Some Lessons about My Faith, I Learned through My Ex

Here’s another wordy and very personal post brought to you by none other than my Wordy and Worthy blog! I don’t expect everyone to understand where I’m coming from in this post, and that’s okay. So read at your own risk. Haha!

Warning: You’ll get tired of reading the word “realized” in this post! 😛

To start, I’ve been reading the blog of Ms. Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza (TeachWithJoy.com) for quite some time already, and I love the way she writes honestly about her struggles and victories as a follower of Jesus Christ in the areas of her marriage, parenting, etc. Ms. Joy and I may come from different Christian denominations (she’s Born Again affiliated with Christ’s Christian Fellowship or CCF; I’m Roman Catholic), but we’re both Jesus followers either way, and I can relate and learn from her posts.

Her posts may sometimes be “preachy” (just like me sometimes! haha), but I appreciate the purpose behind her writing: it’s to show everybody that being a follower of Christ doesn’t automatically make a person perfect. In fact, it’s because of our imperfections as humans that give us all the more reason why we should anchor ourselves in Christ. Being a follower of Christ is an everyday commitment, much like any other important thing in life. And being a follower of Christ is actually very hard (more attacks/temptations from the enemy, etc.), but very fulfilling and rewarding, too.

This wasn’t an easy post to write, so I’m warning you now. If you’re from my ex’s side of camp, there’s a big chance you’re going to hate me (if you don’t hate me yet! haha), but then again, I can’t just let my ex take all the blame on why our four-year relationship failed because it also takes two to tango to make a relationship work OR fail. So to my ex, congrats! I’m sure he said a lot of nasty things about me, and here I am supporting some of what I think he said about me to his side of camp when we broke up! Haha!

But you see, I realized that if I’m going to testify about Jesus‘ major role in my life, then I have to be as honest, raw, and transparent as much as possible, even if I have to expose my dark side. But that’s the thing about confessing sins. It’s done in order to be humbled and held accountable. In return, exposing the dark enables light to penetrate through.

MY FAITH JOURNEY

So, let’s talk about my faith first, then we can get to the part of my ex (which I know you’re all dying to read! tsk, tsk). 😛 My faith journey has been an on-going one since the time I was born. I was raised in a Roman Catholic household, studied in Catholic schools (from pre-school to even graduate school!), attended Mass on Sundays, etc. But I’ve to admit, I had weak faith all throughout then. “Weak” in the sense that I did religious things, but I didn’t really have a personal relationship with Jesus yet. I was lukewarm toward Him. 😦 But He never gave up on me. 🙂 I actually wrote a short piece about my faith journey in my first pure Filipino blog post, Babalik Ka Rin!

I guess the first call from God I could remember was when I started reading the Bible when I was in high school. But eventually, I stopped.

My second call was when I joined the youth group of the Light of Jesus (LOJ) community back in 2004. It was then called Youth Mission for Parishes and CommuniTies or YMPACT. The Feast — a Catholic prayer meeting headed by Bro. Bo Sanchez was even held at Camp Aguinaldo at that time. I became active in that group, attended prayer meetings every other Sunday and youth camps every summer. But I stopped again after 2007. I did attend several Kerygma Conferences in between, though. My ex and I even had our first official date as a couple at Kerygma Conference 2012! I can’t believe it now! Hahaha!

After that, my next call came after seven years. I was already a yuppie in Makati for five years then, but it was only in 2014 when I started attending Feast Makati.

Since then, I’ve been attending LOJ‘s The Feast. In the past year, I’ve been attending Feast Bay Area (FBA) more regularly. I even recently joined the Media Ministry as a writer for the afternoon sessions.

And then my last and final call from God to truly follow Him was in 2016: November 13, 2016 to be exact — the date when I broke up with my then-boyfriend of four years.

FROM BREAKUPS TO BREAKTHROUGHS

Yes, you’ve read that right. I was the one who broke up with my now ex. And that wasn’t even the first time.

