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trip to Hong Kong and passport for Filipina


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Have booked on Agoda before and turned out ok. Might get a cheaper deal though if you just do a walk in. Later, SB

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Regardless of how you feel about Disneyland, your girl will love it (provided you don't ruin it for her by bitching the whole time you are there). I'm guessing that when you went to Disney World when

I have seen promos like the one Davaoeno linked before, on the web and in travel agents, the price seemed to me, to be plenty cheaper than you can get if you organized everything yourself. Like I said

getting a passport here in Davao, including an agency rush fee was 1800 pesos. It took 15 days. There is a list of required docs- birth cert, baptismal cert, possibly NBI clearance but possibly not

That time of year is off peak so you may get some good deals. Suggest you take some time on the net and am sure you will get some good deals

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Monsoon

I was interested in this tread.

Was hoping on a trip to Hong Kong for my family.

I think our passport thing and all is cool.

Wondered more about if the hotel info sites like Agoda and all is real?

Was looking at Jan or Feb of 2013.

Any current help?

Or should I try to start my own thread?

Trying to learn my way around here.

 

We love HK and typically go there 3 or 4 times a year. Its a great city where everything works. I think someone already mentioned the MTR, you can't beat that as far as getting around town. Agoda is reliable and typically pretty close to the cheapest you'll pay. But depends on the country and actual hotel. For example, I find in the Philippines most hotels will not give you a better rate by just turning up. I have made countless agoda bookings standing in the lobby of a hotel after trying to understand their logic of not at least matching the agoda rate since they have to pay commission to agoda and agoda pays them on their terms. Remember Agoda adds taxes to the price they list, you will see that when you proceed to booking.

 

I usually use Agoda as a barometer of what I should pay and then check out the hotel's web site directly. Often times in HK it will be cheaper to go direct. Hotels really depend on what your budget is and what your looking to do while there. If you want nightlife stay in or near Wan Chai. Hotels in Central tend to be highest priced. Personally I hate the Nathan Rd area, but there are some budget accomodations in the Chung King Mansions. Don't expect luxury or a window there and you will be surrounded by the dregs of HK society (annoying non Chinese people like Indians and Pakistanis trying to sell anything from copy watches to hashish). Also you get the feeling walking around the place that, "This is where SARS started".

 

You can find other less expensive accomodations outside of the popular areas but you'll be commutting a bit to the hot spots of the city. If you stay within a decent walk of any MTR station, you can get anywhere in the city easily. I've been so many times that now I am trying to stay in a different part each time I go to get a better feel for that part of HK. One trick I've learned for longer stays in HK (1 week or more) is to go with a serviced apartment. There are a few of them that are really great, will accept people for shorter terms and for the money you will get a room up to twice as big as you would in a luxury hotel for the same or less money. They usually require a deposit , but it is always returned.

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jusjoseph

Nice report, where are these serviced apartments advertised?

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Monsoon

Nice report, where are these serviced apartments advertised?

 

I have stayed at Yin serviced apartments www.xin.com.hk a few times. They have two locations. One in central (called Yin) and one off of TST called Yi. The TST location is a bit cheaper than the central one. Both very nice. Living area, kitchen, dining table, nice bathrooms and comfy beds. It used to be kind of a secret that they leased for less than one month intervals because there was some kind of pressure from the hotel regulators or something that prevented them from doing so without paying for a hotel license. But they seem to be openly advertising it now so either they got their license or HK relaxed its regulations.

 

You might try searching for Hong Kong serviced apartment to find some others and contact them asking if they accept short term.

 

Another HK "secret" is - if you want to stay in Central on a budget, you can try a hotel called 'Mingle at Eden' which is basically a short time love hotel used by HK residents. Its nothing like a short time hotel you see in the Philippines. And you wouldn't know it was that unless you were a local. Its very clean. The walls are kind of thin though and the rooms are small, but much cheaper than anything else in that area of Central.

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Monsoon

My wife just went and got CFO recently.

No big deal.

We were lead to believe that anyone wanting to travel outside the PI needed it.

Apparently new directives from Pnoy.

She was told even our kids, 11 and 14 years old needed CFO.

Hardly any mention of it here though? :idontknow:

 

This CFO thing is really idiotic. I cant imagine its a requirement for all because my wife has flown many times without it. Both with me and without me, also without her married name on her passport. The whole thing is designed for emmigrating to another country with a foreign spouse. In fact, they prioritize those with a visa. And they can't get the sticker in their passport without first having a visa to go to the country named on their CFO paper. My wife did hers so she could change her name on her passport. It was good to get it out of the way since the paper itself is supposedly good for life. But the process is not complete until she gets a visa to the US, then and only then can she get this silly sticker in her passport.

 

Theres a lot of redundancy IMO. There is supposedly some seminar to attend before you get married (I never went so I don't know anything about it), and then the CFO is required just to legally change your name on your passport, and then they are checking this CFO again at immigration.

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This CFO thing is really idiotic. I cant imagine its a requirement for all because my wife has flown many times without it. Both with me and without me, also without her married name on her passport. The whole thing is designed for emmigrating to another country with a foreign spouse. In fact, they prioritize those with a visa. And they can't get the sticker in their passport without first having a visa to go to the country named on their CFO paper. My wife did hers so she could change her name on her passport. It was good to get it out of the way since the paper itself is supposedly good for life. But the process is not complete until she gets a visa to the US, then and only then can she get this silly sticker in her passport.

