May 29, 2020

40 Days

“Time is deadly when you are sad. Time is endless when you are in pain.”  

It's been forty days since my sister passed away and no matter how busy I am, I still think of her. I don’t know when my grief will end because no matter what I do to move on from this heartache, deep down inside I know that pain never leaves. If my life is a puzzle, there is a missing piece that no one can refill.

It is hard to move forward but I need to move on, I need to heal and I have to accept the fact that I need to continue living without her. I have to get used to it, I can no longer see her, talk to her and our canceled trips can never be rebooked. Our future travels will never happen. RIP to my sister, Return If Possible 



Don’t judge one survivor’s healing by how fast another has to let go. Healing is not a competition. Everyone needs to heal at their own pace and at their own time. - Nikita Gill


Death is an inevitable part of our life's journey, we don't get to choose who, when, or how, but we can choose to pick up the pieces and LIVE AGAIN. - @iamclearascyrstal


Renew, release, and let go. Yesterday's gone. There's nothing you can do to bring it back. You can't "should've" done something. You can only do something. Renew yourself, release that attachment. Today is a new day! - Steve Maraboli

May 19, 2020

Starting our Own Fruits and Vegetables Garden at Home

Gone are the days when gardening is only for old people. Nowadays, a lot of people are getting interested in this hobby especially now that we have a pandemic concern. We are stuck at home and we need something to relieve our stress.

What nice about gardening is you don’t need a big space because you can do container gardening or vertical gardening. You don’t need to buy a lot of materials because you can recycle plastic bottles and cans. (an excuse to buy softdrinks so we can reuse the plastic) You don’t need to buy seedlings because you can start planting from the ingredients that you have in the fridge or pantry.

I can still remember when I was a kid, I wanted to have a home with a garden. I wanted to have my own space where I can grow flowering plants, herbs, and spices. When we moved to our home, my late grandmother used to give me plants and we bought some bluegrass, plants, and even trees in Victoria, Laguna so we can plant it in our small garden.

After a few years, I realized that gardening is not for me. I don’t have the patience to maintain it, I don’t have a green thumb and I feel sad whenever a plant dies. So I give up my dream of having my own herbs and spices that I can use in my kitchen. I stopped gardening and let my husband maintain our small garden.

For the last several years, my husband tried to plant some seeds like tomato but it never blooms, calamansi but it never bears fruits, sitaw that died after 2 or 3 harvests, and camote. Camote was successful because my husband used to harvest the camote tops. He steamed the camote tops and paired it with shrimp paste.

Last year, when my son and I were on our summer trip, my husband decided to chop our palm trees and pine trees. Wala na kami shade pero at least wala na rin nalalaglag na dahon lalo na pag may typhoon. He hired someone to do this. Slowly, he started his home gardening hobby. He removed old soil and rocks, cleaned, and prepared our garden. He started planting and making his own compost. 


After our The Farm at San Benito trip, he planted tarragon, peppermint, and another type of mint plant. Then last holiday, we went to Tagaytay to buy dragon fruit cuttings and poles. When Community Quarantine started he bought this Sinigang Veggie Seeds, the pack includes okra, sitaw, tomato, radish and kangkong. So far, we were able to harvest Kangkong na and use it for Sinigang na Buto-Buto.




I know this is just a small thing compared to other home gardens but I would like to celebrate small wins. At least, may naharvest na rin kahit papano. Gardening takes time but it can relieve stress, it is a good family bonding and you can save money too. My husband spent most of his free time in the garden and when he has a business trip (before lockdown), nireremind pa niya ko na diligan ko halaman niya. Minsan nagseselos na nga ko sa halaman. Hehehe!


"Watching something grow is good for morale. It helps us believe in life" Myron Kaufman

Update: July 2020

After two months, here is the look of our mini garden at home. We've drunk a lot of softdrinks in the past few months so my husband can use it for his plants. Instead of buying expensive pots in the market, we reuse or upcycle the plastic bottles or pots. We already have a metal trellis where we could hang the plants. Aside from the Chinese kangkong, we already harvested pechay, okra and basil.



