Simply Me / Karen Jardeleza: 3/1/12 - 4/1/12

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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Moon Cafe, Mexican Inspired Restaurant

Having delightful lunch to start my year. Moon Cafe, a mexican inspired restaurant that served mexican dishes with a filipino taste.
Well decorated interior with comfortable settings and a relaxing atmosphere.

their own version of Fried Chicken 
Garlic Rice
Good Food... Affordable Price... 

Moon Cafe
SM Southpoint
Iloilo City, Philippines
(033) 509-5530

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Pacsafe: Camera Shoulder Bag

The Camsafe 100 anti-theft camera shoulder bag is an everyday bag for the photographer that travels light and a 'must' for the avid camera enthusiast. Slashguards and adjustable Carrysafe slashproof strap deter thieves from slashing your bag and stealing your expensive equipment, while zippers lock down preventing pickpocket theft. 

Additional features
• Fully padded main compartment with adjustable / removable padded divider and 2 internal slip pockets
• Zippered main compartment opens to the rear for easy access and security
• Mesh pocket under the front flap
• Front zippered pocket with 2 electronic gadget pockets 1 laminated mesh slip pocket with 3 SD card pockets
• key clip
• Rear slip pocket and carry handle
• Water bottle pocket

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pacsafe: Toursafe Travel Wallet

Large enough to hold cards including a passport, yet compact and slim enough to be stylishly elegant, the Toursafe wallet is the perfect accessory for any Toursafe bag, as it fastens neatly and securely inside with a slashproof chain. Very safe especially during travelling purposes. With its secure metal chain and hook, just simply turn and lock strap hook.

Additional features
• Passport pocket
• Zip closure
• 12 credit card pockets
• Zippered coin pocket
• Outer slip pocket
• Compartments for cash and receipts
• Scotchgard protected

What I really love from this wallet is that it comes with a metal chain were I can lock it up inside the metal hook of my bag (detachable) that could not easily steal the whole wallet. Very useful in my travel especially my passport which is keep safe thing to store. Worth the price and worth it to use it... very useful!

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Magnet Journey

After a couple months of preparation, waiting of documents to be completed and waiting of visa's, I'm finally all set to start my added journey in life. 

Holding a Filipino Passport is somehow a bit difficult especially when traveling to Europe which you really have to get a visa's depends on the country your going to, you may check this Schengen Visa for Philippine Passport, this might help you out for your future visa application.

Packing light is a huge problem for me, which I'm not good with it. In my pass travels I always had excess baggage especially when going back home. But for this trip I just really need to pack light as much as possible and be back home lighter too, hope so! but I'm pretty not sure about that :) Check out my Packing list and gear.

Traveling in Europe is one of my dream which I never realized I could acquire it one day. With this kind of wonderful opportunity, I'm so blessed and thankful to our Lord for giving me this opportunity, a good travel companion and a support system.

My intention is to share my documented thoughts and feelings. Sharing you all my experiences, fun and the not so fun. This might help you or give you idea on your future European Tour. 

As my journey is just getting started, I'm excited to explore everything I could see, this trip was made possible by the help of the traveling agency. I thank them for that, from the document needed, airfare, hotel, everyday itinerary... well, almost everything. I  also pray for our safety through out our journey and be back home safe too.
Flights bound to Dubia, UAE via Emirates Airline
March 26, 2012 - time flight was 11:45pm at Terminal 1 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, Philippines, My journey has just started. Traveling together with one of my best friend and her sister to Dubia for our stop over via Emirates Airline at Terminal 3 of Dubia International Airport. Its more than 8 hours flight  from Manila to Dubia, in here I'll be meeting my sister who arrived from USA ahead of me and we will be travelling together for more than 5 hours flight via Emirates Airline to Rome, Italy - Fiumucino Airport.
Flights bound to Rome, Italy via Emirates Airline
My magnet journey starts, I'll be collecting souvenirs magnet from all country and different cities that i'm going to  steps all the way!  May the good Lord giude us in all our paths.
with my sister Timmy, our first photo op for this tour
Meet the whole group.... Our first group pictures.. Awesome!
Updated: April 17, 2012

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Packing List and Gear

I'm not good in packing light when traveling abroad, this is not me. I know Packing Light when travelling is a must and this will be much easier especially transferring from one hotel, airport, bus, train or other means of transportation. 

