Claiming my Visa and Getting my CFO Sticker in Manila

I delivered my visa application at The Consulate General of Spain May 10th in Manila and could pick it up same place 7 days later, May 17th, on the Norwegian National Day. I took it as a very good omen since I’m married to a Norwegian 🙂

I had to pick up the visa in person and flew to Manila on a one-day visit also to process my emigrant registration sticker from the Commission for Filipinos Overseas (CFO). But the schedule was tight.

I waited some hours for my visa releasing and when it was my turn at the window, my eyes darted at some files and found the word REFUSAL on top of stacks of passports. Funny how my mind played on me but I dismissed the thought fast. Then as I gave my number, the officer went as far as I wanted her from the REFUSED section hahaha. I was very happy to hold my passport again with an approved visa.

But I also needed to get my registration sticker before my flight back. I took a taxi to the CFO office and due to the traffic, it took me an hour. There were many people in and out the building. I checked my requirements, got my number and waited to be called. Luckily again, there is a special lane for those who already have attended the GCP seminar (see my posts on CFO part 1 and part 2) so I only needed to check if my visa type still needed a registration sticker, and it sure does. I think only those with tourist visas are exempted from the registration.

The process went smooth because I had a completed form that I downloaded from their website. They just checked my details and requirements one by one then asked me few questions and one of them was ¨so you are from Davao, Ma´am?¨ with a smile. I said yes and found out that the officer was from Ateneo de Davao University. After some minutes, I was called again and an officer asked for my GCP receipt before giving my passport with the sticker stamped with my emigrant number. But time was running fast, the traffic getting terrible and I had my return flight to catch.

I hurried out and tried to get a taxi but too many people tried the same. I gave up and asked one of the trisikad drivers to take me to a place with vacant taxis. The driver helped me but no taxi would take me to the airport due to the heavy traffic. I got a little desperate and muttered in Cebuano, “hmf very choosy… in Davao, this will never happen”, and then my guardian angel must have helped me. A man heard my statement and answered in Cebuano that he could take me to the airport. I looked up and it was the same private driver who had taken my husband and me from our hotel to the Spanish Consulate days before. Small world, indeed, and the trip to the airport was full of talks about Duterte and his plans for the country.

It was a happy flight back to my hometown and 17th of May 2016 is a day I will always remember.

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