When the nail sticks out

rants, raves and randomness

On my balikbayan box problems, airport hassles and more

Balikbayan box problems

I have recently been back from the Philippines for my yearly summer vacation with my hubby. As usual, we got to experience third world infrastructure , (cultural?) institutionalized inefficiency topped with tedious bureaucracy. I tried to prep for it – I really did. I anticipated the worst in airport facilities and service, so I sent my balikbayan box home in advance. Only, now we’re back in Japan, and my box of pasalubong and personal things hasn’t arrived. First, it was the ship rerouting daw – fine, it was unavoidable. The balikbayan box company called me, informing me my box’s misfortune, while I was being interrogated by Japanese cops in Shibuya for being a witness to a “flasher” (side story : a drunk hobo bared himself in front me and a friend. 3 cops in a patrol car arrived to interrogate us and to shoo  the hobo away. 3 cops!!!! ). It was tough enough that I was being tagged as a “valuable witness” of this unfortunate event (the flasher,I mean), while talking on the phone and arguing with the box company. The box company promised it would arrive 4 days after our arrival – a minor hiccup. We could have had it sent to Baler via the Joybus. But alas, 4 days after we arrived, no call from the forwarder, until finally I had to call them to ask about my box (customer service Philippine style!). They said, “Na-hold ang container sa port e. Bale sa isang linggo pa siguro makakalabas.”  I argued, “E wala na kami nun. Nakabalik na kami ng Japan.” The person said, “E ganun ho talaga. Dami na ho namen reklamo. Wala ho kami magagawa.

Hay naku! In the Philippines, you learn to live with “ganun talaga“. Asking for more is selfish. Reminds me of Chairman Mao’s China, where being good at something was considered “white” and “bourgeois”.

So anyway we continued living our lives, making do with what we can buy at the local palengke. Too bad our fishing+ swim+surf gear are all in the box! But nothing can stop us from vacationing! When there is a will there is  a way! So off we surfed the waves anyway, enjoying what typhoons Luis and Mario brought

I know I shouldn’t be too damn pleased with the typhoons but..look at this!

On my balikbayan box problems, airport hassles and more

On my balikbayan box problems, airport hassles and more. Waves during the typhoon

And when there were no waves, we (tried?) went fishing.

On my balikbayan box problems, airport hassles and more. Fishing when there were no waves

On my balikbayan box problems, airport hassles and more. Fishing when there were no waves

 

Airport hassles

Now back at the airport yes. How terrible my experience was. Let me compare my experience at Narita and NAIA for both web check-in.

Narita Airport’s web check-in:3 simple steps for both foreigners and Japanese

On my balikbayan box problems, airport hassles and more: Breezing through Narita airport

On my balikbayan box problems, airport hassles and more: Breezing through Narita airport

 NAIA’s web check-in : 8 complicated steps for Filipinos only. Foreigners can skip step 3 and filling out of forms in step 6

On my balikbayan box problems, airport hassles and more: NAIA, going out of their way to make everything a hassle for you

On my balikbayan box problems, airport hassles and more: NAIA, going out of their way to make everything a hassle for you

Whoever the next president would be should tackle the endless, tedious kuskos balungos of our systems back home. Simplify.  For the taxpayers, for the airport staff, for the tourists.  Life is too short to spend  most of it on public roads and facilities! The entry and the exit points are what people remember easily – we should be breezing through airports, not bogged down by a series of never ending, complicated steps just to get IN and OUT of the country.  We want to encourage people to come,right? So instead of simply boycotting Aegis’ Philippine-trashing video, we should actually do something to prove them wrong. Because let’s face it, though the motive of the video is questionable, every issue they raised is true!

On my balikbayan box problems, airport hassles and more : Aegist trashing the Philippines. The truth hurts, doesn't it?

On my balikbayan box problems, airport hassles and more : Aegis trashing the Philippines. The truth hurts, doesn’t it?

On my balikbayan box problems, airport hassles and more : You can't handle the truth

On my balikbayan box problems, airport hassles and more : You can’t handle the truth

Advertisements

3 comments on “On my balikbayan box problems, airport hassles and more

  1. jenaro
    October 10, 2014

    I fully understand your frustration not getting your balikbayan box on time for your planned vacation. The situation was created by your fan Erap Estrada. When he imposed the Manila day time truck ban, it created a disruption on the “supply chain” thus creating chaos and havoc in the port of Manila. It is true, cargoes were rerouted and left at port of origins as Manila has no room for incoming cargo. The balikbayan box company was right in saying “they can’t do anything about it” The national government had to step in as the nations economy relied very much on the shipping trade. Hope this eases your bad experience on sending stuff through balikbayan box.

    • ikalwewe
      October 11, 2014

      Hello jenaro thank you for the message and the comment. It was double misfortune- the ship rerouted and the customs took its sweet time releasing my box. This was the first time it happened, I’ve been sending boxes regularly for the last couple of years. But anyway life is too short to whine and bitch about life. Pag sa Pilipinas, kailangan sobra sobra ang allowance, whether sa pagpapadala ng kahon, s pagpunta as airport, sa pagmamaneho…

  2. Jenaro
    October 14, 2014

    If I may, the only reason we moan and bitch is because we have something to compare how things are done. Efficiency in our present environment maybe a way of life, but not in the country we grew up. I pity our kababayans who have to deal with “frustrating circumstances” everyday but unless major changes are made it will remain as is. God help the Philippines

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: