An afternoon at the SSS
SO one fine afternoon this week, I’m at the Baguio office of the Social Security System. I’d like my SSS ID card issued. I take a number and line up, even if I can pull seniority.
I get to a desk where sits a sweet young girl with whom there is an ensuing conversation about how my name is spelled. Their system spells my family name without the line, curly or straight, on top of the n. I insist that my ID have the line on top of the n.
She asks for an ID that has my name with the ñ. I give her three. These IDs also all have Grace after the Linda. Their system has only Linda and no ñ. She asks me if I want to see her boss, and off we go to her boss.
Her boss asks me to give her a birth certificate that has the ñ. I tell her that I have never but never in my life spelt my family name without the ñ. Meaning that when I first applied for an SSS number, I surely spelt my name correctly.
We go into a discussion of how their system, the SSS computer system, has only recently been able to
where I am. It also translates for me too. Pictures taken are immediately stored with the information of time and place. There is always a way with Waze wherever and whenever. All information upon entry to a different country is given to Juan.
Traveling today is so easy. To Taiwan a picture stored in my iPhone was simply presented to an officer then I was allowed entry. Taiwan is the only country that has FREE WiFi for "aliens". By the end of the year, Juan might enjoy FREE ENTRY, without visa for visit within 2 weeks.
Once we were asked to leave and disembark from a train, all because of some small or tiny
have lines on top an n. I say that it’s not my fault. So they should just correct how their system has been spelling my name. My voice slightly raised, I ask: “Ba’t nyo ako tinanggalan ng ñ?”
Then there is something about an office memo and I say that I need a piece of paper from her saying that I have to produce a birth certificate to validate the ñ in my name. She thinks I am asking for the memo when I say “piece of paper.” I am not. I am just asking her to put in writing what she said to me.
We end up with the boss of the Baguio office. At this level, they are able to validate, from a copy of my original application for an
technicality in the visa. Some countries ask for a change of train upon entry to another country, even in the middle of the night.
In Istanbul, long layovers are offered temporary entry for a day tour or a sunset cruise. In Egypt at one time, Juan can enter and ride a camel to the pyramids. Now alcohol can be consumed by Juan in Dubai. Times are changing.
On a cruise from Canada to Alaska, borders are shared. Both flags of the 2 countries stand alongside each other. Juan also has reciprocal diplomatic ties to Israel and Juan was allowed entry to the Rio Olympics without visa.
Entry now to different borders... Boring.