Welcome to the real world of papeles-for-the-rest-of-your-life. Here are the first few you can get a headstart on while you PMA (pahinga muna anak) or jobhunt.

A lot of malls have centralized centers now for you to apply for your government-issued documents and cards, so just make a whole day out of it and treat yourself to a movie afterwards.

Tip: Once you have these papeles, scan them so that you have a jpeg or pdf copy. Email a copy to yourself so you’ll always have a copy you can access online. If you have a smartphone, make a separate album for your ID cards and/or use an app like Key Ring to scan and save copies of your ID cards.

Yes, yes, this is the Philippines and no one will honor scanned cards in your phone. But if you ever lose your physical cards, this will make it easier to claim a replacement because you can print out the image and attach it to your affidavit of loss (and you’ll have the serial numbers on hand).


Diploma, Transcript of Records and Certificate of Graduation. Lahat lahatin mo na para one time big time lang pagod mo.

Aside from your originals, order at least two Certified True Copies of each document so you won’t have to keep going back to your school if you need a copy in the future.

TIP: Visit your school’s website to check if they have an online ordering system for these documents. The money you spend on delivery will be worth more than whatever it is you would have spent if you did this in real life (commute expenses, food expenses, time, sweat, tears, emotional preparation for the long lines and human interactions, etc.)


Without any other government-issued ID yet, this is the one document that you will need to apply for all those other cards and apply for work.

Again, order more than one to save time and effort in case you need them in the future.

TIP: You can do online: and


Here is the link to the National Bureau of Investigation’s page on the process:

TIP: Pray that you don’t have the same name as convicted felons or criminal suspects, because you’ll have to go back after a few days to give them time to process your name.

Employers won’t usually ask for a Barangay Clearance, but there’s nothing to lose by having a copy (or two or three) ready on hand. Just visit your friendly neighborhood Barangay Center for details.


Submitting those wallet-sized grad pics for job applications is a big no-no. Wear something corporate-looking: a blazer over a buttoned blouse for the ladies, coat over a collared polo (plain tie optional) for the gentlemen.

Tip 1: Request the photographer to take your photo in a way that will allow you to cut 2×2 prints into 1×1 prints, that way, you only need to order 2×2 prints in bulk and just cut them down to size whenever needed (including travel visa applications, which have strange photo ID size requirements sometimes). Order at least 20 pcs.

Tip 2: Practice your neutral, slightly-smiling, no-teeth face. No fashion-posing duckface! Mantra: This is not a selfie.

(If you want to save on time, money and effort, have this done immediately after having your graduation photos taken. Just take off the fake graduation robe and put on corporate attire. This way, you can take advantage of the nice hair and make-up that took you hours to put on.)


Because the opportunity to acquire a car won’t present itself to you if you don’t tell the universe that you’re ready anytime to drive off, amirite? ALSO: A useful, all-around ID you can use to enter buildings with.

Here’s the link for the requirements and other info: 

If you want to have an all-around gov’t ID card you can use that does not involve passing a driving test, then get a Postal ID from the post office (Philippine Postal Corporation, a.k.a. Philpost). Here’s the link:


These are services that your first employer will most likely process for you (i.e. they enroll you and you get your account number), but just in case you’ll be jobless for a while and have no employer to process these for you, you can apply for these yourself.

Having health insurance (a PhilHealth account) is always a good thing to have because YOLO.

Where to apply? As per the second sentence of this article: A lot of malls have centralized centers now for you to apply for your government-issued documents and cards.

TIP: After you get your account numbers for these services, apply for a UMID (Unified Multi-purpose Identification) Card, which can be used for SSS (or GSIS, if you eventually end up working for the gov’t), PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG.

Glossary of terms:
SSS – Social Security System; you pay contributions for benefits when you’re retired. As a member, you can also make loans.

GSIS – Government Service Insurance System; the SSS of government employees.

PhilHealth – Philippine Health Insurance Corporation; you pay contributions for coverage, discounts or refunds on hospital services (e.g.  room fees, medicines, diagnostic fees, doctors’ fees, etc.)

Pag-IBIG – Pag-IBIG Fund (Pagtutulungan sa Kinabukasan: Ikaw, Bangko Industriya at Gobyerno). Home Development Mutual Fund. You pay contributions for housing loans. You can also make multi-purpose loans and calamity loans.


Because the opportunity to travel internationally won’t present itself to you if you don’t tell the universe that you’re ready anytime to fly off, amirite?

Here are links with the info that you need to know for applying: and


Don’t laugh, a lot of people don’t do this and rely only on having a payroll account. How can you start saving money if you don’t have this?

Hurry, go go go! Personal savings FTW!


These always take 48 billion years to get done, so might as well order them now. If you’re lucky, you’ll get the hardcopy before you turn 30.

What other papeles should new grads apply for? Share your tips in the Comments Section below.



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