My comment on a Facebook post by Business Insider “Hahaha! No need to read the article. I know this so well… (Filipino here)” is gaining semi-popularity. This article written by a Syrian was about how difficult it is to travel when you don’t have the power of a privileged passport.
And like Syrians, Filipinos like me has to face expensive challenges and time-consuming process of obtaining a travel visa. Like Syrians, Filipino-world travelers has very weak passports. We are not privileged to travel easily like the French, the Norwegians and the Singaporeans to name a few.
Belgians and South Koreans and other nationalities with powerful passport need not plan so much ahead of time. They can easily go and hop on the next flight available to another country if they wish to. But Syrians and Filipinos need months in advance of processing our visit visa. We need to prepare a long list of proofs of our being human beings as well as present our capability to finance ourselves during our travel.
We have to pay the expensive visa fees which Australians, Americans and Canadians can already apportion to their room accommodations or meal expense during their travel. We have to allot a separate budget for that. Hahaha! And these pricy visa fees does not actually assure us of securing our needed visit visa. We need to do loads of prayers to the heavens plus tons of luck!
As of this writing I have to pay 60 euros to secure a Schengen visa, 160 US dollars to obtain an American visa and 832 US dollars to acquire a 5-year UK visa. And according to 2018 schengenvisainfo.com report, Schengen embassies and consulates in the Philippines processed 175,700 visa applications. UK on the other hand processed 78,482 applications. And these are just Schengen and UK, we Filipinos love USA so do the math on how much these embassies profited from travel-loving Filipinos.
Wealthy Malaysians, Japanese and Singaporeans has to pay nothing. Zero. Thus, Schengen, UK and US embassies and consulates don’t earn from them considering that they can effortlessly afford it.
If for some people getting lost in a foreign country is the most tough, Syrians for and Filipinos on the other hand, the process of obtaining visa is the most difficult. Hahaha! It is actually the very element that hinders me from going to places I want to explore. It is one sad truth that a travel lover like me has to endure and undertake.