J.CO Donuts & Coffee – Libis

Eversince this chain came to the Philippines, you can consistenytly see long lines of patrons waiting to get that piece of sweetness. And now the hype has died down, still the one thing this donut has that’s not found with other similar chains is the texture and balanced sweetness of the donuts. Though when the donut is not consumed hours after buying, the quality is no longer the same. So better consume it same day.

Bestseller for me is Al Capone. If I buy 1 dozen, half of it will be Al Capone. The rest will be for trying.

They have also different variants of coffee – hot or iced and can be a bit overwhelming to make the right choice. Ambiance is irresistible as they have cozy chairs to lounge on.

By the way, you don’t have to worry no more about long queues. They can serve your donuts immediately.

Check my rating in my zomato profile:

J.CO Donuts & Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mendokoro Ramenba – Makati

As promised from the my last post about this Japanese restaurant, I only get this time to draft my review and what are the “thoughts” I have when I dined into this humble 20-seater place and how we braved the long lines despite being famished.

We initially wanted to find a noodle place in Kapitolyo but since we’ve been there just a few days ago, I said that maybe we could try Makati. Maybe there are new places there we haven’t heard as we have not been eating there for quite some time.

As I was about the leave, I remember about this place being talked about in social media and it’s just near Jupiter so in favor of this restaurant, we ditched Jupiter and went to Salcedo. If you will consider eating in their makati branch, prepare your waze as the building is a bit tricky to find (due to the 1-way street scheme in Makati).

We arrived at 9:30pm and the parking spot infront of the place is just wow! We were initally 14th in line so we need to wait for another hour to get seated. And so to kill time, we just stayed at the car until it’s already out turn. But while you are waiting in line, the reception is already be taking your order, asking you to pay for your line to be secured. So when it’s our turn to sit, we waited for another 10minutes before our orders are served.

We ordered the Tantanmen (bestseller), 10pcs Gyoza and the Off-the-menu ramen. I just told the reception what is their recommendation for something seafood and she told me that it’s not on the menu but they can prepare their secret one.

The Tantanmen made me say Tan-ta-na-nan! Super yummy! And the gyoza was hit for my son too. It was gone instantly! The stuff is so meaty and when paired with their sauce it a bomb combination. The ramen is also firm and right to the bite. It didn’t get soggy from being mixed with the broth. It’s a must try.

Now for the secret menu Ramen, this is the many reason why despite being priced more than P500+ pesos, you will still buy it because it’s truly irresistable! The broth is more like crab paste-rich one and the seafood mix, although very few is just blending in with the ramen. Worth the price!

The more than 1 hour waiting time is all worth it. Though I wouldnt’ advice to eat here if you are in a hurry or just taking your office lunch break. The seating capacity is very limited and it’s a eat-and-run place. You can’t stay there for chit-chat as people are constantly waiting in line. So be mindful.

Katzikat thoughts: Thumbs up!

Check my rating in my zomato profile:

Mendokoro Ramenba Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Applying for a US Tourist Visa

I decided to apply for a US tourist visa as I heard that most of the visas given recently are 10 years multiple entry which, before, is very rare for Filipinos.  This is by far, the most expensive tourist visa application I have had and the preparation needs time and extra effort.  Here’s what I did to prepare for the application all the way through the approval.

Disclaimer:  This post is only for US tourist visa application (B1/B2 Class).  If you have other type of visa application, you may refer to this site for further details.

  1. Pay the Visa Application Fee – Yes, you need to pay first before you can fill up the application form.  Payments are accepted via BPI over-the-counter or Bancnet online.  If you don’t mind the queue, I suggest paying via OTC so you can make clarification before payment because once you paid, it’s no longer refundable.  For B1/B2 class, I paid $160 each person.  I applied together with my son.  Before heading to the bank, you need to download and print this Deposit Slip form as the Receipt Number in the form is what you will need to enter in your deposit details at the counter.  Do not go to the bank without this slip.

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*There is a payment cut-off that the bank follows.  If you paid your fee before 3pm, you can wait for 4 hours before you can start filing your interview schedule.  If you paid past 3pm, you will need to wait the next day before you can file your interview schedule. (you can do this after you have filled up your D-160 form)

2.  Once paid, you are now ready to fill up your DS-160 form.  This form is online.  You need to fill in the details online.  You can only print the DS-160 form once you have digitally-signed it after you filled up all the information.  Click here for the DS-160 form page.

