Pia Besmonte

is back

We couldn’t leave

Team BLG was supposed to fly out of the country yesterday morning. There was a slight problem with Mango’s use of American passport while born in the Philippines. Essentially, he “overstayed” on a US passport without a visa.

Exit Clearance

We rushed to the Bureau of Immigration. They said we needed to get Mango an Exit Clearance. This document will exempt him from penalty for every month of life he stayed here in the Philippines since birth.

Many helped us secure this document for Mango. Our siblings gave us legal advice. Dexter’s partner walked us through the processes when he applied for his son’s documents. A family friend helped us navigate the application process.

An observation

The (government’s) system is inefficient, and therefore exploitable.

There were a lot of people there. They are foreign nationals (re-)applying for their visas in the Philippines. Not all of them speak English.

Corruption and extortion most likely happens in an agency that processes people who are not familiar with the bureaucratic complexities of the Philippine government.

As long as the system is inefficient, there will be a space to negotiate speeding up the process. A price will be named. The system is bad and gives birth to corruption.

In the U.S. if your visa expires they will deport you and pay for the plane ticket. Here in the Philippines: overstay and incur penalties, then stay a little bit longer until you are cleared to leave.

Jackie chan meme

Some links

With our flight re-scheduled, I get a little more time to rest, to write (I am currently at 8,300 words for NaNoWriMo), and to read.

The aim is not to complete NaNoWriMo

but to figure out what I want to write. I am making peace that I am not the person I was before. Life has changed me a lot in the last two years. It is not unthinkable that I am called to write different things now.

So I’m writing. Word after word. Even if it doesn’t make sense. Even if it’s not a story yet. Even if I am merely setting the stage for the courtship ritual with the Muse again.

“I have not exhausted you yet,

we still have a few poems”

(Muse, Manic Pixie Depressive Gremlin)