Why Gcash removed Pay SSS PRN through Gcash app

Today, I accessed Gcash app and I am sad to find out that I can not pay SSS – PRN through the app. Even if I manually access the Gcash feature by dialing *143# through my mobile phone, SSS payment is no longer available. This is a bummer. As of today, there are many Filipinos in Philippines and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) abroad who can not go out to pay SSS due to the pandemic, limiting peoples’ movement. I investigated and checked the main website of SSS.

This is the pay Government bills options available in GCash app. SSS – PRN is not available.
If you dial *143# through mobile phone, then go to Gcash, then Pay Bills, then select Government category, these are the options that you can pay. Unfortunately, I also can not find SSS PRN here.

The main SSS website is currently back to how it must be. The main page at the time has a pop up box asking you to check the box to confirm that you are not a robot. It keeps asking that every time you go to the main page which is quite annoying. Below you can see the SSS members portal. It is evident that an SSS app can be downloaded via Android Google Play, or Huawei App Gallery, and Apple’s App Store. The Huawei App Gallery is something new. I guess this is in response to the news on Google stopping Huawei’s access to Android updates.

Social Security System SSS Philippines main website members portal login page.

Nowadays people are familiar with apps so out of curiosity and the mission to pay SSS online, I decided to download the SSS app from Huawei App Gallery for Huawei smartphone users. Below you can see on the left a screenshot of the SSS app login. After logging in you can see the main menu. There is one option to generate PRN or SOA.

SSS mobile application allowing Filipinos and OFWs to pay SSS online.

After generating the PRN, the mobile app would allow you to pay either via PayMaya account or Credit / Debit card. The PayMaya account option will cost you 10 Philippines pesos convenience fee while Credit or Debit card’s convenience fee costs 100 pesos.

Generate SSS PRN through SSS smartphone app.
For OFWs, they can pay SSS online via PayMaya, and Credit or Debit card since SSS PRN has been removed from Gcash mobile app.

Back to the question why Gcash removed SSS Payment from the Gcash app, well, I really don’t know why but I really liked that option. I wish Gcash would return that option because honestly, it was cheaper and seamless. I remember its convenience fee was only 5 pesos. The current option to pay via PayMaya account in something another hoop I need to deal with since I do not have a PayMaya account. The other option to pay via Debit or Credit card is kind of expensive for me.

8 Reasons to Sends Postcards When Traveling and the Postcrossing

Sending postcards to yourself, to your friends, and family is still relevant in the digital age. Here are the top 8 reasons why you must send postcards when you travel:

1. The Science of Touch.
Study showed that physical materials leave a deeper footprint in human being’s brain. The power of the physical postcard is stronger and the memory of whoever sent it becomes part of long-term memory.

2. One of the world’s thinnest souvenirs.
Postcards don’t take up much space. You can collect all postcards you received and create a scrapbook or album.

3. It shows you care.
Sending postcard requires time and effort because you select the postcard, write a message and send it. You make a lasting impression to the recipient.

4. Postcard inspires people to travel.
Postcards make our world bigger and it creates connections to places. It makes you want to travel whenever you get a postcard from a country you’ve never been. For other people, postcard is the cheapest way to see the world.

5. It is your travel journal.
It reminds you of your travels and puts a smile on your face. It also helps in reviving the forgotten art of reminiscing.

6. Postcards lasts longer.
Your children might get their hands on some of your postcards. They will enjoy your travel memories and they might even sell these postcards to Deltiologists for big bucks!

7. Added bonus for Philatelists.
Philatelists will get to collect beautiful printed images, personal messages and the stamps.

8. Learning with postcards.
There are fun fact themed postcards that you can send to youngsters. It can be an excellent way of teaching them about places around the world.

8 Reasons to Sends Postcards When Traveling and the Postcrossing.com Project

Did you know?

There is a project called Postcrossing. The goal of the project is to allow anyone to send and receive postcards from all over the world. Through this platform, you can make friends too! Postcrossing has “Travel Mode” option which will allow you to send postcards from your travel destination when you’re temporarily traveling.
Let’s check it out. Just go to www.postcrossing.com

Chinese Visa Application for Philippines and Ukraine Passport Holders

This post is about our Chinese Visa Application experience . We are Philippines and Ukraine Passport holders (Filipina and Ukrainian) who are temporary residing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Chinese visa application here in Kuala Lumpur was done through the Chinese Visa Application Service Center. It is currently located in the address below:

Level 5 & 6, Hampshire Place Office, Jalan Mayang Sari, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.

We applied last July 2019 and entered China on September 2019. Philippines passport holders need a tourist visa Category L to enter China if he or she is going to tour the country for a few days and not just transiting there. Ukraine Passport holders also need a Category L visa to enter China and to be able spend more than 72 hours in the country. Out reason for traveling to China at that time was because we needed to support the Philippines national basketball team in the recently concluded FIBA World Cup Basketball 2019.

