Monday, September 27, 2010


No, this is certainly not about the series on T.V.  I don't even watch any T.V. show regularly to know what is happening there. This is about the consternation with, yet acceptance of the fact that my sweet, loving and totally adorable Asawa Pogi lost his ACR card! :p (Do you note the tongue-in-cheek way I said that?)

After weeks, if not months of actually trying to find time to do these errands, it is a bit disconcerting to think that we actually have to do it again.  Sadly, the procedure in getting the replacement ACR card is even more laborious than the first one, which only required twice a visit to the Bureau of Immigration, and the first visit can even be done once you get the approval on your 13-A visa.

What also makes it a bit heartbreaking is knowing that the card is valid only for this year, considering that it gets renewed next year when he gets issued a permanent resident visa under 13-A.  Sigh... I guess that's life.

Here are among those required to get an ACR card:
All registered aliens, including their dependents, who have been duly issued paper-based ACRs are required to replace their ACRs with the hi-tech microchip-based ACR I-Card.
All aliens who have been duly issued immigrant or non-immigrant visa and all other aliens who are required to register under the Alien Registration Act are required to register and apply for the ACR I-Card. They are the following:
         Permanent residents under:
                 a. Section 13 and its sub-sections
                 b. Republic Act Nos. 7919 and 8274 (Alien Social Integration Act of 1995)
                 c. Executive Order No. 324 (series of 1988)
                 d. Note Verbale No. 903730 dated Sept. 17, 1990 between Philippines and India
         Temporary residents under:
                 a. BI Law Instruction No. 33 (Series of 1988)
                 b. BI Law Instruction No.13 (Series of 1988)
                 c. BI Law Instruction No. 48 (Series of 1988)
                 d. BI Memo Order No. ADD-01-038 (series of 2001)
                 e. BI Memo Order No. ADD-02-015 (series of 2002)
          Temporary visitor under Section 9(a), PIA –one who is coming for business or pleasure or for reasons    of health if his stay exceeds six (6) months
          Treaty trader under Section 9(d), PIA
          Temporary student under Section 9(f), PIA
          Pre-arranged employee under Section 9(g), PIA
          Such other aliens as may be required by law to register
          For those who are required to register but exempted from immigration fees, they may opt to avail of the ACR I-Card subject to payment of the card fee.

The requirements for the re-issuance of a lost ACR Card are the following:
  1. Duly filled-up application form
  2. Letter request
  3. Affidavit of Loss
  4. Police Report
  5. Publication ( two consecutive weeks )
Take note that the above ACR card also serves as the Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC), Re-entry Permit (RP) and Special Return Certificate (SRC) of the holder upon payment of the required fees.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Upside and Downside to Close Family Ties

My mother is the eldest child of a big family (12 children) born in the province of Bicol.  Ten of the children were girls (my Aunties) and my doctor Auntie used to say that they all went to Manila because their father (my grand father) didn't want to send them to school because they would only get married and get pregnant later on.  They all relocated to Metro Manila and went on to finish College producing one lawyer, one doctor, one architect, one civil engineer (an Uncle who went on to build his own construction company in the U.S.), a nurse, an accountant, and several teachers.

My mother was and still is very close to her family my Aunties.  And I grew up being at one time also close to my cousins.  We spent our childhood together playing games in our Auntie's house, and had really nice All Soul's Day, Christmas and New Year's day celebrations.

When my father decided to leave my mom and us (my sister and brothers) sometime in College, it was my Aunties who took the cudgels of sending us to school.  I have to admit, my graduating from my undergraduate course was due in large part to the financial support my family and I received from my Aunties.

During law school, their financial support to my mother who was then a public school teacher, also helped me spend for my law school.  If not for them, I would have been forced to support my family myself with what little I earned from my first jobs.

At any rate, my sister graduated Computer Engineering and is now working in the U.S., and my other brother is now in a big pharmaceutical firm as a supervisor.  Life has been kinder to us since then.