 

Theres a lot of redundancy IMO. There is supposedly some seminar to attend before you get married (I never went so I don't know anything about it), and then the CFO is required just to legally change your name on your passport, and then they are checking this CFO again at immigration.

Yes that is one of the most wasted 6 hours I've ever spent in my life!

CENOMAR.

Can't really say what was happening. All the pinoys slept, wasn't in English (no I don't speak Tagolog).

I think I could have gone downstairs and drank horse in the market.

I don't know what it was about? :crazy:

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we went to CFO 3 weeks ago because of name change in the passport for marriage purposes etc. CFO IS NOT required for tourists but abusive BID officers especially at Clark demanded it before clearance and some are still doing so. There was a gaggle of ladies at the CFO who had been turned away from a vacation trip with demands to get a CFO.

 

Sad to say its all about the money for some in the BID, inspite of the house cleaning that is going on under Davide and Ledesma, still work in progress

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jusjoseph

Thanks for the heads up Spooks. The next time my gf and I travel out of country, I will print the entrance requirements of the destination and the listed requirements for a CFO and just carry it with our passports.

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I think you mean pre-marriage seminar? Cenomar is census of marriage which the wife needs to get from NSO.....

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Thanks for the heads up Spooks. The next time my gf and I travel out of country, I will print the entrance requirements of the destination and the listed requirements for a CFO and just carry it with our passports.

Then you will be accused of disrespecting the authority of the BID and held for questioning until the flight has departed. Then you will be cleared to travel. You may win a battle but you will lose the war. The BID are entitled to question and if it means you lose your flight its tough, no come back as they were doing their jobs, no matter how badly!!

 

The whole thing is a fund raising sham. the most at risk if the letter of policy is to be followed are those Pinays married to a foreigner as they can be off loaded as they are specifically to be rescued from the evil nasty foreigner who may be taking her, their kids on a weeks vacation,disgusting, disgraceful, how dare they have fun etc. yet a single pinay travelling alone on a tourist visa is NOT included in the CFO watch list. Even pinays who travel on business can be accused of trying to emigrate and be turned away.

 

I asked my wife what key learning point did she take away from her 3 hour seminar. She thought about it and said "luggage limits" I think when we travel next her heart is already set on shopping....BIG shopping!! That air line policy is covered in such a seminar is nuts, it is already covered when you book!! you pay for it at booking time!!

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jusjoseph

I have been looking into this on http://www.cfo.gov.ph/ I guess we have been lucky leaving on international flights out of Cebu. It specifically says partners of foriegn nationals, not just OFW's or spouses. Some interesting comments here from the DOT spokesman. http://www.sunstar.com.ph/pampanga/local-news/2012/05/01/offloading-clark-due-human-trafficking-law-219185 Here is an excerpt.

 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

CLARK FREEPORT --- “The basis for this procedure (offloading) is the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Law of 2003 and protection against human rights violations.”

This was stated by Ronnie Tiotuico, Department of Tourism (DOT) Central Luzon director, who is referring to several cases of passenger offloading at the Clark International Airport.

“A mere possession of a valid passport and/or visa is not an absolute assurance of leaving the country,” Tiotuico said.

In many cases, passengers are refused departure at the Clark airport due to the following reasons -- lack of pre-departure clearance from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) for spouses, fiancé(e)s or partners of foreign nationals, or absence of evidence of financial capacity to travel for tourists on temporary visas, according to him.

Spouses of foreigners must attend CFO guidance and counseling seminar, get a certificate of attendance and CFO sticker prior to departure, he said.

“Lacking in these requirements means absolute denial by the immigration officer,” Tiotuico said.

 

So pretty much to what the BID officer says at the gate. Has anyone been to the CFO office in Cebu city?

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I think the part that surprised me about that article was the involvement of the Dept of Tourism!! This is an immigration emigration question unless the DOT have responsibility for outward bound tourism etc by their own nationals, very bizar if they have!!

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Jusjoseph i recently posted my wifes experience at CFO cebu...its somewhere in passport archives...

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Monsoon

The whole premise of the CFO as it pertains to spouses of foreign nationals is applys to the time when the Filipino is EMMIGRATING to the country of their foreign spouse. It doesn't apply to leisure or business travel. If the BID is using this as an excuse for say an American National and his Filipina spouse boarding a flight to Malaysia its preposterous. And also impossible to ever comply with since the CFO document itself says, "Valid for Travel to (insert country of foreign spouse here"

 

So if a FIlipina is married to an American she couldn't ever get onesaying "Valid for Travel to Malaysia". (Without annuling her marriage and marrying a malaysian, or getting a work contract under a POEA licensed agency to work in Malaysia). Anyway, I hope they sort it out. Requirements are requirements, but when they mis use them it makes an already annoying system almost unbearable.

 

Luckily we've never had a problem.

 

One thing I'm thinking of getting for my wife is an APEC travel card because we do a lot of travel in the region and I don't want to blow my top if she ever gets denied boarding when travelling alone to meet me somewhere. It also has advantages for entry into ASEAN countries. Although, she's never had a single problem except the first time in HK that I already mentioned. And even then its a minor problem since she always travels with cash and has multiple credit cards.

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