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Paris Break-ins and Robberies

The Philippine embassy in France issued a travel advisory reminding Filipinos traveling to Paris to be vigilant of break-ins, robberies and pickpocketing incidence in the city.

Filipinos are requested to follow the list of safety guidelines when traveling to France:

1. Always secure personal belongings such as bags, wallets, phones and other personal items when visiting tourist spots, walking around, and riding public transportation.

2. Be wary of pickpockets. They are rampant at metro stations, trains, and even in shopping areas.

3. Keep passport and identity card in separate areas of your bag, so as to lessen the risk of losing both identity documents.

4. Theft may also occur in hotels and apartments. Make sure that your briefcases, bags and other valuables are secure. Be wary of the so-called “hotel rats,” scam artists who pretend to be hotel guests or tourists and who can swipe baggage in hotel lobbies, or book rooms with fake names and break-in rooms to steal valuables.

5. Do not carry a lot of cash. Most stores accept cards. Should you use your card, cover your hand discreetly when typing the pin.

6. Keep your bags out of sight when inside the vehicles. Robberies may sometimes occur during traffic jams.

7. Be alert and vigilant when visiting different areas in France. Make sure to follow the instructions of police and military personnel in case of any incident.

8. Be updated with the news. Refrain from going to areas that are declared to be unsafe or that have terrorism threat.

In case an urgent assistance is needed, Filipinos may call the embassy via their 24/7 emergency hotline at +33 6 20 59 25 15.

Filipinos seeking help may also visit the embassy at 45 Rue de Ranelagh, 4 Hameau de Boulainvilliers, 75016 Paris, France or send them a message at +33 1 44 14 57 00 or via their email address paris.pe@dfa.gov.ph (PNA)

Source: http://www.pna.gov.ph/

Boracay still named among best islands in Asia despite closure

MANILA – Despite of its closure since April, Boracay has maintained a spot in Travel + Leisure magazine’s list of Top 10 islands in Asia.

It landed the No. 8 spot this year, getting a score of 86.14.

Two other Philippine destinations made the cut – Cebu made it to sixth place with a score of 89.10, while Palawan, after two years of winning the No. 1 spot, finished at No. 5 with 90.04.

At the top spot is Java in Indonesia, which also dominated Travel + Leisure magazine’s world’s best islands list.

Here are the Top 10 islands in Asia, as voted by readers of Travel + Leisure:

1. Java, Indonesia (95.28)
2. Bali, Indonesia (94.06)
3. Lombok, Indonesia (93.88)
4. Maldives (90.48)
5. Palawan, Philippines (90.04)
6. Cebu, Philippines (89.10)
7. Phuket, Thailand (86.14)
8. Boracay, Philippines (86.14)
9. Koh Samui, Thailand (85.07)
10. Koh Lanta, Thailand (82.50)

Source: https://news.abs-cbn.com/life/07/17/18/despite-closure-boracay-named-among-best-islands-in-asia

Korea Visa application in PH now only through travel agencies

MANILA – Starting July 1, 2018, Filipinos who wish to travel to South Korea may apply for a visa only through travel agencies, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines announced Tuesday.

According to the Korean Embassy, the new policy will be implemented due to the big increase in Korean visa applicants.

“Total number of visa applicants increased from 90,000 in the year 2015 to 120,000 by the end of 2016. In the year 2017, total number of visa applicants recorded was around 160,000,” the embassy said.

The increase in number of visa applicants caused inconvenience to the applicants.

“This increase in number of visa applicants caused the applicants to stand in hot weather outside the embassy for hours to wait in line for their turn to apply for respective visas,” the embassy said.

The embassy has designated the following travel agencies to process temporary visitor’s visa application:

Aboex Travel and Tours
Adventure International
Ark Travel Express Inc.
Blue Horizons Travel and Tours Inc.
Budget Travel and Tours Inc.
Casto Travel Philippines Inc.
City Travel & Tours Corporation
Come On Phils. Golf & Travel Agency Inc.
Constellation Travels, Inc.
First United Travel Inc.
Getaway Tours International Inc.
Grand Hope Travel, Inc.
H.I.S (Philippines) Travel Corp.
Hanatour Manila Inc.
HankookCeb Corp.
Horizon Travel & Tours, Inc.
International Journeys Inc.
Island Resort Club Tour Services, Inc.
JTB Asia Pacific Phil. Corp.
KP Joeun Consultancy Inc.
Las Palmas Tours and Travel Agency, Inc.
Marsman Drysdale Travel Inc.
MNK Travel & Tours Corp.
North Star International Travel, Inc.
Pan Pacific Travel Corporation
Party-On Travel and Tour Community Inc.
Rajah Travel Corporation
Rakso Air Travel and Tours Inc.
Reli Tours and Travel Company
Sharp Travel Service (Phils.) Inc
Swire Travel Phils., Inc.
The Baron Travel Corporation
Travel Pros
Travelservices, Inc.
Uni-Orient Travel, Inc.
From July 1, all walk-in applicants for temporary visitor’s visa will no longer be accepted.

The embassy, however, will allow walk-in applicants for the following:

– spouses and children of Koreans,
– holders of visa issuance number,
– government employees with official business trip, and
– those with humanitarian reason to travel to Korea urgently.

Source: http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/05/30/18/visa-application-for-korea-now-only-through-travel-agencies

For Korean Visa Application, you can contact Casto Travel Philippines at (+632) 810-0079 or +63917 831-7199.