Leaving the Philippines

The Decision to Leave the Philippines

   March 16, 2017 – I traveled to Manila with my niece and we met up with another niece, her cousin, who lives and works in Manila. The purpose of the trip was to investigate 4 different Flight Attendant schools in the Metro Manila area for the younger niece. Over the course of three days we visited the different schools and gathered information about the training, opportunities, and assessing career choices. It was a rough three days as we zig-zagged our way across Manila making use of both UBER and GRAB Cars instead of taking the standard yellow or white Manila taxi-cabs. There is no better way to travel around Manila in style and save a little money. You will need a smart phone and the app download (UBER or GRAB) is free.

   The time spent in Manila would not be complete of course without visiting Robinson’s Mall, Greenbelt and Glorietta, and the MOA. If I don’t see another mall in my lifetime, it will still be too soon! Anyway, I’m sure the two young ladies that accompanied me had enough of me as much as I had of the Malls.
After several days of school visits and mall hopping, my wife flew up to hangout with me with me for a while in Makati. The two young’uns departed and the wife and I enjoyed some private time together, did some shopping and a little fine dining, wrapping up our stay in Manila with a visit to City of Dreams, Manila’s newest casino. It is a very nice Las Vegas styled casino… with a bit more technology than what we ever experienced in Vegas, Reno or Tunica. Did we win? I will leave the answer to that question to the reader’s imagination.
   During this little mini-vacation, the topic of doing some more travelling came up. Last fall when we took a trip to Clark Field in Pampanga to catch a space available military hop, we were met with the reality that in order to fly to many foreign destinations, it was almost impossible to do with a Filipino passport. A permanent Green Card means nothing to anyone outside the U.S. To travel to Japan would require the issuance of a Japanese Visa with Teri’s Filipino passport. So, we made the trip back to Manila to the Japanese embassy and discovered it was more than a huge hassle – the requirements for Filipino travellers to Japan are stringent – and it was almost akin to proving she wasn’t a twin separated at birth!  We quickly gave up on the idea of travelling to Japan. It turns out that, travelling Space A to many foreign destinations would be a hassle without first obtaining visas for those countries. To continue our travel at that time, we were faced with having to purchase commercial air fare to Guam.

   So we decided that Teri should finally obtain her U.S. citizenship. I mean you should only put it off for so long… like 27 years, and the only way we can now accomplish this is to re-establish our U.S. residency on U.S. soil before applying. With the current emphasis by our new president placed on immigration issues, we realized now is not the time to drag feet with her permanent Green Card. It was time to ditch the card and get a blue passport. Hence, the only logical decision was to move to Guam… where America’s Day Begins, remember?

We may have waited too long already, but the decision was easy. Planning a permanent move on short notice… not so much.

Next up – The Return to Guam