Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Romance Meets Reality 1: Paperwork

This article is originally posted on my other blog. 

To be inlove means to feel like in seventh heaven. Everything becomes vibrant, inspiring, and, of course, happy. Right?
On the other side of the coin, people will tell you being in a long-distance relationship is like being in a suspended honeymoon where the energy is focused on the time spent together, forgetting the other essentials. 
For some, LDR means living in a fantasy world. That's until they realize that we come crashing against reality, too. We are pressured to prioritize, commit, share, and plan in closing the distance sooner. 
Indeed, when romance meets reality... get ready for a head-on collision (or maybe not really). 
So lately Chris and I have been contemplating on how to start with the next step in our relationship. We've been reading a lot about the process of getting married, applying for a visa, and moving to EU together. It was just startling to know how tedious it is to get our papers ready for tying the knot in the Philippines. I personally known someone who just got married here and had our online research verified by my student's account on how she and her husband (also a German) had spent 8 months to get their papers done for the wedding, and now having to wait again for the family reunion visa process to begin. (It is now on the second month and the marriage certificate from the NSO isn't available yet.)  That's beside the issue of having to spend about 10,000 euros for the entire duration of the process. It is not really about the money, but it sounds really impractical. 
While we were trying to figure out where to exchange our vows, I began to gather the papers we will be needing. You know, to avoid having to rush on things and not able to get everything ready ahead of time. (Add the never-ending queues in the government offices). I was lucky to be living in Iloilo City where many government offices are located. 
I started with my expired passport.
I went to the Department of Foreign Affairs inside Robinson's Mall to apply for a new one and was surprised to have seen a long line by 8AM. Since I was expecting to be done quite fast like the last time I had my passport, I was a bit disappointed. I had to be in the office for a meeting with parents and I couldn't stay long. I just asked for the form and left. I filled out the papers in the office and returned to DFA early the next day. Yep, I was there at 7 AM and was given a priority number, 106. They only cater 300 applicants a day and that should give you an idea how early you should be there. I suggest preparing your requirements before going there to avoid delays. 
Here are the requirements:
Requirements for Passport Application and Renewal at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Regional Consular Office (Iloilo)
As of February 2, the day of my passport renewal, express processing is again available! I decided to avail of this. You just need to add P250.00 to get your passport ready in 10  working days. For a regular application, you need 20 working days to get your new passport. 

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