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No this story does not pertain to imbibing any adult beverages. Early this month I told you about going to Olongapo to pay my Head Tax of ₱310 Philippine immigration tax. This is a very simple affair, show up, hand over your I-Card pay the pesos and as I said then Ditty Na down life’s highway. The boss was there and knew me from many years doing this simple choir, but it also took long years before we chatted or spoke. When the first I-Card was issued, it took me 4 years to receive mine. Here is our first meeting: I stop by every month and talk to his employee to see if my card had arrived yet. The young fella was not at his desk this time, so I just sat down and was reading a book. Time passed and the boss came over and introduced himself, I stood and shook hands and did the same.
He asked me why I was there every month and I explained about the absent I-Card from Mega Manila. He went back to his desk, and then quickly returned and opened the draw on the employee’s desk rummaged around and pulled out a stack of dusty I-cards all wrapped tight in rubber bands. He broke open the stack, split it in half and handed me a pile. Within a few minutes he found my I-card. I signed the log book, and thanked the El Jefe, when he asked me if I wanted to file a complaint. I shook my head and declined as I had no desire to see the young man chastised. I started laughing and said; “But I’ll miss dropping by every month and reading my book.” The subject was closed, until the following year I had to renew my now-old I-Card. Off to Manila Ziggity Zig, and all was well. Weeks later sitting at my friends bar the young man came in and presented me with my new I-card. I thanked him and he left. All my friends asked about it and I said; “They do that for everyone don’t they?” Well I guess not, and a long time later I told my friends the truth.
I stopped and thanked el Jefe for that courtesy, he said you didn’t want to cause his nephew a problem and I was nice to drop it any complaint.
Last week, I told you about the trip I must make to Manila to renew my I-Card ten years later and how the El Jefe could not help me solve that problem. While doing my income tax at the American Legion, Someone tapped my shoulder. It was the bosses nephew from the Dept. if Immigration, could I meet him (El Jefe) at Kong’s Restaurant across the street (Lunch Time of course and I’ll pay.)
I found that there was a way that I could avoid the trip to Manila because of my medical problems and under my Doctor’s advice I should not make the trip. He talked to the people in Manila and found that with a letter from my doctor, it could be done, but because of lawyers as a representative and a small fee. I will be done for me. If I had to go, it would cost me four times as much because I’d have to hire two vans for the two trips required, plus two hotel rooms’ one per trip. So a lot more then the lawyers cost. I paid out the money and they are on the way while I stay home! Now it will be awhile before I see my new I-card again, but I’m fine as they gave me a receipt, and I already know they are good for at least four years.
So once again tit was proved that no one knows everything and that the Philippines has compassion for us old and feeble folks.