I am blessed. Truly, I am.
I was given a special gift from ate G. to go to Singapore. She had known that I really wanted to go there but for lack of financial resources I usually back out.
Way back in June, ticket was ready and already paid. The date was set in August as there will be a lot of holiday and I can officially apply for the 5-day annual forced leave after having served 1 year in my new job. I will be going together with my cousin, R2.
First week of August I applied for the leave. Obstacle no. 1, my application was put on hold by my immediate supervisor pending approval of our unit head. I could only pray. I was thinking of the cost of my round-trip fare. I could not afford to have it re-booked as it would double the cost. Alas! It was granted approval. God is good.
Prior to the date of my departure I encountered Obstacle no. 2. God provided for means to get me to pack my things and i finished at around 5 am. R2 and I were booked via Cebu. I was relaxed but my cousin was already sharing his experiences when traveling abroad. I thought little of it. What's the big deal anyway, its not like I'm leaving the country leaving a criminal record behind.
Going through the immigration process, I lined up to the elderly officer. I was asked a few questions and I answered them briefly. As a government employee, I was asked for an authority to travel, I handed out the document provided for by our HR, certifying that I have filed for a vacation leave. He asked then about my accommodation, I said I'll be staying with my relative. He asked for my invitation, I said I had none since I lacked time to have it processed and that we didn't think it would be necessary since it will be for a shot time only. I was given a form, that was the time I lost my focus. A lot has been going through my mind. I was then directed to his supervisor. This is it Obstacle no. 3, but then the officer went to the table and said that He is ok with me leaving the country but just would like to have me documented. Since R2 has his invitation, our relativity was established having shared the same surname shown in our passport, they had it copied too as attachment to my file. And still asked for the invite from my cousin, R1. She wrote it through FB, we had it printed out. Oh! I love technology! Anyway, after the ordeal and the stress, I left our "baon" of chips, instant noodles, hopia and cheese sticks.
I love to travel and always envisioned myself in various countries. I don't want to be simply tagged as a tourist. I envy travel bloggers. However, after having experienced all that interrogation, I wonder if my dreams of backpacking will materialize. The immigration is so strict of people going out of the country and more often than not, those that do bad things outside, are the one's who can pass through them. And they are not also strict among foreigners that go in the country. haizt!
One thing is for sure, God is with me :))
Will have another post of my actual stay in the Fine City, this entry is already long :)