My South Korea Tour: Pre-departure

Point of Departure: Kalibo International Airport (KLA), Kalibo, Aklan

Prepare for Terminal Fee (Php750) and Travel Tax (Php1650).

My friends and I live in Iloilo City, the City of Love. It takes about 4 hours to go to Kalibo, Aklan by bus. We decided to take the KLO because it’s cost-saving!

Convenient. This airport is a gateway to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Boracay Island. It has direct flights to Incheon, South Korea so we didn’t have to go to Manila and cost another plane fare. Yes, for us who live outside the mainland Luzon, we have to take another plane ride. We do have an airport of international standard but it only serves Hong Kong and Singapore flights for now (I heard we will soon have direct flight to South Korea!).

Cheaper Fare. The fare is much cheaper than direct flight MLA-ICN. Plus, we were able to stumble upon a promo fare KLA-ICN last January. (Start your own monitoring now!) With additional 20kgs baggage, I paid Php3719 (Cebu Pacific).* However, it’s a red eye flight, 1:50AM. We left Iloilo for Aklan April 7 at 4:00PM and arrived around 9:00PM. (We had a lot of waiting time. I have no complaints though. I can do it again.) For our return flight, there are several options: PAL, CebPac, AirAsia. My friends grabbed the 7:00AM ICN-KLA, (Cebu Pacific) but I took 4:00PM ICN-KLA (Air Asia) because it’s hard for me to wake up early. I spent about PHP7,230 back to PH.

*MLA-ICN fare at that time was about Php6000 – Php7000 (Cebu Pacific).

Please see below for the pre-departure expense:

Bus from Iloilo to Kalibo (est.) with return Php 700
Terminal Fee Php 750
Travel Tax Php 1650
KLO-ICN (CebPac) with 20kgs baggage allowance Php 3,719
ICN-KLO (AirAsia) with 20kgs baggage allowance Php 7,230


Php 14,049.00

I booked this ticket long before I applied for a Visa because I want to save. So, it’s definitely a risk. But, it was worth it when I got my Visa!

IMMIGRATION. I traveled with 2 other co-workers. Only 1 of us has international travel. Added to the fact that I am a civil servant, it took me a little longer in the immigration. I showed the officer my travel authority but it was only a photocopy because the original was attached to my Visa application. Good thing my co-worker has the original copy of her document so it was compared. We also showed our office ID to support. Thank God, I was able to convince the officer that I am not escaping anything in the Philippines. hehe

I hope this helps you think about your preparation. If you have questions, feel free to comment or send a private message. (^_^)


How to Fill out Korean Visa Application Form

Below are some common confusion points when filling out the Korean Visa Application form. Please read through this post to guide you in completing the Form.


General Instruction from the Embassy

  • You must fill out this form completely and correctly.
  • You must write in BLOCK letters either in English or Korean.
  • For multiple-choice questions, you must check [√] all that apply.
  • If you select ‘Other’, please provide us with more information in the given space.

1. Personal Details

  1.2 Chinese Name.

Write N/A if not applicable to you.

  1.4 Date of Birth. Take note of the order in writing dates.

Korea has a different system in writing dates. This is because in their culture they write the most general first and the specific last (Year/month/date). This unique system is also visible in writing address (e.g. South Korea, Gyeonggi-do, Yongin-si, Giheung-gu~ etc)

  1.7 National Identity Number.

      Philippines has no National ID system yet. However, for my application, I used my Social Security System (SSS) Number. My other colleague used her Driver’s License, while my cousin did not write anything. All of us got our application approved. So, I guess it doesn’t really matter.

2. Details of Visa Issuance

As I have mentioned before I didn’t have other passport or prior approved Visa so I just wrote N/A for all the space that needs to be filled up.

3. Passport Information

       3.5 Date of Issue and 3.6 Date of Expiry.
          This part didn’t require any format. So, I just followed how the dates were written in my Passport.

4. Contact Information

       4.1 Current Residential Address.
I believe this part of the form is not that difficult to understand. However, please take note that if your Current Residential Address is the same as the Address in Home Country, you do not need  to write it on 4.1 anymore.

5. Marital Status

       Funny but based on experience, this is the only form so far where I don’t have to say I am single, rather it is ‘unmarried’. Anyway, if you are also unmarried, just tick that option and put N/A for the other details.

6. Education

       6.2 Name of School.
I actually have 2 majors. I used the name of the last University I attended to.

7. Employment

       7.1 Current personal circumstance.
       I am a civil servant. I had to check that option. Consequently, I also provided travel authority to support my documents (Our agency said it is not part of the requirement but they took it anyway just in case it will be needed.)

       7.2 (d) Telephone Number.
       I wrote the phone number of our Human Resource Department.

8. Details of Sponsor

       8.1  Do you have anyone sponsoring you for your visa?
       My answer was NO. Actually I have my invitation letter from my Korean friend but she is not sponsoring the trip. I paid for all the travel expense.

   Although I traveled with friends, we applied separately. They did not have invitation/sponsorship from any Korean or anyone residing in Korea.

        If somebody is sponsoring you, I believe you should show the Visa Officer that the person paying for all your travel expense is financially capable of doing so.

9. Details of Visit

     9.1 Purpose of Visit to Korea. 
At some point, I got confused because I have invitation letter from my Korean friend attached. I don’t know whether I should check Tourism/Transit, Visiting Family/ Relatives/Friends, or BOTH . In the end I just ended checking Tourism/Transit option.

By the way, you have to know what is written in the invitation if the content was written in Korean.

    9.2 Intended Period of Stay. 
I stayed for 8 days while my friends stayed for 5 days. We initially planned to stay for 8 days but some of my friends decided to just stay for 5 days. I already received the invitation letter and I was hesitant to ask my friend to change it so I just decided to stay for 8 days. This is to match the data in the invitation and my application. I thought it’ s going to be exciting too!

     9.4 Address in Korea.
     We had several hotels but we only wrote the first hotel we were going to check in.

     9.5 Contact Number in Korea. 
We didn’t have Korean number. My friends wrote the hotel’s phone number. My cousin did not write anything. In my case, I wrote my friends contact number as visible in the invitation letter (My friend’s contact number/Her name).

      9.6 and 9.7. Travel to Korea and other International Travels.
     As I’ve mentioned in my earlier post, I didn’t have any international travel. Hence, the N/A.

     9.8 Travelling with Family Member.
     Although I travelled with my cousin she is not one of those listed as family member in the form. So, we cannot write each other’s name.

10. Funding Details

    10. 1 Estimated Travel Costs.
     How much is enough to convince the Visa Officer? That I don’t know still. But, let me share that I wrote $1000 for 8 days. My friend also wrote $1000 but the agency advised her to reduce it. This is because we cannot write amount that is almost equal to the money in our bank account. It has to be less than the money in the bank statement. (The agency also mentioned that $600 is good enough. However, since we will be traveling outside Seoul, she wrote $700)

10. 2 Who will pay for the travel expense?
a. I wrote my name.
b. I wrote N/A for relationship.
c. I wrote ALL TRAVEL EXPENSE  for the type of support.
d. I wrote my contact #.

11. Assistance with this Form

I did not receive any assistance so I just checked NO and put N/A for the other boxes.

12. Declaration

I just wrote my signature just beside the date of completing the form.

I hope this could make your application process a bit easier!