Anyway, wondering what to pack when travelling abroad? Well, here's a list of my packed stuff that I brought with me for my three weeks travel. This is somehow packing light for me :)

I'm using a Red Samsonite Black Label Cosmolite 32" Spinner Luggage its lightweight 8.6 lbs (3.9kls), hardside exterior, has fixed TSA combination lock and has carry handle on the upper and side. Brought Extra Duffel Bag (Samsonite) as my extra luggage.
Camera Bag (Samsonite)
Backpack (Northface)
Bag (LV)

20 pcs. Blouses / Shirts (don't have time to wash clothes due to our daily itinerary)
10 pairs of Underwear (I could do overnight wash)
3  pairs of Socks (I could do overnight wash)
2 pcs. Jeans
2 pcs. Leggings
1 Convertible Travel Pants (Columbia)
6 pcs. Jackets (just love wearing jackets, I could even brought more of it)
2 set of sleeping garments (shirt and pajamas)
1 swim suit (just incase)

Walking Sandals (Fit-Flops)
Leather Boots (Hush Puppies)
Boots (Uggs)
Flats (Gucci))

Pitbull Polarize Sunglasses (Oakley)
small Umbrella
For safety purposes of my other stuffs

Sony SLT-A35 with SAL-18200 lens with Packsafe Camera Strap
Macbook Air 11"
iPod Nano
iPad 2
Sony DSC-WX1 (point and shoot camera)
Monopod and mini tripod
1TB External Hardrive
Universal Adaptor

Toothbrush and toothpaste
disposable razor
Nail Cutter
Facial Regimen (toner, moisturizer, sunblock) by: Nuetrogena
Make-up kit (powder, blush, eyeshadow, lipshiner) by: MAC

Vitamin C
Vitamin E

Electronic Ticket
Credit Card
Packsafe Travel Wallet
Books and travel pillow... this things could really mean a lot... a prayer book as well (Moment with God)...
Hope this could help you in your future trips...

Check this out:

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Tourist Schengen Visa for Philippine Passport

Tourist Schengen Visa for Philippine Passport

Filipinos really have to get visa when planning to travel to Europe as tourist. Like other countries outside South East Asia such as Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, I have prepared a bajillion of requirements to acquire a Visa and a pounding heart of waiting in days if I will be  successfully given a visa or not before enjoying my vacation. Same thing with getting a US visa which I wasn't that lucky enough to be given on my two consecutive tries in year 2009 and haven't given a chance to see the beauty of their country, hoping on my next shot, they could give me a chance, to explore the so called America.

With this, my focus is only for tourist visa application. For other reason obtaining a Schengen visa, different requirement and forms applies, which I could not be a good help for you.

Schengen Visa consist of 26 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

When applying for Schengen Visa or if you plan to visit several countries listed, visa application must be made on the Embassy of the country of your first entry or the country you intend to stay for the longest period or you can ask guidelines on the chosen embassy you wish to get your visa. You can also choose the embassy of the country of your exit point.

In my case Italy is my first point of entry and planning to visit several cities in Italy like Rome, Venice, Milan  and Florence which make Italy as my longest stay for my whole trip compared to other countries included under Schengen.

ITALY EMBASSY in Manila, Philippines

Applicant has to set an appointment by calling the PIASI Call Center, (3rd party such as travelling agency are not allowed to do the appointment in your behalf) if someone (sibling, friend or relative) is joining you on your tour, you can do the appointment on their behalf, considering doing it at the same time.

Applicant can make the appointment as early as  (3) three months before the planned entry.

You may get in touch with the PIASI Call Center, that will take care of collecting the necessary documents from your residents.You may contact the PIASI Call Center through the following number. Cost of Php 32 per minutes.

1909-101-2200 using PLDT and NDD, 
1903-101-2200 using Bayantel, 
1900-101-2200 using Globe or Innove. 

