Tag Archives: philippines

Philippine passport renewals – in Melbourne

My wife and kids have applied for renewal of their passports at the mobile passport mission in Melbourne at 21 March 2015.

We got the new passports 10 July 2015–a turn-around time of almost 4 months.

The passports have a date stamp of 08 June 2015.

To the credit of the folks at the embassy and consulate, it was a fairly hassle-free process.

To check on the status, its important to know that one should check the Philippine Embassy site and not the consulate site.

I ended up following up by calling the Canberra Embassy office. Spoke with someone who was quite friendly. On learning that the passports had already expired, he told me I did not have to mail the old passports to the Canberra office. He just arranged to mail the new passports. In my case, I used a parcel collect address which I find to be quite convenient for receiving parcels.

The cost was $118 per adult. $108 for kids. This had to be paid with a postal money order–and there are no other options, which is kinda restrictive and odd. One would hope officials will realise there is added cost (of $8.95) because of this payment type, and do something to offer other alternatives.

The mew passport information will need to be updated with Australia’s department of immigration.


Preparing – Leaving Philippines to Migrate to Australia

Are you a Filipino migrating to Australia?

I migrated with my family about 2 years ago from the Philippines to live in Melbourne.

If you are preparing to migrate to Australia, here are some things you can look into preparing while still in the Philippines ahead of migrating. Some of this particularly works, if you have a friend/family in Australia who is able to lend a postal address for you to use.

– Setting up a bank account. I believe ANZ http://anz.com.au and Commbank http://www.commbank.com.au make it possible for migrants to setup new accounts from overseas. Another good reason to get a bank account early is that there are many cases where you will be asked to show a bank account statement (among other requirements or possible IDs) for purpose of ID verification.

– Ordering a myki card online. This is not a big deal because you can also buy anytime from a 7-11 or a train station. Its just that when you get a myki card online, it gets printed with your name on it which the generic Myki card does not have. If you order online the card is sent via snail mail. Maybe takes a week or so to arrive. This maybe costs $10 AUD to order which gives you at $10 credit.

– Request for a TFN (online request). https://www.ato.gov.au/Forms/TFN—application-for-individuals/

– Prepare to request a medicare card. I think requests have to be personally submitted at Centrelink but you can at least prepare the form: http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/forms/3101

– Investigate places to rent at http://www.realestate.com.au or domain.com.au. airbnb is also a good option for short-term stays (I can send referral for airbnb–both of us get will get credits).

– Investigate mobile plans. For me, one of the better options and the cheapest is Vaya. Please feel free to comment and I can send a friend referral which gets me some refer credits. Vaya is sort of like a postpaid subscription in the sense of the payment method, but it is fairly easy to obtain. I think the main requirement is a bank account/credit card to auto debit payments from. On the other hand, if what you want is an actual prepaid subscription then instead, look at Optus or Amaysim. If you want premium good quality service, the best network is Telstra.

– Setup for yourself an everyday rewards and flybuys membership. These are the rewards card for Woolworths (woolies) and Coles respectively. Its inevitable that you will be shopping at these supermarkets when you are here.

– It may also be a good idea for you to do just a little research on Superannuation. It is a bit premature because you only need it when you start working, but at least it would be good to have a conceptual understanding.

– Be aware that you need to get a seminar and passport stamp from the CFO http://www.cfo.gov.ph/ before your initial departure date.

– The IOM offers discounted airfare (one way) for migrants. http://www.iom.int/cms/en/sites/iom/home/what-we-do/resettlement-assistance/concession-fares.html

You also get 40 kilos baggage allowance when booking via IOM. Their contact info:


And keep in mind that dates in Australia are written day before month.

There will be many other things to prepare if you are a migrant. These are just a few things I have thought of. Good luck. You have an exciting time ahead of you.


The Salcedo Square Condo for sale – Makati Philippines studio unit (owner listing)

Salcedo Square is the right smack in the middle of Salcedo Village, at the corner of Leviste and San Agustin streets. It’s so near the major avenues at Ayala and Buendia, too. Your favorite Makati bars and restaurants are also just a few steps away. And the famous salcedo Market is right next door so, take your time walking. You’ll probably still be a few minutes early for work.

Makati is bagged to be the country’s major financial, economical and commercial hub. Makati is noted for its highly cosmopolitan culture, also being a major cultural and entertainment hub in Metro Manila.. Many expatriates live and work in the city. Makati is also home to many first-class shopping malls.

At the center of the city is the Central Business District (CBD) where many companies in the Philippines have their office or headquarters. This is where many of the country’s tallest skyscrapers are located. The Makati skyline is one of the most impressive sights in Metro Manila.

The Central Business District (CBD) is where most of Makati’s financial resources are connected. It mainly encompasses Legaspi Village, parts of Bel-Air and SALCEDO VILLAGE.

Salcedo Village is the home to many business and commercial establishments giving this area the reputation as one of the city’s elegant and sophisticated landmark.

Its tremendous beauty and value will then be comparable to the world’s key cities and with the continuous progress of Makati it is no wonder that this place will only spell out a lifestyle full of class, elegance, style and sophistication.

Isn’t it that Makati makes your life worth living?

