This happened after I was in country for just little over a year and still a little naive about how things were. Wife started up a diner that catered to medical students down the road and it done pretty good. Well one night an American comes in to eat so we start talking about nothing in general and everything, you know the sort of talk whatever comes up. It turned out this American whom I’ll call Carl was on break from college and upon return was taking his test for a masters in mental health. So Carl tells me he has already been to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam before coming to the philippines then home. Carl eats, we talk and he leaves but comes back a few days later. At this time my experience was with corrupt pnp and banks.
Again Carl eats, we talk and then sent helper out for beer when Carl asks me if he can ask me a question.
Me: Go on.
Carl: How long have you been here?
Me: Almost a year.
Carl: Have you noticed nothing is ever their fault? Are they always like this?
I don’t have to go any further on that because we all know the answer to that. Over time Carl started coming in more and goes on to tell me that of all the countries he has been to that the philippines was the most fucked up. Said never hit up for bribes in the other countries above, were clean compared to the philippines and so forth. In his short time visiting he already decided that he would never return to the philippines and would advise all he knew the same. Seems took the filipinos less than 60 days to leave a bad taste in his mouth. But that is nothing compared to the bad taste coming.
One day Carl comes into the diner with a question. His visa expired 2 weeks before his flight home and asked what he should do, renew or pay fees at the gate. I advised better to extend his visa to be safe which he decided to do and asked for help. Here’s how that went. Carl was told by BI to submit his passport the next day Friday and he would get it back the following Monday with the extension. So the passport is taken in Friday but Monday Carl was told they were doing a background check and he could get it Tuesday. Tuesday Carl is told Wednesday as they are are double checking and will get it the next day. The next day they say Carl is in the age range of child molesters and as soon as they clear him his passport will be released the following Monday, so there is a week delay already.
The following Monday Carl was told he could pick up his passport but not at BI office. The BI official wanted 8,000 pesos to give Carl his passport back but they had to meet outside the office. Bear in mind that Carls flight back home now leaves in ONE WEEK. So Carl agrees to meet so he can get out of the philippines and goes to the meeting only to have a no show from the BI, this went on and on. At times Carls was walking in the door and the BI said he had to leave and off he went. Everyone can see the delay by BI so to make sure he gets the bribe right? So what happens? BI kept playing this game until the day of Carls flight which left at 1100. BI kept giving Carl the run around until the day of his flight basically telling him that he would miss his flight unless he paid the bribe. Safe to say Carl will never come back to the philippines and is also telling his friends and such about how filipinos really are, the corruption, trash and urinating just to name a few.
I also know of another who submitted his passport for an extension and the BI wanted 39,000 to return the passport.Published in