How to apply for a Schengen Visa

Everything about application for a Schengen Visa at the French Embassy in Manila can be found here.

Now, make sure that all these documents are in order (organize them according to the sequence in their requirements list).

Make sure EVERYTHING has a copy.   Even your passport pages with stamps.  It wasn’t on their list so I didn’t have these prepared, but they still asked for it.  So I still had to go down and photocopy it and waste time 😦   Have the set of originals separated from the set of photocopies.  They’ll be getting the photocopies.

Also remember, time is gold, so answer in a concise manner. Straight to the point.  Don’t go on giving information that they’re not asking.

 

Just to share with you my experience, here’s how it went:

EDSA traffic in the morning.
EDSA traffic in the morning.

My appointment was set at 8am.  I was told to be there 30mins early.  You’ll be asked by the guard at the lobby entrance to go to basement 1 to sign in and fill out a slip.   By 745am you’d be asked to line up, submit the white form and surrender an ID to get a guest pass.

B2

I was a bit early so after signing up at B1 I waited in Starbucks on the ground floor.
I was a bit early so after signing up at B1 I waited in Starbucks on the ground floor.
You will then be asked to go to the 16th floor.  I was the 9th person to sign in but when we got to the 16th flr they’d call your name to line up according to their own list for the 8am interviewees.  Thank God I was #3!
We went through security and deposited our celphones.  Don’t worry they’ll give you a pink stub to claim it.  Just make sure you don’t lose it coz they’ll surrender the phone to anyone who gives them the stub.
16th floor. French Embassy entrance.  This is where you'll line up & be given a # stub.
16th floor. French Embassy entrance. This is where you’ll line up & be given a # stub
8am we were inside seated waiting for our numbers to be called in window 1.  By 815am they called my number.  The woman in window 1 asked for my docs and I gave the originals.  She went through them and asked Who i’ll be going with and purpose of travel.   Then she asked in a certain tone why I was applying there.  I said coz it was my point of entry.  She then said “NO you don’t go here, you apply where you’ll be staying the longest (referring to the 2nd leg of the trip)”.  I read the requirements and procedures prior to applying at that French embassy and I was certain I din’t make a mistake.  So I said with conviction “No. I’m staying the same amount of days in both places.”  Then she looks at my docs again and says “oh ok I thought… (she recounts the days on my itinerary with her fingers)…alright”.  She then asks me to pay 3,260Php.  Imagine if I had listened to her and just nodded and left I’d be going home empty handed, wasting time, money, and precious sleep.  Anyway, she got my payment and asked to be seated to wait for my name to be called.
By 830am my name was called at window 3.  Another Filipina was there to get my photocopied set of documents.  I had fingers scanned and picture taken right there.  She then goes through my docs and asks me to tell her about my business.  I answered her in a short and precise manner.  She asked who I’d be going with and asked if they were US/Canadian citizens then asked if we had family in Europe.  She was about to ask if I had visas then she sees the photocopy of my U.S and Canadian visas.  Then she makes me photocopy the pages of my passport with stamps.  I go to B1 and photocopy then back up to the same girl to give it to her.  She then gives me a white slip to pick up the passport.   9am I headed back home…so I thought.  But  upon getting to Guadalupe, I looked into my envelope of docs and guess what I saw…MY PASSPORT!  Holy Crap!  The girl didn’t ask for it and just asked for the photocopies!
Oh well...
Oh well…
So long for having a short trip!  It was a bit traffic already but had no choice but to go back.  I got there by 945am and waited till she was done with the current applicant and went to her window.  I showed my passport and said “you forgot to get it” (of course with a smile), and she says “that’s right, thank you”.  10am I headed back home.  Good thing it only took me 10min. to get home just in time to take the kids to school.
This is how the Schengen Visa looks.
This is how the Schengen Visa looks.

Btw, you can’t just go to any European embassy to apply for a Schengen Visa.  If you’re going to multiple destinations, go to the embassy of the country you’d be staying the longest.

Well that’s my little experience.  Hope it helps anyone who’d be going to the French embassy soon 🙂

 

Eat Fresh

The other night we discovered this place near Wilson.  It’s an “eatery” or very very simple restaurant.  It’s air-conditioned but it has a mini take out counter in front for those who just want to buy the food and go.  This restaurant is Eat Fresh.  It’s like a small Hong Kong style restaurant found in small streets.

Here's what we ate:  Laksa, squid balls, Taosi spareribs, and other stuff on a stick :-)
Here’s what we ate: Laksa, squid balls, lobster cheese balls, Taosi spareribs, and isaw (which wasn’t what I expected)  
Here's how the place looks like.  Just small but if you're not picky, you'd come back here :-)
Here’s how the place looks like. Just small but if you’re not picky, you’d come back here 🙂
Menu
Menu
BAck of the menu
BAck of the menu..they have other branches too!

 

The food was surprisingly good.  I wasn’t able to use their restroom so I can’t comment on that.  Parking is a bit hard but we were able to park on the side of the street.

We’d go back for a quick bite again 🙂

 

 

Mommy Duties: Re-visit your kids’ toys

Being a mom, I always want to maximize the use of all of my kids’ toys/stuff.  One day, I noticed that their doll houses weren’t played with as much coz they were tucked away inside the cabinet.  These were toys they were really so excited to have.  They’d go to the toy store and just go to the aisle of Barbie and look at them and say “Hi”.  For some reason, the nannies would bring it out when the kids remember, then pack it away when they were done. One day it was really way inside the cabinet not being played with at all.

So I decided to bring all of them out and display them in their room so that they can play with it anytime.

I got big cardboard boxes and covered them with cloth.  Put it on top of plastic shelves and it served as the platform for the barbie houses and accessories.  It turned out pretty nice.  I put some of their barbie dolls out so that they could rotate their dolls.

2 Barbie houses, car, pool, tub, etc.  It seemed like a small compound :-)
2 Barbie houses, car, pool, tub, etc. It seemed like a small compound 🙂

At least now, they’re able to play with these more often.

Maybe it’s time for you to also check your kids’ toys.  There might be some that were kept and forgotten about 🙂

 

My next project, their countless books!  Goodluck to me 🙂