Renewing your Philippine passport

I first got my passport at DFA Pampanga with my family in 2011. Due to the fact that it’s nearing expiry (2016), I decided to apply for renewal. Here’s how to do it and how I did it:

  • Get online at http://passport.com.ph/
  • Choose a branch on where you want to do your renewal.
  • Set an appointment.
    • I chose the earliest appointment date that will work for me. November 7, 2015.
    • Keep refreshing if you don’t find any early appointments. Sometimes, people cancel their appointments and you’d be lucky to get an earlier one.
    • Once you select a new appointment, it will automatically cancel the appointment you have set before.
  • Take note of the documentary requirements and fees.
    • For renewal,
      • Personal appearance
      • Confirmed appointment
      • For NCR-based applicants, present your printed application form downloaded from DFA Appointment System
      • Most recent expiring or expired passport
      • Valid picture IDs and supporting documents to prove identity.
  • Head to your chosen branch on your appointment date. Bring your application form, requirements, and payment.
    • I went to DFA Galleria and showed the security my application form indicating my appointment date and time. My appointment was on the 7th of November 2015 at 4:30 pm and I was 30 minutes early. He let me in. Take note: The security on duty won’t let you in if you do not have your application form with you and if you do not have an appointment on that date.
    • Proceed to the desk (Processing Area) where the staff will check your requirements. I brought:
      • application form
      • old passport
      • photocopy of the front page and back page of my old passport
      • PRC ID
      • photocopy of my PRC ID
      • NBI Clearance
      • Birth Certificate

However, he did not need my birth certificate and NBI clearance. For what reasons, I do not know.

Don’t fret if you forgot to photocopy any of the required docs. There’s a photocopy machine at the office and they charge 6.00 per page. Good thing I already had photocopies of mine since I think 6.00 for a photocopy is overpriced.

    • Next is payment. You will wait for your number to be flashed on the screen and your assigned window. I waited about 5 minutes before my number was shown and another 5 minutes to process my payment. I chose the “Express Processing” which is 1200 pesos and to pick up my passport once ready. It’s important to tell them if you wish to pick it up or have it delivered because they will cancel (punch holes) your old passport if you want it delivered and will render it invalid.
    • Proceed to the Encoding section where your data and biometric will be taken and photo captured. This took about 7 minutes.
    • After, you will have the option to have your passport delivered or picked up. Delivery will cost P200 more but they deliver it right at your doorstep. I chose not to since I have travel arrangements in 2 weeks.

I called a day ahead to make sure that my passport is at the Galleria office. The next day, I went to DFA Galleria to pick up my new passport. I brought my old passport and they canceled it right there. Three  days later, I used my new passport to travel. 😉

 

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My take on the Pharmacist Licensure Exams

Board exams? Yes, it was a memorable experience. Not because I was excited but because I got so much emotions during the whole process. Nervousness, lack of sleep, palpitations, headache, and definitely, constipation. I myself, would never want to repeat the same thing all over again and that’s one of the reasons why I am so motivated to pass and get through with it.

 

First Day. 

I was not excited as others seemed to be. I think mainly because they can’t wait to get over with the exams but I was too concerned on not knowing what to expect on the exams. I am very thankful for my mom and dad for being supportive and drove me to MLQU. I don’t know where this university is but I thank Google for bringing GoogleMaps! I wasn’t late. I arrived at 6:20am and we were supposed to be there at 6:30am. Instructions for the exams are given at 7:00am and the exam itself starts at 8:00am. 

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As the time drew nearer to 8am, I prayed to God not to ever leave me and guide me in my exams. I also prayed for St Joseph’s intercession as I went out of the room after the proctors gave instructions. 

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The farthest room on the left is where I took my exams.

We waited until 8am and BOOM! Pharmaceutical Chemistry. Wow, it was pretty difficult but somehow I know that I got at least 40% right answers. The same goes to the next two – Pharmacognosy and Practice of Pharmacy. I have to admit that my brain was so tired after the exams that I really wanted to get some rest but my anxiety for the next day didn’t let me.

Tip: Bring water, food, reviewers and lunch so you wouldn’t have to bother going out to eat and at least you would be able to get some last minute review on the topics you haven’t yet finished reading.

