I’ve been issued four single entry visa, three of which I’ve used over the course of 4 years. It’s fine to apply everytime you want to visit, really. The Korean Visa grants embassy on gratis (for free) and it’s just a matter of fulfilling the requirements and passing it. If you have previous visas to OECD countries, the requirements are just basic formalities. Sure, it’s still their discretion to give you a visa, but let’s just say you can worry less.
What’s annoying about the whole process is the traffic. I live in the north and this last time I have to apply for one because of work, it took me 2 1/2 hours to go to Mckinley, where I spent barely 20 minutes inside before I get my turn in front of the lady consul.
Bright side: I get to see the lady Korean consul again, — she to whom I submitted all 4 of my previous application. She who I tried my darnest to speak English only for her to respond to me in perfect Tagalog. She sits behind Window 3, which is where people with OECD visas submit their applications. She has sat there, I guess, everyday for the past (at least) 4 years skimming thru documents with efficiency and filing them away for processing . I am impressed with her dedication.
I got my visa a week after it was due for release. It just lie there simmering in the unclaimed section because I was dreading the traffic and was waiting for the family driver to become available. Traffic was more forgiving the day I claimed our passports (I claimed my mother and sister in law’s passports. They too were going to korea on a separate trip.) The driver took me there in just an hour, decent for a north to south Metro Manila travel and I spent a whole 5 minutes inside the embassy. I barely planted my tush on the waiting area when the number which was handed to me was called out. I rush to the window and saw the pretty korean lady consul again, bearing good news, and our passports.
“This (pointing to my passport), multiple 3 years. These, single entry.”
I guess she’s tired of seeing my face yearly, too.
Among the many superstitions us Filipinos have when it comes to wakes and funerals, the thing I most look forward to is Pagpag. To the uninitiated, Pagpag is what you do or where you go after going to a wake. The premise is after you go to a wake, you should go some place else to eat and to be particularly strict about it, eat something sweet. You don’t go straight from the wake to your home because superstitions say that spirits might be able to follow you home, lest you want the next tragedy to befall upon your home. You go from the wake to the restaurant to literally ‘pagpag’ or shake off the spirits away.
It’s a frequent household discussion before, during and after the wake: where should we pagpag? Here is an actual car conversation, and today’s sneak peek of our boring, ‘old couple’ married life:
Me: Alam mo san maganda magpagpag? Sa Pares.
Jr: Sa Palace?
Me: Oo, sa Palace. Pagkatapos mag lamay, tugstugstugs.