My First Passport Stamp (Reflect)

calendar_todaySeptember 5, 2016
account_circleJanine Daquio

Do you know what first-time experiences impose? It’s fear and excitement.

My provinces are in Bohol on my father’s and Davao on my mother’s; having a flight didn’t fear me.

credit to my friend, Bhing, for the hugot line

But traveling abroad is different. I’ve been a passport holder since 2012 and will expire on Jul 2017. I never thought that my passport will be more than just a valid ID because I can’t afford the luxury of traveling. Think of airfare, hotel, pocket money, and tour. However, my mother’s perseverance to go international (who is also just a domestic traveler) made us book a flight in Cebu Pac.

The loneliest part of this, my father got really sick. Ergo my mother had to give up her ultimate dream to travel abroad because she has to take good care of my father.

Other than my mother will not be with me but only her friends (Titas of Manila) and the daughters of her friends, I was also ill. There’s a blood in my phlegm. The night before my flight I had my check up and got x-rayed, for the hospital is thinking I might have TB. WHAT?! The doctor who attended me happened to be a member of Bureau of Quarantine in the airport so that thought kind of worried me that I might not be allowed to go thru.

Not knowing the result of my x-ray, the friends of my mother was pushing me to go with them because I know the tourist spots to go. It was like I’ll be a tour guide for this trip but an ignorant one, also a tourist one. It’s funny to arrange a tour in a foreign country, to a place you’ve never been.
We arrived in the airport so early because there’s no heavy traffic; it was Eidl Fitr holiday – to give way for our Muslim locals. Before I start my story, I would like to thank the Titas of Manila that we were SO early birds. I thought we were being “OA sa early” but the lines, the interrogation (especially me), ate up all our time and we only waited in the boarding area for like 45 minutes, I think.

  • So, we paid travel tax that costs P1,620. Yeah, I believe only Philippines has that?
  • Ate at Mcdo
  • Checked-in
  • Filled out a copy of immigration form
  • Bureau of Immigration interrogation. I told the officer I was off for a tour with family friends, pointing my finger that they were queued up next to me. She asked for my company ID and unfortunately, I didn’t have one. And then she asked if I have a credit card and luckily, I got one last Dec without an effort of applying it. God’s pretty awesome. Anyway, she asked what my course is when I was in college and she asked for my college ID. She asked again if where I will be staying and I showed her our hotel booking details and its address. To conclude, she just said that my return will be monitored. Same thing happened to the Titas of Manila.
  • Few walks from that booth, the officer checked my passport and she told me to have another interview and a form to fill out. But the Titas of Manila were able to go thru. I think it’s because I’m a first time traveler. The officer asked a “sponsor” who will be with me then one tita who has traveled a couple of times was the one who accompanied me.
  • There were five of us who were held for another interrogation. One was a first time traveler and one is being questioned why does she have many baggage where in her itinerary, it’s stated that she’ll just stay for 1 week, and I don’t know what’s the case of others. When it’s already my turn, the officer is less strict than the first one I encountered. She just asked for my credit card, my alumni ID, why my mother wasn’t able to come, and where am I staying. I also informed her that our hotel accommodation is under my name and it’s my credit card that’s been used to pay.
  • Final security check – belts, metals, and gadgets removed.
  • Titas of Manila waited for me near the shopping area then we ate at Tapa King.
  • Finally, we went in the waiting area.
  • Boarding time then voila, we’re in Malaysia!
  • Queued to the booth for stamping
  • Got the baggage.
  • Taxi!

So I thought I’ll be offloaded but thank God! Faith goals, checked: Passport stamped! Aside from Kota Kinabalu is the cheapest destination in Cebu Pac, I chose this city to be my first because it’s the one nearest in the Philippines and IF EVER I’ll be offloaded, the money wasted would not be too much.

I’m looking forward to more travel abroad to come!

PS: I received the result of my x-ray while I was at the airport. My cousin told me that my lungs are clean.

Janine Daquio
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