How To Renew Your Malaysian Passport In Under 90 Minutes

Posted by : foongpc | Wednesday, March 30, 2011 | Published in


I hate queues. Any queues. Long queues waste my time and are totally unproductive!

Recently I discovered a way to renew my Malaysian passport in under 90 minutes, without the queues! Want to know how?

The good thing about this method is there are no forms to fill, no buttons to press, no machines to confuse you and the best thing is, you do not have to wait long for your new passport!

However, your current passport must be a chip-based passport. If it's not, sorry! You can stop reading here! : )

OK, actually this is not a new method. Some of you may have already renewed your passports using this method. It is called renewing passport via kiosks.

Now did I say that there is no machines to confuse you and no buttons to press? Yes, I did!! But there is in fact a machine - the kiosk! Only thing is, you do not need to touch the machine. There is someone on duty there who will do everything for you! At your service, my dear ladies and gentlemen!

I'm not sure which Immigration offices have this kiosk facility, but the one I went to is at Plaza Glomac in Kelana Jaya. If you stay in Petaling Jaya, this is a good place to renew your passport!

First, before you even go there, make sure you have these items with you ...

1. Your current chip-based passport
2. MyKad
3. A photocopy of your MyKad (front and back to be photocopied on one side of the page)
4. One passport-sized photo (with blue background)
5. RM100 (2 years) or RM300 (5 years) - only RM50 and RM100 banknotes are accepted.

By the way, please take note that the kiosks only accept passport renewal for 32 pages. If you want 64 pages, you will have to do it the manual way.

Also, take note that only application for the 5 years passport will be granted the balance of the expiry period from the old passport. If you apply for 2 years, your passport will expire within 2 years from the date you renew!

So how do you do the renewal? Very simple! At the Immigration office in Plaza Glomac, there are only 2 kiosks. I was there last Tuesday at about 10.30am. There was only one person using the kiosk! No queue at all! Wow!

The kiosks were located inside a room. I entered the room and a lady in uniform immediately attended to me. I passed her my photo, my MyKad, my photocopy of my MyKad and my old passport. She did everything else on the kiosks, including inserting the MyKad and the old passport and helping me key in my contact number and also helping me inserting my cash into the machine. Easy peasy! All done in about 5 minutes!

Oh yes, there was one part where the machine needs to read your thumbprint (the right thumb). After everything was completed, a receipt was printed out. I was asked to wait for one hour before coming back to drop my receipt at Counter 1 to collect my new passport.

During collection of your new passport, they will verify your MyKad and also your right thumbprint before issuing you your passport. That's it! All done in under 90 minutes!

So what did I do during that 1 hour wait? There are a few mamak shops in the complex, so I just went there for a drink and played Angry Birds on my iPhone. Haha!

Now, if you want to know how to get to this Immigration office in Plaza Glomac, here's the easiest route.

1. Get onto the NKVE heading towards Subang/Kelana Jaya
2. Right after the Subang Toll Plaza, keep left.
3. After you pass Shell petrol station on your left, turn left.
4. You will see the Immigration Office on your left.

Here is the proper address.

Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia, Negeri Selangor, (Cawangan Subang),
Blok A, Plaza Glomac, Jalan SS7/19, Kelana Jaya,
47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Tel : 03-78830975 / 78850149 / 78850301
Faks : 03-78850243

I Love Hong Kong And Bruno Mars!

Posted by : foongpc | Monday, March 28, 2011 | Published in


By the time you read this post, I would already be in Hong Kong. Yes, this is my first time going to Hong Kong so you can bet that I am excited!

I'm gonna visit the Ocean Park, Hong Kong Disneyland, Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, The Peak and The Arena Of Stars! And of course I am gonna shop till I drop and eat till I am fatter than the fattest Panda! Haha!

It's all about shopping and eating in Hong Kong, I was told, so that is what I'm gonna do there!

Meantime, I would temporarily stop my current Manila travel posts, but no worries, cos I will resume them once I return from Hong Kong. Of course, I have scheduled a few posts with special topics while I'm away so be sure to drop by and leave your thoughts.

Who knows, if I like your comments, I might send you a souvenir from Hong Kong! ; )

For today, I would like to share with you this favourite song of mine called Grenade. It's sung by Bruno Mars who will be in KL in April to give a concert. Here's the live studio version. Enjoy!!

Easy come, easy go
That's just how you live, oh
Take, take, take it all
But you never give

Should have known you was trouble from the first kiss
Had your eyes wide open
Why were they open?

