it was one of those days when i thought i was all set. i packed my bags way ahead and arrived at the airport 2 hours before the scheduled flight. but then voila!
i was limping my way to the travel tax payment counter since i had a minor surgery on the left foot. when the officer looked at my passport, he told me that i need a piece of paper instead from POEA and that i need not pay the travel tax. in turn, i said that i was willing to pay the price just so that i can go since i have that disability at the moment (he told me to go to the POEA desk who then told me that I should go another office… etc).
oh my was i panicky! i was pissed. i was worried! i was thinking of the long queu while i crawl my way to that payment window. i told the guy, what if i miss my flight and then a long series of questions and buts, you have to, you need to, you should know… etc. (i even took a picture of the counter as i planned actually to report it.) in the end, i was exasperated of arguing and i just called the driver to come back so that i could go to that “Office.”
just when i was there sitting and looking worried and tired, the guy told me that he will try to call his supervisor and ask about my case. i overheard him say “… yes she has bandage on her foot…” finally, after almost 30 minutes (the driver has arrived), the Officer told me that his boss agreed and that they made an exemption because of my injury.
he reminded me again that i should go and get this POEA permit or certification since I am now officially an overseas filipino worker (OFW) and no longer a student. whew!
i was thinking if i approached it differently would my request have been granted quickly? maybe, i was too pushy or proud since i have never traveled with such hassles. i got used to diplomatic or official status – having to carry a special passport and letter from the higher-ups by-passing any other questions, etc.
hhhhhmmm… i really should get used to answering immigration questions and POEA rules and i should go to the Philippine Embassy in Singapore ASAP!