I went home and still, I tried to read a couple of topics for the next day. I tried to sleep early so I can get energized for the last day. I still prayed and kept on making myself calm.

Next day, we were to be at MLQU at 7am. Dad cooked breakfast and I drank some coffee to get my head working because I didn’t get a good night’s sleep. I got there and I must say, Pharmacology and Pharmaceutics are difficult but…. Quality Control! You’re the worst. I worried more but I believed that I will pass my exams. I went home and enjoyed the day not having to study anymore for my exams. It’s such a relief!

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My friends talking about the last module.

TWO DAYS AFTER…
Results were out and I passed! I got 83% and I think that’s not bad at all.. At least i’m not going all over the same stresses again. 

I encourage all the students who are going to take the exams to study, study, study and pray hard! 

Things I’m Thankful for 2012

This should’ve been written during the transition between 2012 and 2013 but anyhow, I still want to write it.

  1. I got my visa!
  2. I got my first international package from the Central Post Office.
  3. I graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy.
  4. I traveled first time out of the country!
  5. I met my aunt and cousins in VA!
  6. I am very lucky to have tried my aunt’s cooking. 🙂
  7. I met my friend from WA state.
  8. I traveled alone from East Coast to West Coast.
  9. I mailed at the blue mailboxes first time and at different US Post Offices!
  10. I got amazon boxes! (I knowwwwwwww but I’m amazed!)
  11. I rode the ATV for the first time.
  12. I tried Five Guys Burgers!
  13. I went back to the Philippines by myself.
  14. I got my first job and a part time job as well.
  15. I am now part of the Parish Youth Choir.
  16. I had foreign guests for the first time.
  17. God blessed me with a loving and caring boyfriend.
  18. God blessed me with such a wonderful family.
  19. I am filled with God’s love and overflowing blessings.
  20. I got more and more closer to God. ❤

And even if I already wrote 20 things, I still have more!

Pharmacist Licensure Exams – Preparation

For this blog post, I am going to share to you how I prepared myself for the board exams. You might be a pharmacy graduate or just wondering how to prepare for an exam. Either way, I’m happy you’re reading and hopefully you would learn something from this.

JANUARY 12-13, 2013 BOARD EXAMS DAY
(I need to be always reminded with the Date.)

First day: Module 1-3 (Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Pharmacognosy and Practice of Pharmacy)
Second day: Module 4-6 (Pharmacology, Pharmaceutics, Quality Control/Quality Assurance)

 

1. Get all necessary reviewers.
This might include, but not limited to, PACOP Pink, Blue, Red, Orange, Reviewers from your review center and Reviewers from School. I had my UST Modules and I just borrowed some PACOP Reviewers from my friends from higher batches.

2. Decide if you want to enroll in a review center or just rely on self-review and in-house review provided by your school.
In my case, I did all of them because sometimes, I get too lax and going to the reviews makes me more focused.

3. Grab some inspiration.
I remember our professor telling us that we should list the top 3 reasons on why we should make it and top 3 persons on whom we should share our success. It actually did me good. At times when I feel like giving up on studying, I think about the persons and the whys and it just makes me want to study more.

4. Know what kind of learner you are and your personality in learning.
Different persons have different ways of learning. Some are visual, others are auditory and may be tactile or kinesthetic as well. I, myself, is a kinesthetic learner. I can’t learn without moving my body. I wander in my room, sometimes walking back and forth while reading things just to learn. They also say that when you use lots of senses in learning, it makes you learn more. I know some friends that does good in group studies but I personally don’t. I learn more if im by myself.

5. Work smarter, not harder.
This is already a cliché but it’s true. The thing is, you shouldn’t read and read and read the same things over and over again. Do not study the things that you already know! You always have to learn something new! It does feel good that you know things, but for the exam, you should learn as much as possible. Be reminded that you should be able to understand the concept and not just scanned your reviewers. What’s the use of having read it but you didn’t understand what you’ve read?

6. Train yourself with sample questions.
This is where the PACOP goes in. Treat the PACOP as if you’re already taking the exam. It helps you be trained in eliminating choices and come up with the best answer. My style is to read concepts then at the end of the day, I try answering some PACOP questions.

7. Do not be intimidated.
I admit that I get intimidated by my classmates at times especially on group studies. I always felt like I don’t know lots of things yet but always remember that there are things that you don’t know but they know and vice versa.

8. A sound mind is a sound body.
Don’t forget to eat healthy and drink lots of water to hydrate yourself! Some tends to forget eating because of the stress and pressure they get from studying. But please! Don’t deprive yourself of food and especially, sleep! Always remember that when you sleep, your short term memory goes to your long term memory so it’s actually very beneficial. I would admit that my brain gets exhausted and I tend to sleep lots of times.

9. Take short breaks.
You are actually more productive when you take some 15min break in between hours of studying than doing a 4-hr straight studying. You will realize that you feel more exhausted when you don’t take breaks.

10. Discipline and time management.
Say you only have 3 weeks left before your exams. Give most of the time to the subjects which you don’t understand instead of equally dividing them. The board exams have different percentage per module and you have to get 75% total percentage and not less than 50% on each module. I made my own time table and did my best to comply with it. I declined most of the outings and hanging out with friends thinking that I could always do it after my exams. At the same time, you also deserve a day off! On your days off, that’s when you could hang out and spend time with your friends.

11. Take lessons piece by piece.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the concepts that you have to learn even if its hard. It pays to understand each of it. Remember to take it piece by piece just like how you eat food. Just grab small bites until you’re done.

12. Expect each subject to appear on each module.
Students, most of the time, expect that if its a chemistry question, it might not appear on the other modules. Well, not at all! That’s why you have to be ready for the exams by the exam day because lots of questions from another module appear on this module. Hope you can get what I mean. :p

13. Shoot for the Moon! So if you miss it, you’ll land among the stars! 
AIM HIIIIIIIGGGGGH and do your best to reach your goals! That’s what you should always do! Aim for a realistic goal. For example, if you aim for 100% and you did not get it, at least you’re sure you’ll land somewhere in 90s. 🙂

14. Do it for yourself and for God.
Do it for you and for your betterment. It’s not your mom, your brother or even your friend who will benefit from this but only you will. It’s your key on practicing 4 years of hardwork from your university to be able to be of service to others. Remember that God blesses each person who does things that pleases the eyes of God.

15.PRAY.
Never ever cease to pray. With God, all things are possible. Ask for his guidance and mercy that everything will turn out alright and to prepare you for the path and destiny he has for you. Trust and have faith!

 

 

To God be all the Glory! Hope this helps!
Leave  a comment for any more ideas and suggestions to help everyone on passing their exams. 🙂

Back up messages and transfer E72 Contacts to Android on a Mac

Hi to all Apple Mac folks who are like me – having troubles and issues trying to transfer their contacts/phonebook from their Nokia E72 to their new android phone. I’ll just make this brief and direct.

My old phone: Nokia E72 and my new phone: Samsung Galaxy Note 2. I’m using a Macintosh OS. This works on a PC too, but I believe Android is soooo much easier on a PC. I think Apple makes it hard for Android users to sync with a Mac so you can stick with all their products.

  1. Download the app, Youlu at the OviStore and then run it.
  2. Turn on your WiFi or your cell data, and on the settings tab, click “Sync with Youlu.com”. They would ask you to register your cell number and create a password.
  3. On sync, you can either choose contacts, calendar, or both on syncing it with your web account.
  4. If you want to transfer your messages, click Backup/Restore SMS. They would also sync all your messages on your web account.
  5. Now, log on to http://www.youlu.com and login with your number and password. Youlu will open a page where you can see all your contacts and messages. Click on the little tool icon and then you can now export the contacts as a .CSV file.
  6. Import the .CSV file of your contacts on your hotmail/gmail account.
  7. On your android phone, sync your contacts with your hotmail/gmail account and you’re good to go!

I haven’t tried exporting my messages from Youlu so I am not sure if I could transfer it on my Android too. If you try it, and it works, tell us! You can also download youlu on your android phone from the PlayStore and I think you could actually sync from the app. I am not sure though. :p

Hope this helps you guys! Feel free to comment, suggest or ask at the comment box. 🙂

Orchid from the backyard

Orchid

Orchid

I was told to take a picture of my mom’s orchid and here it is! I have always been fascinated by them and its just wonderful. Unlike other flowers, they stay long before they wilt. So next time you would want to buy a flower for your mom or special people in your life, try orchids! 🙂

Welcome to Radiant Pearl! This is Margery!

Here, I will tell you my story on my adventure in working in a company here in the Philippines. It’s like what most people wouldn’t even think of me working on but some people would’ve probably guessed. Yes, you’re right. It’s me and McDonald’s. Kidding! It’s me working at a Call Center company.

I started doing interviews – McDonald’s, Tutorials, Convergys, Hinduja, Stream and Sitel. I did it everyday, doing one call center at a time.

At Convergys, they had an initial interview then the skills part where you type, listen, and answer questions on your screen. As I passed those two, I was endorsed to a call simulation and then luckily, at the Job Offer. They offered me 13,500 for this car account but it’s in Commonwealth (kinda far from where I live) so I thought about it first before signing the contract.

I realized, I need to go to another interview so I could weigh my options. I went to Hinduja the next day and same thing – interview, skills, call simulation. To my surprise, it wasn’t good. The reference they were using was just stupid! So as you would’ve guessed, I didn’t pass. Fine. I could go on another company.

The following day, I met some acquaintances from Convergys who were also applying for a job. They told me to try Stream Global Services. Me, Kim and her friend then went to Stream. We did the typing test, the technical tests and the interview. Unfortunately, she didn’t pass and her friend was interviewed but wasn’t able to get the job. I, luckily, got a job offer but it’s in SM North Edsa which is just soooooo far! I can’t imagine traveling all by myself at 3AM! That’s why I just didn’t continue with Stream and I hate how they had me waiting for almost 8 hours!

So the next few days, Kim told me to try Sitel. I told myself, “Okay, for the last time. Then I won’t do any interviews.” I went walking in Eastwood and a Sitel Headhunter found me. They told me that I could do an interview and so I did. I did the initial interview, HR interview and then the behavioral test and some math tests. Next day, I went for a final interview with Henry, a soon to be coach, as he had introduced himself. He told me that he wishes me luck and he just asked me so many questions. After that, I got the job offer for an airline company! Yay!

They told me it would start July 30 so I need to process my papers – NBI Clearance, SSS, Philhealth, Pag-ibig and etc. For a week, that’s what I did. I also renewed my license just in case.

July 30 came in and I still can remember my first day at the Training Room. I found our trainer funny and I met new friends. Marcelino is the first one and then I met the whole Sabre 8 Team – Iris, Tina, Joseph, Joel, Woody, Raiza, Troy, Kriz, Roj, Art, Mich, Chad, Amber, Tiffany, Gee, Pao, Denise, Ela and Me. We were first tasked by Sir Francis, our trainer, to introduce our seat mate. I introduced Marco and he’s from Cubao and into football. And the others introduced their seatmates as well.

We first had to learn about the company, its objectives, security policies and etc. Then, we  had to learn about Australia and their culture – Enculturation and after which, we had to know how to play the game. It was fun getting to know about another country especially Australia where I really don’t know anything except for Gavin Aung Than from http://www.zenpencils.com and the Sydney Opera House. They made the whole learning experience really enjoyable with games being put in it and making jokes (that really catches most of our attention).

I started to like the whole training but time came when things suddenly felt uncomfortable for me. Some things were just too much for me because in a good workplace, I’m looking for people who act professionally. And that, I didn’t find. Things are just way too much. Looking at the brighter side, I came to know people that in a very short span of time, became close to me. Together, we shared opinions and ideas and just things about our life.

I resigned after a month for I have to review for my upcoming board exams on January. But to tell you honestly, I feel blessed to come to know Australia and widen up my knowledge with new softwares and skills; Blessed that I have known new people; Blessed that I, myself, once became an ordinary employee and with that I learned that money takes a lot of hardwork to get and learned to look at a different perspective.

 

Thank you for reading Radiant Pearl! Have a great day!