May 11, 2020

Where to Stay in Norway: Scandic Kristiansund

Exactly a year ago, we had a Weekend Getaway at Kristiansund and my mom booked a one night stay at Scandic Kristiansund. Scandic hotels are a hotel chain in Scandinavia, you can see their hotels in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and few hotels in Germany and Poland. It is one of my options when I was having a hard time looking for accommodation in Sweden.

Read: Where to Stay in Sweden: Hotel Generator Stockholm


Scandic Kristiansund has a good location, it is situated in the middle of the town center, near harbor view, 15 minutes away from the airport and walking distance to some tourist spots. It was built in 1987 so the hotel and rooms look old already and probably need some improvement.


If you are traveling by car, there is parking space but it is not FREE. If you have big luggage with you, it is better to drop your luggage at the hotel entrance before going to the parking lot because the hotel doesn’t have a service elevator and you have to climb the stairs.






We arrived in the evening so checking-in was easy, we were offered a room with a view but since there is an additional fee, we declined. We can see this view when we go out so why pay for it. This was our view from our room.


What you see on the website is what you get, so this was our room. We have two single beds, an office table, television, couch, mini-fridge, and a cabinet. The following morning, I found out that my mom and aunt’s room have coffee and tea set while our room doesn’t have. We already arrived late but our room was not complete pala, I did not request for it since we won’t stay long.




The bathroom looks old but it has a bathtub and hairdryer but no bidet. They offer complimentary FACE Stockholm toiletries


We left ├śrland at 2PM and it took us more or less 5 hours travel time to reach Kristiansund so after check-in we had dinner at Bella Napoli Restaurant. Since it was raining and we’re already tired, we immediately went back to the hotel after dinner.

Read: Dinner at Bella Napoli Restaurant

Breakfast Buffet at Restaurant Sans 

The room includes buffet breakfast at Restaurant Sans where they serve traditional Norwegian buffet. Breakfast starts as early as 6:30AM on weekdays and 8AM every weekend. It was Sunday so I have no choice but to wait for 8AM breakfast time.


When it comes to breakfast in Europe, my expectation is low because I know that the buffet spread is limited compared to buffet breakfast in Asia. So I was really surprised when I arrived at the restaurant, Scandic Kristiansund did not disappoint me because they even have more food spread compared to Radisson Blu in Trondheim and Oslo. We were happy with our buffet breakfast at Restaurant Sans.





Read: Radisson Blu Hotel Trondheim Norway 
Radisson Blu Hotel in Oslo Norway  

Restaurant Sans 

Breakfast: Mon-Fri 06:30-09:30, Sat-Sun 08:00-11:00
Dinner: Mon-Sat 17:00-22:00, Sun Closed
Bar: Mon-Sat 17:00-00:00, Sun Closed

After breakfast, we had a quick Walking Tour at Kristiansund before we went to Atlantic Ocean Road.

Trivia: “Hang up your towel and make mother nature smile”. Did you know that it was one of our team members who once came up with the idea of hanging up towels to reduce washing? A solution that’s become the standard for hotel rooms across the world - one that saves thousands of liters of water and four tons of detergent each year. Only at Scandic.

Scandic Kristiansund 
Storgata 41
6508 Kristiansund, Norway

Watch the video here

May 07, 2020

3 Easy Ways to Get PSA Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate and CENOMAR

PSA certificate is one document that we always need, we use this for our own personal copy, employment, school, passport, travel, claims, loans, and any other purposes. Getting a PSA birth certificate, marriage certificate, death certificate, and CENOMAR is easy because there are different ways to get these documents. It depends on your preference, time, and budget.

I can still remember the days when I have to go to Quezon City just to get my NSO birth certificate. It will take me hours of falling in line just to submit my application and go back to get my copy. I was so thankful when I learned about NSOHelpline.com many years ago but it was only year 2006 when I first tried their service.

