OFFLOAD STORY (PHILIPPINE IMMIGRATION)

OFFLOAD STORY (PHILIPPINE IMMIGRATION)

My first content on Youtube (Bakit ako na offload?) is the reason I had the courage to continue making videos about travel guide and tips for filipinos.

I was an OFW in Taiwan before I traveled as a tourist to the Maldives. The purpose of my travel was to meet my German long distance partner for the first time. That was my first trip as a tourist, because I was an OFW on my last international trips. I've never heard about offload, meaning I had no idea about offload at that time. I didn't even know that there was a secondary inspection at Immigration,because as I have said, in my past travels, I was an OFW and I never went through the secondary inspection.

December 1,2020, my flight from Manila to Maldives, NAIA T3, I will never forget this detail. My flight was 11 at night but of course I was already at the airport at 5pm. I remembered that around 8pm I was at immigration and it took almost 2 hours before I finished at immigration because I went through the secondary inspection. After a very long interview, in the end, I was still offloaded because they were looking for CFO Guidance and Counseling Certificate which I don't have.

All I could say was "Huh?" like is this for real? I was really upset when the immigration officer said, "Ma'am, you need to undergo CFO-GCP first to get a certificate before you can leave the country". I was dumbfounded because actually at that time I had an idea about CFO but I thought it was only necessary when already married to a foreign partner. I said to the officer "Sir, why do I need a CFO when my partner and I will only meet in the Maldives. We are not yet getting married, we are not engaged yet". The immigration officer answered "Ma'am as long as we have a partner/fiance/spouse that is a foreign national, we really need to undergo the counseling program of the CFO". And then, I'm so mentally blocked, I don't know what to do because at that moment, it was also my German partner's flight from Germany to Maldives. I don't know how to explain to him what happened. It was like I was carrying the whole world at that time, I couldn't believe that I couldn't leave.

This is the slip that immigration gave me when I was offloaded. Meaning, I have to comply with what is written on the slip if I want to travel again.

After I told my partner what happened, I asked him "Are you going to continue your flight?". I know he can't believe it either and it's too much. I was worried about him because it was his first time to travel and he can't speak much English. It's depressing to think, I did nothing but just cry and cry. My partner said "Yes, I will still take the flight, I will wait for you in the Maldives, just comply what Immigration is needed". I am very thankful that he did not give up, he did not lose hope.

I completed the CFO- Guidance and Counseling Certificate the day after I was offloaded. I registered online, luckily it was Thursday because the CFO is close on the weekend. I was able to register, I had an assigned counselor, he interviewed me for a few minutes via WhatsApp. He asked me about my partner, how long have we been in a relationship and so on. After that, I thought everything was okay, but not yet by the way. Suddenly my counselor called and said that I will not be given a CFO Certificate because my partner and I have not met yet. Meaning I'm in another drama, I'm crying and crying again. I begged my counselor a lot, and she said, "Ma'am, I didn't decide this. There is a head officer of the CFO who must approve you, you must plead with him". He gave me the email address and I also begged to their head officer. They asked me for documents like parent's consent even though I was already 29 years old at that time. He said I insisted on meeting my long distance partner that's why they asked for a Parent's Consent Letter. But that moment I don't really care anymore whatever they want, I just really need to get a certificate and be able to fly right away.

After 3 days of process, December 4,2020, I was able to fly from Manila to Maldives successfully. I was very emotional when I passed at Immigration, I cried out of joy, out of annoyance because of the offload experience, and very excited to finally see my partner, so, really mixed emotions.

I arrived in Maldives December 5,2020, my partner and I stayed there for 4 nights together. December 9, 2020 my flight home to the Philippines, and his flight to Germany. It was a very short moment together, but that was our first step to be able to live together for life.

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1 comment

I experience offload also, is it a problem for to try again? I have flight in Mongolia as a tourist but I was offloaded in the immigration
Is it a problem for my next travel if in case my student visa in Mongolia is approved?

Rosario Pacil

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