Document Translation and Notarization in Seoul

The hope of traveling to Europe disappeared when I was informed in the Philippine embassy that documents from the Philippines must only be notarized/authenticated in the Philippines.  I have to submit a notarized marriage certificate in applying for Schengen visa and if I can’t get it in time I can’t apply for a visa and travel to Europe with my husband. We have already planned that I have to go home to the Philippines to get my documents to be notarized and I have to do it soon,  because our Korean visa will expire in less than 2 months.

I have ranted my sadness in Facebook and some friends sympathized with me, I have asked a friend that migrated to the US few  months ago on where she had her documents notarized.  I was informed she had it done in Itaewon through an attorney,  with this information I have seen a beam light of hope that I can complete the requirements without going home to the Philippines.

Notarized Documents in Seoul

I went to Seoul on Monday to look for the place where my friend had her documents notarized, but it seems the guy was not around anymore so I went to the travel agency just beside a restaurant but it was closed, I mean nobody answers when I buzz the doorbell.  So I went to the KC Filipino store to ask for a  place I could get my documents notarized, before asking I bought one bag of Goldilocks polvoron I have been eyeing to buy this snack in Hyehwa long time ago but I always set it aside for other local foods.

Notarization in Seoul

Anyway, I was told that there’s an office (HAN BI SA) beside the store that do notarization when I went in the agent was out for lunch. I waited, but decided to go out when I feel hot inside.  To cut the story short, I return and ask for notarization to the woman at the first desk. The initial cost is ₩55, 000 if I want the notarized documents to be mailed to our home, was told that I will receive the documents on Wednesday, but I can’t wait for one more day so I have asked if I can pick it up the next day (Tuesday) so the payment cost was retracted to ₩45, 000.

I was surprised because my friend told me that notarization only cost ₩20, 000 per page, it turns out I have to pay for translation too so the documents will be notarized.  So the breakdown is ₩20, 000 for translation and ₩25, 000 for notarization.

Later in the evening I received a call that my document is not yet available for pickup the next day, so I have to pick it up on Wednesday.

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Quick Visit to Philippine Embassy, Seoul

With the adrenaline rush running through my vein and with the desire of traveling and experiencing the other culture, I went to the Philippine embassy  to inquire about the notarization and red ribbon of documents.  I took bus #3 from the bus stop across  Noksapyeong subway station exit 3, one more stop before I descend to the embassy I went to the door so I will not miss the stop. I am hesitant if I am going to push the red button or not, well, I just thought it is already given that I am getting off by standing right in the door, but was disappointed when the bus didn’t stop so I have no choice but to get off at the stop in front of the Hyatt Hotel. Guess what? It turns out the driver cannot open the door because I am standing right to it, I mean where it is folded. Silly me!

Anyway, I immediately run towards the Philippine embassy and what welcomed me is a closed door with a note that the front door will be the main door effective October 2013, chasing my breath I run back at the front door and saw two Korean guys in the receiving area I say hello (courteous me) but didn’t receive a single response, I step forward and back when I don’t know here to go and that’s where I asked what floor is the Philippine embassy on the two guys, just get the “upstairs reply”.  Reaching up I don’t know which door, should I open, I am about to open the door where I saw someone coming out when another door open and one of my fellow men told me that it was the door where they went out, I said my thank you and get  in.  I took a number and read the forms and everything hanged inside the embassy. The embassy was renovated,  I like their new room, now it is well lit and friendly as the officers in charge are reachable without a glass blocking the counters.  I have read about authentication and red ribbon and I was relieved that I can get in Seoul, but I was dismayed when I was told only DFA can do it and it should be done in the Philippines. I know I should ask about the red ribbon thingy I just read, but it slipped already on my mind, a lot of worries with my papers, lack of proper sleep, anesthesia in my body and being forgetful.

Philippine Embassy Seoul

What  a bad day.  Yeah, right, I have to go home to the Philippines  to have our NSO marriage contract authenticated, I am already calculating the fare, hotel and process where to get it, the friendly officer also said once it was red ribbon in DFA they can authenticate it in PH embassy (Seoul) if it is needed to be used in Korea. I didn’t hide my disappointment anymore, I felt really tired I have been traveling, walking and running since 7 o’clock in the morning,  I took a deep breath with drooping shoulders, then I was asked where do I need it.

