October 23, 2015
I went to the Philippine embassy today to have my passport renewed. I waited patiently for 1.5 hours to be called. During the wait, I was able register as an overseas voter. My brother has been persistent for me to vote as an oversees Filipino. A part of me thinks that I shouldn't but a part of me still thinks my vote matter.
The night before, I was rushing to find my expired passport. I knew I misplaced it. I know I did not lose it. First thing in the morning, I called the embassy. Classic scenario, I had to call multiple times until a real person answered and when I was finally able to find someone he hangs up. Then I had to call a couple of times. The gentleman apologized but by that time I was already annoyed. I kept my composure and talked to him. I told him about my lost passport and asked what I should do. He gladly asked if I had a copy of it and I said yes. He said just bring it and it should be fine. I trusted his words. I asked what the website said but he emphasized that it should be fine. Unfortunately, I regret doing so. I should have put more time into researching what to do. But who should I believe the website or the person working at the embassy? I believed the person. The website might not be updated and the guy should know better because he works there.
So #995 was called. I went to counter #1 slowly handing out my paper work when I was asked about my my passport. I told them that I talked to someone earlier and was told that it was not necessary. He said that if I was claiming a lost passport, I should have a police report for it and would have to pay $160 for it. Then he added, if that I thought it was just misplaced. I should just find it and file again.
Pretty much by now, you guessed it right, my blood was boiling in annoyance. I wasted 2.5 hours for nothing. Good thing, some Filipino couple was keeping me company during the wait. That wastage could have been prevented if the man on the phone provided me with accurate information. How will you respect an office if the people working in it doesn't know what his supposed to be work is. Providing wrong information is worse than not knowing. It shows a lack of respect and arrogance. Lack of respect for another person's time. Arrogance for being a know it all without not actually knowing.
On my way back to the office, I thought to myself; being in the Philippine Embassy It felt like I never left the Philippines. Granted, my scenario can happen elsewhere. My experience in the Philippine embassy felt like home in a way that I don't really miss.
This makes me feel that I have experienced an unjustified existence in my life. How can this happen. How can it be the same even if I am on the other side of the world and a different zip code? Probably because some things don't change even with a different zip code.