Early last December, my family and I went on a 3-day trip to Hong Kong. I wanted to go to Japan instead, complaining that there was nothing to see or do in Hong Kong but shop. I didn’t even want to go to Disneyland, reasoning that it would just be a waste of money (tickets cost around P2,500). Good thing I was wrong on all counts!
It was high time I acquired a passport because it is the ultimate valid ID; various establishments accept it without question. In my family of five, only my father possessed a passport, so I set an online appointment last month for my mother, siblings, and I. The online scheduling is a prerequisite as walk-in applicants are no longer accepted. I acquired a postal ID and an NBI clearance in preparation for The Big Day. My birth certificate, printed specifically on yellow NSO paper for passport purposes, had been acquired and photocopied a billion times weeks ago.
Last Friday, I woke up early to obtain an NBI clearance from the Robinsons mall nearest me. As Filipino residents know, NBI clearances for generic purposes (employment, travel) can be obtained from NBI satellite branches located at Robinsons malls. At Robinsons Novaliches, staff start giving out queue numbers at 8AM. It was annoying because I hate waking up early, but I consoled myself with the thought that at least I didn’t have to wait in line at 4AM; I heard that so many people go to Robinsons Galleria for their NBI clearance that you’d have to fall in line at the break of dawn. I arrived at 8:30AM and got my number at 10AM, as the queue was about a kilometer long. As a matter of fact, despite my early arrival, I was already the 391st person in the queue (and that’s not counting those who were too impatient to wait).