Complete Guide: Applying for Short Stay Schengen Visa with Sponsor

We all dream of reuniting with loved ones overseas, whether it’s our parents, siblings, partners, or good friends. Unfortunately, most people from developing countries couldn’t simply book flights. We have to go through the long, expensive, and stressful process of acquiring a visa instead. Thus a short stay Schengen visa with a sponsor is something many people apply for.

Different visa classes have different requirements. The same goes for a Schengen visa with sponsor. Each country within the Schengen territory also has a different set of requirements for short stay Schengen visa with sponsor.

If you are planning to apply, check out this handy list of everything you need to know about the application process, plus requirements from every Schengen member state.


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Where to apply

The Austrian Embassy Manila via VFS Global processes short stay Schengen visas for visiting family and friends for both Austria and Lithuania. If you are planning to visit Lithuania, you may also apply at the Austrian Embassy and submit the Continue reading Complete Guide: Applying for Short Stay Schengen Visa with Sponsor

Danjugan Island: Dive, Trek, Discover

by Pauline Pama

Danjugan Island is a marine reserve and wildlife sanctuary. It is not the usual resort with many people and sometimes, party atmosphere. It is the perfect place if you seek nature adventure and peaceful environment at the same time. A limited number of guests are allowed per day. If you’re lucky, your group may happen to have the place all to yourselves. Overnight at Moray Lagoon Camp is 2,950php/person while an overnight stay at Typhoon Beach is 3,950php/person.

Overnight packages of Danjugan include everything you need: accommodation, meals, boat transfers, boat tour, trekking & snorkeling guide, unlimited use of kayaks, free use of snorkeling gear, conservation fee and accident insurance. Therefore, you can focus on your stay and not with unexpected expenses. If you choose to have a day trip only, they also offer it at 1,950php/person. It includes meals, boat transfers, trekking & snorkeling guide, unlimited use of kayaks, free use of snorkeling gear and conservation fee.

Note: Be prepared with power banks since there is no electricity. Also, be mindful of your water usage because running water in the island is also limited. The island’s amenities are solar-powered, and water is maximized carefully. Remember that guests are encouraged to be open-minded. Though it may be a little inconvenient to some, the island promotes environmental preservation and counts on our willingness to cooperate.

How to get there:

From Manila, take an hour flight to Bacolod-Silay Airport. From the airport, you Continue reading Danjugan Island: Dive, Trek, Discover

Experience the Old and Untouched Palawan in Port Barton

Between Coron in danger of being destroyed and El Nido slowly getting overrun, Palawan purists are in search of the good old days. Before the jostling crowds and the badly-planned theme parks, there was just paradise. Now that Palawan is approaching a tipping point, one of the small lights glimmering in the distance is Port Barton.

Port Barton, in San Vicente, Palawan, is a small, sleepy village with little to no commercial developments. This isn’t the place for luxury hotels or buzzing bars for those tropical nights (it only has electricity about 6 hours a day). It’s the perfect place for intrepid travelers and brave adventurers who truly relish in the purity of a place. In return, you get Palawan for what it is: a natural wonder and the Philippines’ last frontier, considered one of the most beautiful in the world.

Snorkeling in untouched reefs

The great thing about snorkeling in Port Barton is how many of the reefs are right off the town. Whether you decide to go far, or just explore off the beach, you’re sure to see a lot. Manta Ray Reef is a highlight, being 150 hectares in size. Its steady healing is apparent despite the damages that severe coral bleaching and typhoons it caused. Reefs near Double Island, like Fantastic Reef and Small Lagoon Reef, are also a great spot for corals and different fish species. Meanwhile, Aquarium Four and Oyster Point are right in the middle of the water and are perhaps the busiest when it comes underwater marine activity. Continue reading Experience the Old and Untouched Palawan in Port Barton

Your Travel Guide To Chasing Waterfalls In Negros Island

Negros Island is full of stunning natural attractions from its pristine beaches, lush green forests, eco-parks to its beautiful mountains. But aside from that, there are also lots of majestic waterfalls scattered all over the province that deserves to be mentioned. Well, here’s a travel guide that will help you chase some of the best Negros Island Waterfalls.

