Thursday, October 25, 2012

NSO Birth Certificate, Anyone?

e-Census - National Statistics Office | Philippines
A copy of an NSO birth certificate is vital to anyone applying for a passport, getting married or other official documents which may
require an NSO copy of this important document.

There are two ways of getting an NSO birth certificate (marriage certificate, certificate of no marriage [CENOMAR] or death certificate for that matter. One is going to an NSO Serbilis Center or applying online at e-census.

Go to an NSO Serbilis Center if you want your document within 1 to 2 working days. For online application, you get it between 3 to 9 working days after payment, depending on whether you live in Metro Manila or in the provinces.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How to Save When Buying a Universal Studios Singapore Pass

Since we are planning to visit the Universal Studios Singapore (USS) when we visit Singapore next month, I was trying to look for a way to get a discounted ticket. That's when I found in the Resorts World Singapore website that I can get a discount if I use my MasterCard/ The regular one-day peak pass costs S$74 and $54 for adult and kids, respectively. By using the MasterCard, you can buy the same pass at S60 and $45 each.
The USS one-day Pass comes with a free entrance to the Maritime Experiential Museum. I don't know how much the entrance fee to the Museum is but just the USS pass, you easily get about 20% discount.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Canberra: Australian Capital Territory

June 25 - 26, 2005

Since Canberra was within the area covered by our train pass (via a bus), we decided to include it in our itinerary. Again, a former classmate offered their abode for our 2-night stay there. However, the planned bus trip from Sydney to Canberra did not materialize. Instead, my ex-classmate in Sydney offered to drive us to Canberra to also meet our classmate there. Apparently, they have no idea of each other's presence in Australia.

When we got to my friend's home in Canberra, we were showed to our room. After a few niceties, he invited us to have lunch at a Chinese restaurant.
After lunch, we went to the Federal Parliament Building. Being a weekend and no sessions were held, we were free to roam around the complex.

Side trip to Sydney

June 24, 2005

We took a lot of detours before we got to our final destination: Melbourne. Since we have two weeks to complete our travel to return to Brisbane, we decided to make stopovers, 2 nights in Sydney and 2 nights in Canberra.

With our first full day spent in the Blue Mountains, we decided to use the free day trip ticket that came with the train pass. The ticket gave us full access to buses, trains and ferry within the Sydney area. Without any actual plans of what to see, off we went to explore Sydney. All we really wanted to see were the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and the QVB. How to get there, we have no idea. 

The train system was quite extensive and all you need to know is where to get off to reach your destination. Very early in the morning, we took the train going to the Circular Quay train station to catch a ferry going to Harbour Bridge. I just can't remember why we picked the place. Anyway, that's what we did and from there took a ferry bound for Darling Harbour. We spent almost half a day exploring the place.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day Trip to the Blue Mountains

June 23, 2005

Going to the Blue Mountains on our way to Melbourne was not in our original plan in 2005. However, when we bought the Backtracker travel pass, which gave us two-weeks train pass from Brisbane to Melbourne, it came with a free return ticket to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. Since its free, we included it as a day trip.

Fortunately, a high school classmate of mine offered their home for us to stay during our 2 night stopover in Sydney. So, when our train from Brisbane arrived in Hornsby, my classmate picked us up at the station and brought us to their place. We had breakfast with his family and right after got a lift from his wife who was on her way to work and uses the train going to the Sydney CBD.

We took a train going to the Sydney Central Station where we were to catch another train going to Katoomba. We heard earlier that it snowed their the night before, so were so excited to go there. This would be our first time to see real snow.
 Upon arrival in Katoomba, we bought our tickets to a hop on - hop off bus where it passes through places of interest both in the towns of Katoomba and Leura. It's a double-decker bus where the bus driver also acts as a tour guide as he keeps the passengers informed of what we are seeing at any given moment via his public address system.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Theme Parks in Gold Coast, Australia

Studying in Australia for 1 1/2 years from 2005 to 2006 gave my family and me a lot of weekends to explore Brisbane as well as the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. 

Travelling by public transport and going to theme parks is not a problem as you can plan your journey by simply logging on to Translink, a website which gives you the schedule and what buses/trains/ferry to take and where to take it. 

Fortunately for us, since I was a student then I got a concession fare with a 50% discount, my daughter rides for free as she was less than 6 years old then. It's only my wife who pays full fare.

It takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours one way to get to the theme parks in Gold Coast, so a day trip there coming from Brisbane is possible. We usually wait for discount vouchers found at the back of grocery receipts to save some from the entrance fees.

It was only through browsing my multiply account that reminded me to post these photos. Multipy by the way will no longer be supporting the photo sharing by the end of the year but will focus instead on e-commerce or something to that effect


This has the fastest and wildest rides among the three parks. Unfortunately, most of them cannot be ridden yet by Angel at the time because she was too young.

This is also the place where the Australian Big Brother is being shot.
watching a show of sponge bob and friends
the claw

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Lunch at Home on a Lazy Sunday Afternoon

When not on travel, Sundays are usually spent at home to laze around since the following day is the start of a new work and school week.

Having done our grocery and attended an anticipated mass the day before, that's what we did. We slept late and woke up late. Aside from a cleaning lady who visits us twice a week to also cook for us, the food preparation is left to my wife for the rest of the week.

Since we had some left over food from the previous week, we decided to eat pangat (or pangatlong init or third time to reheat the food, ha ha ha). We are a green family after all. We reduce, reuse and reheat, he he he
Raiding our ref, we saw the pack of spicy bangus (milkfish) bought the previous week and which my wife wanted to eat ever since we bought it. However, since we always get home late, she was unable to have what she wanted. Now was the day where she had a lot of time. And that's what she did. It was not as spicy as we would have wanted. Also, we later found out that it was not boneless.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Don't Worry, Be Happy: It's World Smile Day!

This Friday, 5 October 2012, we celebrate World Smile Day.
It was Hervey Ball, a commercial artist from Worcester, Massachussetts, who created the smiley face in 1963. He was hired by the State Mutual Life Assurance Company from his hometown to create a happy face to raise the morale of the its employees. He drew a face with a bright yellow background, dark oval eyes, full smile and creases at the sides of the mouth. The happy face was done in 10 minutes and Hervey Ball was paid $45 for the creation.
However, Hervey noticed that, through the years, the symbol he created beceme over-commercialized, and that its original meaning and intent got lost. Because of this concern, he conceived the idea of a "World Smile Day", so that at least one day each year everyone could devote it to smiles and kind acts throughout the world. He declared the first Friday in October each year as the "World Smile Day" which began in 1999.