No Rhapsody in Surabaya’s JW Mariott


This is Surabaya’s JW Marriott Hotel’s breakfast restaurant. It is also a lunch and dinner restaurant. It is not shiny so the name is unimportant. Without limiting or delimiting this JW Marriott establishment, it is proper to say that they serve Indonesian cuisine. My colleagues and I were able to say “terimah kasih!”. No thanks to this JW Marriott’s plain restaurant/lounge menu, though. No authentic Indonesian food.


Human Trafficking and the Airports: Modus

The government’s efforts curbing trafficking in persons has recently been praised much that a few may have winded into the side burner some greasy elements of the crime. Latest modus operandi, for example. Here are some:

1. Use of domestic area of a terminal

There has been a recent bold act by a facilitator to exploit a security breach of a passenger airport terminal, a security soft spot, at the very least. Victims were instructed to use the domestic area of an international airport to gain access to the international passenger pre-boarding area. They were given both international and domestic airline tickets to gain access to both areas. They checked in with their international flight using the international air ticket and their genuine passports. Then they checked in with their domestic flight using their domestic air ticket and fraudulent identification cards and waited at the domestic pre-boarding area after intentionally losing (to the loo!) their domestic flight documents.

Waiting for what? Ask you may. Ostensibly waiting for the domestic flight, and warily waiting for the international flight! When the boarding gate opens for the domestic flight, they ooze out of the domestic area into the international area!

What about immigration formalities you might ask? Apparently the facilitator has a roving immigration service outside the terminal that the victims can avail of, for a fee of course, that features a fraudulent border stamp! Brilliant! ain’t it? Skip real immigration, and create your own!

This modus is only possible with a shot, or two, of a nincompoop of a boarding gate guard! Or not?

2. (next post. whew!)


Here’s one.
He’s about 6 years old. A little taller than most kids his age. He’s fair-skinned and has narrow thin lips. He favors wearing a pair of brown Sanuk, cargo short pants, and tees with naughty prints like, “I did not do it, eat him!” and “Watch out, little rascal here.”
He is noisy. He’s trilingual. He speaks English, Filipino, and another mysterious language. The latter is inaudible and completely alien but definitely comprehensible. It’s his hugs, kisses, and tantrums. It’s his good nights and hello-you’re-backs; his I love yous before retiring for the night; his begging for his turn to use the laptop for his Ben10 online games; his smiles for sitting on the driver’s seat on his make-believe car racing. It’s his missing two front teeth while telling a story about how he folded his Foldabots. It’s his reading K-Zone magazine and profusely…

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Tourist Magnet is Chiang Rai

Tourist Magnet is Chiang Rai

This photo of The Legend Chiang Rai in Thailand does not really capture the essence of the whole place. Located in the northernmost part of the country, it was really surprising to see a lot of tourists in the area. The roads were well paved (at least the ones we’ve been to), and the tourist destinations were well promoted. Night markets were a hit. the massage was one of the best this writer tried, so far. Northeast of Chiang Rai City is the Golden Triangle, the tripoint-borders of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos. You can be in three places at one time!

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Way To

The intricate details on these ancient temples are very telling of the relativity of civilization. Visit should not only lead to discovery of olden relics but a fulfillment of self character, that is the way to one’s destination.

Minors traveling to the Philippines

There are specific immigration concerns for minors traveling to the Philippines.

The Philippines recognizes the family as a basic unit of society and emphasizes on family unity. Also, the country has strict child trafficking, smuggling, children protection laws. So Philippine immigration law dictates that children under 15 years of age, unaccompanied by or not coming to a parent shall not be allowed to enter the country, except that such children shall be admitted in the discretion of the Commissioner of Immigration, if otherwise admissible (PIA of 1940). The prevailing practice is that children under 15 years of age who are NOT accompanied by a parent shall NOT be allowed to enter the Philippines.

However, the same law authorizes the Commissioner of Immigration to allow the entry of unaccompanied minors (minors not traveling with a parent) on his discretion upon application of a WAIVER OF EXCLUSION GROUND (WEG). The guardian of the minor may apply for this waiver of exclusion ground in the latter’s behalf. This is the process where an applicant pleads the Commissioner of Immigration that the unaccompanied minor be allowed to enter the Philippines even though he/she is not traveling with a parent.

If a child has a different name from that of the parents, prove that you are the parent/s of the child by bringing a family registry and/or birth certificate and/or adoption papers or any other document which, to your mind, will prove to the immigration officer that you are the parent/s of the minor.

WEG applications may be lodged upon arrival at the airports. It will require the passport of the minor, the passport of the guardian, application form, and a PhP 3,120.oo application fee.