Gave you all I had
And you tossed it in the trash
You tossed it in the trash, you did
To give me all your love is all I ever asked
Cause what you don't understand is

I’d catch a grenade for ya
Throw my hand on a blade for ya
I’d jump in front of a train for ya
You know I'd do anything for ya
Listen babe
I would go through all this pain
Take a bullet straight through my brain
Yes, I would die for ya baby
But you won't do the same

Black, black, black and blue beat me till I'm numb
Tell the devil I said “hey” when you get back to where you're from
Mad woman, bad woman,
That's just what you are, yeah
You’ll smile in my face then rip the brakes out my car

Gave you all I had
And you tossed it in the trash
You tossed it in the trash, yes you did
To give me all your love is all I ever asked
Cause what you don't understand is

I’d catch a grenade for ya
Throw my hand on a blade for ya
I’d jump in front of a train for ya
You know I'd do anything for ya
See I would go through all this pain
Take a bullet straight through my brain
Yes, I would die for ya baby
But you won't do the same

If my body was on fire, ooh
You’ d watch me burn down in flames
You said you loved me you're a liar
Cause you never, ever, ever did baby...

But darling I’ll still catch a grenade for ya
Throw my hand on a blade for ya
I’d jump in front of a train for ya
You know I'd do anything for ya
Oh babe,
I would go through all this pain,
Take a bullet straight through my brain
Yes, I would die for ya baby
But you won't do the same.

Baluarte De San Diego In Intramuros

Posted by : foongpc | Thursday, March 24, 2011 | Published in


My pedicab driver told me he would bring me to see cannons next after Casa Manila, but along the way, we stopped by several places of interest in Intramuros.

The first one was this San Ignacio Church ruins.

There were five statues in front of the church ruins. Wait! I am not sure if they were in front or behind the church actually! Haha!

I don't know what exactly these statues represent as there were no information marker here. But I found out via Google Search that these statues symbolise the five religious orders to arrive in the Philippines - Augustinians, Franciscans, Jesuits, Dominicans and Recollects.

You can find further details HERE.

After that, I passed by a building but I was not sure what building this was! If you are a Filipino reading this and you know the answer, please let me know. Thanks!

I also saw a building undergoing some repairs or renovation. Wonder what building this is!

Soon we reached a place where I could see a parade of all the past Presidents of the Philippines! Please click on the picture below to enlarge it.

But wait! I thought there are supposed to be 14 Presidents. How come only 13 here? Who is the one missing?!

I am not very well versed with the names and faces of the Presidents in the Philippines so maybe you want to help me out here? Using the List of Philippines' Presidents from Wikipedia, let's see if we can guess the identity of these presidents correctly, shall we?

Emilio Aguinaldo and Manuel L. Quezon - the first and second Presidents of the Philippines?

Who are these three? Anyone can help here?

Diosdado Macapagal, Ferdinand Marcos, Corazon Aquino - I hope I am correct!

Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Quite sure I got it right here!

OK, I know I did not include two other Presidents here. Forgot to take pictures of them both. Haha!

After that, my pedicab driver stopped somewhere and got me to climb up someplace high to show me the Intramuros Golf Course.

It was a really nice view! I also saw these two black statues sitting on the benches up here.

I wonder who these two statues represent! But look! Parts of the legs and hand are missing! Oh no!!

Finally, we reached Baluarte De San Diego Gardens. The word Baluarte means bastion or fortification so I expected to see a fort or something here!

I like the guard dressed all in blue and wearing a blue hat as well! Nice uniform!

If not mistaken, I had to pay 75 pesos (RM5) to enter the garden.

Can you spot the Baluarte De San Diego on this map below? Please click to enlarge.

Map Of Intramuros

It's located along the Intramuros wall on the right bottom corner of the map.

There was a nice fountain in the middle of the garden.

I also took photo of this. Do you know what it is?

And then I saw this series of steps going up.

I climbed up the stairs wondering what I would see up there!

And then I reached the top of the stairs.

Looking down I saw this! Wow!

So this is how the Baluarte De San Diego looks like! It was huge!

Originally a circular fort encompassing the defence of land and sea known as Fort Nuestra Senora de Guia designed and built by Jesuit priest Antonio Sedeno in 1586, it was renovated and rebuilt a few times.

A new Baluarte was constructed in the 17th century shaped like an ace of spades. Breached during the 1762 British invasion and destroyed during World War II, San Diego was restored during the 1980's.

I found it a little strange to see the ruins and the modern skyscrapers of Manila City together in the same scene.

I could see the Manila Hotel from here.

I could also see the Pamantasan Ng Lungsod Ng Maynila which my driver pointed out to me to be the University of the City Of Manila. By the way, there are a few schools, colleges and a university in Intramuros which was really quite a surprise to me!

Due to its close proximity to the Intramuros Golf Course, you have to be careful and watch out for flying golf balls up here!

