Ben Alagnam - MeMovingToCanada

Search This Blog

Showing posts with label To Singapore. Show all posts
Showing posts with label To Singapore. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What to Prepare Before Going to Singapore (Part 2)

This post is the continuation of the What to Prepare...Part 1.

What Documents to Prepare?
Looking for a job in Singapore needs documents.  The Employer and MOM wants to see the copy and should be supported with the originals.  Of course, they don't know if it's fake or real, but they (MOM or Employer) will investigate it further...Fans of Recto, better watch out!

Before anything else, make sure that all your documents are complete, such as:
  1 pc   - Airplane ticket (with return ticket)
  1 pc   - Invitation Letter / Hotel Booking
  2 pcs  - Identity Card (Driver's License or any valid IDs)
  1 pc   - International Driver's Permit (if you want to drive in Singapore)
  1 pc.  - Passport (latest or at least have 6 months validity)
  1 pc   - EPEC (Employment Pass Eligibility Certificate) Certificate Original
24 pcs. - Photos (passport size with white background)
  1 pc.  - Transcript of Record
  1 pc.  - Degree/Diploma Certificate Original
  1 pc.  - Marriage Certificate
  1 pc.  - Birth Certificate
10 pcs. - Curriculum Vitae (CV) / Resume
* If you have questions, please leave your comment below...

Don't do the hassles of photocopying here in Singapore.  I remembered the price per copy was S$0.20 (P6.80).  Better photocopy all your documents in your country or wherever the cost is lesser.

Things to Bring Before Going to Singapore
After gathering the documents above, you have to prepare your things and start packing below.

  1 pc.  - Laptop with Wifi (for job-hunting), just buy the adaptor here.
  1 pc.  - Cellphone (that can work for International networks)
  1 pc   - USB (storing your CV/Resume)
  1 pc.  - Notepad (for listing schedules of interviews and details)
  1 pc.  - pair of slippers / flipflop (buying food at nearby supermarkets)
  1 pc.  - rubber shoes (walking and walking and walking)
  1 pc.  - leather shoes ( for interview)
  1 pc.  - sunglasses
  1 pc.  - small umbrella 
  7 pcs.- socks
  7 pcs. - underwears (I need to case you forget!haha)
  7 pcs. - t-shirts (for travelling)
  2 set. - sleeping attire
  1 pc.  - towel
  2 pcs. - Shorts
  2 pcs. - Maong pants (Jeans)
  2 pcs. - Formal pants (business attire)
  2 pcs. - Long sleeves (1st & 2nd interview, signing of contract)
  1pc.   - soap
  2pcs.  - deodorants
  1 pc   - hair gel (for untouchable hair)
12pcs.  - shampoo in sachet
  1 pc.  - toothbrush (fresh breath during interviews)
  1 lot   - MONEY (refer to Part 1 of this post)
I have given you the long list, it really depends on what you want to bring. These, for me, are the essential things to bring or I may say it as the optimum gadgets.  This serves as your guide to help you prepare yourself on your quest to Singapore.

* If you have questions, please leave your comment below...
Other post:

Saturday, April 23, 2011

What to Prepare Before Going to Singapore (Part 1)

When my EPEC was approved, I was too excited to buy a ticket for Singapore.  I'm so ready to go...

But then, I realized, my world out there is different. I need to prepare everything. How lucky I was to have a friend that will guide me on every details that I need to ask.  What if I don't have one?

The place is new to me, I only knew how it looks from the pictures that I have seen in the internet and the feedback I get from my relatives, who went there as tourists.

Here are some few tips that I would like to share to you on how and what to prepare before going to Singapore to work.

How to Prepare Before Going to Singapore?
Remember that you are in Singapore.  This is not your country and anyone is a stranger.  Even if they say that Singapore is Safe, remember "Less Crime Does Not Mean No Crime!".

I know that each one of us has his own belief. Someone to lean on to in case of danger and depression.  Whatever your Religion may be, always remember to pray. As a Roman Catholic, I always pray to God and believe that He's always there for me to guide me and help me in my Singapore journey.

Ask yourself, "Am I ready to leave my country, mother, father, wife, son, daughter, brother, sister and everyone?"  This is the difficult part where your heart is the target.

