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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A little geographic information about Germany

Today, I am going to share to you the things that I have learned at school. The information that I am going to give you might come out in your Deutsch Orientierungskurs Prüfung (German Orientation Course Exam). But don't worry and don't be pressured, the examination is just easy. Everyone of my classmates passed the exam.

Germany or Deustchland is a country located in Europe (Central Europe to be specific). There are 9 neighbooring countries (die Nachbarländer) that surrounds Germany.

Germany consists of 16 States (just like the 50 states of the USA-United States of America). These 16 States (Bundesländer) are:

State (Bundesland)
Capital (Haupstadt) Area-km² (Fläche) Population (Einwohner)

Germany (Bundesrepublic Deutschland)Berlin357,04682,500,000

Germany's popluation is about 82.5 million and the most populated state is Nordrhein Westfalen with a population of 18 million. Perhaps the reason why Nordrhein Westfalen is the most populated state is because the place have many industries (can't give you some information about this since I live in the state of Bavaria).
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Monday, March 16, 2009

Official German Integration Course Books

Disclaimer: The information that I am going to share to you in this article is based on my experience as a student taking up the German Integration Course (Deutsch Integrationskurs) in BFZ located in Karlsplatz, Munich.

These are the official German Language Course books. I was thinking of selling my books but I decided to keep it for reference. Maybe I will sell my books in the future.

During the first day of class, we (me and my classmates) were told to buy specific books for the German Language Course. Which means don't buy German language books ahead (especially if you are not really sure), wait for your instructor or teacher's advice on which books to buy. Some of my classmates bought books but unfortunately the teacher said that we were not going to use that book. So they ended up wasting money. These people don't have any information on which books we were going to use. I don't know why they bought those books without knowing which one to buy, perhaps they are excited? I really don't know.

Below are the official books that we used in the German Language Course (Deutsch Integrationskurs) :

Dont worry about the BOOK LINKS above, they are not scams.hehe These are BOOK/PRODUCT LINKS from AMAZON GERMANY (Deutschland).

Why are you giving us Amazon Germany links? We could not understand German.
Well, the reason why I put Amazon Germany links is because first of all, these are German Books. These books are also available at Amazon UK and Amazon US BUT if you order at these locations, you have to pay extra cost for the shipping. In addition, the waiting time for your books to arrive will be longer compared to ordering here in Germany. So, why not just order these books at AMAZON GERMANY?

Prices: What does "Bester Preis EUR 6,99" and "oder neu EUR 13,95" mean?
In english, that means that you can buy the book for the best price of 6.99 Euros or buy a new book for 13.95 Euros. The "best price" book is not new which means its used and therefore it is cheaper. The comma "," is not a typo. That's how money or prices are written in German, instead of a period ".".

How long is the German Integration Course? For how many days/weeks/months were you using these books?
The German Integration Course lasted for about 6-7 months. From June 2008 until December 2008. As far as I can remember, below are the durations on how long we were using these books.
I also suggest that when you buy at, ask help from your German spouse or ask help from your friends who understand German.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Learn the German Language for Free

Yes, my post title is right. There are free online German courses/tutorials from the Internet. And up until now, I visited these sites from time to time. I visited these sites because it is completely FREE and educational.

If you try to look or search for web sites that offer free German tutorial, you can probably choose from thousands of these sites. Try searching for the keywords below:
  • Free German Language Tutorial
  • Free Online German Course
  • Free German Lessons in English
  • Free German Language for Beginners
  • Free German to English or English to German Dictionary
  • Free German Grammar Lessons
I have played, visited and learned a lot of things from these sites. But I only saved/bookmarked sites that I like the most simply because it is FREE, clean and fun. Here are the sites that I always visit from time to time:

Of course there are still many better sites out there that offer German Course for free and I will update the list whenever I encounter one.

  • If it's not FREE then you just close your browser immediately.hehe
  • The information shared in this article does not guarantee you to pass the German Language Certification Exam.
If you some sites bookmarked or sites that you know are also a good source for learning German, please don't hesitate to drop a message (comment). ^_^
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Friday, March 6, 2009

German Language Certificate B1

Guess what? Last week I have just received a letter from BFZ, the school where I attended my German classes. Here is a snippet from the mail:
"anbei schicke ich Ihnen das Prüfungergebnis des Zertifikats Deutsch. Sie Haben die Prüfung bestanden. Herzlichen Glückwunsch!"

Do you know what that means? Here is the English Translation:
I am sending you the test result of the German Language Certificate Exam, enclosed with this mail. You have passed the exam! Congratulations!

I am very happy that I have passed the test. And now I already have the Official German Language Certificate B1 in my hands. What does this German Language Certificate look like? Here is what the Official German Language Certificate B1 looks:

Surprisingly, I have never thought that the grade/test result of my exam is above 80%! ^_^

So, what does that mean if you already have a German Language Certificate B1 (these text came from the certificate itself)?

Zertifikat Deutsch/telc Deutsch B1 demonstrates the candidate's ability to:
  • understand a variety of standards everyday spoken and written texts
  • react to the content of such texts
  • deal with important language tasks that may occur both in everyday life and at the workplace,
  • follow and take an active part in everyday conversations, both in private and working contexts.
telc (The European Language Certificates) examinations are set centrally and carried out and marked throughout the world according to standardized criteria.

This certificate is only valid if it carries the telc seal.

How did you pass the exam?
Well, I just went to school everyday (like I was a high school student), participated in the class, asked so many questions to my teacher, and worked on my home work.

Don't be scared with the German Language Course, I am 100% sure that you will pass the exam. Why? I may sound cocky but the truth is that B1 certification is easy. It is just the basics of the German Language. Did you pass the exam? I believe you did pass. ^_^
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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Illiterate people can't become German citizens

I have just received a newsletter from that people who can't read and write in German can't become a German citizen.
Illiterate foreigners are not eligible for German citizenship, according to a German court ruling disclosed Thursday 26 February.

The verdict came in the case of a Turkish citizen who has been resident in Germany for 20 years. The man, born in 1970, was granted asylum by the German state in 1993. He can't read or write. The higher administrative court in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg ruled that it was not enough to speak the language, and said knowledge of written German was a prerequisite for citizenship.

In order to integrate socially and politically, the court argued, it is necessary to be able to follow the media and communicate with Germans.

The case can still be reconsidered by the federal administrative court, on whose related 2005 ruling the judgement was based. - Source: dpa,
So to those who want to live here and want to acquire a German citizenship, it would be better that you start studying or polishing your German skills. I believe you should be able to speak, write and read German if you want to live in Germany. How can you communicate with people if you can't understand a word they say? Not just in Germany but any country in the world; If you want to live in the USA you should be able to communicate in English, in Spain - Spanish, in Italy - Italian, In Japan - Japanese, etc. Don't complain if you are required to study German to get your Visa approved. Don't hate or blame the German Embassy if your visa will not be approve if you don't have a Basic German Language certificate. Trust me, its for your own good. Germany is not your country, have a different culture, a different law, a different place and most of all a different language.
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Monday, February 23, 2009

German Visa Interview Tips

What are the questions asked during a visa interview?
What are the common German Visa interview questions?
Are the German Visa interview questions hard?
Will you lose your chance of getting your Visa approved if you fail to answer the questions?

In this post I will give additional information and tips about my Interview at the German Embassy in Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines.

If you already have a scheduled interview date from the German Embassy, the first thing that you should do is book a plane ticket. Make sure of the DATE and TIME. Check it twice, thrice or many times just to make it sure.

