Miss Universe in Manila

During the past couple of years, we’ve had a leader of Catholic Church and leaders of the countries belonging to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation grace Manila, and the country as a whole with their visit. This year, we have been graced again with the holding of perhaps one of the most celebrated events that has been beloved by many Filipinos as much as any important international event. I am of course talking about the Miss Universe pageant.

This year’s Miss Universe pageant (technically, Miss Universe 2016 because of the screwed up schedule that pushed it further from the calendar year over time) is going to be held on January 30 this year. And while the Urban Roamer is by no means a beauty pageant expert, this presents an opportunity to do this special feature as we look back at the past Miss Universe pageants that have been held here in the metropolis.. Twice past to be exact. Continue reading


The Urban Roamer’s Guide to APEC 2015

In the coming days, the Philippines will be host to one of the most high-profile summits to be held in the country as 21 world leaders would converge for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders summit to be held here in Manila from November 18 to 19.

We have heard the preparations for it and some of us have decried the “overkill” in the preparations. But what exactly are we preparing for this APEC 2015 anyway? Today, we shall take time here at the Urban Roamer to understand a bit more about APEC and what it means to us, as well as be informed as to what to expect as far as the preparations are concerned. Continue reading


The Urban Roamer’s ePassport Guide – 2015 Edition

More than five years ago, the Urban Roamer wrote the ePassport Guide, one of the first entries written here which aims to share to the reader how to go about applying for the Philippine ePassport. At that time, it was a fairly new “product” which was only introduced months before it was written. It also coincided with the time I needed to renew my passport, so I decided to renew my passport with the ePassport one as I noted my experiences for the blog.

During those five years that I’ve gotten to travel with my passport, much has changed in the ePassport application system. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has opened a separate consular facility and a number of satellite offices to facilitate passport applications, making it convenient for people who live far from the DFA office. Even passports have changed as well during that timeframe with the “not valid for travel in Iraq” note no longer appearing in passports since 2011.

Fast forward to this year as it was the time once more for me to go through the process of renewing my passport. Continue reading


Making Sense of The BIR’s E-Filing System

Consider this post a continuation of sorts of the entries I did recently on the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) registration and taxation for (part-time) freelancers. To be specific, I’ll be tackling here about the e-filing system recently introduced by the BIR that has caused much confusion, frustration, and a lot of quite negative sentiments against the agency. (as if it has not been getting enough of those already, but that’s another story)

It took me quite a while myself to finally understood how these things work, something I finally figured out quite recently. With that knowledge in mind, I’m happy to help you understand what it is all about. Continue reading


The Urban Roamer’s Taxation Guide for (Part-Time) Freelancers

The previous entry here on the Urban Roamer which talked about the BIR Registration Guide for (Part-Time) Freelancers was a such a well-received post that it warms my heart to see and read messages of appreciation for coming up with the piece, having helped to fill in the pieces that have been blank for a long while. To that I say thank you that somehow I was able to be of help in some way. I appreciate them a lot.

As comprehensive as the entry was, I have to admit it was not able to provide as much important details as possible about taxation for professionals, part-time ones especially. Thus the need for this companion piece which deals about the matters of taxation (part-time) professionals should know. As always, I do not claim to be a taxation expert but I strive to get as much as possible that I hope you’ll be able to learn as well. So feel free to read on below. Continue reading