UPDATE as of May 16, 2017:
The implementation of visa-free entry to Taiwan for Filipinos has been moved to September. For more details, see the ROC’s official announcement here.
For a while, let’s pretend that I haven’t followed through my self-promised blog series on my trip to Taichung and Taipei. Maybe this should count as a third installment so as to make the series beyond two links. Haha.
Anyway, the reason I’m writing this impromptu, super happy post is because a Taiwanese news website and our very own ABS-CBN news team reported that starting June 1, 2017, Taiwan will be offering visa-free entry to ALL Filipinos! That’s right, mga kababayan! Magdiwang!
See, last October, they eased on giving visa exemptions to Filipino holders of US, Canada, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Schengen and South Korean visa. Given that I have one of those and AirAsia dropped really good seat sales to Taipei as their newest destination in Asia, I did not think twice booking a trip. Side-note: For now, those with such visas (even expired) can apply for a free authorization to enter as tourist via the ROC website.
And, as all my loved ones (and IG friends) know, I fell in love with the truly beautiful island. I always joke that the Philippines will always be my one true love but my attraction and strong feelings for Taiwan is something else. They have a rich appreciation of culture preserved for locals and tourists alike, great AND clean fresh food, beyond convenient transportation system, and fun, nice people. You know how they say that people who love to eat are the best people? Well, the Taiwanese has a bunch of night markets and every street does not seem to run out of food stalls and shops. That’s gotta be one indicator.
Also, their tourism office is one of the most organized I’ve seen. Well, not that I’ve seen a lot outside our own #choosephilippines but, you can tell from the airport to the city to the outskirts that its tourism office coordinates well with every other government and private office dealing with people. Amazing. They are not just tourist friendly, they are tourist-ready.
Now, I’m just really glad to know that by June, I don’t have to worry about asking friends and family to apply for visitor visas so I can take them to Taipei. All I have to think of now is how to save, save, save travel funds so I can take my little family there soon. Surely, airlines will have new seat sales coming our way once the Taiwanese Tourism Office makes the official announcement.
To friends, please make me your tour guide when you visit Taipei. Just pay for my airfare. Haha.
Some photos from my first and definitely not the last visit to Taipei. Hope they make you look forward to the announcement and the airline ticket sales. And again, I promise (#selftalk) to really finish my drafted notes about the amazing experience I had in Taiwan. For now, ciao and happy long weekend to everyone in the Philippines!
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