The complete address of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany is:

25/F Tower 2 RCBC Plaza
6819 Ayala Avenue
Makati City, Metro Manila

Visa Interview Tips
  • Have a good sleep - Before the interview day, it would be best to have a nice rest or you might end up sleeping in the chair in the Embassy.
  • Be Punctual - Note that Germans are very known of their punctuality so be on time on your scheduled interview. It would be best if you arrive 30 minutes before your interview. And never underestimate the traffic situation in Manila.
  • Prepare the documents - Make sure you have all the necessary documents prepared and inside your bag (or whatever) before you go to sleep.
  • Dress neatly - I did not say that you have to wear a formal suit like a job interview.
  • Be attentive - The appointment system inside the German Embassy is based on PRIORITY NUMBER. Don't confuse yourself with the Visa Appointment by Phone. Therefore it is still first come first serve basis. When your number is called, make sure that you are there and immediately go to your counter. If it happens that you are not there or you have not heard when your number is called, you just SIMPLY WAIT AGAIN for your number to be called.
  • Be patient - As you really have to wait for your number to be called.
  • List your questions - Prepare what you would like to ask.
  • Ask politely - Speak or talk in a polite manner.
  • Speak clearly - You will be talking with an agent using a mic.
German Visa interview questions
The German Visa interview questions are actually PAINFULLY HARD.
  • How did you meet your German spouse?
  • Where did you meet your German spouse?
  • When were you married?
  • How many years were you in a relationship prior to wedding?
  • When is your planned departure date to Germany?
  • Does your German spouse already worked in Germany?
  • Where is your German spouse residing?
  • What is the name of your German spouse?
As I have said in this post, you don't have to worry about the questions the Embassy will ask if you and your German spouse/fiance are legally married, have legal papers, and your relationship is “Genuine” (Sorry I could not explain the previous sentence further but I think you understand what I mean ^_^).

As for the question "Will you lose your chance of getting your Visa approved if you fail to answer the questions?", I could not answer this question as I have no idea on how the Embassy will investigate your Visa Papers.

Good Luck on your Interview! ^_^
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700,000 job losses in Germany this Summer

Last week I have just posted an article regarding 1.2 million jobless Germans. This coming summer, expect that the number of jobless people will increase up to 700,000. So that would be around 1.9 million jobless people (Germans and other citizens). I was surprised that many companies are already starting to shorten the working days as one of its solution to the economic crisis in Germany. In addition, 33 percent of companies were planning to lay off its employees.

I am not trying to scare those who wanted to migrate or work in Germany. I am just sharing the news and stating the facts.

News and Image Source:
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

11 Reasons why I prefer Travel Agencies to process my DFA Red Ribbon papers

This post is a response to an anonymous person who commented that "you could have went to DHL for the red ribbon. it costs so much less. you've been robbed." You can see his/her comment here - DFA Red Ribbon.

First of all, I would like to clarify that the only location where you can get a DFA Red Ribbon is at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila. Second, I lived in Cebu City so I have 2 options to process the papers: ask help from a Travel Agency and pay 1900 Pesos (or any agency that helps you process your papers) or process the papers myself.

Considering that I lived in Cebu City, here are my reasons:
  1. A 2-way plane ticket from Cebu to Manila cost more than 1900 Pesos.
  2. If I go to Manila, can I really get my Document(s) with the Red Ribbon the same day?
  3. If not (from #2), I have to book for a room or inn where I could rest and wait for another day(s). Therefore another waste of TIME and MONEY.
  4. (from #3) Can I really get my papers the next day?
  5. I don't have any connections at the DFA in Manila, the Travel Agency have.
  6. If I chose DHL, how can I track my very important Paper(s)? How will I know that it is already in the hands of the DFA? Who can I call for follow-ups? Several long distance phone calls from Cebu to Manila? Again, another waste of TIME and MONEY.
  7. I don't have to fall in line for hours.
  8. I don't have to wait to be called.
  9. If something is wrong with your papers or the DFA needed some additional/supporting papers but you don't have it with you, you forgot to bring it or you need to process this additional paper in your hometown, then it would be a TOTAL WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY.
  10. The Travel Agency did all the work for me, while I continued working with my business.
  11. Hassle Free.
Please note that these are based on my experience and situation. I am not saying that you should always seek help from travel agencies to process your papers. I believe this is not a good option for people living in and around Manila simply because they are living near. I wrote this article so that people who are living far away from Manila, will have an idea on the pros and cons. I hope these helps.
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Monday, February 16, 2009

Is 30 Days enough to get married in the Philippines?