You can hit me at my face and can even kick me, it does not hurt me at all...BUT this part hurts me the most.

I took my wife and my son to dinner and malling once a week to have the best bonding moments with them as I could. Before bedtime, I always looked at my cute son and my beautiful wife while they are sleeping. For I know that next few weeks and months, I will not be beside them.  Waking up early at 4am and thinking of the next situation again and again became normal to me.  I always imagine myself sleeping and waking up without them...this gives me tears.

Prepare to be in this situation. The tears will be there always...but you can still fight for it.

Money is everything...This, for me, is applicable in Singapore.  You can not eat, live and travel if you don't have money.  The worst nightmare your friends may encounter is YOU borrowing them money.  Your friends are just here to guide you, but they are not your Bank.

Remember that you came here to solve your problem and not adding problem to someone else. Prepare your money before going here.  Below is some computations that might be helpful. This is for a 2-month budget.

Room Sharing Rental: S$300 x 2 mths  = S$600 (you can find below S$300 much better)
Public Utility (water, gas, electricity)      = S$  60 (depends on your flat-mates usage)
Food:  S$7.50 x 30 days x 2 mths         = S$450 (eat at Hawkers, bring your own water)
Travel: S$3.00 x 30 days x 2 mths         = S$180 (going for interview, job hunt, recreation)
Communication: S$20 x 2 mnths            = S$  40 (buy your SIM here)

I came here bringing P80,000 (S$2,350) for my survival and never borrowed money from a friend.  One friend help me by letting me share his room for a month...See how lucky and blessed I am?

*if you have a question or clarification, please leave your comment below
Other Post:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How to Activate EPEC to Long Term Visit Pass

NOTE: As of December 01, 2011, EPEC Scheme is discontinued by MOM...Read More.

As soon as you have the Employment Pass Eligibility Certificate (EPEC). You can now apply for a Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP), given that you have entered Singapore with a valid Visa and stayed minimum of 10 days.

I wasn't able to activate my EPEC or apply for a LTVP because I was lucky to get a job in 4 days.  My employer applied the Employment Pass for me.  So, I am still holding my EPEC copy until now.

Since my reader, Mark, asked me on how to apply for the LTVP, I have done few research on this and was lucky enough to have the links.

How To Apply for a LTVP?
This is also known as "Converting EPEC to a Long Term Visit Pass", in forums.  You can click the link below for the detailed procedures:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Why I Chose Singapore to Work?

What happened on my fate in the UAE have left me a scar on my confidence.  But then, I started to look for another option.  I thought and tried to apply for an Agency to work to Canada, but no one replied to me.  I even sent my resume to an Agency for Saudi, but they did not even called me even once.

What was wrong with me?  What's wrong with my credentials and experience?  Are these all are just a scrap?  Too many questions which I dug on my broken soul.

Then, I realized that I have this option C, going to Singapore as a tourist and look for a job.  I have tried it once in UAE, so I think I can do it the second time. A gamble or risk that I have to take one more time.  It involves a lot of money though, for me.  But what if I was right?

So, as soon as I got my EPEC, I started to make a plan.  No turning back and making big mistake is not an option.  Then the day of my flight came, I was still very nervous to go to a strange place.  I heard some views about Singapore and they said that it is a nice place.  There was no Ben Alagnam back then...:)

Choosing Singapore
I arrived in Singapore, and my first word in my mouth says, WOW!  I never had a chance to see such a Philippine-like place, but a clean and organized environment.  Almost everything for me are awesome!

I told to admiration of Singapore is just temporary, I will get used to it as time goes by.  But then, I have stayed for more months and I still see Singapore as a nice place.  So I listed down what I like with this place...

1. Singapore has no Earthquake, Storm, Typhoon, it.
2. The climate is like Philippines during February, whole year round.
3. Low racial discrimination. I haven't experienced once, or am I just ignoring it?
4. RESPECT, everyone respects other culture, tradition.  No religion is neglected.
5. My tickets back to Philippines are every 2 months and the flight is just a 3-hour ride by plane.
6. Sending money is easy, just remit and pay S$4.00.
7. The salary is way better than Philippines.
8. I can walk at 2am without any fear of robbery.
9. Transportation is the best. Everything are networked by Bus and MRT.