Salcedo Square Makati…

Dreaming of living in Makati? Stop dreaming… and start living, open up your eyes and…awaken from your luscious realty and begin living your life in MAKATI.
NEW CITY STYLE… each room unit is a masterpiece stylish, airy and bright. Raw. Urban. Edgy. Close proximity to Ayala Ave. and Buendia, Shopping heaven, Mecca for bars and restaurants.
Salcedo Square allows you to easily meet anyone in Makati, the CBD of the Philippines, because it is located right inside Salcedo Village, a stone’s throw away from Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue (Buendia) and Ayala Avenue.

Salcedo square is near:
Convergys – 1 km
Phil. Stock Exchange – 3 km
RCBC Plaza – 500 meters
Makati Medical Center – 1.3 km
MIT Makati -1.5 km
AIMS – 2.8 km
Ateneo Professional School – 800 meters
Salcedo Village Velasquez Park – 400 meters
Makati Sport Club 200 meters
Makati Central Fire Station – 1.5 km
Makati Central Post Office – 1.6 km
Greenbelt – 3 km
Glorietta – 4 km
SM, Landmark, Rustan’s – 2.5 km

Building Features
• Well appointed air-conditioned lobby
• Powerful standby generator capable of operating all major appliances
• Full time building administrator and in-house building maintenance group
• Round the clock security services
• Two(2) Passenger Elevators
• One (1) Service Elevator
• Fully Automated Fire & Smoke Detection System
• Water Reservoir and Fire Reserves
• Centralized Garbage Depository
• Wifi for Common Areas
• State-of-the-art Gym
• Swimming Pool
• Function Rooms
• Home Theater
• Coffee shops
• Commercial outlets

Located along L.P. Leviste St. in Salcedo Village, it is a 30-story development that consists of 409 units with choices of a studio or a one-bedroom unit. It is in the midst of a section of the city which is primarily a residential neighborhood. Within this area are parks and organic markets that offer a more relaxed atmosphere despite being near the country’s major commercial enterprises and financial institutions, as well as shopping, entertainment and dining enclaves.

“Salcedo Square is another example of how the company is changing the landscape of the city. We have already invested P8 billion in the Makati projects alone, with Salcedo Square as the first high-rise development we have unveiled for 2011,” said Vista Residences division head Red Rosales.

“The property offers the best value for money in Makati with units that cost around P2 million per unit for only P12,750 a month. We have taken every step to ensure that the building features are guaranteed to be state-of-the-art, to service and secured unit owners. Furthermore, it will also be operated as a condotel which would benefit both residents and investors,” Rosales added.

Salcedo Square offers a full range of amenities that assures comfort for the urban dweller. One can cool down the day’s stress with a dip at the swimming pool. The Garden Patio offers a perfect spot for friends and neighbors to catch up with each other. A function room is available for intimate events while a fully-equipped gym will keep the residents in the best shape. Ater a day at work, the view of the city will soothe the stress away.

I am re-selling N2 studio unit – 22.5 sqm bought last year.

Contact: pbvillaflores at gmail.com
mobile: 09189499004

Link to sulit

N2 Studio Unit Layout
unit layout

Floor Plan
Floor plan

Salcedo Square – Makati City
The Salcedo Square

Area Map
Area map

kitchen model unit

bedroom model unit



The Salcedo Square Building

Swimming Pool
Swimming Pool

amenities Picture2

Floor plan amenities
amenities Picture1

Floor plan amenities
Floor plan Amenities

The Salcedo Square
The Salcedo Square

Good short term investment idea – The BPI Short Term Fund

The BPI short term fund has to be one of the better ideas for a short term investment nowadays.


It performs at an annual rate comparable to what an SDA investment makes.  The BPI latest performance report document says 3.22% – based on last 5 years performance.  But expect less, because the SDA rate has gone down.  But still better rate compared to the higher rate savings alternatives — such as 1.5% for citibank e-savings, the BPI advance or the Standard Chartered Power Earner.

I thought it was a good time to re-assess interest rates in view of a cut in rates recently announced by some banks.

The BPI short term fund (after investing) can be enrolled in BPI express online.  Once enrolled there, it is easy to add (or subscribe) more money.  And it is also possible to redeem online.  Very convenient.  For the initial investment, one does have to go to a branch.

This fund has no entry/exit fee, and no holding period – one can cash out anytime.

This fund is listed on Bloomberg.



BDO have something similar called the BDO peso money market fund, but the minimum is P100k, unlike BPIs.




Prime Water Philippines

If you need to call Prime Water, a Manny Villar company, don’t waste time like I did calling the number printed on the bill. Instead call this number – (02)8515055, (02)8736212, (02)7184027 (as of 2018-11-09). And if you wish to pay the bill online, don’t use the account number field of the bill. Instead, use the ATM reference number.

Email contact for prime water:


Your mileage may vary, but I find emailing them is a very hit-or-miss affair more often a miss. Sometimes they will reply. Probably if they feel like it. I sent them a message recently to ask them to send through bills, and they have.

[Update 2017-03-22]
You can also get an electronic copy of your bill by sending an email to primewater.infra@gmail.com. Provide them your account number and they will reply back. One is only left to wonder why they don’t make this a proper online electronic bills service rather than something adhoc like this and using a gmail address.

They also clearly want to make payment painful if you are paying late. Bills cannot be paid online if you are paying late. There is a workaround however, if you realise the last 4 digits of ATM phone reference are month+date of bill due. You can tweak the last 4 digits so they are a future date in case you want to pay prime water bill online. Tested working via Citibank PH online bill payment.