At that time, I live in Laguna so I don’t want to go to QC just to get my NSO marriage certificate. If I remember it right, I placed my order online, made my payment in Metrobank, and after few days I received my marriage certificate. Yehey! I saved time, effort and I did not file a vacation leave for that.


Today, a lot has been changed and improved; I have tried getting our PSA certificate by visiting PSA Serbilis Centers, SM Business Center, and ordering online at the PSA Serbilis website. Whatever ways you will choose, make sure you know the required information before requesting for PSA certificate.

Birth Certificate 

* Number of copies you are requesting
* Name (maiden name if married female)
* Sex * Place of birth
* Date of birth
* Father’s name
* Mother’s maiden name
* Date of registration, if the birth certificate was late registered
* Purpose of your request
* Your relationship to the birth certificate owner
Birth certificate requests must be duly authorized as per The Child and Youth Welfare Code (P.D. 603)

Marriage Certificate 

* Number of copies you are requesting
* Name of husband
* Maiden name of the wife
* Place of marriage
* Date of marriage
* Date of registration, if the marriage certificate was late registered
* Purpose of your request

Death Certificate 

* Number of copies you are requesting
* Name of the deceased
* Sex
* Place of death
* Date of death
* Date of registration, if the death certificate was late registered
* Purpose of your request

CENOMAR 

* Number of copies you are requesting
* Name (maiden name if married female)
* Sex
* Place of birth
* Date of birth
* Mother’s maiden name
* Father’s name
* Purpose of your request

PSA Office Memorandum No. 2017-050 Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate, CENOMAR and Advisory on Marriages can only be issued to: 

A.The owner himself or through a duly authorized representative.
B. His/her spouse, parent, direct descendants, guardian, or institution legally in-charge of him/her, if minor.
C. The court or proper public official whenever absolutely necessary in administrative, judicial, or other official proceedings to determine the identity of a person.
D. In the case of the person's death, the nearest kin.

3 Easy Ways to Get PSA Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate, and CENOMAR 

1. PSA Serbilis Centers 

As I mentioned before, a lot has been changed and improved, as of now, there are more PSA Serbilis Centers where you can visit to get your PSA Certificate. One advantage of visiting the office is you can get your certificate within the day. Four years ago, I checked the internet and the nearest Serbilis Outlet in our place is in Muntinlupa. You can check this link for the list of PSA Serbilis Outlet in the Philippines.

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's dental appointment, off we went to StarMall but I was so disappointed because there is a cut-off time, we were late by a few minutes. I just can’t remember if 1:30 or 2PM is the cut off time. They should inform us about the cut-off time kasi sayang talaga ang time and effort sa pagpunta. If you choose this option, it is better to be early.

Bring the following when visiting a PSA Serbilis Center 

A.Your Valid ID
B. Authorization and ID of the birth certificate owner if you are requesting a birth certificate and you are not any of the following.

* the owner of the birth certificate
* his/her parent
* his/her spouse
* his/her direct descendant
* his/her legal guardian or institution-in-charge, if minor

2. SM Business Centers 

Most of the time, I order our PSA certificate at SM Business Center because it is much cheaper and convenient for me. All you need to do is fill out the form (3 Copies), pay the fees, and wait for the release date. The only disadvantage is, it takes time before you can claim your PSA certificate. I remember four years ago, they advised me that the release would be after one month so I decided to order online instead because I need our PSA certificate as soon as possible for our Japan Visa Application.

January 2019 

Last year, we will be applying for our Schengen Visa and we need to submit a birth certificate and marriage certificate. We only have NSO copy and we don't have a PSA copy of the birth certificate and marriage certificate so I went to SM Business Center to request for it. I filled out the form and paid P180 per copy. I was advised that I can claim my documents after one week.