These are just few of my reasons which I chose Singapore as the best place to work, and hopefully if I will be approved as a Permanent Resident, I will still stay here with my Family.

If you are planning and choosing a place to work? Try this as your Option C...

This video is my inspiration on keeping my job, please watch...Are You Blessed With Your Job?

Monday, January 31, 2011

Claiming My EPEC

I had a nice sleep last night but my back still aches. My friend went to work and our flat-mates are all out too. So, I was the only man left in our flat.  I looked out the window and decided to take pictures of Toa Payoh.  I was feeling happy, excited but the loneliness is still deep in my heart.  I have no one with me, who will call me daddy and hops on my back.  I have no wife telling  me to eat my breakfast, because the soup is getting cold.  Those are the things that I miss a lot.

My worries are still there. My EPEC is not yet served and I got only 30 days to find a job, do my Medical, and a lot more.

So, I sat down at my bed (a folding sofa)  and took out my documents from my bag.  I remembered that MOM(Ministry of Manpower) told me to arrange an appointment with them when I arrive in Singapore.

I took my laptop out and was surprised that the outlet does not fit.  Singapore has different Electrical Standards from the Philippines, they have Line, Neutral and Ground. Luckily, my friend has his adapter.

I browsed the net and found the contact number of MOM, General Inquiries 6438 5122.  I dialed the number and told them my problem.

They arranged an appointment for me at 3pm on the following day and said that I just ask the Information at level L1 and I should bring along my passport.

You can see the smile on my face at that time.  It was a perfect day for me...Truly a blessing!

Other Related Posts:
EPEC Approved, What's Next?
Activate Your EPEC in Singapore

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bus and MRT First Timer

It was a beautiful day when I woke up at the airport.  There are people from all walks of life passing by me.  I decided to get up from the seats, before they throw coins at me, and take my breakfast. Oh boy, my back aches, those seats are not flat enough.  That was like sleeping in mono blocks arranged side by side.  It really hurts.  Then, I went for breakfast with a cup of coffee and a Malay food, I forgot what's it called.  It has coconut milk, chilli and a lot more chilli, spicy HOT!

Then I looked around to find a phone booth.  I brought my cellphone with me, but the problem is, I don't have my Singapore SIM yet.  I didn't avail the roaming of SMART and GLOBE, I find it expensive.  Lucky that I have coins with me.  I took out my S$0.10 and inserted in the pay-phone, a 3-min call.  What an ignorant I was then.  After few minutes, my friend came and greeted me warmly and down we go to the Changi MRT Station.

At the MRT
We went down to Changi MRT station and bought my EZ-link card at the counter.  It was worth S$15 with a S$10 load back then. That was my first time to hear the word Tap Out and Tap In.  This is the magic word for  opening the barrier, like "Open Sesame!".  You'll know what I mean when you get here, it's just like tapping at the bus.  Well, the technologies are all new to me, I narrowed the technology gap few days after.

Singapore looks just like the Philippines but cleaner. It was a jaw-dropping scene when I saw the streets, the trees that are well arranged, the buildings are all like newly painted and the MRT itself has no litters.  I'll give you S$1.00 if you can see one.

At the Bus
This I tell yah, is totally new.  I used to bumping people, to ride the bus in the Philippines. But now, everything is in order.  When the bus arrives, you can see the respect from other people. If your shoulder is in front of them. They'll let you come in first, such a professional!

I tapped in my EZ-link card at the bus ticketing device. Tapping is just touching your card on the device, no penetration, oopps...! Is it foul? Anyway, the device will display "New Ride" and how much is your current balance is.  You can see a green light and hear one beeping sound. So, your good to go. If it is red and four beeps, you cannot go in or the driver will shout at you "Hello!!!".  You can pay cash (coins)by dropping it at the drivers fare box.

Exiting the bus is just tapping out your EZ-link card again.  This time it displays how much was your fare and your current balance.  Convenient enough, huh!

We arrived at my friends house and I slept for the whole day.  I was so tired with a backache...zzzzz!

