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DFA, MOA and AI

April 3, 2008

I was off from work today as I needed to have my passport renewed. My passport is about to expire this August and it can longer allow me to travel outside the country. Oh well, you’re guessing it right. Magliliwaliw na naman ang mga malilikot kong paa. I have plans of travelling sometime in June. Tsaka ko na lang sabihin kung saan ako pupunta. Hehehe!

Actually, I first tried to apply for renewal last March 18 (Holy Tuesday) hoping that I could have it processed in the old-school kind of way. You know like a walk-in applicant carrying all the required documents. Vida, my travel agent friend and high school classmate, advised me to proceed to the DFA office as early as 6 a.m. (Oh sh*t, I don’t even know how a 6 a.m. scene looks like!). But as expected, I was late. I was an hour late! I thought, "7 a.m.? Hmmnn, di pa naman siguro marami ang tao." I was wrong. Dead wrong! Pag dating ko dun kala ko may rally dahil sa dami ng tao! Hehehe! So ganun pala, I needed to fall in line para makapasok sa basketball court. Not to play basketball huh?! Hmp, corny! Hehehe! DFA is now using that place to accommodate passport applicants. Imagine, a baskeball court filled with people?! Then I thought again, "P*cha, anong oras naman kaya ako matatapos nito?" My arte-ness clouded the scene. I felt the heat and I began texting friends and calling my mom about my hard-to-imagine situation.

To cut the long story short (yeah, summarized version na yan!), I raised my white hanky and announced my admission of defeat! So, back to barracks ang drama ko!

Last Monday, I logged on to dfa.gov.ph and tried to make an appointment online. Minutes after that shooting of appointment, I got a response telling me that they have already reserved a slot for me on April 3, 11:00 am to 12:00 nn. I need not undergo that gruelling fall-in-line-to-get-in-that-basketball-court experience as I was asked to proceed to Gate 2 already. But of course, I was again late… arrived at DFA at around 11:15 am.

My DFA stint today was pretty easy and the renewal application was a bit fast. I went straight to a window (no lines, imagine that!). My documents were pre-screened and found everything in order. I was asked to go to the Auditorium for payment and encoding. So I did. The Auditorium was big… and of course, filled with people! But I had no intentions to back-out this time. So, as soon as I paid my renewal fee (I just took the 2-week processing and cost me P500, but they also offer a rush 1-week processing at P750), I started falling in line for the encoding. It was sure a very long line. But they made it comfortable for applicants as lots of seats were provided which served as "line guide" (di ko sure kung tama ang English ko dito, what I want to say is guide sa pagpila’… hehehe!). I didn’t got bored and irrirated at all though as I brought a Cosmo magazine with me. I was expecting this patiently-falling-in-line scenario to happen. Hehehe!

I find their falling-in-line-to-get-encoded system kinda weird. Encoders needed to clap 2 or 3 times (read: signal the guard) to inform that their window/table is open for a new applicant. Natawa lang ako kasi parang tumatawag sila ng kalapati everytime they clap. Hehehe! Can’t they do that electronically? I think DFA should at least look into using an electronic board similar to that of Smart’s. I guess, it will be more organized. Clients/applicants get to know what number is served and which window/table to proceed. Whachathink DFA?

As I said, it was an easy and short processing. I spent exactly 1 hour to do all those things (including processing of passport delivery via FedEx huh?!). I’ll just have to wait for another 2 weeks for my new passport to arrive.

So for those who want to renew their passport in a much easier way, it would be advisable to secure online appointment first before you head to the DFA office. Or better yet, call your friendly travel agent or the NSO Passport Assistance Hotline for a more hassle-free processing/application. It will cost you a couple of bucks more though.

**********

After DFA, I went straight to the nearest mall. Baclaran Mall, of course! Ay hindi ah! I headed to MOA for a short stroll. Today was a bit strange, I felt bored strolling in MOA.  I’m a certified mall rat so I shouldn’t be feeling that way.  Ewan ko ba, this feeling is very unusual for me. Siguro kasi walang bagong items… halos lahat eh nakita ko na!🙂

So, I decided to watch a movie. There’s nothing exciting to watch though but I just wanted to kill time. I checked out the "Now Showing" list. I got interested in this not-so-hyped-all-star cast movie entitled "The Air I Breathe". I did put much hope on the movie as it was starred by no less than Andy Garcia, Brendan Fraser, Forest Whitaker and Kevin Bacon. But I was wrong. The movie wasn’t that good. Or I just set my expectations too high? Hmp, nasayang tuloy P160 ko! Sheesh!

**********

I had to go home before 6pm. It’s Thursday today… American Idol’s Elimination Night. Again, I was freaking nervous for David Cook (I’m really getting addicted with this guy as days pass by! Hehehe!) and hoped that he’s not in the bottom 3 tonight. He had an amazing and hot performance again last night though. But it’s anybody’s game now and his fate is in the hands of the voters (sayang talaga, I can’t vote! hehehe!). As soon as Ryan Seacrest announced that David was safe, my heartbeat went back to normal! Hehehe! OA noh?!

Sadly, Ramielle Malubay got booted out tonight. Too bad, no more Pinay representative in AI. She is a good singer but she lacks confidence. So I think it was really time for her to go. Sorry Ramielle. I’m not a big fan!

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