Casaroro Falls

Photo by Etienne Martin / CC BY
Photo by Etienne Martin / CC BY

This 100-feet waterfall is located in the municipality of Valencia which is an hour away from Dumaguete, the capital city of Negros Oriental. Casaroro Falls a.k.a. Kalamason Falls is dubbed by many as the most photographed waterfall in Negros because of its unique appearance. It’s tall and vertically narrow compared to the Continue reading Your Travel Guide To Chasing Waterfalls In Negros Island

9 Philippine National Railways Destinations to Spice Up Your Commute

Trains fascinate many travelers. They hold a certain romance — think The Orient Express, or even Harry Potter. Plus, they offer good value for budget travelers. The Philippines’ railway system hardly rivals that Japan or even fellow ASEAN countries like Thailand and Vietnam, where thousands of tourists take days-long sleeper trains every year. However, Manila does have one heavy railway: the Philippine National Railways Northbound-Southbound Line. This is the last remaining line of the 1,100 km of railroad that the Philippine National Railways controlled at its zenith. To get a taste of the golden age of train travel, check out these 9 spots via PNR Northbound-Southbound line. 

To follow this travel guide, start at Tutuban Station, the northernmost terminal of the line and Philippine National Railways’ fanciest existing station. The train runs every half hour, so you can get off, look around, and head back to the station in time to catch another train to your next destination. You should have time to see at least two destinations in one day. Be careful if you’re heading for destinations past Alabang; only one train reaches the end of the line every day, leaving Tutuban at 7:11 AM.

The whole ride takes 2 hours and 40 minutes. See the latest schedules from Philippine National Railways here. The fares are zone-based, with the price starting at 15 pesos and going up by 5 pesos every 7 km for an air-conditioned car. An “ordinary” car starts at 12 pesos and goes up 4 pesos every 7 km. You can view a fare chart here.

Dangwa Flower Market at Laong-Laan Station

Photo by ginomempin / CC BY

Two stops and roughly 10 minutes from Tutuban, you’ll arrive at Laong-Laan Station. Laong-Laan is conveniently close to Dangwa Bulaklakan, the biggest and most famous flower market in Manila. Most of the 50+ vendors here are open 24/7, ensuring that Manila’s spurned husbands can buy their wives apology presents at any time of day. Buy your travel partner a rose or a lily for a few pesos. It’ll serve as a much-needed air fresher if your notoriously crowded PNR car gets too packed as you continue south.

Continue reading 9 Philippine National Railways Destinations to Spice Up Your Commute

Romblon: Every Traveler’s Dream Destination

Now that we’ve written a whole article on Sibuyan Island, the “Galapagos of Asia,” we need to tell you a little more about its next-door neighbors in the province of Romblon. This small archipelago, comprised of seven islands, is a hot spot of biodiversity. From marine life to terrestrial wonders, it seems this province has it all. So in case you need even more reason to visit Romblon, here are some highlights from its two largest islands of Romblon and Tablas to fire up those itchy feet.

Blue Hole, Tablas

The Blue Hole in the north-easternmost tip of Tablas Island is said to be the only known blue hole in the country. It is 6 meters in diameter and 30 meters deep. Inside is the perfect place for macro underwater photography enthusiasts, with a stunning diversity of marine life despite its small size and isolation. A common challenge for divers in Continue reading Romblon: Every Traveler’s Dream Destination

Nueva Ecija Activities for Your Next Weekend Roadtrip

Sitting in the center of the popular tourist provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Pangasinan, and Aurora is Nueva Ecija. It’s perhaps the largest province of Central Luzon, and yet, when it comes to tourist activities, it’s never mentioned as much as its neighbors. We’re here to change that.

Nueva Ecija may be most known for its rice fields, but it is full of adventures and unique experiences, too. So pack your bags and get ahead of everyone else as you discover this little known gem of Region III.

