In an old article, I complained about CD-R King's USB extension cord with signal booster. The USB extension cord did not work so I went to Binondo Chinatown branch of CD-R King, where I purchased the product, and I tried to exchange the faulty extension to a functioning one. To make the long story short, I exchanged the faulty cord with another product just to make sure that my money is not wasted and I still get the functionality that I need.

There is another a complaint against CD-R King and my brother is the one who is complaining this time. My brother bought CD-R King's Sierra All in One Card Reader.
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CD-R King's card reader has five slots for the various kinds of card readers available. CD-R King's card reader supports CF, MS, SD, T-F and M2 memory cards. CD-R King's M Series card has USB 2.0 interface.

The card reader looks OK and cheap, that's why my brother bought it. However, when he inserted his CF memory card, he is being prompted to reformat the card. My brother is sure that the CF memory card has no problem that's why he went to CD-R King to ask for a replacement. They told him that the product is out of stock that's why they can't replace it. CD-R King doesn’t do a refund so my brother can't get his money back. In frustration, he left CD-R King and went to another shop to buy another card reader. To his surprise, he saw this:
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That is Newmen All in One Card Reader (CR-108). The features are similar with that of CD-R King's card reader but at a higher price. It seems like CD-R King copied Newmen's card reader.

CD-R King's products are indeed cheap but crappy. Whenever I need a gadget, I avoid CD-R King's products because of my bad experiences with them.

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Images taken from the websites of CD-R King and NewmenTech.
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Pasalubong is a Filipino tradition of bringing home items after a vacation or a journey from faraway places. An example is whenever I travel to various places; I made it a habit to bring home some pasalubong. For instance, when I visited Mactan Island and Cebu City, I brought home broas, dried mangoes and danggit. Also, when I visited Davao, I brought home the local delicacies there like durian and durian candy.

Bringing pasalubong for your family and love ones is a good tradition because people who came from far places are bringing tokens or items that will also make the people back home experience a little bit about the place that you visited. Like many traditions, pasalubong is also abused and there are people who care more about the pasalubong than the person bringing the pasalubong.

If you are a Filipino, then I am sure that you either brought home pasalubong or received pasalubong from your family and friends.

Foods, especially sweets, are the usual pasalubong items. Other pasalubong items are key chains and other small souvenir items that are not heavy on the pocket. I have a friend who buys key chains as his pasalubong for his office mates.

What if you are in Metro Manila and you want to bring home pasalubong when you go home. Where can you find great pasalubong? Here are few of the shops that I can recommend.

1. Dolor's Kakanin - this is the shop famous for its sapin sapin, which is a kind of kakanin that is a mixture of various kakanin. Dolor's sapin sapin has ube halaya, malagkit, and other kakanin that are suitable pasalubong. Aside from sapin-sapin, Dolor's sells other kakanin like puto, kutsinta and ube halaya. Dolor’s sapin-sapin is in demand during holiday seasons like Christmas and New Year. During the holiday seasons, I suggest that you call Mommy’s Pride first to reserve a sapin-sapin. See Dolor's Kakanin website for more info about their available pasalubong.
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Dolor's sapin sapin

2. SM Hypermarkets – if you want a convenient place to buy your sweet pasalubongs, then I suggest that you visit SM Malls that have SM Hypermarkets. SM Hypermarket is the supermarket of SM Malls and they have booths there that sell kakanin and other food pasalubong.

3. Local markets – puto, kutsinta, and other kakanin can also be bought from local palengke (supermarkets) around Metro Manila. Most of the kakanin in the local markets are home-made but cheaper as compared to the ones in Mommy’s Pride and SM Hypermarkets. If you are in a tight budget, I suggest that you buy your pasalubong in the local markets.

4. Goldilocks – this is a cake shop that expanded their offerings. Now, Goldilocks also sell the usual pasalubong items like puto and kutsinta. They also have pulburon (polvoron) which is a kind of candy made from powdered milk. There are many Goldilocks shop around Metro Manila so it is convenient to buy your pasalubong there. Visit Goldilocks' website for more info.

5. House of Polvoron – if you are wishing to make pulburon (polvoron) as your pasalubong when you leave Manila, then I suggest that you buy your pasalubong in House of Polvoron. This shop sells the best polvoron in Metro Manila. The problem is that there is not much booth of House of Polvoron because they can only be found in selected malls around Metro Manila. However, I like their polvoron and their polvoron is better than the one I tasted in Goldilocks. Visit House of Polvoron website for more info.

So there! Those are some of the shops around Metro Manila where you can buy pasalubong. If you are a foreigner visiting Manila, then I suggest that you bring home our best pasalubong items, especially the kakanin. Let you family and friends have a taste of Filipino sweets.

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Visit Before the Eastern Sunset and read about the obvious bias of the Philippine media.
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Are you applying for passport? Then all you need to do is to go to the Office of Consular Affairs of Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). The Office of Consular Affairs is the office responsible for issuing passports for Filipino citizens. Originally, the Office of Consular Affairs was located in the DFA compound located along Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City. However, in 2010, the Office of Consular Affairs was transferred to Aseana Business Park in Paranaque City. The office could be found along Diosdado Macapagal Avenue corner Bradco Avenue. Visit my article, Tips on Applying for a Philippine Passport, for information on applying for passport.
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DFA Consular Office
Office of Consular Affairs building

The new building of the Office of Consular Affairs is high-tech as compared to its old building. Also, the old passport application procedures were changed. Visit my post, Tips on Applying for a Philippine Passport, for information in applying for a passport.

Here is the map showing the location of the Office of Consular Affairs.
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Location of DFA Consular Office

Click on the map for a bigger view.
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How to go to Office of Consular Affairs to Get Your Passport

There are two ways of getting to the Consular Affairs Office in Paranaque City. One is to ride a bus that has a placard saying “MIA,” which stands for Manila International Airport. Buses with this placard could be found along EDSA and go around the big globe monument of Mall of Asia before passing along Diosdado Macapagal Avenue. These buses pass right in front of the Consular Affairs Office.

To board the MIA bus, all you need to do is to go to any part of EDSA (specifically the breadth of EDSA between MRT Kamuning and MRT Taft Stations). MIA buses are aplenty along EDSA and you can choose either air-conditioned or ordinary bus. Also, these buses also show placard that says “DFA” or “DFA-Passport.”

Another way is to go to SM Mall of Asia and ride a Baclaran bound jeepney at the terminal there. Those jeepneys ply along Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard and in front of the Consular Affairs Office.

So, those are the way on how to reach the new location of the Consular Affairs Office. My only tip for you is to ask questions when you are riding so as to make sure that you are boarding the right bus or jeep.

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Photo taken from DFA website. Map taken from Google Maps.