When I was complaining about the processing of my Dual Citizenship here, a lot of people asked me why I still want to be a Filipino Citizen when I already have the French. This surprised me a bit but it never entered my mind not to be a Filipino on paper. It was only when the Philippines passed the Citizen Retention & Re-acquisition Act of 2003, or RA 9925, that I applied for the French nationality. A country recognizing Dual Citizenship is a great privilege because there are only a few countries (website not updated) who do. Left, my Certificate of Oath of Allegiance & new Philippine passport after acquiring Dual Citizenship
But my complaining was abruptly stalled & I had a chance to do it in Manila. Apparently, with all the red tape & corruption I experienced, and simply the hassle of doing paperwork in the Philippines, I have to admit that the Philippine Embassy in Paris has improved by leaps & bounds in the paperwork department. Although I didn't inquire directly for the procedure in Manila, a friend informed me that she had to hire a lawyer & the processing will be at least 6 months. This turned me off & I have to be actually grateful I had an easier option here in France.
And so finally I was able to file my application in Paris & off we went for our oathtaking. On May 23, 2008, Hazel & I went together to be a Filipino on paper. Although I thought that it was unnecessary, reciting my Oath of Allegiance to my motherland was quite moving, in front of the Philippine flag, a portrait of GMA & all. Below, Oath taking with Hazel & with Consul Rosalita S. Prospero
Today, I just received my new Philippine passport *yay!* I still have the old, non-machine readable since the embassy is finishing their stock of old passports. Which is not bad because it is more than a passport to me. It's my proof of citizenship. And besides, I still get to smile & be beautiful in a passport photo. The guy in the photo shop couldn't believe that I can smile for a passport picture. So the trouble a smile can bring is yet to be discovered.
Another issue was when a Filipino friend with an Italian citizenship asked me how I ever lost my Philippine Nationality. Since the Philippines didn't recognize Dual Citizenship until 2003, Filipinos who acquired another nationality automatically lose their Filipino citizenship. It is here that we retain or re-acquire it. The procedure is relatively new & it will improve with more years. Hopefully in a few years, the RA 9225 won't be necessary at all. That we won't automatically lose our Filipino Citizenship. We are still fortunate to have an embassy with more experience on this.
The procedure is actually easy. As long as you have your official documents with you & you don't need to have it sent from Manila, it'll be a breeze. You can call the Philippine Embassy in your area & request for an RA 9225 Application Form which is sent by mail. Requirements are normally the following:
passport size photos, any proof of Philippine Citizenship (birth certificate, old passport, voter's ID, marriage certificate indicating Philippine Citizenship), foreign passport, certificate of naturalization & its official translation, proof of payment, marriage or report of marriage if married, oath of allegiance
Remember to only submit photocopies. The embassy might request original copies to be sent. If so, you will then be asked to write a letter to the Consul why you cannot send the originals. I know such a waste of time. You will be then given an appointment for your oath taking & voila! As usual, you will always need to follow up.
The Dual Citizenship is not for everybody, so grab it if you can.
For me, being a pinoy by heart is not enough until you are on paper.