How long would it take to process all the necessary and important papers to get married in the Philippines?
How long would it take to process papers for a Church Wedding?
How long would it take to process papers for a Civil Wedding?

Marriage in the Philippines takes time. Best case, 30 days would be enough, worst case, 30 days would not be enough. Unfortunately, I could not share any information about Church wedding in the Philippines simply because I don't have any experience. Just Civil Wedding.

All marriage papers that you are going to process takes time and patience. The factors below will give you an idea and approximation on how many days you should consider to get married (Civil Wedding) in the Philippines.
With your 30 days, 10 days are already taken due to Marriage Notice which will be posted or announced in the church. So if you are a foreigner or an OFW (overseas worker), be very extra careful in planning your marriage. It would be best if you already have all the necessary marriage papers and just process the papers which can only be made in the Philippines, after you arrived there. Note that the list I have mentioned above will depend from case to case. For example, if you are a minor who wants to get married, you might need a Parent's Consent paper. So this would mean an additional time.

The wedding ceremony will be held in a court room and it will only last for about 10 minutes. Processing of the marriage papers will take days but the wedding ceremony will only take 10 minutes. Congratulations on your wedding!

Image Source:
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Friday, February 13, 2009

A quarter of German Youths are Jobless in Germany

"The study indicated that 900,000 able-bodied youths under 25 are on the dole, known in Germany as Hartz IV. The study also revealed that another 300,000 Germans from the same age group receive Arbeitslosengeld I – or basic unemployment compensation – putting the total number of "needy" youths at 1.2 million. " - Source and Image: The Local

These numbers were collected in Summer 2008. The study was reported last Thursday that one in four employable Germans between the ages of 15 and 24 is on welfare.

My Experience
No wonder why I still don't have a job until now. I arrived here in Germany last May 2008 and immediately applied for jobs after I got a German Residence Permit. Believe it or not, I have applied for a job in 100+ different companies. I received a couple of phone interviews and personal interviews but still no luck. Considering I am a foreigner here and my German Language skills are still basic, maybe companies would prefer to choose and hire candidates that are both Good in English and German and already have an experience working in a German working atmosphere. I am 23 years old and competing with these 1.2 million Germans is absolutely CHALLENGING! In addition with these 1.2 million Germans, there are also hundreds or even thousands of foreigners who came from around the world who are also jobless. So definitely my chances of getting a job are very slim. My luck in getting a job has not come yet but I believe one day it will come.

Until now I am still looking for jobs and always say to myself "Never lose hope and Never give up". Life must go on... So help me God... ^_^

(back to job searching...)
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Monday, February 9, 2009

When do you need the DFA red ribbon?

When do you need the DFA red ribbon?
How much does it costs?
In which travel agency did you ask for help to process you papers?

People asked me these questions on my post about DFA Red Ribbon. So I would like to explain further, restate and share to you my experiences about Red Ribbon.

In foreign countries, your Philippine documents or papers are not considered as valid, genuine or legal if it does not have a DFA red ribbon. The red ribbon is a proof or an authentication that your paper is valid, genuine and legal.

For example, if you are using your NSO Birth Certificate just INSIDE the Philippines, you don't NEED a red ribbon for it. But if you are using your NSO Birth Certificate OUTSIDE the Philippines, then you NEED a red ribbon for it. Papers that need red ribbon when I applied for a German Spouse Visa were the NSO Birth Certificate and the NSO Certificate of Marriage.