Next: Claiming My EPEC

Other  Related Topics:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sleeping at Changi Airport, Singapore

After the Singapore Immigration, I went out and looked for the luggage conveyor, where my things were.  I've found my luggage, took it out and I proceed to the money-changer, which is a few meters away.

The rate was then at P32.40 per S$1.00. You can see at the top right of my blog for the current exchange rate. I exchanged for a S$100, enough for me to be at my friends house and buy some groceries.

I was a like a poor man, but rich in debt, when I came outside the airport.  Looking at the food store and the restaurants, displaying the food price as S$4.00 to S$6.00.   I was looking for a value of S$1.00 but, nahhh, didn't found any.  I decided to take the Burger King, located at the 2nd level of Terminal 2.  The Burger King crew was way beyond my understanding. They pronounced the English words differently, and can't understand it clearly.  All I did was to nod on whatever he said and just looked at the my bill.

It was almost midnight and the MRT and Buses are not available. I can't ride the taxi because at this time, they are really expensive.  It will cost me S$30.00.  My friend told me to just spend my night at the airport then he'll fetch me in the morning.  

I decided to spend my night at the Changi Airport.  The seats on every corner were vacant so I placed my things at the side and found myself a comfortable position for me to sleep.  This I found out the sleeping is allowed in this airport because nobody stopped me.  I slept for 5 hours and went to the cafe and took my breakfast...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Singapore Here I Come

It was night time when our flight arrived.  I have ZERO idea of Singapore and all I know is the Changi airport and the MRT. But how will I ever reach my friend? Fortunately, I already got his number when I was in the Philippines. He told me to call after my arrival.

The airplane started to descend and the lights of Singapore beamed, glittering on the airplane's window. My heart began to beat faster as I knew that few minutes from now, I will step my foot in Singapore.  Got few goosebumps on me and I did not kept off my eye to the streets surrounding Changi Airport.  

Then I heard the wheels touched down and the engine started to roar for a halt. My eyes kept rolling around the window and kept looking at the whole airport.  What I see is so different from the Philippines.  The pavement are clean and signs are all over. All the fence lights are complete and I can see that the place is so organized.

This is it, Changi Airport 
All the passengers alighted the plane and I got the first breath of air. Never did I smell the smoke from the diesel and gas.  Singapore smells nothing but air, pollution is minimal.  The weather is just like the Philippine climate during February and this type of climate is consistent whole year round with occasional rains.

The Changi Airport, I tell you, is soooo nice with a capital AWESOME!  The combination of lights and the signs are everywhere and you can see it even if you're 50 meters away from it. You will never be lost, as long as you can read.

I went down to the to the immigration section and filled up the disembarkation card.  Prepared my passport and some documents.

It was my turn to face the Immigration Officer. I smiled to him and then he asked me these questions:

Welcome to Singapore, how long will you be staying? 
I came to a pause because the accent is not familiar to me, the Singlish (Singapore English), although I met some Singaporeans in the Philippines, but still the sound of it is foreign.

So I answered,
  ...I will stay here for 5 days.
Are you going to visit Malaysia?
  ....Yes sir.
OK then, Welcome to Singapo!!!

You notice that I took off the "re" on what he said "Singapore".  Because they pronounce Singapore as "Sing-ga-poh". You can not hear the R.  Well, I'm truly at this country and I don't mind to loose some R.

The Immigration experience at this point was the smoothest...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My First Flight to Singapore

After the tragic and worst nightmare that I have encountered at the Philippine Immigration, I decided to buy myself a drink and a sandwich to ease myself up.  The PAL airport has food stores and mini-restaurants just after the immigration inspection.

I found a table with electrical sockets, where everyone can plug-in to their laptops.  So, I took out my laptop and did few of my computer rituals.  This laptop was the most useful thing that I brought to Singapore.  I will tell you more about it on my next posts.

The gate was then opened for boarding and everyone queued up quickly to be the first to board. I don't know why these people are always on the rush.  There are plenty of time and I'm sure the airplane will not depart without them in it.

