to be pinoy again

I already have forgotten how frustrating it is to deal with any Philippine government agency. Not that I had tormenting experiences with them before in fact a lot of my encounters would even be considered almost delightful, almost a miracle. Although I know the Philippine "culture" on paperworks, I have always practiced the "doing it right" when it comes to applications & procedures because I have forever believed that when you do things right, everything will be okay.

But here I am, 14 thousand kilometers away & tens of French paperworks after, the frustration came creeping back but not because there's a long line to queue or because we're bothered about the bored & disturbed employees who can't smile behind the glass window radiating a silent power among us. It's because of the incompetence & the incomprehensible system that makes you wonder why is it sometimes so freaking impossible to have a smooth processing with our government agencies. Voila, the Philippine Embassy of Paris, bow.

After the long process of gathering my Philippine documents & acquiring my French nationality, I was ready to file my Philippine Citizenship & Re-asquisition Act of 2003, or RA 9225. I thought it would be a breeze. I thought being Filipino again in paper is easy for a Filipino by blood & birth. I normally don't overreact but I can hear you saying, "only in da Philippines," or "what do you want the Philippine nationality for?!"

  • Just after receiving my French nationality last July, I requested right away the RA 9225 Application Form No. 1. I was told that it is a week processing.
  • Three months after receiving my French passport & having my Certificate of Naturalization translated, all photocopies of required documents are neatly filed & organized in order in a big white envelope. It arrived Paris after 3 to 4 working days.
  • On the 5th day, I called them to confirm reception of my file, asked when I can follow up to know our oath taking schedule. She asked me some questions regarding my documents then I was told to call after 4 days.
  • On the 4th day, I diligently called to have some good news, after all, it will almost be a week. After having my file 5 days in hand, I was informed that my application form is the old one & that they will need to send me the new one. Fortunately, first for calling them back & they mailed it right away & I received it the following monday, filled it up & sent it back without delay.
  • On the same week, they confirmed receipt of my application form & I didn't hear anything from them for 2 weeks.
  • Last friday, after a month, which is supposedly a week processing, I receive news that to continue the evaluation of my file, I have to send all original copies of documents submitted by mail.
  • Yesterday, I called the Embassy to assure that the original documents I need to send are my birth certifcate from NSO & my Philippine passport. They matter of factly told me they won't need the French passport but just the original copy of our French Certificate of Naturalization & continued saying that I cannot have an Oath Taking schedule without this. I was actually assured of how ridiculous & clueless on their part to ask for this one valuable document. The French Tribunal handed us only one original copy with a "guard it with your life" advice. Even after saying that repeatedly & mentioning the checklist found on the Bureau of Immigration official website that only a photocopy of foreign documents are required, my plea fell on deaf ears, without a justifiable reason for this ridiculous demand. On top of that, we were asked to actually explain to the Consul why we cannot send our original Certificate of Naturalization by mail adding, "we're not keeping it naman, we'll give it back to you."
Selective files, mood swings, or the holidays, the reason is dependent on your lucky star. Or finally having more competent people to actually work effectively for the citizens: seriously examining your file & documents for errors or problems & not to give it to you on a weekly installment, strictly following the delay of processing, and original documents normally comes only with the presence of the holder. How much more can you prove the authenticity of your valid & legal documents?

I just want to be Filipino again in paper. Applying for my French nationality was way much easier because the French governement is precise on their procedures. I'll be going back to the Philippines in 2 months. I am torn between trusting the Embassy or processing it in Manila when I get home. Please do bestow priceless information on processing the RA 9225 in the Philippines.

But what really ticked me off is that I had to have my left & right sideviews picture taken for nothing.


From Manila to Paris, then to Marseille & to the Côte d'Azur, now in Singapore, clinging to a map of three worlds, where everything becomes all relative.


  1. Its really hard to deal with the government, kahit anong government. Much so since you are doing it by mai. Is there no process to do this in person?
    With all these frustrations I cant blame you for wanting to simply call it quits.

    But then again, you've already started it....Just be patient.


  2. I just LOVE the part where they ask for the ORIGINAL copy of our French certificate of Naturalization. I'd love to see what they would do if that paper somehow got lost in the post just because of this unnecessary requirement. Actually, i HOPE that someone from the Philippine Embassy is reading this. Please shed some light, O Mighty Philippine Embassy, as to what we have to do to be able to be Filipino again. Because your system is a turn off to people who want to reacquire Phil citizenship. And that's the Phil embassy in Paris. You should see how the Phil Embassy in Qatar deals with these things!

    And to think that I was going to fly all the way from Qatar to Paris to reclaim the Philippine nationality!!!

  3. Hi Leah! How I wish I could do it in person! The Philippine Embassy is located in Paris, all the way to the north of France & I live in Marseille, all the way to the south naman :) So we're just relying on the post office & some good sense & logic - I've never experienced sending original docs, they're to show with my presence normally.

    I'm so sad to say, Kala, that I will have to do it in Paris after reading some news from my SIL back in Manila. WAAAHHHH! I'm starting to write my letter so help me God. (If the certificate got lost in the way, they will just probably say, "ay, di kami yan, yung post office ang may kasalanan")

  4. oh my god i'm maki..i just called the embassy yesterday i told them i dont want to send my naturalization document..coz its the only proof that we have..and besides just like you i dont trust post office..they told me no problem just put a letter explaining this etc..im planning to send mine next week coz we'll definitely going to phils next year :-(

    ps sana sabay oath taking natin para sabay tayo punta paris :-)

  5. fresh naturalized but no
    form 9225 want to meet you (living 20kms from arles)
    or a call will also be fine PROST

  6. Makis, I can imagine your frustration§ Does this mean ba that alam mo ng sinong kontakin sa Consulate? Hindi ko nasagot yong email mo kc sa friendster.
    I haven't started processing my Philippine nationality re-acquisiton yet, although I know a couple of friends who have done so already, within a month I guess. It helps that they live in Paris. And yeah, do not give the original file!!!

  7. kadami ekek, nobayan.

    Susunod na ako this august 2008!!
    if ganyan, stay 21days na lang sa pinas for free visa, haha.

    If ayaw nila luwagan sestema nila.
    Sana if ako na, its as easy as applying trip to HK lol