Bautista: Passedport

I JUST mentioned in my story last weekend that I will be heading up north to La Union. This was for Joy to have her passport renewed. Previously in the past and all before a DFA was in Baguio, La Union was the nearest.

It was always something we looked forward to every time a passport was to be had. Even for renewals. It always seemed to be the best recourse for one. Passed that of Baguio and we still look forward to La Union.

A reason to thaw it was for us. Some see breeze. The heat of the sun and the feel of the sand. The good iloko cuisine. I will always wish for it as it is something I would not want to specialize when I cook. I'd rather just eat.

As we pass along the port heading towards Sunset Bay and Thunderbird, I am already thinking about what would be good to eat. Towards the airport there's Natalna Grill, the dinengdeng is the best. On the other side there's Saigon Phoa for Vietnamese fare. Just across the street the smoked liempo is the best!

Further down the main road to the port is the road leading to Sunset Bay. When there all I would order is spaghetti bolognese and fried chicken. Pair it with Shintao Beer and you're good. After dinner and when more beers are to be had, a place called Virgie's Eatery the best of street food is found. Betamax, isaw, gizzard, adidas, hotdog or pork barbecue with Red Horse will be the perfect way to end the day.

But my day starts with finding the address for the Department of Foreign Affairs. It is located at Pagdaraoan Biday Road, just before the bi-pass road to San Juan. Finding it and pronouncing it already a challenge. We are led to Manna Mall, guards say 2nd floor. Previously it was just along the main highway.

The advise was to come ahead of scheduled time, we do. Joy enters, she asks me to leave. I asked if she would want coffee to go, she just waves me to go. I and my kids instead decide to wait it in McDonalds.

It took us longer before Joy joined us. Even ahead of coffee. Apparently being early, Joy was asked to join the end of the appointment group before her. She was done in 5 minutes after her appointment time of 11 in the morning.

She was asked of her time but since she was early and probably the staff would have wanted to also finish early, they accommodated her. The DFA there processes passports on a Saturday for only half the day.

We were all amazed to see Joy join us for our meal. It took longer for us to wait in line in the McDo counter than the DFA. It even took longer to get our order than Joy to be processed. She also informs us that she gets 10 years validity for her new passport.

I can't wait for mine to expire. When it does, at least 6 months before I will opt again for me to get mine in La Union DFA. Other than the service provided, it is the sun, sea, sand and food.

Not unless it will be the same for Baguio too. Just in the news my good friend and head of Baguio DFA Agency Director Eleonor Belgica, just assured every Juan that there will be more slots to be opened. So with my friend and Secretary Peter Allan Cayetano. Oh and it is all for free.

I would guess that when Juan comes from far away, the next best option is to go Baguio. Cool climate, SM Baguio, shopping maybe eating too all in one. For me and Joy it will be the other way. But for this DFA... I give them a thumbs up and it has passed my expectations.

Oh and Joy too has given them the excellent rating before she left the La Union DFA. They did wonder why we opted for La Union than Baguio, we don't wonder we will wander instead.

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