You may also call their toll free number for inquiries on Visa Requirements at (0063-2) 845 9200.

When calling PIASI Call Center for appointment for collecting the necessary documents, make sure to get ready with your passport details,  for they are going to ask it together with your email address, home address, contact number, purpose of trip, date of your trip and the length of your tour.

PIASI Call Center representative will give you your reference number, which you really have to take it note and the date when the courier is going to pick up your documents. Prepare the amount of Php430 for the courier fee (subject to change) in cash for each applicant payable upon pick up of the documents. Added instruction will be given by the call center representative.

Visa processing fee is Php 3,518 (fee subject to change) and payable to PIASI in the form of Managers Check. The fee is non refundable if application is unsuccessful or denied.

What good in choosing Italian Embassy for your Schengen Visa Application, personal appearance is not needed. If your living outside Manila or from other provinces, you can save from your airfare and lodging and time as well. Just get ready and complete all the requirements needed before the pick up date given for the courier to collect all documents.

Requirement in applying Schengen Visa at Italian Embassy 
(subject to change)
  • Fully accomplished and signed Visa Application Form 
  • Recent Passport Size Photo in white background
  • Valid Passport for at least 3 months beyond the intended length of stay in the Schengen area. Airline may require passengers to carry passports with validity of at least 6 months from their travel date.
  • Photocopy of passport and former visas
  • Detailed Itinerary of the whole duration includes departure and arrival dates
  • Confirmed Return trip booking or ticket or proof of available means of personal transport
  • Hotel vouchers or hotel bookings
  • Certification of Employment and approved leave of absence (If Employed)
  • Official Business Registration (If Self-Employed)
  • Proof of Income/Sufficient funds
    • Income Tax Return
    • Bank Certification
    • Photocopy of the last 3 months statement of account of your bank account
    • Credit Card (xerox and 3 consecutive months billing statement)
  • NSO Birth Certificate
  • NSO Married Certificate (If Married)
  • A letter of invitation addressed to the Embassy 1)  (format of this letter may be secured at the Italian Embassy or downloaded from, in case the traveler will stay in a friend’s or relative’s residence. The invitation may be made by an Italian national or a foreign resident legally staying in Italy. A document of identity or permit of stay should accompany the letter of invitation.
  • For all minors, an Affidavit of Support and Consent from both parents. In addition, a DSWD clearance for minors not travelling with parents.
  • Travel Insurance (Minimum coverage of 30,000 euro with 15 days allowance)
The above mentioned requirements can change at any time. It is still better to obtain the up to date information from the Embassy of Italy.

Schengen accredited insurance companies in the Philippines
  1. ACE Insurance Philippines
  2. Chartis Philippines Insurance, Inc.
  3. Assist-Card
  4. Blue Cross
  5. BPI – MS Insurance Corporation
  6. Fortune General Ins. Corp
  7. MAA Insurance
  8. Malayan Inssurance Company, Inc.
  9. MAPFRE Insular Insurance Corporation
  10. Paramount Life and General Insurance Co
  11. PNB General Insurers Co., Inc.
  12. Standard Insurance Co.
  13. UCPB General Insurance Co. Inc.
  14. WorldWide Travel Insurance Plans
  15. Everest International Group Administrators Inc.
  16. Federal Phoenix Assurance Co., Inc.

February 20, 2012 was the pick up date for the courier to collect my documents. Actually I have rescheduled the pick up date for the courier twice already, this is due for the delayed of my hotel confirmation from the traveling agency since I'll be visiting different cities and countries in Europe. I called the PIASI Call Center and gave them my reference number, gave my reason of rescheduling it and gave them the date that the courier could pick up my documents. Call center representative will give you a new reference number, so you have to take it note of it. 

Waiting longer for all my documents to be completed and extending the pick up date gave me stressful feeling of waiting my visa (if I'll be given a visa or not) since days really flies so fast and the date of our departure is fast approaching and I'm planning to get a UK visa too. Due to time constraint, conflicts and others we decided not to pursue getting a UK visa for our England tour, hmmp how sad, but its okay, hope to achieve this in the future.