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a. From the SELECT ONE dropdown, select Philippines (or country applicable to you).  Enter the code shown (captcha).  Select the type of application.  In my case, it’s Start an Application.  Once you’re done, you will be directed to the next page which will eventually start the filling up of needed information.

b. When filling up your application, always be thruthful about what you enter.  Even before the date of your scheduled interview, there will be am investigation conducted by immigration officers about your profile and if this will not match with you put in your application, it may affect your visa approval.

c.  Information about where you will stay is required.  If you are planning a DIY trip, browse for hotel addresses from Booking.com or Agoda to get potential addresses for your stay.  You don’t need to book it yet.  You only need to get the address which will eventually be your home base when you get approved.  If you have relatives in the US to which you intend to stay with, get their address and phone numbers for the details to be inputted in your application.

d.  Picture needs to be attached to the application form.  The required size is 2×2.  It is important that you follow the correct size of the picture and specifications about its looks and angle.  I had several issues when I uploaded my picture that it took me a while to get the correct cropping size and angle.

e.  There is a section there regarding petitions.  When I applied, our family is under petition for immigrant visa which was filed sometime in 2010.  I declared it honestly as these types of information are being checked from the immigration database.  If your application declaration did not match, it might affect your visa approval.

f.  There are also sets of questionaires answerable by Y or N.  Just be truthful about each questions.

3.  Once you are done updating your DS-160 form, you will need to digitally sign it.  Digital signing simply means submitting the form online.  Once this is done, you will come across a page which says THIS IS NOT A VISA together with the picture you uploaded.  This is your completed DS-160 form.  Print this as you need to bring this during your interview.


4.  Once you are done, every DS-160 form has a unique barcode generated when you started filling up your application.  Record this barcode for referrence.  You can start scheduling your interview to the embassy.  Scheduling your interview can be done via phone by calling the embassy hotline or you can create a profile here.  I took the online profile and scheduled my interview via the website.  Double or triple check the DS-160 form barcode versus your payment receipt to ensure that you have entered them correctly.  Incorrect information may affect your schedule online.

The Interview day….

My schedule was July 13, 2018 at 8:30am.  Since we are coming from Taguig, I left the house at around 5:45am and reached Roxas Blvd area by 6:30am.  I know we are too early for the schedule, but it’s better to let the time pass by staying nearby rather than compromising the schedule by being late due to traffic.  Once you are late for the interview, you may not be able secure a new interview again and your payment will go to waste.

IMPORTANT: All electronic gadgets (cellphones, laptops, chargers, batteries, earphones etc.) are not allowed inside the embassy.  If you happen to bring one, you will have to leave them to some ladies from the street (who apparently are doing it for business).  During the interview day, I left my phone at home but I didn’t notice that my son brought his phone and so I was left with no choice but to leave it to the lady at the street.  These baggers are not accredited by the embassy.  You will have to just trust them that they will not take your phone after you give it to them for safekeeping.  My son’s phone costs us P200 to be taken cared of by the ladies.  They charge it by per number of phones.  If you brought 3, then you pay P600.  If you brought laptop, they will charge you higher.  So, it’s best not to bring any gadgets.  If you have relatives with you during your interview, just leave your belongings to them.

Upon entry, our records were scanned at the gate and the barcode will be attached at the back of your passport.  This will serve as your tracker when you get inside.  The attendants will give you color-coded big cards and you need to follow where the colors are indicated.  Wait for your turn (color) to be called on for the initial screening.

Step 1 – Initial Screening – they will ask for minor details about your application.  They may require picture as well.  (Please note, these are done by Filipinos at the other side of the booth).

Step 2 – Finger Printing – The officer will scan the back of your passport for the barcode and will ask you to scan your 4 fingers (left and right) and your thumbmark.  Since my son was below 14 years old, he was exempted from performing the finger printing as the required age is not yet met. (14 years old and above is the requirement)

Step 3 – Interview – This is the time when you will be face to face with the consul.  They will ask you questions about yourself and related questions will emerge after your response is received.  Here are some of the questions I can still recalled being asked from me:

Question 1: Why are you going to the US?

Question 2: Why US?

Question 3:  Where is US do you plan to visit?

Question 4: How long do you plan to stay?

Question 5: Do you have relatives in the US?  Who are they?  How long have they been in the US?  Are you going to visit them?

Question 6: Who are you traveling with?  Why is your husband not joining?  Does your husband have a US visa?

Question 7: What do you do here?  Where do you work?

Question 8:  It says in your application that you are being petitioned, who filed the petition?  Do you plan to live in the US?

The consul also asked my son how old is he?  And my son answered smartly.  The consul then required to show me the Birth Certificate of my son.  After checking, the consul said “Thank you for that.  So you’re visa is approved, you may claim it after 1 week.  NEXT!”

Everything happened so fast, I barely had time to say thank you to the consul.  Still, I manage to say my thanks.  No other documents were required by the consul aside from the BC of my son.  I checked with the assistants at the embassy that the 1 week mentioned means 7 working days.