The first time I tried to break up with him was in February 2013. We were together for only three months then. I was thinking that it’s better to break up as early as then than prolong the relationship. But after texting him (I know, lame way to do so!) that we’re over, he suddenly went to our house to try to make me undo the breakup. Which I did. But I was so wrong. I don’t know… I guess as early as then I already knew that there’s something off with our pairing, but my stubbornness made me hesitate to end it because I wanted to prove something. #LessonLearned

The second time I tried to break up with him was in December 2013. 10 months after my first real attempt. We were in a mall together and we fought about something. I said we were over. He still accompanied me home. But when we got home, I took back what I said. Again, I was so wrong.

The third time I tried to break up with him was in December 2014. A year after my second real attempt. Instead of hours, this lasted for around two days. Then after a phone call on the second day, we got back together. We were so wrong.

The fourth time I tried to break up with him was in February 2015. Just two months after our “longest” breakup then! We actually just came from a retreat, but I was so frustrated with him (like I said, I still had weak faith), I didn’t know how to address that frustration other than break up with him. I can’t really remember if I actually said that we’re over but I think I implied that when we boarded our bus (the retreat was in Tagaytay). When we got back to Makati, we ate dinner, talked, and agreed to stay together. Again, we were so wrong.

After that, things started going really downward spiral. In June 2015, just four months after again, he was the one who initiated a cool off. Within a week, we were “on” again.

And then in August 2015, we had our first legit breakup. He was the one who initiated it, and I remember that it was so painful on my part, I still consider that more painful than our final breakup. It lasted for a little over a week. And then you guessed it, we got back together.

His next attempt to break up with me was in May 2016. It was only overnight, and I was also so mad at him at that time I was actually glad he broke it off. But the following day, he apologized. It wasn’t a breakup after all.

After that, I believe we were on “autopilot” mode. I remember opening up to a friend as early as March 2016 that I wasn’t really sure about the relationship anymore. In August 2016, I struggled with my faith that I stopped going to Mass altogether for more than a month. My ex, being the agnostic that he was, of course couldn’t care less. I even attended a Christian group discussion in September 2016 and tried to heed advice from complete strangers about my sinking relationship. In October 2016, I decided I needed a retreat, so I signed up to a Catholic one that’d happen two months after in December. And in between those months, in November 2016, I broke up for the last time with my then-boyfriend at Hanoi International Airport when we were on our way back to Manila after our supposed “pre-anniversary” trip. Lakas maka-telenovela, ano? But I really didn’t plan that, you know?!

I’m not going to detail each and every breakup we had, but in general, our breakups were all results of our brokenness, confusions, doubts, emptiness, fears, immaturities, insecurities, naiveness, undecisiveness, unresolved issues, weaknesses, [insert negative word here], etc. But there was never a third party. At least on my part. I’ve had “hunches” about my ex having a third party on three out of eight of our breakups (and those were just the major ones!), but my verdict’s it was all in my head. There was a third party involved in our last breakup in the sense that my ex rebounded just two months after our final breakup, but when we had our closure in May 2017 (oh yes, I really pushed it!), he told me he dated that girl after a month when I broke up with him, and they got together in January 2017. He even said the girl was aware that he’s still in love with me when they got together (so weird!). He actually met that girl around September 2016 when he went to their province in Quezon, I even confronted him about it when we were still together, but he said it was nothing. After all, the girl’s still in college. So technically, they got together AFTER we broke up. So technically, he said he didn’t cheat on me. K. Whatever he said. Either way, I broke up with him not because of a third party. I broke up with him because of a lot of our issues. I broke up with him because of a lot of MY issues — which I’m trying to address now one at a time. 😉

So yes, you can say it was a dead-end and tiring relationship (gosh, I even got tired just recalling the events!). So I also can’t blame my ex if he wants a “chill-chill lang” (his exact words during our closure meeting, not mine) relationship at this time with the college girl.

But the rollercoaster ride doesn’t even stop there.

Since our previous breakups didn’t involve anyone else, I thought we could still get back together after November 2016 (even though with or without a third party, it was already obvious that a reconciliation was a wrong move again). I had a major case of the so-called “dumper’s remorse.” I only found out about the college girl in February 2017, so you can say that it was really stupid of me to still try to “bargain” with my ex from November 2016-February 2017. I even greeted him on Valentine’s Day — only because I didn’t know that he was already with the college girl then! So lame on my part! Haha! Since this is a “confession,” I won’t deny it to you that I allowed myself to step down on a few levels by sending messages to A LOT of people from my ex’s side of camp (including the college girl, when I found out!). If my ex’s way of coping was rebounding, mine was A LOT OF TALKING! So touche.

I’m not ashamed of all these things now because everything I did gave me the closure I wanted. If I didn’t send messages to the college girl, I don’t think my ex would still talk to me! But he did, and I got what I wanted in the end. If anything, I think my crazy antics even made me push my ex further away from me and closer to the college girl. So they better thank me! Wahahahaha! No, I just know that everything happens for a reason, crazy antics and all. Also, I just charge everything to experience. I still had the “first heartbreak card” then. But since I already used it, I don’t have any more excuse next time. LOL! Then again, each heartbreak is just one step closer to my TOTGA — not The One That Got Away, but The One That God Allowed!

FROM SHAMEFUL TO SHAMELESS

But seriously though, I’m not ashamed of these things now because I’ve already confessed all these to God and a priest through the Sacrament of Reconciliation — several times! I believe one of the things I won’t ever forget in my life was one confession when I asked the priest for my penance and his answer was, “I believe all the pain you’re experiencing is penance enough.” That really struck hard!

It was excruciatingly painful, alright. Why? Because I was also guilty of my faults and my conscience kept bothering me. Sure, there are worse sins out there committed by other people compared to my sins, but I still sinned. Period. It’s true that one of the hardest things you can do is to forgive yourself. And through God’s grace, I already have. 🙂

Looking back, when I was going through the stages of loss in random order, I thought I was fighting for love. Until a psychiatrist finally told me that no, I probably don’t love my ex anymore. I was just fighting for my very hurt ego. And I realized very late in the game, she was right. In fact, I think my ex and me had twisted definitions of love for our entire four years together. But I realized that it’s all because we couldn’t give what we didn’t have, so we both ran empty. That’s why now, I’m making sure to fill my love tank first through God’s love before I enter another relationship. I’m not in a hurry because I don’t want to repeat the same mistakes again when I know I’m still healing.

I’m writing all this not to shame my ex or anything (hello, you can clearly see that I also have my fair share of shameful moments!), but because I’m bothered by some people who just suddenly message me out of the blue with the hope of comforting me without even knowing the real story. They just assumed that it was all my ex’s fault just because that’s what happened to them, and they also can’t acknowledge their own shortcomings in the relationship. Please remember that we all have different love and breakup stories. Maybe I gave an impression that I was the victim and my ex was the bad guy, but as you can see now, we both were the victim and/or the bad guy at different points in our relationship. In fact, I believe we both “won” when we “lost” each other. God saved both of us from each other because we were just bringing out the worst in each other. My ex was far from perfect, but again, you clearly see that so was I. Still am. My close friends who I’ve opened up to know this, and I thank God for their non-judgmental attitude. They know that me and my ex are not bad people individually per se. We were just really bad for each other at the time being.

STOPPING THE HURTS

Now that I’ve mentioned about working on my own issues, we’re going back to my faith. Thanks to The Feast, I realized the truth behind hurt people, hurt people.

I realized that I was a very hurt person when I was still with my ex, hence I had the tendency to hurt others, too — unfortunately for my ex, it was him who got the most “hurts” from me because he was the closest to me. And I’m sorry. How did I hurt him? Well, he was the one who told me that words are both my blessing and curse. So go figure.

In order to stop that (and use my gift of words more as a blessing!), I first acknowledged my faults through some serious self-reflection because it’s through acknowledgment that change for the better begins. I also decided to kiss dating goodbye (for now) and really heal first. I realized my ex was just the tip of the iceberg. I found out that I had more emotional wounds in life all the way back from my childhood that I have to address before entering another romantic relationship. I even had the guts to talk to my biological father over dinner after not seeing him for years (but maybe that’s for another post altogether!).

OF HEALING AND THANK YOU’S

During the “dark ages” of my breakup, my prayer to God then was very specific: I didn’t want to simply move on (and then leave more unhealed wounds!). I specifically prayed that I wanted to LET GO, MOVE ON, and HEAL — in that order! And then one day just this month, I realized that He already answered all of those, and I’m now on the healing part. Looking back on how I started my faith journey, I realized how God never left me. I also realize now my ex’s purpose in my life: God used him so I can fully heal — as ironic as that may sound. God allowed me to be “broken” by my ex to expose more of my existing brokenness and enable Him to fill in those crumbling and empty spaces, so I can be whole again. But this time, anchored in Him. ❤

So I thank my ex for letting me go even when I stubbornly didn’t want to do the same to him when I was stilI not over the stages of loss. I can say that I really wish him well now.

And of course, I thank God for enabling me to see the good in all my bad experiences as mentioned in Romans 8:28 — my favorite Bible passage.

Since the breakup…

  • I learned how to be more selfless (as opposed to being selfish, such as clinging on to my ex, etc.). Because of my ex, I learned to pray for my “enemies.” Not just him, but now, when someone angers or wrongs me, I just pray for that person. And it’s true what Bro. Bo once said that praying for your enemies doesn’t just change your enemies’ lives, more importantly, it changes YOU!
  • I embarked on a fitness journey and lost around 30 lbs., and I’ve never been fitter and healthier in my life!
  • I traveled to six countries (five of which were in my dream continent — Europe!)
  • I acquired new skills like baking and cooking! Woohoo!
  • I reconnected with some significant people from my past. I also made A LOT of new friends along the way!
  • I now know the importance of and how to enjoy this “single” season in my life, that it involves pruning and waiting, so when I finally meet my future husband in God’s perfect time, I’ll already be at my best and not someone he still had to “endure” haha
  • Most importantly, I established a closer and deeper relationship with God. I’m now back to reading His Word every day, serving Him, etc. I’m even grateful and humbled to receive some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit — including the gift of praying in tongues! I’m so glad I heeded God’s call at a time I thought I wasn’t capable of answering. I still am a perfectly imperfect person, but God saw that I was becoming the exact opposite of how He intended me to be, so He stepped in and pruned me. The pruning wasn’t a walk in the park. It still isn’t because it’s still on-going. But I’m blessed that I have a support system who truly gets me and a God who never gives up on me! I love you, guys! I LOVE YOU, GOD!!!

If you’re reading this part, THANK YOU! That just means you’ve already reached the last part of this very wordy post. Haha!

At this stage, I can now proudly sing the words of T. Swift that me and my ex “are never ever, ever getting back together.” I’ve already accepted that. And I’ve even realized that it was really for the best. I guess my only regret is I wish we had known this as early as our first breakup in February 2013! But you know, everything — as in EVERYTHING, both the good and the bad — is in the past now. I can only do so much by extracting the lessons — hence, this blog post! Haha!

As I end this post, I hope and pray that those who are undergoing any heartbreak right now may also have the courage to KEEP MOVING FORWARD no matter how hard it is. I totally get you. Crawl if you must, but just “keep swimming,” as Dory in Finding Nemo put it. Hehe! Most importantly, KEEP THE FAITH! God wants to be with you at this very crucial time in your life more than anything and help you carry your burdens — but only if you allow Him to. 🙂 I’m also at your disposal if you need someone to talk to. Just send me a message, and you’ll know why I’m a self-proclaimed wordy lady! Madaldal talaga ako! Hahaha!

On the other hand, I can’t wait to meet my Tobias (for Bible readers, you know who I’m talking about!). And as it’s said in my prayer, may he be “a person with whom I can best cooperate in doing God’s Holy Will, with whom I can live in peace, love, and harmony in this life and attain eternal joy in the next.” After all, marriage (including sex!) was designed by God. Husbands and wives are given the task to outdo each other in helping each to reach sainthood. But first, I must go through my one-on-one training during this season in my life with the Master Himself, Jesus.