January 12, 2019 - request for PSA birth certificate and marriage certificate
January 19, 2019 - claim the PSA documents but it is not yet available, balik na lang daw ko ng January 22 para sure. January 23, 2019 - just to be sure Wednesday na ko nagpunta but I was really disappointed because our marriage certificate is still not available. Balik daw ko ng 6PM. Waah! We just went home na lang at ayaw ko maghintay ng 5 hours at hindi naman sure yun.

January 26, 2019 - I went back to SM Customer Service and at last, our PSA marriage certificate is already available. Actually, I was not alone, kasi mga kasabayan ko din mga nagrereklamo na at nakailang balik na daw sila, wala pa rin. It took me two weeks to get my complete documents. Paano pa kaya sila na naabutan ng PSA offline from January 13-16,2019.

* I was contemplating if I made the right decision, mas mura nga sa SM pero nakakastress naman pala kumuha. I asked them kung gaano katagal and when they said one week. I filled out the form pero hindi naman pala totoo. Sa dami ng balik ko, parang mas okay na nag-online na lang ko at ganun na rin yata gastos ko kakabalik at napagod pa ko. I guess, if you are not in a hurry, go to SM but if not, it is better to order online na lang.

January 2020 

We applied for a Japan Visa last January and this was our second application so I thought we don’t need to submit our birth certificate and marriage certificate but unfortunately, the travel agency required us to submit again because it is a family application so I have no choice but to submit my only copy of PSA certificate. So after that, we went straight to SM Business Center to get a new PSA Birth Certificate and PSA Marriage Certificate, I paid P720 for 4 certificates, P180 each copy and I was able to claim our copy after one week. This time no more delays.

3. PSA Serbilis Online 

Four years ago was the last time, I placed an order online for NSO Birth Certificate and Marriage Certificate. Three years ago they changed NSO to PSA Philippine Statistics Authority so a new website and new process of ordering.

And because of community quarantine, I have no choice but to order online so we can get the birth certificate and marriage certificate as soon as possible. Just like NSOhelpline.com, PSASerbilis.com.ph is user-friendly so ordering certificates are not a problem. You can click here to learn how to request online.

Read: How to Request for PSA Certificate Online

You will be asked to enter the following information online: 

Your name
Your delivery address (with zip code)
Your telephone number
Your valid email address
Required information for the birth certificate, marriage certificate, death certificate, and CENOMAR.

Payment Options 

Credit card
BDO
UnionBank
Bayad Center

Effective November 29, 2019, PSA Serbilis online credit card facility will only support the following Internet browsers:

• Google Chrome version 30 and later
• Microsoft Edge • Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 and later running on Windows 8 and later
• Mozilla Firefox version 27 and later
• Apple Safari version 7 and later running on OS X 10.9 or later

May 05, 2020

How to Request for PSA Certificate Online

I don’t understand why frequently give an original copy of PSA Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, and CENOMAR. Hindi ba pwede show original copy and photocopy ang isasubmit? I’ve been checking my old blog posts and it seems almost every year na lang pala ko nagrerequest ng Birth Certificate and Marriage Certificate. These documents are not cheap and I used these for visa applications and passport renewal (minor).

There are 3 ways where you can get your PSA birth certificate, marriage certificate, death certificate, and CENOMAR. You can go to PSA Serbilis Outlet, SM Business Center, or order at PSA Serbilis website. Most of the time, I go to SM Business Center but if I am in a hurry, I go to PSA Serbilis website.

Read: 3 Ways to Get your PSA Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate and CENOMAR


My sister passed away, two weeks ago so I am helping and assisting her family to claim my sister’s burial assistance and death benefits. I’ve been checking all the documents needed and lahat na lang kailangan ng Original copy of the birth certificate, marriage certificate, and death certificate. Fortunately, pwedeng Certified True Copy ang Death certificate but unfortunately, we need PSA copy of the birth certificate and marriage certificate.

We are on Day 51 of Community Quarantine and government offices are still closed. I checked PSA Serbilis and they are temporarily closed effective March 17, 2020 until further notice. Since we need the documents, I placed an order online for my sister’s family and I hope it will be delivered after the Community Quarantine.