At the Airplane
I got headaches and I can't sleep, so I found myself looking at the NAIA airport through the glass window, looking at the crews loading up our things.  My mind was still at my Family, don't have an idea if when can I have the perfect job and to sent money for them.  Bringing me along my debts, to pay for my trip and the processing of documents. So, I invented this words, "With Debt, 'Til I Depart".

The plane started to taxi and the seat-belt sign were switched on. The crew instructed us the standard procedures and the plane started to lift off...I can see Manila down below and the squatters are all around the airport area.  The Laguna Bay was then at my sight, with fishing pens scattered all over.  You can see how wide the lake is and the small houses along it's banks, like oyster clinging on a rock.

Then, clouds started to appear and the seat-belt was switched off.  The snacks, which let me forget about my family for a few minutes, were then served.

The three hours of  the flight was smooth...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Airlines Serving Philippines to Singapore

I'm always looking for the cheapest way so I can save some money for my other budget.  One of my consideration is finding the cheapest or economical way to visit the Philippines from Singapore or vice versa. This includes the airline tickets.  Finding it is now easy to do just by a click of a mouse.

What are the airlines serving Philippines to Singapore and vice versa?
There are five airlines that are now serving passengers from Singapore to Philippines and back.  These airlines are sometimes called the Budget Airlines, known for its low cost.

I have a list below with their links for you to consider.

1. Philippine Airlines
     I tried this airline on my way from Philippines to Singapore.  So far, the best that I have.  But the cost is the highest but there is a free meal.

2. PAL Express (Formely Airphil Express
This is my airline when I went home for my Christmas vacation, roundtrip. The plane is clean with a 200 passenger capacity.  The crew were nice, selling snacks during the flight. For me, just the same flight experience with Jetstar but lands on Terminal 3, which is my favorite Philippine airport.

3. Tiger Airways

4. Cebu Pacific

5. Jetstar

The airplane is clean with friendly flight attendants.  The capacity is around 200 passengers.  What I don't like is the terminal where it lands, which is the Terminal 1 in the Philippines.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Garrett Popcorn in Singapore

Before I left Singapore for my Christmas vacation in the Philippines.  I made sure that my Wifey will be happy when I arrive home. I ask her what she likes for a "pasalubong", a present. She said a 1-gallon popcorn in a can and the brand is Garrett.

Where can I find Garrett Popcorn in Singapore?
There is one Garrett Popcorn branch inside Sentosa and is near to the entrance of the Universal Studios.  To go there, ride the MRT to Harbourfront station and head through Vivo City to transfer to the Sentosa train.  Alight at the first station of Sentosa and walk your way to the entrance gate of Universal Studios.  Garrett Popcorn is located just before the gate entrance, right beside the Universal Studios globe.

No time for me to go there so I decided to go to the second branch, which is in Cityhall.  The Garrett Popcorn is just along the hallway beside Hersheys, left side when going to (Esplanade, Suntec and Marina Mall) from Cityhall, MRT Station.

Are there any Garrett Popcorn Locations in Singapore?
Yes, there are three more branches, they are in Great World City, Parkway Parade and Tampines Mall.

How much is the Garrett Popcorn?
To my surprise, Garrett is expensive!  I took a picture of the price list but unfortunately, it's blurry.

To give you an idea..
1-gallon of Caramel Flavor costs S$51.00 in a can. 
1 large size Chicago Mix(Caramel and Cheese corn) costs S$13.00.

But I tell you, the taste of Garrett Popcorn is soooo damn good, try the caramel'll forget the price after you taste it.  Try it and tell me if I'm bluffing.

Other posts:
The Weird Building at the Marina Bay Sands
The Best Time To Visit Marina Bay Sands Kway Chap for Dinner
Ice Cream Sandwich
Garrett Popcorn Locations in Singapore

Monday, January 3, 2011

Hand-Carried Umbrella is a No No!

X-ray machine at the entrance is the first step to go through when you enter the airport Terminal 3, Philippines.  They will scan any prohibited items inside your baggage.

After the X-ray, I went to check-in my baggage at the counter and got my boarding ticket with me.  I then headed to the immigration gate, with a label "International Flights", where you will pay the terminal fee.  As an OFW, there's no need to pay for those fees, I just showed my OEC, Overseas Employment Certificate.