I wouldn’t have it any other way now. ❤

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
-Romans 8:28

7 Steps for a #GUAM-azing (and Affordable) Vacation!

This is a long overdue post, so forgive me! In fact, it’s so long overdue, it’s even 30 lbs. ago — at least for me! Haha! Yaasss, friends! Meet my tamsy version — a.k.a. nung ako’y isa pang matabang sexy! Wahahahaha! But now you know that even if a lot of changes have occurred in my life in the past year, one of the things that remains consistent is my quest for adventure! Traveling will always be something I’ll do as much as I can, and I don’t need to explain myself to anyone about that. If someone couldn’t accept that, then #kthxbye! I’d rather be in the company of people who respects and understands the value of traveling (and my other values) than be surrounded by negatrons! Okay, dami ko na namang sinabiKaya nga WORDY eh! Mwahahahahaha!

ANYWAY, let’s get down to business.

When I first found out that Philippine budget airline, Cebu Pacific Air (CebPac), would be flying to Guam, United States of America (USA), I won’t deny that I got really excited! Haha! And guess what? When CebPac released their promo fares for MNL-GUM and back, I didn’t think twice and immediately scored round-trip tickets for less than Php8,000 (or around US$150 only!). Of course I was confident with that because I already had a US visa prior to booking my plane tickets, but as a rule of thumb, it’s best to NOT purchase plane tickets if you don’t have any visa yet — and this applies to ALL countries that require Filipinos to have visas, not just the US.

Now that we’ve got that covered, here are some steps I suggest you do to make #GUAMazing not just a hashtag, but actually a reality! Hahaha! 😛


First, get a US visa.

Again, I’ll repeat, Guam is a territory of the USA. And for Filipinos, it’s not a surprise anymore that going to any US territory requires acquiring a US visa! So yes, if you want to go to Guam, you must first have a US visa — no exceptions! Please don’t believe any fake news concerning US visa applications. Trust me, if you don’t see it on any of the official pages/websites endorsed by the US Embassy, then it’s probably best to NOT treat any “news” as legit.

The complete step-by-step process on how to apply for a nonimmigrant tourist visa at US Embassy Manila can be found here! And NO, I WON’T ENTERTAIN FURTHER QUESTIONS CONCERNING US VISAS! My only answer would be, “GO TO THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE!” 😉

Second, book your flight/s.

As mentioned earlier, I booked via CebPac. I’m in no way affiliated with the aforementioned airline, but I really like flying CebPac despite its sometimes “infamous” reputation for delayed flights, etc. PEACE! Besides, it’s a Filipino-owned company, and I’m all for supporting Philippine businesses!!!

There are other airlines that fly to Guam, but of course that choice will be up to you already. I call this “different flights for different folks.” Basta, book your flight/s! Wahahahaha!


Third, stay at a budget hotel.

Since we’re talking about budget travel here, I’ll suggest staying at a three-star hotel or even a hostel. I haven’t tried couchsurfing or Airbnb-ing yet because I have trust issues (HA HA HA), so next to a luxury hotel, my fallback would be an affordable hotel!


My friends and I stayed at Oceanview Hotel and Residences (which is half-hotel, half condo! haha!), and I can say it wasn’t that bad. After all, we only used it to sleep, take a shower, the usual. And the shopping malls are just a stone’s throw away! Speaking of which…


Fourth, shop ’til you drop (or not!).

Guam is known as a shopping haven (or even heaven! haha) for shopaholics everywhere — whether you prefer designer brands or outlets! Of course if you’re on a budget, you’ll stick with the latter, and that’s what me and my friends did!

GPO was one of my favorite places when I was in Guam. I was able to buy a pair of brand-new Nine West boots for just a little over a thousand pesos! I was also able to score a Michael Kors sweater for less than a thousand pesos, too!!!