On the other hand, my cousins receiving the full support of my rich Aunties, are at present unemployed and receiving unemployment from the U.S. government.  But really, with their mother owning a construction company here in the Philippines they really don't need to burden the U.S. government with their inability to get a good job, either there in the U.S. or here in the Philippines.  It is just that they are used to living-off their wealthy mothers that they don't seem to know any other life than that.

I often wonder when they will crawl out of their mother's wings and realize that there is more pride from learning to become independent and earning your own money.  It is even more heart-warming to be the one GIVING the money than being the one taking it, but they seem to have gotten used to this set-up they think it is normal and there is no other life they can live apart from that.

One other cousin of mine got pregnant at 18 just right after a really expensive debut that her mother threw for her.  Now, 28 she can choose to leave her children to her mother who is now in the U.S. and remain unemployed for God knows how long, because "her mother and every other relative in the U.S." will take care of her children.

And how about my other cousin who is herself a lawyer.  First thing she did with her salary is buy a car on installment and her mother now "semi-retired" is kind of "forced" to work some more as a consultant in order for her children to continue to live the life they have grown accustomed to.  She also accompanies her mother (or maybe persuades her mother) to go to these extravagant out-of-the-country trips, so that someone can pay for her way.

And just to be fair and not to make it sound like all the bad apples are in someone else's family, how about my unemployed brother who has not held a job since maybe 5 years ago, and even then he could hardly keep that job.  He has gotten so used to my being around and financing the family's expenses that he has relegated himself to the reality that I will always be there to provide for him even in his old age.

The reality of it all, all these individuals are running under the notion that there will always be some family who is going to cover their sorry asses and take care of them no matter what.  No matter how silly or stupid the choices they have made in their lives, someone else is going to answer for their mistake and poor choices.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Granvilles Visit Manila

As some of you know, my husband and I celebrated his birthday last weekend. Since we had some business we had to attend to near the U.S. Embassy (to get his ACR Card and to go to the Veteran's Affairs), I decided it was also the opportune time for he and I to visit Intramuros (the historical site of Manila). More particularly we went to the Manila Cathedral and Fort Santiago. We could have gone to more places through the Hop on and Hop off tour, but I realized that with the way we move, we would not be making the most of the tour.

In regard to the tour of Fort Santiago, unless you are going there in a group, riding the horse driven carriage is not as interesting as going around Fort Santiago on foot.  Maybe it is just a preference on my part, but I certainly liked going around the place not on the horse-driven carriage. :) Just my take.  Entrance to Fort Santiago itself was a measly P75, worth dropping by if you are anywhere within Manila.

Also, I think the souvenirs are over-priced. You can buy them cheaper at S.M. or Landmark! ;)
Here are some of the photos from our trip:

At the Manila Cathedral (a church of my youth)

Consoling Jesus
At Fort Santiago

Beside "Mi Ultimo Adios" (a poem I memorized in College, don't ask me now if I still have it memorized)

Memorial for the Filipinos and Americans who died during WWII

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Still in the Rat Race

Unlike most Amerasian couple living in the Philippines, ours is a different set-up in that I am still working and my husband is retired. Although I am less busy now than I was three years ago when I headed the legal division of the Regional Office (NCR) of a quasi-judicial agency, lately my life has gotten busy again. My work load consists of three types: case-related reviews, pleadings before appellate courts and rendering legal opinions on both internal and external issues to the office. My office now is closely connected to the head of our agency and consequently if my boss has more problem, I have more problem.

Also, our office has been understaffed by two lawyers: one is on her 6-month leave due to her pregnancy, and another is, well let's just say she is indisposed. :p So the lawyers who are present really gets loaded up with more work.

On the other hand, when I am at home I multi-task. I do the laundry while I clean the house, or clean the house while I do some research on the internet, and on the side I sit beside my husband on the bed. I guess you can say I do not sit still very well.

Like most working wife (to some mother), I feel guilty leaving my husband at home. Moreover, I feel guilty I can't always take him to different places apart from the nearby mall. This weekend, his birthday, we are thinking of having a Manila tour so that I can introduce Manila to my husband.

I wish sometimes I can spend more time with him than I am able. But until I get out of this rat race, I will have to grit my teeth and hope I can finish all my work.