Maximum validity of Philippine ACR I-Card

The Philippine ACR I-Card or the Alien Certificate of Registration Identification Card is the ATM card-size identification card for aliens who are required by law to register (see: It contains all documentary requirements of an alien in the Philippines. It is somehow like the USA’s green card, Canada’s permanent resident card, Italy’s Soggiorno card, or Spain’s Permiso card. However, it does not contain the visa. As a rule, Philippine visas are stamped on a passport visa page or pasted, if a sticker. The I-Card only complements the visa. It is NOT the visa. The I-Card’s MAXIMUM validity, unless otherwise indicated, is 5 YEARS from the date of issuance. So, if your ACR I-Card was issued sometime in year 2006 it is most probably already expired even if it does not specify a date on the VALID UNTIL portion of the card. 

If your I-Card is expiring, or is already expired, you MUST apply for renewal of card. If it is lost or damaged, apply for re-issuance of card. This will save you the inconvenience of being denied admission to the Philippines during arrival or disallowed to leave the country on departure. Usually, the validity of the I-Card is consistent with the validity of the visa. Its validity is always within, never beyond, the validity of the visa.

When you are coming to the Philippines with a permanent resident or non-immigrant visa and your I-Card is expired you may be excluded or denied entry depending on the assessment of Philippine immigration officers upon your application for entry on arrival. If you have a valid visa however, you may be allowed to enter the Philippines but ONLY as a tourist/visitor and not as a permanent or resident visa holder. So, even if you have a valid resident visa or immigrant or non-immigrant visa but your I-Card is expired or is not presented, you will be accepted to the Philippines only as a tourist with a limited number of days of allowed stay. During such allowed stay you must be able to apply for the re-issuance or renewal of your I-Card. You must also apply for a change of status from that of a tourist/visitor to your status based on your valid visa.

When an I-Card holder is departing the Philippines, he must secure an emigration clearance certificate (ECC) and re-entry permit (RP). Every departure requires an ECC. RP is valid either for 6 months or 1 year. Both documents are automated and incorporated into the I-Card. Subject to payment of required fees (PhP 2880.00 for those with no RP yet or PhP2170 for those with valid RP), you may secure both documents at the airports prior to departure. Always take note of the validity of your re-entry permit. You may not be allowed entry, upon return, when your re-entry permit is expired.

CAVEAT: Holders of expired ACR I-Cards will NOT be allowed to depart the country because you cannot be issued an ECC and RP. Most probably, your I-Card is expired because your visa is expired. So if your visa is expired and you plan on leaving the country before the visa renewal is approved, you must apply for a grace period. The grace period is the period in which you will be allowed to enjoy your visa status while your visa renewal is on process. If your grace period is expired, your visa renewal is pending at immigration office, your I-Card is expired, and you are planning to leave the country, apply for another grace period. Without the I-Card and without the visa, you will not be allowed to depart the country so that you can comply with your immigration documentary requirements. 


Ang putang mayaman at ang putang mahirap

Prostitute waiting for customers.

Image via Wikipedia

Caressing carefully everything inconsequential and titanic in that Ramsey-Reyes-Curtis flick, I feel compelled to ease out some thoughts which might never be as revealing tomorrow as they are today. Although adrift with the recent news on flooding in the provinces up north and the recent conundrum Sen. Leon Guerrero suffered and relished so painfully at the Senate floor, sticking to his side of the chamber  for fear of distancing from his “whisperer”. I didn’t know how we could be amused about his performance but I feel disturbed. Not by his obvious lack of luster in parliamentary grandstanding and what not but by the fact that I am amused too and without also knowing why. Although I will never venture into constructing or even justifying any semblance of exculpation for my inability.

No Other Woman. Sino ba ang mas mahirap na kalaban? Ang putang mahirap, o ang putang mayaman? I don’t know if I got that right but that sounds right anyway. Well, the difference is that, according to the character played by Martin, a putang mayaman has an authentic Hermes, while a putang mahirap has an Hermes from the recesses of a place called Greenhills. So it comes to mind then how we are all putas in one way or another, that we are all guilty of deep, dark, and dirty kaputahan, again, in one way or another. In general, we are no different from the night crawlers of Malate, Q. Ave, Circle, and Makati Ave. WTF. How do I know these places? Public knowledge, of course! But that is not the point. My point is, we can all be putas in a socio-sexual context (That, according to Miss Honorato).

It doesn’t matter if one is a man or a woman. Or a mahirap or a mayaman. Or hailing from the secure enclaves of posh gated communities or from the squatters where, accordingly, revolution always brews. Men can also be prostitutes. Men of the cloth can also be prostitutes. Miss Honorato, a philosophical realist character in F. Sionil Jose’s Ermita and who, in this novel was described as a Ph.D. whose research was not only confined in academic cemeteries said, “Who then are the real prostitutes if prostitution is defined as making money – perhaps – lots of it – by doing something without conviction or morality? Look around you (…) and you will find them everywhere under the guise of respectability, as statesmen, as men of the cloth, entrepreneurs…”

Like the common puta who does rounds at night to reach the darkness’s quota, at least for the time being, we also do rounds with life without any morality, much less conviction. Morality, as meant here is not the religious-spiritual kind that pulpiteers homilize, sounds like profiteers ain’t it?, but no, it is a coinage from pulpit and preachers. What is meant here is that, we do not remain true to ourselves even suffering tropism to our own questions and doubts. Not that tropism is evil but we no longer remain honest to ourselves, to what we really are, to what we really want. We lose morality even to our own beliefs. We sin even against our own personal mores. We lose credibility in front of the familiar men and women that we see when we face the mirror. That is immorality, living without belief. In that way, we are putas.

We look not at straight paths in our lives  but a series of choices. That is a product of our time’s stupefaction on the touchscreen and aps  where everything may be downloaded and installed and deleted in one big commercialization cycle. But that is not so in life. The choices that we see are what they are. Choices. Now, we never look at these choices right on the eyes and become contentious of the end product as planned. For the sake of the easy way out in our transactions we easily give in sacrificing our conviction. When we live life without conviction, we are prostitutes.

As a result, living side by side with our fellow putas, the whole society becomes nothing but a big organized taxed brothel with no real commodity  but our penises and cunts. Government, for example will prostitute itself before citizens only to provide temporary shelters to calamity victims but not sufficiently addressing long term issues. Government knows it is not doing enough but is still supplying programs only to satisfy primal needs and the needs of the press.

In the absence of conviction, lives become nothing less than being alive but without really living. Cliche. Living becomes fucking money-making leaving the essence of living behind and enclosed in high school yearbooks where ideals were still fresh and bubbly they could start a revolution. Living without conviction is living in a flame that consumes not only the years but the sup of life itself. Drying to the very core the joy of breathing and suffering. It is drowning on up the necks without hope of getting rescued. It is living without the fruits and colors of being alive.

It does not really matter now if you are mayaman or mahirap.

Must you be a puta?


“A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

Better by far you should forget and smile

Than that you should remember and be sad.”

-Christina Georgina Rossetti

Someone is really never gone. Someone is still there waiting for lunch or saying you will go the distance or has a note to tell you there’s someone watching your back or wanting a plane ride.

Just how do you remember someone gone? When the tenderness has faded and gone to solitude, just how do you revive warmth and affection? When longing for that faint caress on your palm, just how do you recall sensation? When someone has bid love on you, just how do you recover that snail smile it made you and your day. Even when someone is gone, as moonlight recedes for day, you remember that once there was someone who made everything so adorable and expect to see a lovely sight again even in darkness.

So you think what could have been had things happened so differently, had the Sun never set on you. You muse now if things would have been different, perchance you would have had the chance to admit reciprocity of desire. Perchance you would have the guts to admit it bears you down to say next time. Nights would have been different too. Days would have been a lot brighter. Moments would have been a lot lighter. Maybe you would have shared more moments side by side talking about sweet and good things that only occur in sincere devotion. You bear the loneliness of a cerebral love that never really came true. But it leaves a lovely loveliness footprint that are unlike footprints in the sands of time.

Imagination stretches to a childish wandering when you try to remember someone who could have been. There is no limit to fatalism that only you could justify. So you think that if only you could hold your someone, it would have been so tight that it would leave a mark on the wrist and wherever your someone goes, you will always be tagged along. You think of triumph of the hearts much like musings of a future long gone but now may only be recalled in a thought. You are cognizant that you may never become as before.  Yet, you remember as if longing for an opportunity to be together again, to be together again for one last goodbye.

Remembering is a parting gift you never open.

Human trafficking and the airports: part I

Aquino vows to end human trafficking
( Updated July 30, 2011 09:07 PM


MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) — President Aquino vowed today to put an end to human trafficking in the country.

Mr. Aquino noted that while there are Filipinos still leaving for abroad to seek greener pastures, he said his administration will not let human traffickers victimize them.

The law against human trafficking will not be allowed to be corrupted by influential people, he said, adding that concerned government agencies have been instructed to work together to fight the menace.

The coordination between government agencies and non-government organizations have resulted to the removal of the Philippines from the Tier 2 Watch list of the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report released by the United States government last month.

The report recognized the significant efforts being undertaken by the Philippine government to combat trafficking in persons such as the almost 200-percent increase in convictions of traffickers, including convictions for labor trafficking.

The country has started to make gains economically and Mr. Aquino said in the near future no underage Filipinos will be allowed to leave the country to work and become victims of human traffickers.

Many of those who were reported to have been victims of human trafficking were women who have been seeking jobs in other parts of the country or abroad.

The government and NGO estimates on the number of women trafficked range from 300,000 to 400,000 and the number of children trafficked range from 60,000 to 100,000. Many Filipino men and women voluntarily migrate to work abroad but later coerced into exploitative conditions.

How does the President propose to use human trafficking to justify curtailment of the right to travel? 

The Bureau of Immigration through its Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU) disallowed the departure of some 32,038 Filipino travelers in the first half of this year.

to be continued…

The Best New Zealand Lamb Chops in Mongolia

Mongolia in different hues. Dessert. Steppes. Mountains. Valleys. Forests. Lakes. Yurts. And so many things Mongolian, others Soviet.

Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar is a growing city. There are a lot of construction activities. New roads are being built. A number of public infrastructure are also being planned. In a few years, Ulaabaatar will look totally different.

The city square is particularly charming. Surrounded by Soviet-style architecture, the new government building sits imposing before old and new structures. At the middle of the building is a huge Genghis Khan statue as seen in the collage above. At the center of the square is another important monument, that of Damdin Sukhbaatar, after whom the square was named. Just beside the square is the Central Tower.

On Central Tower’s second floor is a restaurant called The Square Grill Pub which serves really good Mongolian food. If it’s Mongolian food, there’s bound to be meat, a lot of meat. Seriously. Beef and lamb are staple in  Mongolian dinner. Served in large chunks with the bones, they are best liked when grilled. The serving size is a big surprise. But what’s a lot more surprising are the stones that come with the meat. It was said that the stones were part of the grilling process.

What’s with the stones? The stones are picked up while hot and are passed from one hand to the other. One stone for each diner. It is customary. It is said that the heat and healing properties of the stones improve circulation.

At the penthouse of Central Tower is another restaurant called Monet, after Claude Monet the French impressionist painter. Monet, obviously is a French restaurant. It’s interior is classy and contemporary. It has a wide selection of wines. Being a restaurant at the heart of Mongolia, they must serve meat. Very good meat.

Monet’s New Zealand lamb chops is served with sidings and sauce. It is heavenly. The kind of food that makes a diner say, “I should have met you before or I wonder how I survived without you.” Right. That’s an exaggeration. But the point is there. The lamb chops in Monet are really good. If you don’t believe, go there. It would only take you around 10 hours flying time from Manila to Beijing to Ulaanbaatar. Filipinos don’t need visas to Mongolia but need transit visas through China.

Caveat: don’t try driving in Ulaanbaatar. Traffic and traffic discipline from drivers and pedestrians alike are not as good as their meat.

Gratitude to friend Urga for showing Mongolia’s culinary tricks. Urga is a Mongolian who sounds like an American. She is the nicest socialite in Ulanbaataar. It was a luck that she happens to know every somebody in Mongolia.

Love, in the first person singular form (via opinyonista)

Amicule, deliciae, num is sum qui mentiar tibi?

Amo, I love. -o, -as, -at, -amos, -atis, -ant. The conjugation mnemonic my Latin mentor forced me to memorize. Thus, decades after such involuntary intellectual practice, I still remember those suffixes. But those are applicable only to regular verbs. Other kinds of verbs have different conjugations, thus, different suffixes as well. Latin grammar has a way of getting into a pupil. Agricola arat. Ancilla laborat. Tum domina apropinquat. The first … Read More

via opinyonista