I’ve never regretted being Filipino. I’ve never regretted being born in the Philippines and being raised in the Philippines. And I’ve never wished to live anywhere else in the world (except Japan, and then just briefly, because you can’t love anime and manga and NOT want to live at the SITE and the SOURCE of all THAT happiness).
But whenever I have to apply for a visa to visit most other places in the world, then—
—then for several LONG and FREQUENT instances, I do wish I were the citizen of some other country. (Preferably, the kind of country whose natives tend to be welcomed everywhere with open arms, open doors and open credit card terminals. Like, well, Japan.)
Because, really, the AMOUNT of scrutiny that you’re subjected to as a FILIPINO tourist is INSANE and HUMILIATING, and never mind the fact that I’ve never had a visa application denied, but the sheer amount of effort and the sheer volume of documentation that goes into applying for a visa—
It’s more grueling than applying for a job.
Even worse is wanting to go somewhere and finding out that you CAN’T get a visa because the country doesn’t even have a consulate in the Philippines. (“The closest embassy is located in Vietnam, Ma’am.” “Oh. Is that so? Erm. Never mind then.” “Okay, Ma’am.”)
Despite what all the postmodernists say, the world’s borders aren’t that porous just yet.
At least not if you’re Filipino.
At least, not yet.