Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Wow!!! This year is 2012 and I've just had a bit of time to blog the 3 years that had passed. That's a lot. So this is what I plan...sort of New Year's resolution (LOL)...that I will start blogging the things that had happened since my last entry here.
Posted by maria and stephen downey at 6:02 PM
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
1. BE LIKE A GIRL SCOUT. My husband and I prepared all the documents even before my hubby (my fiancé then) came to the Philippines. We were supposed to get married around November 2008 but we had to do it earlier because my siblings who are in AU also came to the country because my father passed away in August.
2. BE WISE LIKE KING SOLOMON. Since I was marrying a foreigner, money became the name of the game. Beware of those who will take advantage of you in City Halls (as in city halls with the S). You would be charged around 10,000 - 15,000 pesos for you to get married. This is definitely showing us how corrupt some government employees are. It would be best to follow the normal waiting time if you can still manage it. If not, it pays to know someone inside. In my case, my uncle has a brother working for some politician there.
3. BE PATIENT LIKE JOB. Waiting time is a nerve – wrecking stage.
SECPA Marriage Certificate. I had to wait for the SECPA of our marriage certificate before I can apply for a new passport using my married name. I had to get the marriage report from the city hall and filed it myself at NSO, East Avenue. It was a nightmarish experience for me because I was told by the registrar’s office of the city hall to go to Sta. Mesa branch of NSO which I did (the taxi driver didn’t know how to go there making the matter worst). I was then asked to go to EDSA branch instead only to be told to go the EAST AVE. Branch! Goodness! I felt like ball in a basketball game. Since the SECPA marriage certificate was only issued around early November, I was only able to apply in November 20.
CFO Seminar. I only did this for a half day. I signed some forms detailing relationship, family, kind of work we have etc. I had to call my husband and my in - laws to ask some information since I didn’t bring our documents with me. All I brought were photocopies of my passport and marriage certificate. We watched the Magandang Gabi Bayan (real old because it was still Noli de Castro who was in the show and he is the Vice President of the country now). I have watched that particular episode when I was still in high school or first year college. The documentary was all about the abuses made by foreigner husbands to their Filipina wives. If you were the kind of person who easily get scared, you might think twice of marrying your fiancé. I could tell by the look in some of the faces there with me, that they got somehow affected. By the way, surprisingly, when the lady asked who among us (we’re 40 women I guess) have been outside of the country before, there were only three of us who raised our hands. After this, I got my certificate already.
NBI Clearance. NBI clearance is so easy to get now. That is, if you do not have a name similar to a person with a criminal record or else you will be asked to return the next week for an interview. I almost go thru that experience. Good thing, my cousin in law is a doctor and a member of the NBI Special Action Group. He just told me to go to a certain person at NBI and presto! I got my clearance that same day.
PASSPORT. My passport (when I was still single.) was only renewed in May of 2008 just before I left for Thailand for a volunteer work in Mae Sot (Burmese refugees) but to make it easier and less confusing, my husband and I decided to have me applied for another passport. Getting a passport is never easy and will never be easy if you don’t know anybody in DFA. You will have to fall in line where all sorts of people from different parts of the country are waiting for their turn and praying that they would be included in the quota for the day or else they will have no choice but to go back again the next day ( as early as 3 or 4 AM). Again, it pays to know someone in authority. I was helped by the same person who helped me when I renewed my passport. I didn’t go thru the long line of people waiting.
Things to bring:
• Photo ( make sure you have the right size)
• Old passport ( if you have one)
• NBI Clearance
• SECPA Marriage Certificate
• CFO certificate (if you are married to a foreigner)
Have all your documents photocopied. Do not submit original copies unless asked.
MEDICAL. We had our medicals at St. Luke’s Extension Clinic in Makati in 17th of December. My mother and I had to checked in at a hotel near the clinic only to find out that we won’ t be allowed to get inside before 7 AM. Anyway, good thing was, we were the first in line. Don’t get envious with the US applicants because their medicals are much complicated (with the sputum tests) and expensive. It took us the whole day to finish everything. Good thing we were given cleared med results. The receipt is very important because it will be included in the documents for the lodgment of application. Oh by the way, eat something before you go there. I could kill my brother (nurse) for telling us not to eat anything…heheheh.
4. BE PRETTY AND MUSTER ALL THE PATIENCE THAT YOU CAN HAVE.
After lodging the application, then wait…then wait…then wait again.
Posted by maria and stephen downey at 11:20 AM