Someone told me from this post that the German Embassy did not ask for a Red Ribbon. If they said that you may not submit a DFA red ribbon copy than I guess its fine since the words came from the embassy itself. No Red Ribbon might be okay for Visa Processing BUT... You might have problems processing and extending your visa and other papers when you are here in Germany. Believe me, every time I process my papers here, they always ask for a Red Ribbon. They even ask for a German translation of my Philippine Papers. Examples of these papers are my NSO Birth Certificate and NSO Marriage Certificate. Germans are very strict! ^_^

My suggestion:
It would be better that you get a DFA Red Ribbon for your NSO papers. Specific examples of these which I also did are NSO Birth Certificate and NSO Marriage Certificate. Or you might end up processing your papers here AND by contacting DFA in the Philippines (hassle).

Travel Agency:
The travel agency that I sought help with is called JEWEL SKIES Travel & Tours located in Lahug, Cebu City (I think Jeepney 04L still go in this route). It is located just near Ayala Center (Metro Ayala Entrance).

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Transportation in Germany - S-Bahn, U-Bahn, Trams and Buses

In this post, I will give you an idea on the types of transportation here in Germany. I live near (around) Munich and the transportation in the other areas in Germany might not be as exactly as what I am going to state here. But I am quite sure that the transportation system around Germany is more or less the same (but not exactly the same as I have said).

What is S-Bahn?
S-Bahn is an abbreviation for the German word Stadtschnellbahn which means "fast train, fast city train". These are Suburban trains that runs every 20 minutes and serve passengers in the greater areas. The logo on the right is an S-Bahn logo. If you see a post with an S-Bahn logo, that means that you are near an S-Bahn train station.

What is U-Bahn?
U-Bahn is an abbreviation for the German word Untergrundbahn which means "underground railway, underground train or subway" in English. These are Subways that runs every 5 to 10 minutes and serve passengers in the inner parts of the city. The logo on the right is an U-Bahn logo. If you see a post with an U-Bahn logo, that means that you are near an U-Bahn train station.

Buses and Trams
Buses and trams serve passenger in the inner city and fill in the gaps between the S-Bahn and the U-Bahn.

Comparison of Transportation System between Germany and the Philippines
  • S-Bahn is like a Bus in the Philippines.
  • U-Bahn is like a Jeepney in the Philippines.
  • Buses and trams are like tricycle, habal2x and traysikad in the Philippines.
For example you live in a province in Cebu. Lets say Carmen or San Fernando and you want to go to the Taoist Temple in Lahug (I am not sure, Lahug or Opra? Yes Bisdak ko! Bisaya kong dako!). First you ride on a Bus to go to Cebu City. Second you ride on a Jeepney to go to Lahug. And third, you ride on a habal2x to go to Taoist Temple.

Assuming you want to go to a certain shop in Munich. And assuming you live in a place around Munich (just like me), First you ride on a S-Bahn to go to Munich. Second you ride on an U-Bahn to go to the inner part of the city. And third, you ride on a Tram or Bus to go to a certain shop in the city.

But of course not every shop or every place you want to go in Munich need a S-Bahn, U-Bahn or trams/buses to be able to get there. Just stating this as some readers might be confused or philosophic. ^_^
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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tips for contacting the German Embassy

Do you have questions for the embassy?
Are you stuck on what to do next in processing your visa?

If your processing your visa and don't know what to do next, it is better that you search the Internet for answers. But sometimes not everything is on the Internet. So the best place to ask your questions are the people processing your visa, which is the Embassy.

I have experienced calling and sending an Email to the embassy a couple of times because I have many questions that only the Embassy itself could answer. And they have answered all my questions.

Here are some tips I share to you for contacting the German Embassy whether via email or phone.
  • Visit the official site of the German Embassy First - the answers for which you are looking for might just be there
  • Prepare the documents - they might ask for your passport number and it would be a waste of time for them and a waste of money for you if you say "...please wait for awhile, I will find my passport first..."
  • List your questions - Prepare what you would like to ask.
  • Ask politely - Speak or talk in a polite manner.
  • Be patient - As I am sure that you can't connect to their phone lines immediately.
  • Scan and Attach files (images) to your email - If necessary to make things clear and it would be easier for the Embassy to better assess if your papers are correct or not.
  • Speak clearly - You should do this all the time especially when talking on the phone.
I am quite sure they receive so many phone calls and have many unread emails in their Inbox so just be patient and wait for their reply.

