A lot of travellers like me treasure their passport as much as their life. It is the most important document that you need to secure on your travels. It is also the primary identification document that you need when you travel outside your country.
How to Apply for a Passport (for Philippine Citizens)
If you want to apply for the passport yourself, DFA has laid out a pretty much straightforward guidelines on how to do it. Check www.passport.com.ph for details.
Alternatively, you can always go to a travel agency to assist you. But this process will definitely incur additional charges on top of the passport fee. As of the time of writing, the cost for regular processing (20 days) is P950 and P1200 for rush processing (10 days.)
If you don’t know where DFA is, here’s a map provided by passport.com.ph (taken from google maps).
Tips on How to keep your Passport Safe
1. Photocopy the main page and visa pages, scan and email it to yourself. This will come in handy in case you lose your passport.
2. Keep a photocopy of the main page (and visa page if necessary in your backpack). What I usually do is I keep two copies. I leave the first copy in my backpack and bring the 2nd copy with me everywhere I go.
3. Keep your passport in a secure place. If your hostel has a safe, you can leave it there together with your other valuables. What I personally do is I put them in my money belt or in the hidden pockets in my shorts/pants.
4. Put your passport in a waterproof case. This is valuable especially during the rainy season or during water festivals. My old passport once got wet when I went to Ayutthaya during the Songkran festival.
5. Do not give your passport to anyone. Sometimes during border crossings, one person consolidates all the passports of all the bus passengers and brings it altogether to the immigration officer. Always make sure that you don’t lose sight of this person or you might stand a chance of losing your passport.
In case you lose your passport, contact the Embassy as soon as possible so you could process the replacement.