Well, I left the embassy with cloudy mind,  when I went out the door not sure if the guy in the receiving area talking to me or to the woman beside her. I didn’t look back the world is on my shoulder, I am pretty sad. Well, I am able to return to the subway still in one piece, although I almost missed my station stopped on second time.  My mind was really pretty occupied luckily the door didn’t close quickly it seems it was waiting for me because when I went out after all the passengers went out the door closes and the train left. It seems the world feels my somber feeling. :(

I forgot to snap a photo of the embassy front facade and the back door, I was really preoccupied with my worries in normal situation I am usually quick enough to take a snap.


I just found from a friend that I can have my documents authenticated/notarized  in Seoul through Attorney’s office. I felt relieved that I don’t need to go home and spend $500 for a plane ticket just to get $2.35 authenticated documents!

Read it here.

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The Baby Box in Seoul, South Korea

As I am surfing around my Facebook wall, I found this video and I was moved by the kindness, love and dedication of Pastor Lee and his wife nursing abandon babies.  It says hundreds of babies are abandoned in the street of Seoul, Korea each year.

See That Box? That’s Where They Put the Babies. And It’s the Most Remarkable Thing You’ll See All Week

If you want to help and support Pastor Lee with his life-saving ministry you can make a donation to  today.

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Braii Republic in Itaewon

There’s really nothing much happening to me, it was my birthday last week and on Saturday my husband treated for South African meal at Braii Republic in Itaewon. We first went to Seobinggo station to look for Turkish embassy and we found the Vivien building easily so we left right away to Hongik University to find the FEDEX but it turns out it was not there anymore. Through free wifi and my phone I have found out online that the nearest FEDEX office was in Hapjeong so went there but didn’t turn out well so we decided to just go to Itaewon to eat lunch as we are already starving.

Braii Republic

Braii Republic is in exit 4 of Itaewon station (line 6), walk straight and turn left at the alley just before the McDonald’s. Go through the intersection, past the Juliette clothing store, and Braii Republic is on your left on the second floor.

Braii Repulic Itaewon

I have ordered number 4 – Karoo Surf and Turf, it consist of 2 lamb chops, 4 prawns, green salad and potato while my husband ordered number 1 –  meat platter  consisting of  2 lamb chops, boerewors,  pork banger with garlic potato, creamy spinach and slaw. The meal was delicious and awesome I could eat more if free. Haha

The service is good, the people are very accommodating.  The place was a bit small but it was fine,  a good place to hang out during the weekend if you love meeting other expats.

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Sending Balikbayan Box from Korea to Philippines

We are leaving Korea in less than five months but we already boxed the things we don’t use so we could send them home, I have already mailed one box few days ago through EMS and I still have three boxes need to be mail.

EMS Korea

The first box is souvenirs and travel magazines, second one are my clothes and the third box is mixed of everything from books, shampoo, lotions and etc.,

The other day I decided to call the hotline (1661-5899) of newly open LBC Korea, I have ordered two large boxes. I have decided to use their service rather than EMS, the last three boxes I have sent through EMS except the box I sent few days ago (which is still on delivery) were opened and some items are missing so I have thought to try a new courier and I am going to blog about my experience in LBC once I received the box I have ordered, my items were already shipped to the Philippines and my family received them completely.

Sending items through LBC (Korea Balikbayan Box) is a lot cheaper than sending through EMS where it is measured per kilo. Unlike in LBC it is per box and location, one large box (jumbo) will cost ₩120,000 for Manila and Luzon and ₩140,000 for Visayas and Mindanao no matter how heavy your box is.

LBC Korea branch is located at: 1F, 102-1 Hyehwa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul Korea.

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Self Bar Meat and Salad Buffet in Hyehwa

On Sunday I went to Hyehwa again not to attend the mass but to meet my friends, Cathlaine and her husband is already moving to the United States and it is going to be the last chance to see them before they left on Wednesday.

Self Bar Hyehwa

We are supposed to meet  in the subway but I didn’t see her and when I tried to call my friend in her mobile I can’t contact her, thinking she blocked me for a reason I just went out the subway and walk to the Filipino Market to look around, while walking I heard someone saying that someone is just walking straight without looking around. To my surprise I have found them in the stall on my right, it was Kuya Rodel who mumbles.