As long I haven't received my approved visa I basically wasn't excited at  all, a mixed feeling of tension and fear of disappointment. I really hate this part but I was really hoping and praying for a good outcome.

The waiting is over and the final verdict has come to an end. Finally I could breathe. Last February 28, 2012, I got a chat message from the addressee where I left all my documents for the courier to pick it up,   that they have received our visa from the Italian Embassy and it has been granted. Yahoo! Just 7 working days from the date my documents has been collected... Finally! I can't wait for the start of my European tour.

For further questions you wish to ask i'm willing to answer and help you in the capacity of my knowledge. It's my pleasure to serve you by leaving a comment.

Check this out:

Schengen Visa Application Guide: Click Here!


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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Visa Free Travel for Philippine Passport

Here are some countries listed for Philippine Passport holder, we don't need to prepare a bajillion of requirements before entering the listed country. Stress free vacation from visas but not guarantee :). It's a matter of case to case!

Passport, roundtrip plane ticket, itinerary and money is all you need to enjoy your vacation.

It's still better to confirm proper procedures of visa, if its needed or not in your known traveling agency for guidelines in your chosen destination before heading, in order to obtain  a worry free vacation upon arrival on your chosen destination since each country has their own proper guidelines to follow.

Purchasing a roundtrip ticket is a must, immigration might check on it and to avoid problems as well. Know all your detailed itinerary, your length of stay, reason for travelling,  hotel confirmation or a complete address on the place you'll be staying... these are few questions immigrations might ask you on your departure and  upon arrival. Be smart alert to know and get familiar with your itinerary to avoid rejection from the immigration during departure.

This Visa Exemption for Filipinos is for TOURISM purposes only, If your planning to study, work or other reason aside from being a tourist, I'm sure there's a bunch stuff you need to prepare. Make sure to ask proper documentation.
  • Burundi - visa issued upon arrival 
  • Cape Verde - visa issued upon arrival 
  • Comoros - A free 24 h transit visa issued upon arrival at the airport. Within 24 hours this must be converted into a full visa at the immigration office in Moroni
  • Djibouti - 10 days visa issued upon arrival for DJF3,000; 30 days visa issued upon arrival for DJF5,000
  • Gambia - At port of entry passport 24-72 h transit pass is issued. This must be converted into a full visa valid up to 1 month at the immigration department in Banjul (fee payable)
  •  Kenya - 90 days visa issued upon arrival for US$25 
  •  Madagascar - 90 days visa issued upon arrival for MGA140,000
  •  Morocco - 90 days
  •  Mozambique - 30 days visa issued upon arrival for US$25 
  •  Saint Helena - visa issued upon arrival
  •  Seychelles - 30 days 
  •  Tanzania - visa issued upon arrival for US$50 
  •  Togo - 7 days visa issued upon arrival 
  •  Uganda - 180 days visa issued upon arrival for US$50
  •  Zambia - 90 days visa issued upon arrival for US$50 
  •  Brunei  - 14 days 
  •  Cambodia  - 21 days 
  •  Indonesia  - 30 days 
  •  Laos - 30 days 
  •  Malaysia  - 30 days 
  •  Singapore  -  30 days 
  •  Thailand - 30 days 
  •  Vietnam - 21 days 
  • Georgia - 90 days visa issued on arrival for US$10 ~ US$200 
  • Hong Kong  - 14 days 
  • India - 30 days visa issued upon arrival for US$60 
  • Iran - 30 days visa issued upon arrival (free of charge) 
  • Israel  - 90 days 
  • Macau  - 30 days 
  • Maldives  - 30 days visa issued upon arrival (free of charge) 
  • Mongolia  - 21 days 
  • Nepal - 15/30/90 days visa issued upon arrival for US$25/40/100 
  • Sri Lanka  - 30 days 
  • Republic of China - 30 days if holding a valid visa for Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Schengen countries, United Kingdom or United States, online registration required
  • Timor-Leste - 30 days visa issued upon arrival for US$30 

