I Just Refused a Roundtrip Ticket to the Philippines this Morning

Posted by Analyse at 7:00 PM

Monday, January 28, 2008

I was chatting with my colleague this morning and I was informed that the process she's setting up is not working well. What a starter for a sunny Monday! It was the same process I validated with her when I was in Bangkok before Christmas. We knew that we will have a problem though - we identified the causes and consequently drew an action plan. The problem is, the client wouldn't agree to any compromise.

At that same time, my boss and her boss were actually talking on the phone. And at their level, they thought that sending yours truly to the Philippines was a great idea.

So my boss talked to me this morning and I was surprised to know that he was already updated. Bilis. So he started off by asking me about my views and proposals on the problem and ended up by checking if I could add a short trip to the Philippines in my agenda - asap.

Naman, big deal.

I only have 3 weeks left before my vacation and I find it hard to schedule a business trip in-between. That would be too tiring. Add to the fact that I have to go directly to Milan after my vacation.

So I told my boss that I can't. As simple as that. A conference call is scheduled next Wednesday. Then we'll go from there. That sidekick of mine should learn to troubleshoot on her own too. Ano ako, yaya?

Travel Forum

Posted by Analyse at 7:00 PM

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I have been reading travel forums for the past few nights in preparation for our next vacation getaway this February. I of course read French forums because Frenchies have different expectations and demands compared to Americans or Germans, and more so with Frenched Pinays. Add to the fact that we’re travelling with our active toddler. Better prepare my frenchies on What to Expect rather than be sorry.

Travel forums have loads of information which should be filtered according to your needs. Take them or leave them. Some comments could make you irk, some could make you laugh and some could even make you dream.

So, ok, I’ll just talk about a comment which really made me laugh. The commenter was complaining about:

- TVs don’t capture anything. And so? You’re there to watch TV or what?
- They don’t speak French. If you’re one of those 80 million tourists who visited France last year, you should have noticed that most of the Frenchies don’t really speak another language other than French.
- They don’t adapt to the French culture. Hello. You can’t ask the whole world to bake French baguettes for you, can you?
- It’s a third world country. You’re not obliged to go there, you know.
- That it’s noisy. You should have chosen another type of vacation, sweety.
- That visits start very early. You can choose to stay in your bed too.

All that in only one comment. Too sad that he forgot to talk about how great the place was.

In italics: My comments on his comments.

¿Habla Español?

Posted by Analyse at 11:49 AM

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The doorbell rang again this morning. I wasn't expecting anybody so I wasn't surprised to see strangers infront of the gate. The short discussion went like this:

S: Buenas dias. ¿Habla Español? (Good morning. Do you speak Spanish?)
Me: Non, désolée. Je ne parle pas l'espagnol. (No, I'm sorry. I don't speak Spanish)
S: Pero su apellido parece español. (But your name sounds Spanish)
Me: Oui, mais je suis Philippine. (Yes, but I'm a Filipina)
S: Oh.. (doubting?)
Me: Les Philippines étaient une ancienne colonie de l'Espagne, c'est pour ça. (Philippines was a former colony of Spain, that's why)
S: Ah.. Perdónenos. ¡Adiós! (still doubting?)
Me: ¡Adiós! (smiles)

I doubt it if they believed 100% of what I said. Firstly, I undertood everything they said and answered them correctly. Secondly, I might not look Spanish at all, but my accent do sound, well, Spanish.

Speaking of accent, it's funny to note that this accent of mine has gone a long way. When I just arrived here in France, my French instructors thought I was a native English speaker (with the American accent, not British). Then my friends in the US thought I had a French accent. But my friends in the Philippines thought otherwise - they're sure that I have a Bisaya accent (I'm from the north of the Philippines, so my original accent is far from being Bisaya).

Now, 7 years after, the Frenchies think that I sport a lovely Spanish accent even if I tell them that it's a Filipino accent, nothing else. But hey, after thinking about it, what is a real Filipino accent anyway?

PS: Check out on Louna's 26th Month Update here.

Passport Renewal - Update

Posted by Analyse at 7:10 PM

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I called up the Consular Section this morning and you wouldn't believe this - I had helpful and kind employees. That is a real picture of To the service of the Filipinos. I spent like 20 minutes on the phone with Mr. Helpful explaining to me why we need such a list of requirements. In fact, it's to track illegal aliens and was implemented since 2005, the arrival of the new Ambassador.

So to recap:

1. BC with red ribbon authenticated only by DFA.
3. In the absence of voter's ID, an NBI clearance could do the deal.
4. Yes, baptismal certificate is required.
6. Sworn statement is also required.
8. Valid visas will be spared in the cancellation of the old passport.

Additional info: Passport issued would still be in the old format, not the brown with microchip.

In fact, with people like that, I just realized that I wouldn't mind providing them with the necessary papers. It's really how we convey the message that counts.

I have a bad news tho. After the conversation with Mr. Helpful, he transfered my call to Mrs. Kind so I could verify the status of Louna's registration at the embassy. I wrote something about this here. After minutes of looking into her files, she was still calm and not mataray at all. But it seemed that Louna is not yet existing on the list. They received the mandat cash but not the documents (They should have informed me, right?). Darn. Now I have to check the bank if the fee I transfered was withdrew by the embassy or not. If so, I have to go through all the paper thing again, but without re-paying.

Are your kids registered or do they have the dual nationality? How important is it to you?

Passport Renewal

Posted by Analyse at 7:57 PM

Monday, January 14, 2008

My passport is expiring end of this year and I'm so glad that I started the inquiry this early. My goodness. I still can't believe the list of requirements.

The paper says - Issuance of Passport : Requirements for Passport not Issued in Paris with Schengen Visa. I asked for a Passport renewal.

Here are the requirements:

1. Birth Certificate (with red ribbon) - which means it should be issued by NSO and authenticated by Malacañang and DFA. Wow. Can't I present the NSO certificate without the authentication? Anyway, NSO's using a particular paper to avoid copies, right? So why the double authentication? And do I really have to send that? I'm just asking for passport renewal and not a new passport.
2. Marriage Certificate (with red ribbon) for married woman applicant
3. Certified true copy of voter's registration record or certificate of non-registration as voter issued by Comelec or Voter's ID. I don't have this. Where will I get this? Comelec? Would they issue such paper to a family member for example?
4. Baptismal Certificate or Certificate of Dedication - ??? What's the link?
5. Identification card with photograph - Errr? A passport is the best ID to testify your identity, right?
6. Sworn Statement - They sent me the paper to be filled up. It demands information on my true identity and the identity I used to enter France, including the agent's name and address and the amount I paid to falsify the documents. What if I entered legally, do I have to fill this up and pay 32.50€ (below)? I know this is a stupid question but who knows.
7. 4 copies of new photographs
8. Original Passport

Now, on with the Consular Fees - 123.50€! Ano daw? Ang sakit nun a. 65€ for passport fee, 32.50€ for sworn statement fee and 26€ for passport verification fee. Do I really have to pay all of that?

Ok, ok. I'm not that naïve. I know that there are Filipinos who entered illegally to France, thus the security check. But ain't this too much?

I still doubt if they sent me the right list of requirements. If I remember it right, I even talked in Tagalog on the phone. Di kaya nila ako naintindihan?

I actually inquired in the Philippines and it seems that they need the original passport (and not just the copy) and they also require personal appearance because of the new electronic system. I was actually planning to send my passport to a colleague and ask my sister to renew it, then send the new one back to France.

Now, if only a work opportunity that would require me to travel to the Philippines opens, I'd gladly comply. If only I knew, I should have worked on it last September when I was there.

Honestly, this list just motivates me to work on my French naturalization application. Hay buhay!

I'll be going to Paris tomorrow. Do you think it's intelligent if I go to the embassy and apply personally? I have documents 1 (not authenticated), 5, 6, 7 and 8. O baka matarayan lang ako? You know, I could hardly handle that.

If you have renewed your passport in France recently, kindly give light.

Careful With What You're Saying

Posted by Analyse at 10:42 PM

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

One day, during one of her bath times, she started to look at her nipples and asked C'est quoi? (what's this?). Without really thinking, I said suso (Tagalog translation of nipples). To which she repeated chuchu. Then she raised her arms and pointed to her armpit saying C'est quoi ça?. Kilikili. She pronounced it in a very cute accent - kéké.

Continue reading here.

Lazy 2008

Posted by Analyse at 6:28 PM

Monday, January 07, 2008

Happy New Year everyone ! Better late than never, right? 2008 for me starts with a lazy blogging lifestyle. I have too much to blog about and honestly, I don’t even know where to begin. I wanted to continue my Bangkok stopover, even thinking of giving some travel pointers to those who have a weekend to spend in Bangkok.

Then it was Christmas.. New Year.. and then I thought, Bangkok could wait, I have to have a holiday entry instead.. Laziness settled.. Before I knew it, holidays were over and work got in the way. Work suddenly changed my mind and thought of blogging about how I start to hate its environment.

Then the eco-tax system (taxing new vehicles with high CO2 emission) they’re about to implement here in France started to interest me - thinking that saving the planet doesn’t necessarily mean saving my pocket. And just as we finalized our financing scheme for 2008 at home, we had a little car accident which cost us 380€ (talking about saving for my car!)- just because the roads were still iced over when we left home Thursday last week.

Too much topics to blog, no real inspiration to write, a book to finish, a toddler to tend to and step aerobics to master – how in the world could I blog? Excuses! I was simply lazy.

Instead, I dragged Frenchguy and Louna to Ikea and bought my cool lampshade at 49€ to add ambiance to our living room. Out of topic. Wala lang.
So that’s how I will start my 2008. Welcome to my hideaway – I mean, the real one. Just knock. Louna is already waiting for you ;).

PS: I'll visit you guys, one at a time. No rush. I'm still hibernating. Zzzzz.