You may opt to have your passports with visa delivered to your house or you can pick it up at their designated locations.

So, there you go.  Here is my experience into applying for a US tourist visa.  Though the consul did not go into other details about my application, it maybe depending on how sensible you responses are to the consul’s questions.  But in relation to this application, here are the documents I prepared for the interview

a.  COE and Leave approval email (as I am currently employed)

b.  Bank Certificates and Bank Statements (There is no required balances set by the embassy on your Bank Statement.  You just make sure that if you will stay in the US for say 10 days, your bank balance has enough capacity to sustain your stay for 10 days if you will be doing your trip on your own).

c.  Property Documents (I prepared my car and condo documents)

d.  PSA documents (Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificate)

e.  for my son – I prepared an excuse letter signed by his teachers and adviser.  I also secured the school calendar of activities for the school year.

Though the consul said wait for 1 week, after just about 2 days, I was notified by the courier and embassy via text and email that my visa is already out for release.  Only 2 days waiting time!

So here is our 10 years multiple entry tousit visa to the US!  We are excited for our upcoming trip!

Try your US tourist visa application too!  Good luck on your application soon!

The most powerful Songs and their lyrics in my Spotify

Music has been a way of expression and influence from new and old culture alike.  It has made powerful impact to the lives of people who likes it wether fast, slow, vulgar, classic and the likes.

I, myself also listens to music to inspire me.  It was almost like somebody is singing the story of my life.  It was like listening to the things that I have experienced or want to experience.  The songs that you can relate to as the events of your life unfolds through your ears.

I have selected my top 10 personal list of the most powerful Song Lyrics that impacted my life.

1.  Strongest –  Ina Wroldsen

Behind the lyrics – In an interview with Charlotte Sissener of Musikknyheter, Wroldsen said the song is about a good friend of hers, saying the situation is “hard and bitter, but also genuine and triumphant. (from wikipedia)

My Post (5)The song is about a family torn apart by the father falling out of love with the mother that he had to leave her and their toddler.  The mother had to carry the burden of raising her son on her own that she has to be strong in order to support the young one.  Broken families are common nowadays . It seems like it’s difficult to stay together considering the factors each family has to face – temptations, lack of time, change of attitude, financial etc. Whatever the circumstances surrounding a broken family, we don’t have the right to judge anyone who are in such situation.  What we can do is to understand their situation instead.

2.  Someday We’ll Know – New Radicals / Mandy Moore (cover)

Behind the Lyrics: The song is a midtempo ballad in which Alexander reflects on a past relationship and wonders why his girlfriend left him, eventually concluding that someday he’ll know the answer. Rolling Stone called the song “reflective, while Consequence of Sound commented that the song is “relatable to the ever-been-broken-hearted with lines like ‘I’m speeding by the place that I met you for the 97th time tonight’ and ‘If I could ask God just one question: Why aren’t you here with me tonight? (from wikipedia).

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Katzikat: Pretty powerful lyrics for those who did not end up with the people they love.  Sometimes we create a lot of questions to justify what happened with a failed relationship but the truth is, there is really nothing you can do if things are not meant to be yours. Just be thankful for the fact that you are able to experience that love even for just a moment as it adds up to your memories that makes up who you are.  If you’ve done your best for someone and yet they still leave, then make them happy by letting them go.

3.  Scared to be Lonely – Martin Garrix / Dua Lipa

Behind the Lyrics: The song was described by Garrix as a follow-up to his 2016 collaboration “In the Name of Love” with American singer Bebe Rexha.  Garrix described that the song gives the same euphoric feeling (as “In the Name of Love”) and has ‘deeper lyrics’, which he thought was important. (from wikipedia)

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Katzikat:  The typical bliss of a new relationship, new love that eventually became a strange companionship which questions your current state of mind “why am I still in this situation?”  As many say, it’s easy to start a relationship with someone.  The happy moments, the randomness, the spontaneity of it all takes you to the heavens.  As the relationship becomes old, the sweetness of the beginning is now turning sour. Petty things becomes big issues.  Attacking the personality of the the same person who made you smile genuinely from the start.  A relationship that started happy but went downhill along the way as we focus on the flaws and faults.  Being in a relationship is not all fairy tales.  It requires hard work too.  It requires all the elements of what you think will make you happy and then balance them all.  If you feel that you’ve become stagnant with the relationship, jumpstart it once again with new things to do.  As the inevitable thing happens to all of us….we are changing.  (there is no other suitable voice to sing this song than Dua Lipa.  She justified the meaning of the song with her powerful voice).

