In the age of millennial travel, my nation, the Philippines is the leading nation in Southeast Asia who bred a new wave of travelers. You will barely come across our neighbors (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam) when you are traveling in Europe.
2019’s passport index ranking states that Philippine passport holders can stop by 70 nations visa-totally free, VOA, and e-visa Thailand, 81. Cambodia, 60. Vietnam, 57. Out of all these SEA nations, regardless of the passport limitation, Filipinos are everywhere and are continually traveling. Regardless of social and monetary status, nobody’s left out. It is crazy how lots of Filipinos are traveling these days!
Filipinos are tenacious folks. We have this word in Tagalog that is neither damaging or optimistic: ‘ambisyosa.’ Ambitious is what we are so most of us have this roaring drive to go out of the nation to travel, or far more so, to perform. There are two.three million Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to date. These are the ones recorded legally so you can picture how a great deal far more out there is undocumented for.
These legal OFWs can apply for a visa outdoors of the Philippines since of their residency status. For instance, when I went to Armenia, there had been a lot of Filipinos who had been freely getting into the nation on Visa On Arrival (VOA). Nations like Armenia and Georgia have distinct visa guidelines for Filipino citizens who are legal residents of the Middle East (UAE, Bahrain, Oman, and so on). They require not apply for a visa prior to arrival. In addition, they are permitted to apply for a visa to other nations outdoors the Philippines, let’s say for a Schengen visa. In Schengen guidelines, Filipinos are can only apply for a visa in their house nation except for these who have residency status in other nations.
But what if you are an ‘ambisyosa’ Filipino traveler like me who does not have a residency status anyplace but the Philippines?
When I did a travel workshop for Energy Mac Center final April 2018, I noticed that the Filipino tenacity comes with a limit. There had been lots of intelligent and evolved attendees of the occasion but none of them knew how to be persistent. To be sincere, I also grew up like that. I only discovered to continue firmly or obstinately in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition when I went abroad. Persistency, despite the fact that it comes with tenacity, is not some thing you will study developing up in the Philippines.
Persistence did not exist in our culture since of the invasion by the Spanish and the Americans. The Spanish rule was a period of slavery whilst the American is about co-current, but with hierarchy. I can’t give you a complete Philippine history lesson in this post but these occupations had a good impact on how our culture is at present. And that is, becoming unconscious underdogs. If you are a foreigner and you come to the Philippines, you will be treated with an ivy league hospitality. No matter how shitty of a individual you are, you will be looked up to since of your skin colour and your citizenship. What ever you ask, we will do. What ever you require, we will get for you. If the Philippines is below a caste method, you, as a foreigner, will be on leading of that triangle.
A different element that impacts our persistence is our really unhelpful government offices. As an alternative of assisting us, they make our lives miserable. Philippine banks have the most ridiculous guidelines in the planet since they are controlled by private owners for profit. In this nation, you can by no means do inter-bank transfers, and if you can, they come with a charge — a charge we are practically not prepared to spend for. When I lived in Tel Aviv, Barcelona, Hong Kong, and Buenos Aires, I only had a single bank account since I can conveniently transfer income to any other regional (and even international) banks. In the Philippines, you have to have four-five bank accounts since this tends to make your life less difficult when it comes to income transfer or other transactions.
If you go to any government workplace, you will be in line for hours. And when it is your turn to be accommodated, they will constantly obtain some thing to not aid you. The Philippine guidelines do not prioritize their citizens. As an alternative, we are constantly place in circumstances exactly where we are forced to give up and to not do something about it.
I wanted to send my mom some stuff when I was living in Tel Aviv. I went to the post workplace only to obtain out that I can’t send stuff in that branch. They asked me to go to a further branch which is so far away from exactly where I reside. I am really familiar with the Israeli persistence so I attempted be it. I told them I am only with a bicycle and I can not drive all the way opposite the city to do what I had to do. The essential phrase, that worked all the time: “what can you do to aid me?” She then began to make calls and in the finish, she accepted my package. The technique? If you do not ask, you do not get.
Sadly, we do not do this a lot in the Philippines. When a government official tells us, “I am sorry, I can’t aid you,” we do not generally ask for other approaches on how they can aid us. Pretty handful of of us know that this is element of our civil rights and that government offices have to exhaust all their efforts in order to make issues simple for us. It is their job. I imply, what are they carrying out sitting on their desks all day if they are not capable to aid? We are employed to receiving no, and in turn, will not ask for options on how it will be a win-win circumstance. We are so employed to dead ends and lengthy processes for basic issues. Of course, that is not the assigned government official’s fault – they are only following a method. A method that does not advantage any of us. This also led for us to have a culture of fixers and inside contacts. When you have each, then you will be capable to get what you want.
What do these all have to do with Filipinos applying for a visa outdoors the Philippines?
It took me so a great deal efforts to get my Argentine visa when I was traveling South America. So a great deal that I’ve practically offered up on receiving a single. I attempted it in Peru and it didn’t perform since my Peruvian tourist visa was expiring a week from my application. They require two-three weeks to course of action it. Neither did it perform in Brazil. They didn’t say why they had been not capable to give me a visa but I guess I just didn’t have adequate proof of funding at the time.
Then I met this Indian travel duo in Uruguay, who had been also on their way to Argentina. I’ve noticed them twice at the Argentine Embassy in Montevideo and they looked like they by no means had luck in receiving a visa. I sat subsequent to them and asked about their application status. They told me they can only apply for an Argentine visa in India and that they had been rejected twice currently. My heart stopped. When they stated this, I officially gave up the dream of going to Argentina.
There is a South America travel route that most backpackers stick to. Everyone’s going the identical way and at the time, the Indians had been my mates – they took the identical route that I took. Then we had been each caught in a circumstance exactly where we necessary to apply for a visa to continue our journey. None of us are prepared to go back to our personal nation for a freaking visa then go back. Not only that airfare fees a lot of income but it will disrupt the momentum of the travel.
This is what the Indians told the consul and when it was my turn for the interview, I stated the identical. My voice came with good energy in just about every words I uttered. I had nothing at all to worry that time – I have all the specifications and was financially steady. I had proof to assistance my travels in Argentina. For just about every time she stated no, I was suprisingly prepared for the counter-attack. She wouldn’t relent so I asked her what can we do or how can she aid me for this to be a win-win circumstance for us. She place her hand out the window and took all my documents. “Come back in two days and let’s hope for the ideal.”
It was a 1,000 energy jump Super Mario moment for me. Even if I wasn’t confident I would get the visa in two days, I was proud of standing up for myself and for asking for option options alternatively of just walking away. I told my mates back house about it and they told me a single issue: “if that was me, I would’ve just accepted the no.” You see, asking for a further way to resolve the challenge is not standard for us Filipinos. We are employed to receiving the no and we accept it wholeheartedly. I by no means knew if the Indians produced it but I did get a 70-day visa to Argentina.
Lesson of the story? Be persistent.
I do not have any concrete tips for Filipinos applying for visas outdoors the Philippines but you have noticed how persistence can get you a lengthy way. Distinctive nations have distinct guidelines and far more usually than not, regions like Latin America are a bit confused about how to deal with Filipinos asking for a visa. I’ve had lots of mishaps about this division which you can study in the visa section of this weblog but I know, in my heart, that Schengen visa is the only visa that demands Filipinos to apply in their house nation. The rest, you can apply anyplace. I even applied for a US visa in Israel! Nicely, it was rejected but at least I know I can. My Jordan visa was also issued in Tel Aviv regardless of not getting a resident status. As far as I cann see, there are no concrete guidelines for Filipinos applying for visas outdoors the Philippines. All we have to do is to attempt, and of course, to hope for the ideal. It is a tedious course of action but what can we do?
Just feel about this: no matter how really hard the course of action may possibly be, you will get it. We’re employed to really hard anyway. It is time to get out of that underdog mentality and be the citizens who go soon after what they want and does not let anyone get in the way.