 Kosovo  - 90 days 

  • Cook Islands - 31 days 
  • Fiji  - 120 days Visitor's Permit issued upon arrival (free of charge) 
  • Marshall Islands  - 30 days visa issued upon arrival (free of charge) 
  • Federated States of Micronesia  - 30 days  
  • Niue - 30 days
  • Palau - 30 days visa issued upon arrival (free of charge) 
  • Samoa  - 60 days Visitor's Permit issued upon arrival (free of charge)
  • Tuvalu  - 30 days visa issued upon arrival (free of charge)
  • Vanuatu  - 30 days 
North America
  •  Costa Rica - 30 days
  •  Dominica  - 21 days 
  •  Haiti  - 90 days
  •  Nicaragua  - 90 days
  •  Saint Kitts and Nevis  - 14 days 
  •  Saint Lucia - 6 weeks visa issued upon arrival for US$50
  •  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - 30 days
  •  Turks and Caicos Islands  - 30 days

South America

  •  Brazil - 90 days 
  •  Colombia  - 90 days 
  •  Ecuador  - 90 days 
  •  Peru  - 183 days 
  •  Suriname  -  90 days 
Happy Travelling!!!
Subject to Change
Credit: wikipedia

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

PBB 15th Eviction Night

ABS-CBN Pinoy Big Brother Unlimited
15th Eviction Night
March 24, 2012

Anna Christine "Tin" Patrimonio is the latest evicted housemate garnering the lowest overnight voting of 11.50%. 

Overnight Voting Results:

19.49% - Biggel
19.20% - Divine
18.39% - Paco
17.26% - Pamu
14.15% - Slater
11.50% - Tin - EVICTED

Watch Out for the "Big Night at the Grandstand"
on March 31, 2012 (Saturday) at Quirino Grandstand

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Pacsafe: Venturesafe 200 shoulder bag

The Venturesafe 200 is an anti theft shoulder bag because of its versatility and subtle style. While compact, this shoulder bag deters any theft with a slashproof anti-theft strap, as well as turn and lock technology. Perfect usage for travelling.

It has smart zipper security, slashproof carry strap with turn and lock strap hook, with this you can stroll anywhere and you can feel safe carrying this bag with your valuable items.
additional features
• Zippered main compartment and zippered front pocket
• Internal padded slip pocket
• 2 pockets for electronic gadgets
• Headphone port for mp3 (love this bag feautures)
• Concealed back pocket with tuck-away zipper puller
• Pen holder and key clip

Available at the Travel Club

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Monopod - The Collapsible Camera Extender

Monopod is a single staff or pole used to help support from cameras, video camera or other precision instrument in the field. (Wikipedia)

Monopod is the ideal support for traveling, suitable for both photo and movie recording. With the quick camera attachment you can easily remove your video or camera.

Taking self portraits and videos has never been easier. With the use of Monopod you can photograph and video yourself anywhere. 

This Monopod is compact (8"),  lightweight (130g) and sturdy metal construction. It has a rubber grip for easy handling and wrist strap to secure shooting. Perfect travel companion and extend up to 32 inches.

Very easy to use, just connect your camera to the monopod adapter using the tripod mount, fully extend the monopod, adjust for the perfect angle, setup time on camera or video mode  and press capture button. Extend and smile. Just make sure the lens is pointing at you or in your subject.

You can attach this monopod to another monopod or tripod on the mount.

A lightweight mini tripod plus this lightweight monopod is handy and perfect for my future travel destination.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Michael Savage Memorial

Built to commemorate Michael Joseph Savage, one of New Zealand's most revered leaders, the Savage Memorial and the surrounding garden stands proudly atop Bastion Point at the western end of Mission Bay.
A memorial to the first Labor Prime Minister of New Zealand and the founder of the Welfare State, and the surroundings offers beautiful panoramic views.
This park is a popular wedding and tourist venue, favored as a venue for flying a fabulous array of colorful and creative kites. There are formal gardens with a pond, and the grave and memorial to Michael Joseph Savage.
Ended the day having a buffet dinner at Fortuna  Restaurant at Sky City Hotel in Auckland Sky Tower.

For more Photos visit SIMPLY ME Facebook Page CLICK HERE

Previous: Mission Bay

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