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Tom Cruise playing as a German Hero in the movie Valkyrie

Valkyrie is a movie based on a true story during the second world war. It depicts the plot by German officers to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

Valkyrie is the name of the operation and taking control of Germany is its goal. The leader of the assassination plot was Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg and was played by Tom Cruise.

The film is very controversial here in Germany because of the fact that the German Hero was played by an American actor.

For me I have no problems with Tom Cruise playing as a German Hero. In fact he is a great actor and I believe that this is a great movie. Knowing that the German Hero was played by a famous Hollywood actor, the popularity of the movie would certainly increase and it will be a Box Office hit. Anyways, I will just wait for this movie.
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Somali pirates seize German tanker - 12 Filipinos and 1 Indonesian on board

Last week a German tanker was seized by pirates in the east waters of Somalia. The tanker was transporting liquefied petroleum gas.

What troubled me with this news is that I have 3 uncles who are seamen and 1 of them worked for a German Company. I just hope and pray that everyone of them will be safe.

I believe this people (pirates) did this because of hunger and poverty. I just hope that the government will do something about this problem and will stop this madness before anyone will be in danger. If the government can't fix this, chances are many poor people from different countries will do the same.
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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

German Spouse Visa Cook Book

How to get a German Spouse Visa?
Do you have the complete Steps or Instructions on how to get a Spouse Visa?
How did you get your visa approved?
What are the necessary papers you should gather in applying for marriage?

In this post I share to you on the procedures or steps I did from Marriage Requirements in the Philippines up to Registration as a Resident at the local Town/City Hall or Rathaus here in Germany.

1. Marriage Requirements

2. Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage (“Ehefähigkeitszeugnis”)

3. Pre Marriage Counselling

4. Wedding or Marriage in the Philippines

5. DFA Red Ribbon

6. Endorsing of Certificate of Marriage to the NSO

7. CFO-SMEF-COW Seminar

8. German Spouse Visa Requirements

9. Basic German Language Visa Requirement, Required or Not?

10. German Visa Appointment at the German Embassy in Manila

11. Interview at the German Embassy in Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines

12. Approval of My German Spouse Visa

13. My Flight FOR and My Arrival IN Germany

14. After Arrival - Registration as a Resident at your local Town Hall/City Hall in Germany
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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pinoy IN Germany Disclosure Policy

This policy is valid from 10 February 2009
  • This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact
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  • This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.
  • The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.
  • This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content may not always be identified.
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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Visa Processing Tips

What are the tips and tricks in processing your Visa?
How to make your visa get approved quickly?
How to get a visa quickly?

Please note this: As I have said in this post,
I just follow their rules and guidelines. There are no shortcuts in getting a visa quickly but the TIPS below will help you process your visa. (Not unless your aunt or sister is one of the person in charge in processing visas ^_^)

1. Prepare your documents
- It is always good to be prepared and ready.

2. Immediately process your documents - Do not process your documents later. Don't be lazy.

3. Ask for the complete requirements - Do not just work on the papers because of what your friends told you. Always make sure and follow-up on the additional requirements.

4. Ask to the embassy directly - If you have questions that no one else could answer clearly or you are having doubts on what exactly you are looking for, ask the embassy. Not just do things because that is what your friends told you. That is what you have read in the internet. You "think" that is everything. Asking the people in charge (people at the Embassy) is always the best way in looking for answers.

5. Do make at least 5 photocopies of your documents - You might need these copies in processing your other requirements.

6. Scan your documents - It is always good when you have a soft copy of your documents. When you ran out of photocopies, just print.

7. Back up your scanned documents - Your USB or Hard Disk might not work later so make sure to make back-ups. For example, burn it in a CD.

