gas pa na gagastusin so I decided to order online via NSOHelpline.com


Last year, I ordered online too, the process is almost the same. 


Read: Easy Way to Request for NSO Birth Certificate 


Click order now 

Choose birth certificate or marriage certificate 
Choose Passport/Travel 
Fill- up the form
Answer the question: Have you had any legal proceeding done to your birth certificate? 
Who will receive the certificate upon delivery?
Check-out - Verify all the information 
Order Confirmation - choose from the payment options.
Payment Summary

I paid online via credit card and after my payment, I received email and text messages regarding my order. You can track your order too.





P350 birth certificate 
P350 marriage contract 


After payment, NSO certificate will be delivered in 2 to 3 days. 

March 22, 2016 (Tuesday)


I received 2 NSO Birth Certificate via Air 21 




March 23, 2016 (Wednesday)

I received my NSO Marriage Contract via Air 21


The delivery guy even said, "Di pa sinabay kahapon ito." Hehehe! I was also surprised na di sabay dumating order ko since I ordered naman at the same time. Anyway, you can get your documents in 


1. NSO Serbilis Outlet 

2. SM Business Center 
3. NSOHelpline.com

Where do you usually get your documents?

Update 2017: NSO is now PSA Philippine Statistics Authority

May 22, 2016

Restaurant in Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan

If you stay in Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan, you don’t have to worry about food because they have different restaurants that can satisfy your wants. You can choose from Azure Beach Club, Tempo Lounge, Saffron Cafe and Score Sports Bar. They also have a Pastry Shop where you can buy bread, pastries and other desserts. 

Read: Staycation: Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan

In short, you will never get hungry inside the resort but of course the price is not budget friendly. Hehehe! During our overnight stay, we ate at Azure Beach Club and Saffron Cafe.

Lunch Azure Beach Club 



While waiting for our room, we had lunch first at Azure Beach Club which is located at the beach front. The location is very relaxing because you can see the seascape. 



The restaurant offers different Asian cuisines, we had a hard time choosing food because I’m not sure if my son will like it. Just to be safe, we ordered Bollywood Pizza P410 ++ and Mie Goreng P390 ++While waiting, they gave us complimentary mixed nuts. 

We were surprised to see the food because it is really good for 2 to 3 persons. 



Dinner at Saffron Cafe 

At that time, my husband’s officemate in Cebu invited us for to attend his birthday party in Mactan. (it just so happened that we were in Cebu and birthday celebration niya) But because we’re so tired already and we don't want to go out anymore, my husband declined and we just ate at the resort. Goodbye free dinner. Hehehe! 



We had late dinner at Saffron Cafe because we wanted to finish the Pilipinas Debate first. It was past 9PM so it was really late but thank God the restaurant was still open. 



We ordered Crispy Pata P700++ and extra rice. The meal is already enough for 3 persons. They served us complimentary bread while waiting. 

Breakfast at Saffron Cafe 



Our room package includes free buffet breakfast at Saffron Cafe. I was happy with the buffet spread because they have a lot of choices here compared to Crimson Hotel. We left with a happy tummy.


Read: Crimson Hotel

Lunch at Saffron Cafe 

Our family loves Filipino foods so we always go back to Saffron Cafe. While browsing the menu the staff asked us if we want Children’s Menu. Akalain mo may kid’s menu pala, it was not offered to us when we ate dinner. 



We ordered Kare-Kare P650++and Chicken Run P250 ++. While waiting, they served us complimentary bread and mushroom soup.



Saffron Cafe offers buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner but since we are not big eater and we are on a budget, we chose ala carte. Anyway, we enjoyed our food trip in each restaurants and we’re satisfied with the service.

May 20, 2016

CrimZone at Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan

Planning for a vacation is not easy because it takes time to research and to decide which activities that you will include in a day especially when you have kids. You also have to consider the location, facilities and amenities of the hotel or resort. Thank God that we reserved a room at Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan because my son really enjoyed our staycation.

Click here for video


My son loves staycation, he gets excited every time he sees me packing for a short getaway. He really remembers those activities that he enjoyed and he always asked me if I take videos or pictures because he wants to see or watch it over and over again. 



As of now, he can’t forget our recent staycation in Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan. One thing that I like in this resort is the CrimZone, it is the comfort zone of kids. I’m pretty sure that kids will not get bored even you stay in the resort for few days. If you want to have time for yourself, you can leave your kids here for a fee or just stay and bond with your kids. 

Read: Staycation: Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan.  

If you are planning to book in this resort, this post will give you an idea of the different activities in CrimZone. Every morning you will receive a piece of paper to inform you the schedule of activities for that day (adults and kids). If you don’t want to bring the paper with you, just visit the CrimZone and check the whiteboard for schedule. 



During our first day, we immediately checked CrimZone. There were slides, merry-go-round, toys, books and TV for movie marathon. Actually, my son forgot that we will swim so I have to remind him that we need to go to the beach and we will just go back to play area tomorrow. Parang ayaw na niya umalis, hehehe!



The following morning, as promised; we stayed in CrimZone after we checked-out. Sharing with you the activities that my son joined. 



Face Painting 



First activity is face painting but my son prefers hand painting. Hehehe! 

Figurine Painting 



We missed the 7:30AM Figurine painting activity but I was glad that we can still avail this activity. The activity is not free, you have to pay P250 but you can take home the finished project. If you’ve been following this blog, you know that my son loves to paint. 

Read: Painting at Sip & Gogh 

So he paints while watching movie. In the end, I already helped him because we want to eat lunch na and hindi pa siya tapos, though finishing touches na lang naman. Hehehe! 

Read: Restaurant in Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan

Amazing Kid’s Race 

My son and I loves watching Amazing Race so we really waited for this activity. We have no idea that there will be a prize for the winner and my son won the Amazing Kid’s Race. The prize is 15 minutes kayak or bracelet making, we chose the latter because my husband and son doesn’t want to change clothes na. Everything was packed na rin kasi. 

Bracelet Making



This was an easy activity, all he needs to do is put his chosen beads and the staff will be the one to tie it. Voila, he gave me the bracelet. Hehehe! Bracelet making activity is P125. 



My son wanted to join the Obstacle Course but we have to say goodbye to CrimZone because we need to go to the airport.