The last time I placed an order was 4 years ago, NSOhelpline.com pa and PHP350 each ang rate so I’m glad bumaba ng konti ang rate nila. Requesting for PSA certificate is easy, I like this (new website) better because I can order different certificates at once. If I remember it right, before per certificate ang order and bayad so 2 transactions pa if I need a birth certificate and marriage certificate. Now I can order BC, MC, DC, or CENOMAR and pay in one transaction only. If it is your first time, check the steps below.

You will be asked to enter the following information online: 

Your name
Your delivery address (with zip code)
Your telephone number
Your valid email address
Required information for the birth certificate, marriage certificate, death certificate, and CENOMAR.

Birth Certificate

* Number of copies you are requesting
* Name (maiden name if married female)
* Sex
* Place of birth
* Date of birth
* Father’s name
* Mother’s maiden name
* Date of registration, if the birth certificate was late registered
* Purpose of your request
* Your relationship to the birth certificate owner
Birth certificate requests must be duly authorized as per The Child and Youth Welfare Code (P.D. 603)

Marriage Certificate

* Number of copies you are requesting
* Name of husband
* Maiden name of the wife
* Place of marriage
* Date of marriage
* Date of registration, if the marriage certificate was late registered
* Purpose of your request

Death Certificate 

* Number of copies you are requesting
* Name of the deceased
* Sex
* Place of death
* Date of death
* Date of registration, if the death certificate was late registered
* Purpose of your request

CENOMAR

* Number of copies you are requesting
* Name (maiden name if married female)
* Sex
* Place of birth
* Date of birth
* Mother’s maiden name
* Father’s name
* Purpose of your request

How to Request for PSA Certificate Online 

1. Go to https://www.psaserbilis.com.ph/Secure/OnlineApplication.aspx
2. Click here to request now
3. Click I accept
4. Enter Contact and Delivery Information then click next
5. Confirm the details that you have entered
6. On Request Summary, you can CHOOSE BIRTH CERTIFICATE, MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE, DEATH CERTIFICATE OR CENOMAR.

After choosing, you need to answer 2 yes/no questions and click next
1. Was there any correction or amendment done to the certificate you are applying for?
2. Were you able to previously get a copy of the certificate from PSA?

7. Enter details and click save
8. Click confirm
9. After placing all your orders, click submit.
10. Choose payment options - You can pay via credit card, BDO, UnionBank, and Bayad Center.
11. I chose “Pay online via credit card now” and click accept.
12. Click proceed to payment
13. Enter credit card details and one-time pin
14. You will receive Payment Acknowledgment via email too.
15. Wait for delivery

Delivery of PSA Certificate 

Delivery with the Philippines - 3 to 13 working days after payment
Delivery to other countries - 6-8 weeks after payment

PSA Certificate Fees 

Philippines
P330 per copy of Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, and Death Certificate
P430 per copy of CENOMAR

Other Countries
$20.30 per copy of Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, and Death Certificate
$25.30 per copy of CENOMAR

I only ordered 1 PSA Marriage Certificate 3 PSA Birth Certificates and paid P1320. Mahal siya because I only paid P720 at SM Business center for 1 Marriage Certificate and 3 Birth Certificates for our Japan Visa application last January. So I hope mag back to normal na ang government offices so we can order sa Serbilis Outlet or Business Center for more copies.

May 4 - Ordered online
May 18 - I received an email that they processed my order and wait for the delivery in 1-3 days
May 20 - I checked the tracking status, I was surprised because they already delivered the documents last May 16. Status is BAD ADDRESS and CONTACT NUMBER is unreachable. So I messaged them through email and Facebook Page. I gave them the address, landmark and 3 contact numbers.
May 21 - I received a call and the rider asked for landmark and fortunately it was a successful delivery.

Natanggap na yung PSA documents bago pa sumagot sa FB page na ifoforward yung information na binigay ko para madeliver ulit. Sa email naman, sumagot at humihingi ng information. Waah!