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Bukit Lawang Orangutan tracking, trekking and tubing

Bukit Lawang Orangutan Tracking and Tubing

I ordered the Bukit Lawang Orangutan tracking, trekking, and tubing activities from the owner of my hotel, Wisma Leuser Sibayak. This was part of my Bukit Lawang and Lake Toba Itinerary. Ricky who was the representative of the hotel was also my guide during the three hours activities which cost me 45 Euros ($52). Ricky, arranged everything including the fruits for our snacks and the permit to enter the Gunung Leuser National Park. In the afternoon of January 14, after lunch, we started the trekking. Ricky’s associate or colleague Nuria joined us.

Read the full report: “Bukit Lawang and Lake Toba Itinerary.

What do you wear and bring in the jungle trekking?

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Bukit Lawang and Lake Toba Itinerary

Bukit Lawang and Lake Toba DIY itinerary

This was my Bukit Lawang and Lake Toba five days and four nights Itinerary. The start point and end point of the trip were Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) in Malaysia. Philippines Passport holders do not need a visa to enter Indonesia and are eligible to remain in Indonesia without a visa for 30 days.

Day One.

I departed  KLIA2 via Air Asia flight number QZ 129 at 08:40, Malaysia time. The flight duration was more or less an hour. At 8:45, Indonesian time, I arrived at Kualanamu International Airport. Indonesia is an hour behind Malaysian time. The flight cost me RM 52.55 (Malaysia Ringgit) or roughly $13 based on today’s rate.

The immigration officer asked me if it was my first time in Indonesia and if I was alone. He also asked where I’d go.

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How to Apply and Secure NBI Clearance in Philippines

A Philippines citizen secures the National Bureau of Investigation or NBI clearance for different reasons. For example, for local employment and for traveling abroad. All steps necessary to secure the NBI clearance were done in person before the Internet became available to the public. Below is the step by step instructions to secure the clearance. Please be informed that these instructions apply to locals like me. If you are a foreigner, the steps are probably slightly different from ours.

A. NBI Personal Account creation.

Steps:
1. Go to NBI’s website.
2. For new Registration, click the checkbox in front of “No” for the question “Do you have an old NBI clearance?”
Note: The Yes option is applicable only on 2014-2018 NBI Clearances.

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e-VISA to India for Philippines Passport Holders

Taj Mahal India

I traveled to India’s golden triangle last February 5 to 9. It is the beaten path which is composed of New Delhi which is the capital of India, Agra which is part of Uttar Pradesh State, and Jaipur which is the capital of the Rajasthan State. Before going to India, for ordinary Philippine passport holders like me, it is vital to apply for e-VISA to India. In this post, I will share the steps based on my experience and situation.

Update: As of August 10, 2018, the eVisa fee cost $80.

A. Photo and passport copy preparation.

Prepare a clear front-facing photograph with a light colored background (e.g.: white). The photo format must be a jpeg. Its size must be a minimum of 10 KB and a maximum 1 MB. The dimensions are minimum of 350 pixels by 350 pixels. You may use a photo editor to accomplish this.

The passport page with your personal details must be scanned and saved in pdf format. Its size must be a minimum of 10 KB and a maximum 300 KB.

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How to get a Police Clearance in Imus City, Philippines

Imus City Hall in Philippines

Each city or municipality in the Philippines have the main Police Station where you can get a Police Clearance certificate. You can only get this certificate from Imus City Police Station if you live in the City. I will share the steps on how to secure a Police Clearance certificate from Imus Police Station based on my experience.

Requirement:
Barangay Clearance. To get a Barangay Clearance you can check my article “How to get a Barangay Clearance in Imus City, Cavite, Philippines.”

Payment:
Community Tax Certificate
Official Receipt from the Office of the Imus City Treasurer
Official Receipt from the Imus Police Station.

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How to get a Barangay Clearance in Imus City, Cavite, Philippines

The barangays are the smallest units of local government in the Philippines. A Barangay Clearance is a piece of document which you need to secure for many different legal purposes. For example, securing a Police Clearance in the Philippine city where you belong requires a Barangay Clearance.

I will share my experience on how I secured a Barangay Clearance from Pag-Asa II (or Pag-Asa 2) Barangay Hall.

Requirements:
An endorsement from your Home Owners Management. For example, if you live in a Subdivision which is part of Barangay Pag-Asa II (or Pag-Asa 2), you must go to your management and get an endorsement. Just inform them that you need it to secure a Barangay Clearance.

Steps:

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e-Visa to Georgia for Philippines Passport Holders

Bridge of Peace in Tbilisi

Last September 11 to 16, 2017 my husband and I visited Georgia, a country in the Caucasus region. My husband does not need a visa to enter Georgia but for an ordinary Philippine passport holders like me need to apply for eVisa. In this post, I will share the steps I’ve been through based on my experience and situation. I will also share suggestions and my border crossing experience.

A. Travel Insurance, accommodation booking and return ticket.
It is important to purchase a travel insurance (e.g. World Nomads) that is valid throughout the period of stay in Georgia. It is also a must to book a hotel or in Airbnb for the accommodation just in case the immigration officer will ask for it.

B. Photo and passport copy preparation.
Prepare a scanned passport size photo and scanned passport page with the personal details. The photo size is 472×610 pixels. The passport can also be in .jpg format.

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