The Visa Collector

A blog about travelling with a Filipino passport, and life overseas

Archives for About this blog

Atahualpa @ Visacollector


Switching to the Atahualpa theme. Nice to have side bars on both sides of the theme. Experiments continue.

Click to read about the theme

Filed under About this blog
Jan 23, 2011

Themes and FourSquare


The other night I deactivated my beloved Lightword theme and switched to Plain Fields. Until recently, I’d been pretty happy with Lightword. It was both neat and attractive. But I had been running into some problems with the width of its sidebar and there wasn’t a way around this issue without tweeking the style sheet. It’s been taking me a while to figure out exactly which of the style sheet settings to change to achieve what I wanted. So I figured, what the heck, might as well try a new theme.

The root of my need was the MyFoursquare widget. The eight-badge width version of this widget’s output is shown below.

I recently returned to Foursquare after giving up on it mid-year last year. Drive-by Foursquaring had gotten boring so I lost interest. When I discovered this widget, light bulbs flashed: this was an interesting way to generate content for the blog. But the widget’s narrowest format was 3-badges wide, which was still too wide for the default Lightword side-bar setting. So while I figure things out, I’m experimenting with alternative themes.

I’m now Foursquaring with an alternative account, and retiring the old one. This time . . . the badges be truthful.

Filed under About this blog
Jan 20, 2011

Visacollector @ Facebook


We’re now on Facebook.

A must have for FaceBook page admins on the go is the FB smart phone app. For iPhone users, update to the 12/18/2010 version so that you can post updates to your pages.

Filed under About this blog
Jan 3, 2011

My travel map


Places I’ve visited, and hope to write about.

Filed under About this blog
Nov 11, 2010



The iphone application allows folks to link their venue check-ins to Twitter. Twitter, on the other hand, offers its members a widget that they can use to have their Twitter posts appear on their blogs and/or websites. Great combination!!!

For those interested in how its done, check this out:

I added the widget to the site on the 13th of October, and I’ve been Yelp-tweeting the places I’ve been visiting since then.

Yelp-tweeted my visit to the Germany embassy yesterday. More travel ahead, and more posts to share.

Filed under About this blog
Nov 9, 2010

How this site came about


A Filipino, a Chinese mainlander, and an Australian found themselves in an idle moment during a training session at their company’s technical support center in Libis, Quezon City, Philippines. All three had flown in for the training, including the Pinoy who was a US-based expat. As the conversation wound through the arsenal of icebreakers that erstwhile strangers with a common employer typically share, the discussion eventually shifted to their travel experiences.

Enter a discussion about visas. The Filipino, accustomed to his own visa difficulties when traveling overseas, was surprised to hear that his Chinese colleague required a visa to enter the Philippines. Chinese nationals apparently needed a visa to go anywhere — and the Philippines was no exception.

This started a pleasant comparison of visas in their respective passports. The same way that different countries had different currencies, visas apparently came in a fascinating variety of shapes and colors. European visas, for the most part, all look the same: predominantly green. The Indian visa was a tasteful blend of light shades of orange, blue and violet. Mexican visas had a washed out look but used heavy colors. The Canadian visa was in a category all its own, with the Canadian maple leaf cut into the visa itself creating a unique outline, and only part covered by a plastic security strip with holographic mounties ensuring its integrity.

Their Australian colleague, however, was hard pressed to contribute to the discussion. He had no visas on his passport. This wasn’t really because he was not well travelled. His citizenship simply exempted him from the travel requirements that Chinese, Filipinos, and other 3rd World nationals faced. While it offered him the convenience of easy travel . . .

. . . it also prevented him from forming his own visa collection. Apparently, having a third-world country passport has it’s upsides. 🙂

Needing to go through the visa application process to go anywhere is not something to which people aspire. But as the cliche goes, when given lemons . . . might as well make Lemon Marangue Pie.

Jun 6, 2010