Self-bar Hyehwa

It turns out Cathlaine’s phone number is not working anymore, maybe because they are going to leave soon and their ARC is going to expire at the end of the month as all phone numbers here in Korea is registered according to your alien registration card. Anyway to cut the story short we together with Cathlaine’s friend whom I get to know while eating, went for the second time at SELF BAR , it is a chain of Korean buffet restaurant serving meat for barbecue, galbi, sangyeopsal and etc.,

Self Bar Restaurant

The meat and food is unlimited for ₩9, 900 per head, if you waste some food or left some meat on your table you have to pay a penalty of ₩5, 000.

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Sunday Mass at Hyehwa Catholic Church and Filipino Market

On my over four years of existence in Korea, this is the first time that I attended a mass and go to Hyehwa-dong in Seoul. My friend and I met last Sunday in Hyehwa we attended the afternoon mass in Tagalog (1:30PM) where I am able to see and meet many Filipinos. It was like little community of Filipinos.

 Hyehwa Catholic Church (Seoul)

After the mass we went to the informal Filipino Market nearby, I am not able to look around when we passed by because we decided to attend the mass first before buying stuff I want.  I bought few native foods and vegetables like string beans (sitaw), bitter melon (amplaya), ladies finger (okra) and kangkong.

Hyehwa Filipino Market

The Hyehwa Filipino Market is only around every Sunday from morning ’until night. To get there get off the Hyehwa station (line 4) and go out at exit 4 and just walk straight.

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Shopping at Filipino Market in Hyehwa

For the first time I went to Hyehwa to attend a mass and shop at the informal Filipino Market. I have been asking my husband to drop by in Hyehwa every time we have something to do in Seoul but he always says that if I want I can go there alone. So last week when my friend told me that she went to Hyehwa to met someone I asked her if I can tag along with her the next time she go to the place,  and right then she asked me if I want to attend the mass the next Sunday.

We attended the mass for about one hour and right after we went to the nearby Filipino market to shop together with her old friends that we met outside the church. I bought vegetables and other Filipino foods I want to eat, it was been a long time since I had these foods.

Hyehwa Filipino Market

Other stuff I bought aside from the vegetables are rice cakes (kakanin), spring rolls (lumpia), barbecue and bopis. The rice cake is ₩3,000 each but you can get it for ₩5,000 if you buy two pieces while lumpia and barbecue is ₩1,000 per piece/stick, the bopis is ₩5,000 per order. I bought all the vegetables for ₩10,000 it consists of 2 (tali) spring beans, 2 pieces ampalaya, 1 (tali) okra and with free kangkong.

Aside from native foods, vegetable and cooked food some sellers are selling beauty products, chips and other local items that a Filipino cannot find in a local Korean supermarket.

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A Short Visit to Bukchon Hanok Village and More

I seldom went out, I spend most of the day in front of my laptop. Lately I have thought that I should see everything around Korea before we left, yeah right my husband decided not to renew his contract anymore next year.  He said six years is enough, he need new surroundings and he is getting tired of Korea.

Buckhon Hanok Village

Anyway the other day my friend and I met in Seoul, we went to Buckhon Hanok Village for a walk, ate Gamjatang in Itaewon and dropped by  at I’Park Mall in Yongsan to buy a phone, her husband followed in Yongsan and we wander around the mall for few minutes before heading home in separate way.


They invited me to eat Korean buffet in Itaewon but I was not able to go because I have a lot of stuff to do online, updating blogs, list and designing a new headers.

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Spring Flower Festival in Seoul

I am quite busy these past few days that I am not able to update my blogs, kind of procrastinated eh.  Anyway last Thursday I went to Seoul to meet my one and only friend in Korea, as we agreed I went to their apartment so we could eat lunch first before wandering around the flower festival. She cooked “pansit” for me but that’s not all we ate, we had brownies, rice cake, tuyo and more.

Filipino Meal

After eating our sumptuous  lunch we took the Subway to National Assembly Station where the Spring Flower Festival was held every year. We both wander and enjoyed the beautiful cherry blossoms on the street, there are lot of people as expected.  As we want a picture together I place my camera in a tree but a kind Korean woman help us, she took the shot for us which are thankful.

Cherry Blossoms

When we think it is getting late we decided to find the nearest subway so we can go to another place we, I want  to visit. I have planned to visit four place that day but time was not enough.  So we ended visiting two places only, I am going to blog the second one on my next post.

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