Minalungao National Park

Minalungao National Park is perhaps what put Nueva Ecija on the tourism map a few years ago. Today, it’s one of the most visited sites in the province, drawing weekend crowds by the throngs. In spite of its natural wonder and beauty, it’s not really the kind of place you visit for an escape. Thanks to the influx of tourists. But don’t let that stop you. The river’s gorgeous blue water, especially in the summer months, is a sight to behold with or without people. The limestone cliffs standing tall on either side are simply majestic too. Come here to swim, to float on bamboo rafts along the river, to go hiking, or cliff diving. It’s also best to come now before all the planned commercial developments such as a hotel building and swimming pools are built. It’s certainly Continue reading Nueva Ecija Activities for Your Next Weekend Roadtrip

Discover Aurora Province with These Fun Side Trips from Baler

We all love Baler. The long stretch of Sabang Beach, mountain-cool waters of Mother Falls, and laid-back vibes of the town has long enticed surfers and non-surfers alike. But it turns out that Baler is only one gem in Aurora province’s crown. Just a few hours away are several activities near Baler you can take while you’re in the area. They’re just as scenic, maybe even more exciting, and a unique glimpse into a place we all know and love.

Diguisit Falls rappel

Adrenaline junkies have more than just Baler’s famous waves to get them stoked. Rappelling down the 40-foot high cascade of Diguisit Falls is a worthy source of a rush as well. Located just off of the highway, about 10 minutes from Baler town proper, Diguisit Falls is composed of two sets of multi-tiered cascades sitting a few meters apart. It takes some effort to get to the bigger cascade, with a hike up slippery rocks and trickling water. And to get down, you can strap yourself onto some ropes and meet the ultimate challenge. There are few things cooler (literally Continue reading Discover Aurora Province with These Fun Side Trips from Baler

Must-do Batanes Activities Outside the Usual Tours

Here’s what blogs gloss over. Batanes, beautiful though every angle might be, is very small. As such tours only take a half day, leaving the rest of the day and the night pretty empty. Since it’s laid-back and quiet, there’s no semblance of nightlife on the islands either.

But don’t take that to mean it’s boring. On the contrary, it gives us city-folk all the opportunity to bask in the province’s natural wonders. So when you find yourself back at the hotel with a whole afternoon in front of you, remember these spots where you could kill time and revel in Batanes’ beauty all by yourself!

Sunrise at Valugan Beach


Because Batanes is a group of islands, pretty much its entire eastern coastline is a great spot for sunrise. But Valugan Boulder Beach is something special. Just picture the sun rising on the horizon, right where the mountain and the sea meets and slowly lights up the giant boulders that make the shore. Top that with tall waves and their soothing sound, and you got the perfect start to Continue reading Must-do Batanes Activities Outside the Usual Tours

Fulfill Your Artsy Barkada’s Fantasies in these Spots near Manila

Picture this: you and your barkada of creative souls and inquisitive minds are looking to get some inspiration. Sure there are museums and galleries abound in Manila, but maybe you’re looking to get out of the city too. Is there a place you can go where your creative juices can be stirred without the stresses that come with traveling in the city? The answer is a resounding yes, there are awesome barkada destinations near Manila that artsy groupies like you can venture.

Not only are there quaint galleries and museums to be discovered outside the metro, but there are also places where you can get your hands dirty and let the creative juices freely flow. Bonus points: many of these spots entail a road trip and some good food too!

Ugu Bigyan’s Pottery Garden and Restaurant

Photo by eLjeProks | CC BY


Established in 2000, Ugu Bigyan’s Pottery Garden and Restaurant has remained an underrated destination in Tiaong, Quezon. But for aspiring potters, hungry foodies, or just admirers of finer things, this place can’t be missed. Ugu Bigyan is a renowned Filipino pottery artist who decided to open his lovely home and even more delightful garden to the public.

Artsy barkadas can come here to participate in a pottery workshop, where they can learn the basics of the art. You can come here to shop Ugu Bigyan’s exquisite Continue reading Fulfill Your Artsy Barkada’s Fantasies in these Spots near Manila