8. Be patient - Do not ever fight with the person in charge. The counselor in your pre-marriage seminar, the clerks that work on your marriage papers, the people at the embassy, etcetera. I know some of you are very excited to go to Germany or US or any part of the world and you want your Visa to get approved quickly. BUT keep in mind that confronting the people who process your papers will not help hasten the processing time. Chances are your paper will be delayed because the person processing your paper is mad at you.

9. Plan ahead - Don't waste time. Plan and execute your next step.

10. Always check the official site of the Embassy for updates, read a lot from their website - You will never know what additional requirements the embassy might ask you. Like when the embassy required the Certificate of Basic German Knowledge which they asked last 2008.

Delaying to process your papers also delays your Visa. Keep in mind that Time is needed in every action you take. If you do not act immediately, then the progress of your Visa Process will also be delayed.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Italian, American and Chinese Fastfood - Which is healthier?

An experiment was conducted by a German show last week on fast food. The experiment was conducted to 3 healthy men who love eating fast food. As I have understood, the objective was to know which fast food is healthier and to know what will happen to them. Every one of them has to eat fast food for 10 straight days. One ate Italian (pizza) fast food for 10 days, the other one with American (burger, fries, cola) fast food and the last one with Chinese (rice, noodles, spring roll, etc) fast food.

I personally thought that Chinese fast food are healthier. But apparently, none of these popular fast food are healthy. The man who ate Italian fast food gets tired easily, the man who ate American fast food gains more weight and the man who ate Chinese fast food developed skin rashes.

I guess the key is balanced diet. "Too much of something is not good". None of these fast food will give you problems if you also include in your meal healthy food such as freshly cooked food, fruits and vegetables.
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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Germany's Top 5 Frozen Food

I have just seen this on TV and I just want to share this with you. If you are a typical Filipino or an Asian, I am quite sure that you don't eat these food everyday. Here in Germany, most people prefer frozen food rather than freshly cooked food. I think the main reason is simply because it is faster to prepare. So here are Germany's Top 5 Frozen Food:

5. das Fischstäbchen (fish sticks)

4. der Spinat (spinach)

3. der Kuchen (cake)

2. die Pizza (pizza)

1. die Pommes (fries)

I am an Asian and I am not used to eating frozen food. I usually eat freshly cooked food. But these frozen food will "come in handy" if you have little time for preparation. For me, these frozen food taste good (especially the cake).

Do you like these frozen food? Or would you rather choose freshly cooked food? ^_^
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Saturday, January 3, 2009

3 TV Channels have no signal

For 3 days straight, there is no signal coming from these 3 TV channels. These TV channels are ProSieben, SatEins and KabelEins and I like these channels. I don't know what the reasons are. Is it because of the cable service provider which is KMS "Kabel Medien Service"? Or is it because of my Terratec Cinergy HTC USB XS HD TV Tuner? I rescanned the channels but still these channels have no signal. Are these TV stations doing some maintenance work? Anybody there who have experienced this using a TV Tuner card?

[Update: January 5, 2009]
It seems that the problem is with KMS not my TV Tuner. I was able to watch these channels last December 31, 2008 and suddenly lost the next day, January 1, 2009. I have searched the internet and found out that in the past, KMS did not offer these channels on DVB-C because of legal issues. Perhaps KMS' contract with these channels may have expired (or whatever the exact reason maybe). Maybe I'll just wait for KMS to renew contracts with these TV stations. ^_^

[Update: January 8, 2009]
ProSieben, SatEins and KabelEins are back! Maybe the people at KMS forgot to renew their contract with these TV stations due to a very long holiday vacation. ^_^
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What is Oktoberfest?

Oktoberfest is a beer festival held every year in Munich, Germany. The event starts late September and ends early October. It is one of the biggest festival in the world and around 6 to 7 million visitors come every year. It is held in a place called Theresienwiese and it is the official area of the Oktoberfest event. During this event, men and women wear traditional costumes. Lederhosen for men and Dirndl for women.

