DFA passport service moving to new location

Starting March 8, Filipinos applying for passports may do so at the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) Office of Consular Affairs at the corner of Bradco and Macapagal Avenues in the Aseana Business Park, near the Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

Authentication services will be transferred to the new building on March 4, while all passport operations will transferred there on March 8.

The new 7,000-square meter, four-storey building is a few blocks away from the DFA main building in Pasay City.

The new building is part of the ongoing modernization program undertaken by the government to improve its frontline services.

These include harnessing new technologies in passport and visa issuances and streamlined procedures in the authentication of documents.

To ensure quick service, the DFA said applicants should check the passport requirements and secure an online appointment at www.dfa.gov.ph, or call the consular helpline number (02-556-0000) or DFA trunk line (02-834-4000).

Applications may also be filed with the DFA’s 19 regional consular and satellite offices.

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March Festivals and Events

Parraw Regatta
Date: First Sunday of March Location: Iloilo City
An exciting race among native outriggers in the strait between Guimaras Island and Iloilo City. This is an activity every summer hedged with rules, umpires and kibitzers.

Eid-El-FITR Muslim Festival
Date: March 9 Location: Region XII
A worldwide Muslim festival celebrating the end of the month-long fasting period of the Holy Month of Ramadam by the Muslims.

Please let me know if I missed anything.

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Apo Reef Lighthouse / Apo Island Lighthouse

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Focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 10 s. 33.5 m (110 ft) white concrete tower with two galleries; no lantern. The building has an enclosed 2-story square base, an octagonal skeletal section topped by a gallery, and then a square cylindrical section topped by the octagonal second gallery. There are a number of lighthouses of this type in the Philippines, including the Lolong Point Light. Apo Reef is an atoll placed dangerously in the center of Mindoro Strait, the shipping route between the South China Sea and the central and southern Philippines. The atoll is preserved as the Apo Reef Natural Park. The original lighthouse here, built early in the U.S. administration (1906), was a hexagonal skeletal tower with central cylinder. Site open; visitors can climb the stairs to the top of the skeletal section.


Note: there is also an Apo Island lighthouse in Negros . Located on the atoll 40 km (25 mi) southwest of Sablayan. Accessible only by boat.

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17th Philippine Travel Tour Expo 2010

The year 2010 is expected to be a positive year for Philippine tourism. Needless to say, everyone is expected to pack their bags and travel.

The Philippine Travel Agencies and Association, in cooperation with the Department of Tourism and other travel tour operators and agencies, is staging the 17th Travel Tour Expo 2010 on Feb. 19 to 21, at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City, running on the theme “Ready, Jet-set, Go!”

The event is considered the biggest and grandest travel fair in the Philippines and everybody who is anybody in the industry is expected to join.

The 17th travel tour expo is expecting more visitors, participants, and not to mention, sales. Activities include raffle draws, entertainment and games, and presentations from exhibitors. Lastly,  great bargains and promotions that will entice even the most jaded traveler.

Date:

19 to 21 February 2010

Venue:

SMX Convention Center Halls 2, 3 & 4,

Seashell Drive,  Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City

Opening Hours:

19 February – Friday

10 AM – 9 PM

20 February – Saturday

10 AM – 9 PM

21 February – Sunday

10 AM – 7 PM

Ticket booths close 30 minutes before end of show hours

Accompanying Events:

Daily Raffle Draws, Entertainment & Games and Exhibitors’ Presentations & more surprises

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Mount Samat

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Mount Samat is a mountain in the Town of Pilar, Province of Bataan, Republic of the Philippines that is the site of the Dambana ng Kagitingan or “Shrine of Valor”.

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Along with the island fortress of Corregidor, Mount Samat was the site of the most vicious battle against the Japanese Imperial Army in 1942 during the Battle of Bataan.

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Suffering heavy losses against the Japanese all over Luzon, Filipino and American soldiers retreated to Bataan Peninsula to regroup for a last valiant but futile stand. This retreat to Bataan is part of a United States strategy known as War Plan Orange.

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After fierce battle lasting 3 days, 78,000 exhausted, sick and starving men under Major General Edward P. King surrendered to the Japanese on April 9, 1942. It was, and still is, the single largest surrender of U.S. and Philippine Forces ever. These forces were then led on the Bataan Death March.

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The mountain is now a war memorial. A huge white cross stands as a mute but eloquent reminder of the men who died there. The Memorial Cross is a towering structure made of concrete, steel and marble. It is 92 meters high and the arms’ length is 15 meter on each side. It is 555 meters above sea level. An elevator goes up to the arms of the cross where the viewing galleries are found. The exterior finish of the cross at the base up to an 11-meter level is capped with “Nabiag Nga Bato” sculptural bas relief’s depicting significant battles and historical events. It also acts as a tourist attraction with a war museum nearby that has a wide array of displays from paintings of the Philippine heroes to armaments used by the American, Filipino and Japanese forces during the heat of the battle.

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