After walking for some time here, I decided it's time to leave.

An artilery sighted here

"Where are the cannons I wanted so much to see?" I asked my driver who was waiting outside for me.

"That's where we would be heading to next!" He replied.

As we made our way there, I could see the tall, thick muralla or wall along the right side of the road.

This place is amazing! I really found myself loving Intramuros more and more. I could not wait to see those cannons! My pedicab driver said I could even sit on them! Wow! And that's exactly what I planned to do.

My Visit To Casa Manila

Posted by : foongpc | Monday, March 21, 2011 | Published in


After leaving Fort Santiago, my pedicab driver cum tour guide brought me to Casa Manila. Along the way, we passed by a few interesting buildings.

This is the Palacio del Sana building along Anda Street.

Not sure what was this building for. Any Filipino reading this knows?

Not far away at the corner junction of Anda and Cabildo Street, I came across Kaisa Angelo King Heritage Center which houses the Bahay Tsinoy, a museum that documents the history, lives and contributions of the Chinese in the Philippines.

The word Tsinoy means Filipino Chinese and I was really surprised that this minority group is given recognition and respect! How I wish we also have a similar museum in Malaysia that recognizes the contribution of Malaysian Chinese!

Anyway, I did not visit this museum. It would have taken too much of my time. My pedicab driver just stopped for me to get down and take some pictures of the building.

Soon, we were on our way again and he stopped me at Plaza de Santa Isabel located at the corner junction of Anda and General Luna Street. Here I could see a monument called Memorare - Manila 1945.

Please click on the picture below to read the inscription on the monument.

This Memorare Manila monument was erected in memory of the more than 100,000 defenceless civilians who were killed during the Battle for the Liberation of Manila between February 3 and March 3, 1945. They were mainly victims of heinous acts perpetrated by the Japanese Imperial Forces and the casualties of the heavy artillery barrage by the American Forces.

Read more about the Battle of Manila HERE.

I could see the beautiful green dome of the Manila Cathedral which I visited earlier from here.

Soon, we reached another church touted to be the oldest surviving church in Intramuros and the whole of Philippines. It's the San Agustin Church.

Completed in 1607, the San Agustin Church is the only building left intact after the destruction of Intramuros during the Battle of Manila. The present structure is actually the third to stand on the site and has survived seven major earthquakes, as well as the wars in Manila.

Together with three other churches in Philippines, the San Agustin Church was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.

The ornately carved main door of San Agustin Church

Statues at the facade of the church

I did not get to enter the church as it was closed to tourists that day. Too bad! I would have loved to see the interior of the church and take some photos!

Anyway, just across the street opposite the church lies Plaza San Luis where Casa Manila is situated. I walked across and entered the building while my driver waited for me outside.

Plaza San Luis is actually a cultural-cum-commercial complex and comprises of a few houses, one of which is Casa Manila.

The Spanish had ruled Philippines for more than three centuries so it was little wonder that they had left a deep impact on the way of life of the Filipinos. Casa Manila seemed to showcase that era very well.

I like this courtyard with the fountain in Casa Manila.

The architecture here was definitely Spanish-influenced.

I took a few photos of the interior.

Oh! There's even a hotel here!

Casa Manila has a museum that is actually a 3-storey house where you can see rooms and kitchen exactly like those found in the 19th century Manila houses during the Spanish colonial rule. But I did not visit the museum. I guess just looking around the interior of this building was good enough for me!

I came across a small shop called La Monja Loca Store which sells all types of souvenirs.

I ended up buying this Big Binondo Food Wok Map and did not regret it! This map is actually a very good guide to Binondo, which is Manila's Chinatown. It helped me find places of interest and restaurants there!

I shall be blogging about Binondo soon. If you are a first timer to Manila and wish to visit its Chinatown, I highly recommend you get this map!

I also bought a Manila Groovy Map from this shop. I reckoned that I would need a good map to explore Manila in the next few days! The map provided by my hotel was simply not good enough!

Outside the La Monja Loca Store was an old fashioned carriage. Beautiful!

I walked around quite a bit and then I decided it's time to leave.

The lady manning the ticket counter for the museum tried to convince me to visit the museum. I declined and we ended up talking about Malaysia. She even learned a few malay words from me, haha!!

I do find Filipinos to be very nice and friendly people in general and this had made my stay in Manila especially enjoyable.

Believe it or not, I even liked my pedicab driver despite what he did to me. For those of you who do not know what he did to me, please read my two previous posts HERE and HERE.

As I came out from Casa Manila, I saw him waiting there for me across the road. So what's next, I asked him. He said he would be bringing me to see cannons! Oh yes! I love cannons!!