Food served on this event are:
- Pretzel
- Würstel (Sausages)
- Weisswurst (White Sausage)
- Knödeln (Bread Dumplings)
- Oxenbraten (Roast Ox)
- Schweinsbraten (Roast Pig)
- Käsespätzle (Cheese Noodles)
- Bier (The most important of all...Beer!!!)

One Maß (1 BIG beer mug or 1 litter) costs around 8 Euros, depending on the location (tent on backstage, frontstage, ...) and beer brand.

If you love Beer, don't miss this Event! ^_^ Prost! ^_^
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Friday, January 2, 2009

German Food - Typical Bavarian Dish

This is a typical Bavarian dish. Eierspatzle mit schwamalsauce (egg noodles with mushroom sauce), kartoffelknoedel (potato dumpling), rotkohl (braised red cabbage) and spanferkel mit sauce (baby pig with sauce). It costed around 7 Euros but its worth the price.

I have tried this dish when I and my spouse went to a Zoo (Tierpark) in Thalkirchen, Munich. It taste good! Especially the Spanferkel ^_^
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Basic German Language Visa Requirement, Required or Not?

Are you planning to move to Germany with your spouse?
Do you really need a basic knowledge of German before you can enter Germany?
Is Basic German Language required in getting a German Visa or not?

Many people are asking me these questions. As I have searched the web, many people really don't know whether German Language is required and necessary in getting a German Visa or not. This is because most people don't know that the rules in getting a German Visa have changed.

Before, there is no requirement for a Basic German Language. As I processed my German Visa, I was so relaxed because I had all the necessary papers and was just waiting for my spouse to arrive and get married in the Philippines. Last October 2007, I was browsing the embassy's site and found out that there was a change on their Visa Requirements. I was surprised to see that a "Proof of basic knowledge of German language (Certificate of language examination “Start Deutsch 1” of the Goethe Institute)" is required.

I was so worried about this requirement because it requires money and time (I was still working from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every Mondays to Fridays that time!). Payment for enrolling a German Language Course. Payment for taking the German Language Certification Exam. But most of all, I don't have the Time.

As, I have browsed more in the embassy's site, I found a phrase that caught my eye:
"Are there exceptions?" Yes. You do not have to prove any knowledge of German, as a rule, if one of the following statements applies:
- You or your spouse are citizens of a member state of the European Union (excluding Germany).
- You are incapable of demonstrating basic knowledge of the German language due to a physical or mental illness
or handicap.
- You have a university degree and probably be able to find work in Germany on the basis of your language skills (recognisably minor integration requirement).
- You do not wish to reside permanently in Germany.
- Your spouse has a residence permit as
  • - highly-skilled worker (§ 19 AufenthG).
  • - researcher (§ 20 AufenthG).
  • - company founder (§ 21 AufenthG).
  • - person entitled to asylum (§ 25 (1) or § 26 (3) AufenthG).
  • - recognised refugee (§ 25 (2) or § 26 (3) AufenthG).
- holder of a permanent right of residence from other EU countries (§ 38 a AufenthG). - Your spouse is a citizen of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand or the United States of America.

I have a University Degree and I thought that I don't need this requirement. But still I called the German embassy to make things clear and hear exactly from them that "You are not required...". Fortunately, the German embassy told me that I was not required to submit this requirement because I have a University Degree.

When I arrived here in Germany, I was still required to take the German Integration Course. But I was not mad, angry or surprised about it this because I needed it. Do you think that because you are exempted, have a university degree and have a professional experience in your field means you will not have difficulties living in Germany? You are absolutely Wrong! Why? Germany is not your country, have a different culture, a different law, a different place and most of all a different language.

Have you attended a German Integration Course? How much did you pay? Have you already passed the German Integration Course? How do you find the German language? Is the German Language difficult? (for me its difficult, Grammatik! Grammatik! ^_^)

What were your experiences? What are your thoughts? ^_^

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