I went through the immigration officer for clearance and the next step was...x-ray machine, again.

What's up with the umbrella?   
My back pack is with me, as my hand-carry baggage.  I took off my shoes, keys, cellphones and place it together for scanning.  I placed my backpack at the conveyor and headed for the metal detector.

To my surprise, the x-ray officer asked me to remove my umbrella inside my backpack and told me that this is a prohibited item to hand-carry! I forgot to remove it at first hand.  I tried to call my relatives, but I can't reach them.  My flight is about to take in the minutes, so I decided not to bring it along.

There was lack of information! 
At the first entrance, x-ray scanning, they should have warned us about these prohibited items, so we could hand it to somebody immediately.  The problem is, they will tell you AFTER you have checked-in, passed the immigration officers and nobody to hand it over, except them.  This is my lesson learned and will not do it again.

As I handed my umbrella to the x-ray officer, I smiled to them and said "HAPPY NEW YEAR, nalang!"

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My First Trip to Singapore

It was cloudy when we left home going to the airport.  There was a little drop of rain dripping down the windshield on a hot summer season.

I was accompanied by my relatives bringing encouraging words and plans for my future in Singapore.  They never stopped encouraging me until we reached the NAIA Terminal 2. 

This is my second time away from my family but never felt different from the first. A feeling of loneliness and guilt, for using my family’s savings, is within me.  This is of the possibility finding new opportunities from other country, where I haven’t found any at home, Philippines.

With me were my passport and some e-ticket, which I have bought via internet few weeks ago.  Just a perfect timing that cost me USD 168.00, pretty low this year, equivalent to P7, 728 (P46/$).  A big savings from the regular fare of USD204.00 (P9,384).

I used my credit card and was happy to have it with me.  Everything comes in handy.  I’ll just wait for those billings to come in.

As we arrived at the NAIA Terminal 2, we parked our car on the area nearest to the entrance of International flights.  Everyone got off and we said goodbye to each and everyone.

My son looked at me and said "Good luck, dad!".  A thank you and a kiss were my reply to him and a goodbye kiss to my Wife.

Other Related Posts:
How I got an approved EPEC Application

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Experience with the Philippine Immigration

After I waved goodbye to my wife and kid,  tears fell and my world moved slowly.  The entrance gate of the Philippine Airlines was in front of me. I said to myself, "This is it, there's no turning back!". I'll sacrifice to leave my country, my wife and my kid for the sake of finding better opportunities in Singapore, which my home can not provide.

I laid down my backpack and my trolley-bag for the x-ray machine inspection. Went in to the metal detection frame and the officer gave me a thumbs up to proceed.  The airport lobby is wide with an overwhelming ceiling and glass walls.  I saw the Customer Service and the check-in counters at my right.

It was time for me to check-in my luggage and so I headed to the counter.  The counter personnel asked me for my passport and my e-ticket.  Unfortunately, she asked me to pay the travel tax first, which I don't have.

How much is the Travel Tax and Terminal Fee?
I went to the Customer Service and paid my travel tax worth P1,620.00.  They issued a government receipt, which is a reminder that it is for the government and for the people.  So, I'm giving my money for those who were left behind. Oh well!

Anyway, I brought along with me the receipt and proceed to the check in counter.  Then headed to pay my terminal fee P750.00 at the Terminal counter, another payables but this time it's for the terminal.  In fairness, the terminal is well maintained, so no doubts about it.

My heart still pounding fast and started to beat twice stronger when I was then going to the immigration officers.  This process of my journey to Singapore is the WORST!

Why I called it the Worst?
I prepared my documents to hand it over to the immigration officer. These are the questions she asked me with my answers...

Where are you going?
   ...I am going to Singapore.
How long will you stay?
  ...Just 5 days.
This is not a return ticket (holding the e-ticket printed from the internet), I need the one with the signature of the PAL supervisor?
  ...Ma'am, this is what I got from the internet.  This is the usual thing to do when we book online.
NO! Go back and have the printed form from the PAL supervisor counter!

I went out of the immigration section and have a printed copy of my e-ticket with the PAL supervisor signature on it.  They were also confused and so was I. This I said is unusual. So, I went back to the Officer.