Before going to Guam, I was eyeing the Tory Burch fragrance for women but found it too expensive in Manila (around Php6,000 for a small bottle). When I went to Micronesia Mall in Guam, there was a Macy’s store, and you guessed it — I was able to buy the fragrance for a cheaper price!

one of the signs inside Micronesia Mall

one of the signs inside Micronesia Mall

This mall isn’t really for budget travelers (even if it’s supposed to be “duty free shopping”), but it was the closest to our hotel — and that’s where I was able to buy a Guam-exclusive Pandora charm! Heehee!

a Guam-exclusive Pandora charm with the traditional greeting "Hafa Adai!" (pronounced as "half a day")

a Guam-exclusive Pandora charm with the traditional greeting “Hafa Adai!” (pronounced as “half a day”)

Fifth, EAT.

Because CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM!!!

Because of the interiors (haha) and their platters (chicken, ribs, etc.)!!!

Because it’s a diner-style restaurant chain that’s not yet in the Philippines! HA HA HA

  • McDonald’s

Because of their McWrap! (That I wish will be available in Manila, too! huhu)

Sixth, explore…

If you were to choose only three destinations that could fit your limited itinerary, then I’d suggest you explore three out of the four following places:

It was raining when we went to the most popular tourist spot in Guam (hence the umbrella), but we still went because like I said, it’s a “must” when in Guam. Haha! There’s a legend behind Two Lovers Point (mala Romeo and Juliet ang peg!), and you can also have a great view of Guam’s waters (for a fee, though).


And yes, you won’t be able to miss these love locks, which have become a famous “tourist spot” in different parts of the world! ❤

  • Ritidian Beach

Next to El Nido, Palawan, Ritidian Beach probably has one of the clearest waters I’ve seen in my life so far!

Guam has a lot of World War II history, and this park is proof of that. There was an event when we visited, which explains the mini flags planted on the ground.

  • Chammoro Village

The Chammoro people are the natives of Guam, and visiting their village will give you a chance to learn about their culture and even buy some of their traditional products. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to visit it because of time constraints, but I heard that it’s an interesting thing to do when in Guam so I still included it here. Maybe I’ll visit it next time!

(Optional) Seventh, meet with and make new friends!

My travel buddies and I were fortunate enough to have some friends based in Guam, and this is the part where I’d like to express my gratitude to them for being amazing “hosts” while we were there!

To Kuya Nonie and Ate Nette, THANK YOU for bringing us to places in Guam that we wouldn’t have been able to go to if it weren’t for the two of you! Hanggang sa next #GUAMazing trip namin! Hehe!

To my long-time-no-see girl friend, Jian, kaloka! It took us almost half a decade to be reunited! And this post is so long overdue that you’re already based in Chicago, mainland USA! Hahaha! But yes, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to eat, drink, and be merry with me while in Guam! Alam naaa ‘pag nagpunta rin akong Chicago! Hahaha!

And after meeting with your long-time friends, you might even make a new one on the road! Jian and I were walking the streets of Guam when we met Alejandro! That “meeting” was a really funny story to tell, but then again, that’ll be just among us three. Haha! After all, one of the good things about traveling is the priceless memories you make, which no amount of money can ever buy. Pak! Ganern!!

with our new-found friend, Alejandro

with our new-found friend, Alejandro


Have you been to Guam?
Share your #GUAMazing story, too! 🙂

How to Apply for a Japan (Tourist) Visa in Manila

So you’ve watched (or at least heard of) the hit Filipino indie movie Kita Kita, and you can’t help but notice how picturesque their location is? Well, it’s no secret that the entire movie was shot on location in Sapporo, JAPAN! And guess what? Traveling to Japan isn’t that impossible now, thanks to airline promo fares and the Japanese government for granting Filipino citizens free tourist visas! Yes, you’ve read that right! FREE! As in GRATIS!! But… there’s a BUT!!! Haha!

This post will mostly focus on how to apply for a tourist visa to Japan when you’re in Manila, Philippines. And just like my other visa-related posts, I don’t know much anything about other types of visas because most of the time, when I apply for a visa, it’s because I’m going to that country as a TOURIST. So as early as now, if you have questions about other types of visas, I SUGGEST YOU CONTACT THE CONSULATE/EMBASSY DIRECTLY. Okay? Okay!

