Forgive me for doing an all-text post since I hardly had time to take my phone out to snatch a single photo of my passport experience today.
The day of my scheduled visit to DFA, my alarm didn’t go off. The days before which I didn’t have to get up early, my alarm chooses to go off at 6 AM everyday. But srsly? Today my phone decided to shush itself. As if my bad luck didn’t end there, I had to wait a long line for my documents and IDs to be photocopied at the center near my house. This I can’t blame on life because I know, I know, I should have prepared my documents the day before. But I’m last-minute Tracy, I have to live up to that. I was halfway there, 6 people more to go when my father went inside the car and stared at me through the car window like he was pissed off. All those minutes drenched in sweat and heat were all for nothing. I got inside the car and proceeded to Robinsons. The only thought that was keeping my mind at ease was DFA is in Robinsons. Robinsons with aircon and food. 🙂
I hurriedly went inside National Bookstore and wadyaknow? Another long line. The negativity didn’t bother me one bit this time because my eye caught a copy of The Fifty Shades Trilogy at the display. I even had my father take it and hand it to me. People then looked at my father like he’s a manyak or something. Ha! Those people eventually have read the books, the reason they were eyeing my father in a weird way.
And as positivity was making its way to me, I was then confronted with another long line at the entrance of DFA. People were lining up just to get passport forms and have their forms checked after by the same person who was handing them, the guard. I know it’s not part of every security guard’s duty to do extra tasks and it’s nice of them to do so. I have seen guards in JD taking food trays from the counter and serving customers, guards in Jollibee cleaning up tables, guards in Munsterrific putting groceries in plastic bags and guards in 7/11 helping customers who don’t know how to use the slurpy machine. In behalf of everybody, thank you to all the security guards for their efforts in helping others!
As we got our forms and finished filling them up, we fell behind another long line toward the Information Desk. I appreciate the pretty girl in her efficiency and fast-pace workflow. It definitely makes everyone’s lives easier. She gave us a number and told us to come back around 11 AM. But it was already 10:55. But we went anyways, lagaw din pag may time. We came back 30 minutes later and our numbers were 15 digits behind. The processing area was crowded. People were looking through their folders and brown envelopes every 5 minutes making sure they had completed their documents. And by doing that, everybody in that room looked scared and nervous like they were about to be pleaded guilty or not guilty by the DFA processors at the window. Of course they should be, the processors had loud voices as if they were angry at you for stepping to their office. But that didn’t intimidate me and my father. There’s a thing called charm and it works everytime. *wink* It was finally our turn to approach the judge’s table. Being polite, greeting him a good morning and calling him sir, made him alleviate his already bad mood and we started to make pleasant conversation. But my charm didn’t work 100%. I lacked IDs. I didn’t have the IDs that were on their list so he started questioning me about my educational attainment. But I don’t have my college ID with me and of course I still don’t have a transcript, so I was left to gather my high school documents.
Papa passed with flying colors and finished processing, paying and encoding in under 30 minutes. The perks of being a senior citizen. *le sigh*
At 1 PM I was at the gates of my alma mater and it gave me that reminiscent feeling. The school looked all the same! Still the same buildings, structures, even the same plants. Thank you Assumption for not changing one bit! The staff were of course very nice and helpful like they always were. Ahhh it felt like home.
I requested for my high school transcript with a 5-day processing period. The yearbook would have sent me back to DFA in the afternoon but all the teachers were busy deliberating. It was, after all, the last day of classes.
*If you can’t get there around opening at 8-9 AM, come back around 12 NN. DFA doesn’t have a lunch break and you can march directly from the Information to the Processing window because there are no numbers behind you. Another ideal time to go is at 3 PM where everybody’s almost finished with the last step, Encoding. You get to jump from the Information to the Processing window to the Cashier to Encoding in just minutes.
*Check for the list of documents required for applying for a passport. Don’t waste your time and other people’s time. Be prepared.
*Stock up on IDs! Get an ID for everything. It definitely helps verify your identity and gets you approved fast. The acceptable IDs are:
1. SSS ID
2. PRC ID
3. Driver’s License
4. Voter’s ID
5. BIR ID
6. GSIS ID
7. School ID
*Get another NSO certified birth certificate before surrendering your copy to the DFA. Others failed to keep this in mind and resulted to asking for their birth certificates back.
*Eat a full meal before processing your passport. You’re gonna need all the energy you can get in sitting down and waiting for hours. Haha.
*Don’t wear too much makeup! A girl was embarassed in the Processing window for being asked to take off her makeup and opt for a natural look. She was wearing violet lipstick and a smokey eye. Yes, we all want to look good in our passports but it doesn’t mean you have to prettify yourself like you’re going to a bar.
*Dress nicely and neatly. I noticed men who wore collared shirts and pants and girls who wore work blouses and had their hair pulled back were treated nicely than others.
*Be courteous and polite when dealing with the people in DFA. It doesn’t just give you a nice personality but you can brighten someone’s day as well.
Happy long lines!