As in the past Thursday I made my yearly migration to the Bureau of Immigration Office here in Olongapo City. Now I know you are waiting for the hammer to fall, what calamity befell me? Well the truth is nothing; the place was empty just my friend Don and our wives were there and the employees who work there.
I came through the door placed my I-Card on the counter along with PHP 310.00 and 3 to 4 minutes later I was done. No so much for my friend Don who had forgot his I-Card.
In September 2010 I replaced my US Passport with a new one as it had expired. Threw it into the safe and put it out of my mind. Prior to going to pay my head tax it dawned on me that my ACR I-Card* was expiring in March of this year. I then realized all my Visa stamps were in my old passport and my new one was as slick as a baby’s bottom.
Oh doom and gloom on me, I know this will be a major hassle trying to re-new my I-card. My mind was racing picturing the hoops and hurtles I’d have to go through as I trudge in the muck and mire that is The Bureaucratic Hell on Earth when dealing with any government office in any country on Earth.
Kill me now, I just don’t want to do it, I’d rather take a beating from a very large man. Then it came to me while walking Coco along the ridge line at the top of the hill, and viewing the valleys’ and the mountains in the back ground. Which were both beautiful and peaceful to my eyes. Coco was more interested in the goat that was tethered along the path.
Then I had that Eureka moment, the one where you see things so clearly, there a word for it but be damned if I could spell it. But it caused me to think, just take it as it happened, don’t worry about it. As with all things in life, it will work its self out. I didn’t bother to tell Coco about what had just happened as there was another goat just ahead.
So while I was at the Immigration office I fessed up to my mistake with my passports and lack of Visa stamps. The gentleman smiled and said it was quite a common occurrence and would present no big problem. Well there was the fact that I had to go to Manila to fix it.
Before I sunk into a morass of self-pity I remembered the moment of the mountain and smiled and said; “I have been wanting to see the Mall of Asia” We’ll just make a trip out of it, do my business and then enjoy the day, or the following day if need be. I know my daughters and granddaughter would enjoy the trip. Plus it will inspire me to write about the trip for LiP in the near future.
So to Coco and the mountain I’ll say; ”Thank you!” My attitude was changed and I no longer dread applying for the new I-Card or the trip to MEGA MANILA the center of the known world.