This is the e-ticket, you've been to UAE and you're overstaying (looking at the pages of my passports)?
  ...No Ma'am, I did a month extension and it's legal to have one.
NO!You overtayed!

My heart was beating at a maximum rate....

So, where are you staying? my friends house
Do you have the invitation? Ma'am, we only have some conversation at the internet.
I need the invitation from your friend.
  ...How can I have that invitation for just 2 hours, the plane will be leaving.
I NEED IT! Provide it! (..she handed me all my documents)!

The PAL lobby seemed leaning on me, the ceiling, the glass and people around me looks so near. My heart beats unusual and my head aches.  All my labor and my hardship which I poured in these documents seemed to disappear in one click.

I said to myself, I will not go out of this airport. Singapore is the opportunity for my Family. If I can't make it out of this country, how will I support them?

Asking again to myself, what if the officer just have her bad day?  What if she was just tired at this time?  An idea lighted up on top of me.

How was I able to board the airplane?
I did not do illegal things, and never will! But, I was able to board the plane.

When I thought that maybe the officer has her bad day, I then transfered to the other officer, who happened to have few person on queue. This time, a young Officer was there on her booth. I went to her and handed my documents.

Where are you going?
   ...I am going to Singapore.
How long will you stay?
  ...Just 5 days.
Where will you stay? my friends house.

My heart pounded slowly and I can hear my own breathing.  Then, to my surprise, the officer took her chop and pulled it high above my passport and stamped it down to one of its pages.  The stamp that changed my life until now...

Other Related Posts:

If there's anything you want to ask, please leave it as a comment below. Thanks...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

EPEC Approved, What's Next?

It was September 2009 when I got a good news from the MOM (Ministry of Manpower) Singapore.  I sat for a moment in silence, closed my eyes and inhaled deep down to the rock bottom, and shouted...WAHHHHH!

Success! Finally I got an EPEC.  I told my wifey about it and was so happy to know the news.  At first, there were so many plans on my mind, and don't know how to start.

The letter from MOM, which I have received upon their approval was:
"We are pleased to inform you that your application for an Employment Pass Eligibility Certificate (EPEC) EPEC-2009-xxxxx has been approved. Your certificate will be sent to your mailing address:"
How long will the EPEC Certificate be sent?
They did not said how long will it take to send it, so I decided to do some research. There were informations online that it will take 1 month to receive my copy.  My plan to Singapore was not that urgent so I decided to wait for a month.

I waited for some time until my calendar turned to the next page, November, but no EPEC copy had arrived.     Then I decided to wait for another month, another page was torn down to fire a charcoal...and the month is now December.

I begun to worry. Two months of no copy is already not good.  I need to inform MOM. So I decided to email them,
I have received an email from MOM on Sept. 2009 stating as follows.

"We are pleased to inform you that your application for an Employment Pass
Eligibility Certificate (EPEC) EPEC-2009-XXXX has been approved. Your
certificate will be sent to your mailing address:

        Address in PHILIPPINES"

Until now, I still haven't receive the certificate from your office.
They replied to me that they will resend it as soon as possible. So, again, another days and months of waiting...until the date was February. That was 5 months after my approval.  But then postman, with a dog biting on his feet, came.

Again, I sent a follow up email and told them:
"I would like to inform you that I still haven't receive the letter, EPEC, from your office.  Kindly check if it was already sent to the address below:


I am planning to go to Singapore after I receive the letter.  Hoping to receive it soon."
Their reply was:
The certificate has been mailed.  It might be lost in the process of delivering.  You might want to provide an alternative address for mailing.
I gave them a new address and hoping that someone will knock on our door with the copy of my EPEC.

Until it was time for me to go to Singapore, my copy did not arrive.

I don't know who to blame...

Other posts:
MOM Selected Institutions List for EPEC
How I got my EPEC copy at Singapore? 
How I got an approved EPEC Application
Activate your EPEC in Singapore
Money Remittance to Philippines

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How I Got an Approved EPEC Application

NOTE: As of December 01, 2011, EPEC Scheme is discontinued by MOM...Read More.

Ok, I have given you some few tips about EPEC, how it's applied and where to do it?

