Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Importance of Marriage

This is a post written out of FURY.

My family bought Cebu Pacific tickets to Hong Kong (August) for the babies to enjoy Disney. Naturally, I booked and paid for everything (airline & hotel) online via my handy credit card. The last thing on my list was to add pages on my U.S. passport and apply for Santi's Philippine passport. The latter is giving me a major headache.

After collecting all the requirements needed for Santi --
1. NSO certified birth certificate
2. 3 photos with royal blue background
3. Mother's passport
4. Affidavit of Illegitmacy (because M and I are not married yet)

I went online to DFA Passport Direct expecting a hassle-free service. I have canvassed around. Most travel agencies charge P1,400 - P1,600 while this site only charges P1,300 for pick up of documents and delivery of passport to your home via Aboitiz to-go. I filled up the form, got a schedule of pick up, personal appearance at DFA, etc., After a few hours, I get a call from passport services:

Girl: Mam, do you own a Filipino passport?
Me: No, is there a problem.
Girl: Ayy... eh yung father ni Santiago. May passport? Baka siya nalang yung pwede sumama abroad.
Me: Yes but it its expired. But that's not the point. I AM THE MOTHER TRAVELING WITH MY SON.
Girl: Sorry but in your case we cannot process Santiago's passport application.

(This is where I totally bitched out on the passport service girl)

So, you see. The government makes it harder for people who are illegitimate or unmarried to live in the society. This is really unfair. Just because Santi and I do not have the same last name does not change the fact that I am his MOTHER! Well, the issue might be because I do not own a Philippine passport. If that is the case... What about Santi? Does he cease to exist and will not be able to travel because mom was born in another country and/or is not married (yet) to his father?

Hay. You know, only now I realize the importance of marriage and being LEGAL. It just makes things simpler.

Santi and I are outlaws.

Excuse me while I find out how to apply for a Philippine passport. BWISIT.


Nhe said...

i'm an illegitimate child and i agree with your post.. being legal just makes things simpler.. when i'm still single, i used to fill up forms requiring me to write my father's name, which is by the way, not listed on my birth certificate.. and people kept on asking why is that so.. so i need to explain to them to the nth time the reason why.. tsk, tsk.. and it's so hard because people see you in a different way.. like you have a disease or something..

blissful COW said...

My mom runs a travel agency maybe she can help. I wonder, how come Santi uses his father's name? I thought it was the law that if you are unmarried the child automatically carries the mother's name? I take Luis whenever we travel to the States and they don't question where the father is simply because we have the same last name. Let me know if you need travel needs ok? Take care.

glenville said...

that's weird. mothers should be able to travel with their babies, whether legitimate or illegitimate. giving birth to an illegitmate child is not a crime. either the passport girl is inept or our third world travel policies need some updating...

Frances said...

This is the Philippines! We are a super conservative country! When Vince and I bought insurance plans, we couldn't make each other our beneficiaries because we weren't married yet. The funny thing was I can make a church, a charity, an organization a beneficiary, but not my partner! There were other things that made life extremely difficult for an unconventional couple like us so finally we were like, what the heck, let's get MARRIED!

In a way, I'm glad that these rules are in place because it says that the culture is very conservative and cares for the family unit. It will protect the values and the family that severely. Of course, it also punishes unfairly those who have no fault in the matter (the kids).

But the Family Code has provisions for kids born out of wedlock naman. So for example, kung parehas naman kayong single, yung anak niyo natural-born yata tawag, and the law is easier on them. Yung mga kids out of adulterous affairs yung kawawa. Sila ang legally called illegitimate and the branding is really horrible.

donna David said...

hi monica! so sorry to hear about your experience...and sorry too for not visiting your blog for so long!
i have a filipino friend who has to go to the embassy here everytime she travels with her child to get a document stating that she is the mother. she has a different surname from her child because she got her maiden name back after her divorce. anyway, japanese law prohibits her from leaving japan with her child (who is half japanese and has a japanese passport) without the document to prove that she has not kidnapped a child. maybe philippine law has the same reason? either way, all the red tape sucks. hope you were able to get his passport.


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