4.  Fix You – Coldplay

Behind the Lyrics: The message throughout the song, in which Martin sings, is words of encouragement: “Lights will guide you home / And ignite your bones / And I will try to fix you.  Michele Hatty of USA Weekend reported that Martin sings about recovering from grief in the song.  (from wikipedia)

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Katzikat: The most moving song I have ever heard from Coldplay.  Every words are meant to touch every lives.  As none of us became complacent in the lives that we lead, at the end of the day, we still need that someone who can understand what you are going through in life.  That someone who will make you feel like you’re home.  That someone who will make you realize that tomorrow is another day.

5.  Just Hold On – Steve Aoki / Louis Tomlinson

Behind the Song: Tomlinson’s debut performance of “Just Hold On” on The X Factor (UK) came just days after it was announced that his mother, Johannah Deakin, died at the age of 42 after a battle with leukemia.

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Katzikat: When life gives us choices, always go for the one that will make you happy.  Your choice from the start will define the road you are going to take.  If you come across a crossroads once again, make a choice.  These choices we make may not always be the same with the people we love but trust me when I say that the path you want to take is not dependent on them but on you.

6.  Find You – Zedd

Behind the Song: a song by RussianGerman musician and producer Zedd for the soundtrack for the film Divergent.

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Katzikat:  When you live your life according to your expectations, you tend to sometimes be astray and eventually become lost.  When that happens, it’s good to have someone who will remind you of who you were before.  Be it a friend, a lover, a parent or an inspiration, losing ourselves in the process of living life can sometimes be ecstatic and scary.

7.  I won’t give up – Jason Mraz

Behind the song: “‘I Won’t Give Up’ was written selfishly. As many of my songs are, I write for the purpose of understanding what the hell’s going on in my life, my position in the world, processing that lesson and that miracle that I’m learning. Seeing it on the page, proving to myself that I understand the lesson, that I’m applying it to my life, and that I can move on. Ultimately it was about, you know, regardless of what happens in this relationship, I don’t have to give up on loving this person, or loving myself, or give up on whatever my dreams are. Even though it’s written through the filter of relationships, it’s not necessarily specific for relationships. For me, the true meaning exists in the bridge saying ‘I don’t want to be someone who walks away so easily, I’m here to stay and make a difference.’ That is for all of us. We all have something that we’re fighting for or that we’re striving for. Whether we want to coach our soccer team to victory or lose five pounds in a month, whatever it is, there’s nothing too small worth fighting for and there’s nothing too big worth going after. – Jason Mraz (from wikipedia)

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Katzikat: As we age, we start to search for our purpose in life.  Have we already made a difference?  Have we already touched lives of others.  Nobody’s asking you to save the world but a small act of kindness can make a difference.  No matter how small or big a situation is, the difference of us with others is how you handled it.

Broken – Seether / Amy Lee

Behind the song: is a song by South African post-grunge and alternative metal band Seether, featuring American singer Amy Lee, the lead singer of Evanescence and then-girlfriend of Seether vocalist Shaun Morgan. (from wikipedia)

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Katzikat: This song has a special place in my heart.  I have been down before and I almost have no one to help me get back up.  That feeling that someone loves you enough to take away your pain is best feeling of them all.  Being alone in this world can be scary at times.

Stuck in a Moment you can’t get out of – U2

Behind the song: U2’s lead singer Bono wrote the song about the suicide of his close friend Michael Hutchence, lead singer of the band INXS. The song is written in the form of an argument about suicide in which Bono tries to convince Hutchence of the act’s foolishness. Bono characterized the song as a fight between friends, which he felt guilty for never having with Hutchence. As Bono said in 2005, “It’s a row between mates. You’re kinda trying to wake them up out of an idea. In my case it’s a row I didn’t have while he was alive. I feel the biggest respect I could pay to him was not to write some stupid soppy song, so I wrote a really tough, nasty little number, slapping him around the head. And I’m sorry, but that’s how it came out of me. (from wikipedia)

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Katzikat: An excerpt from my journal entry everytime I hear this song.36599559_10156538222430421_5877086359964876800_n

Got ’til it’s Gone – Janet Jackson

Behind the song: “Got ’til It’s Gone” was released as the lead single from Jackson’s sixth album The Velvet Rope, which chronicled Jackson’s struggle with depression and intimacy.  click here.

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Katzikat: In life, when we lose someone, that’s the only time we realize their worth.  It’s the worst feeling of them all.  There is nothing that could justify the loss.  It’s just either you forgive yourself and move on or dwell from the situation.  Take the opportunity that if you are given second chances, make it worthwhile.

How about you?  What’s song lyrics inspires you in this life?

Follow my Spotify and listen to the songs I listen to. 🙂