Based on my experience, here are the steps I did to acquire my Japan tourist visa:

FIRST, choose an accredited travel agency by the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines.

This is the “but” part I’ve mentioned earlier. Even if the Japanese government doesn’t collect any fees from tourist visa applications, you can apply for a tourist visa only to one of their accredited travel agencies! And lo and behold, of course these travel agencies charge fees to process tourist visa applications. It’s all up to you to choose the travel agency that’s most convenient for you because each agency has different prices.

The list of accredited travel agencies can be found here: http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_ja/00_000253.html

Personally, I chose RELI Tours & Travel agency because it was the most convenient for me at that time. For a Japan tourist visa (with no guarantor), they charge Php950 per application. My trip was in June 2017, but as early as April 2017, I already applied for a visa. I chose RELI because they have a branch at SM Mall of Asia (MOA), which means they’re open on weekends! They also accept walk-ins, and that’s what I did. I just made sure that I was at the mall when it opened, so I was the second in line when I went to RELI. Even before I entered RELI’s office, one of their representatives already pre-checked if I had the complete requirements, which brings us to…

SECOND, complete your documents.

The required documents are the following:

  • valid passport (for at least 6 months from date of travel to Japan)
  • application form printed on A4-sized paper — the Embassy’s strict with this size (you can download the form here or get from your preferred travel agency)
  • one 2×2 photo pasted on your application form (taken within the last six months, with white background)
  • original birth certificate (ONLY IF you’re a first-time applicant!)
  • original marriage certificate (ONLY IF applicable to you — well, it’s not applicable to me… at least not yet! HA HA HA)
  • daily schedule in Japan (you can download the form here)
  • original bank certificate
  • copy of Income Tax Return (ITR)
please excuse my "resting b*tch face" pose! LOL!

please excuse my “resting b*tch face” pose! LOL!

Other optional documents you may submit (just make sure you’re willing to give them away because the Embassy won’t return them anymore):

  • letter of intent (a.k.a. explanation why you want to go to Japan)
  • original Certificate of Employment (COE) or other proof of income
  • other proof/statements of your eligibility to travel/ties to the Philippines (e.g., investments, properties, stocks, etc.)

For RELI’s complete list of requirements for a tourist visa (with no guarantor), you can go here.

THIRD, pay for the non-refundable handling fee of the travel agency.

As mentioned, the fee will depend on your travel agency. RELI charged me Php950, which I paid in cash when I was at their MOA branch.

FOURTH, wait for your visa to be processed.

Once you submitted everything, the waiting game starts. After about a week, I received a text message from RELI informing me that I can already pick up my passport at their branch. They haven’t told me then whether or not I was granted a visa. When I arrived at their branch, that’s the only time they told me that I had the visa. YAY!

Something you should know about a Japan tourist visa: If it’s your first time to apply, the Embassy usually grants only a single-entry visa. If you want it to be a multiple-entry one, you may try to submit a letter of request (you can ask your travel agency for the correct format) OR just apply and apply for a visa (as in use it, go to Japan, back to Manila, go to Japan, back to Manila, and the cycle goes on! Haha!). Then again, you have to understand that the Embassy always, always has the last say when it comes to deciding whether a visa applicant will be granted a single entry or multiple one. K?!

FIFTH AND LAST (but definitely not the least), ENJOY YOUR #JAFUN TRIP!

I’ll write about my Tokyo trip SOON! Even before leaving Japan, I already promised myself that I’ll go back and include Osaka in my itinerary — and thanks to Kita Kita, I’mma include Sapporo, too, next time!!! 😉 Now, where’s my “Empoy,” huh?! Wahahahaha!

beside the statue of Hachiko at Shibuya station, Tokyo

beside the statue of Hachiko at Shibuya station, Tokyo

Have you tried applying for a Japan visa in Manila or elsewhere? How was it?
Let me know what you think! 🙂