How I got my EPEC? This is the best story I usually tell to my colleagues. The incident that changed my career.

One day, I chat with my friend, who is in Singapore. I discussed with him that I wanted to go to that place. I was hesitant during that time because of what I've experienced in UAE, another tragic story, more about that later.

Anyway, he suggested that I should get an EPEC from the MOM (Ministry of Manpower) at Singapore. Excuse me, what is EPEC and MOM again? I have discussed it here...

So, I then tried to search for it online for he had already forgot the link. So I visited their site...
FAQs of MOM - This is where you can find the frequently ask questions about EPEC.
Apply EPEC Online - You can apply for EPEC here provided that you have read the FAQs.
I read the FAQs first and all about the requirements for EPEC. So, I prepared my Transcript of Records (TOR), Diploma, Passport, Passport size photo. No money was cashed out, EPEC application is FREE, this is Singapore my friend.

As what they have indicated in the FAQ, I scanned all my documents using a scanner and just resize it to the byte size, which MOM requires, using Photoshop.

Now, I am ready to apply EPEC online, followed every instructions and clicked the SUBMIT button.

I've waited for the result. After three days, I received an email from MOM to let me know that my EPEC application is......Disapproved!!!

To my surprise, the world came to a pause. Moments of silence, this could not be real.

What dug to my mind is that, maybe it's because of my age which is just below 35, because of my credentials that doesn't matched their requirements or because they don't want my ugly face!

All of these questions came circling into my brains. With those doubts in mind, I started to feel rebellious, to the extent that I questioned the credibility of the MOM. Why such a thing did they disapproved my credentials, knowing that all of it fits their requirements?

That is when I replied to their email and asked them what was the reason of disapproval when I have these credentials at hand? I thought that they won't even bother to reply on my query because they have the rules that I should re-apply after 90 days upon my disapproval. I told myself that there's nothing to lose. *fingers-crossed*

After a day, I opened my email, a MOM Officer replied to me and asked me, "Are those documents that you've sent on our database are originals?" I said, "Yes!"

Then they replied, "Alright, I will disable your previous application and you may apply for another." To my relief, I opened up the site and re-applied for the second time.

After 3 days, an email from MOM came with an Approved EPEC number, that looks something like this EPEC-2009xxxx. The (xxx) marked is my EPEC number which I can't show it to you. It was my best moment and sent them a reply...with a simple, thank you!

Other posts:
What to Prepare Before Going to Singapore (Part 1)?
EPEC Approved, What's Next?
My First Trip to Singapore
Experience with the Philippine Immigration
MOM Selected Institutions List for EPEC

Want to request something from me? Please Leave your comment below...thanks.

Getting an EPEC

NOTE: As of December 01, 2011, EPEC Scheme is discontinued by MOM...Read More.

From the very first time I started planning to go to Singapore, I was hesitant to visit there as a tourist. I chat with my friends to know how to get there and find a job much longer. Luck comes in me, a friend of mine suggested me to secure an EPEC.

That is what I did. But first, I was disapproved and finally got one. How did I do it? Read it here...

What in the world is EPEC and its connection to applying abroad?

EPEC stands for Employment Pass Eligibility Certificate. This pass allows any individual in the Philippines and other qualified countries to find a job in Singapore for a period of one year. Yes, you read it right, 1 year! Cool, right?

But there's a big IF?

The approval body for these type of application is the MOM (Ministry of Manpower) in Singapore.

They will only approve you if you're within their eligibility criteria. These are their conditions...

1. Your course is qualified and is in the list of the MOM's qualifications.
2. Your Alma Mater is listed on their qualifications.
- For individuals living in the Philippines, you must be a graduate in this lists of schools.
Asian Institute of Management

Ateneo de Manila University
De La Salle University
Mapua Institute of Technology
University of the Philippines (Diliman)
University of Santo Tomas

If you think you are eligible, visit the link to MOM's website and apply for an EPEC.

Please take note, as soon as you're approved, you must use it for this will only be issued for you on one-time basis and not renewable.

If you FAIL, you can try to re-apply after 90 days. Don't lose hope!

Try Other Related Topics:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner