Visa


BY ANNE QUINTOS

The moment you stepped outside your doorstep, you know that something is wrong. You’re big enough to tell that indeed there is. Thick dust particles and toxic gases slowly seeped into your lungs. You coughed and protested silently…but there’s no use of that. Nobody can change it. You went on since you started your day wrong anyway—you’re already late.

You have been standing in the side street to find a jeepney for about thirty minutes now. You opted not to take the taxi since your money won’t even fit you until your next payday. But still you needed to take a ride, or termination from your boss awaits you. Finally, a jeepney swiftly cuts the traffic flow just to get the five passengers, including you, waiting. This is illegal, you said yourself, but to hell with that. You can’t afford to lose more minutes.

Inside the jeepney, as it continually threatens death to other drivers, you saw a long line of people waiting for their turn to buy lotto tickets. You asked yourself how come they bet the only money they have. A few minutes more, your mind drifted off to some place. You couldn’t care less. It wasn’t your life anyway.

Your day went on. Your mind drifted away to your own world. You needed money. It’s Monday today. You can’t find your contact lenses or you have to buy a new pair of jeans. You haven’t tried bunjee jumping and the list goes on.

You spent your life like this. Constantly accepting what the society feeds you because you’re too busy to care. Acceptance won’t cost you anything…

Until it came to a point where everything was bound to go down.

Your country.

Your people.

Your children’s future.

But to hell with that, you say, that’s the part where my Visa comes in handy.


*This article was first posted in 2005 after college graduation when most of my friends are going out of the country to find jobs. I loathed the idea. Four years later and with a depleted savings account, I grabbed an opportunity abroad. This might have been one of the saddest truth I have to deal with. At the same time, I learned that becoming a Filipino was never about geography. 

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