Claiming the Philippines’ TLD
It’s been a little over two years since I bought this domain and thanks to that malicious script attack four days ago I’m finally gonna talk a little about it. Who knows? The end might be near.
It was when I was contacted by a former colleague about a volunteerism-related website that they needed to finish because the web developer who started it could no longer see it to its completion. Of course, they had to ask me to show them something as proof that I can actually do the job. With most of my websites from way back when being outdated, I showed them my blog, which is this. I was, however, very reluctant to give them the URL because it was still in flirt-wind.net back then. It may have been the coolest to my ears ten years ago but at this age? Not anymore. Especially if I intend to expose it more to people I personally know. The moment I gave in was also the exact same moment that I decided to finally make the move to nelson.ph. If I were to give it a tag line that’d be:
I’m the Nelson of the Philippines and this is my blog.
As for finishing that website, I decided to bail out because they were using Laravel, a PHP framework that I’m not familiar with, and I realized (even after looking it up and realizing that it looks promising) that the time I would spend learning it could be more than the time I would spend using it. And with me doing things left and right on weeknights and going here and there on weekends, it was simply impossible. I advised their team to find someone who’s actually using it and eventually they did. I basically have never been a part of the endeavor but I’m glad to see that the iVolunteer Philippines website has been serving its purpose smoothly since then.
Speaking of ten years… By some twist of fate, this stumbled on my doorstep tonight. Oh, the good old days…
Excess Taiwan Visa Requirements for Filipinos
Almost a month ago I wandered through Taiwan with three good old folks from college. It would’ve been my second overseas trip this year had I been granted a Japan visa last July. Getting rejected on my very first visa application turned out traumatizing that I had to read multiple blogs and consolidate all the requirements the authors stated for this trip. My pessimism even worsened when my friends started getting Australian, US, and Schengen visas. Fortunately, in the end, I was granted with my first (of many, hopefully). Listed below are the requirements I prepared. You can only guess which ones made the cut.
One of us has an Australian visa (let’s call him Aussie) while another has a US, making them exempts. They only needed to present a printout. Having said that, the remaining two of us decided to have Aussie process our applications in the hopes that filing as a group would increase our chances and simply because he’s the only one available on mornings. As it turned out, there wasn’t any need for such a letter at all.
- ✔ Visa application form
- ✔ Two recent 1.5″x2″ photos with white background (signed at the back)
- ✔ Passport valid for at least six months
I included my old passport and photocopies of the bio page and all stamped pages of both passports but they were—you guessed that right—not deemed necessary.
- ✔ PSA (NSO) birth certificate
Like the requirement for the Japan visa, it was stated that it should be a copy issued within the year. You can easily request one at e-Census. (Honestly, though, I didn’t find any indication on the copies that they were newly issued.)
- ✔ Bank certificate
And it’s the dreaded show money. As a rule of thumb, the amount should be good enough to keep you going throughout your stay overseas. I’d say it doesn’t necessarily have to reach six digits.
- ✔ Certificate of employment
I had my income (hourly rate, in my case) and purpose indicated on it.
Payslips/invoices for the last six months
BIR Form 2316
Since I’m on a consultancy setup and not a “regular” employee, the forms I submitted were my 2307’s (Certificate of Creditable Tax Withheld at Source) for the last four quarters. I even included my 1901 (Application for Registration) and 2303 (Certificate of Registration) forms. All of them happily stayed in my brown envelope.
- ✔ Accommodation booking
There are places you can book and cancel up to a particular date in Booking.com absolutely for free.
Photocopy of company ID
- ✔ Proof of leave approval
We don’t have any HRIS to log and track leaves at work so what I submitted was a simple e-mail approval.
All original documents have their corresponding photocopies but only that of the PSA birth certificate was received, making a total of nine requirements submitted. I may have been a bit of an overkill with the documents but screw it, I was too terrified of another rejection. After all, requirements can vary from one applicant to another and it never hurts to come with more than just your war paint.
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines
41F, Tower 1, RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Avenue, Makati City, 1200 Metro Manila
Filing time: 08:45–11:45
Processing in 3 working days for the amount of 2,400 peyses (they also expedite for only a day)
Releasing time: 13:45–16:30
Updated on March 3, 2017: I have disabled commenting for this post as I have replicated it in Itinerant.