A photo of a Filipino tourist wearing a toga at Manila’s NAIA airport has gone viral after it was posted on social media, with many people saying the stunt was a tongue-in-cheek commentary on ‘ridiculous’ immigration officials.
Jim Morales, a 25-year-old Filipino vlogger, and tourist has drawn attention to a photo he posted online wearing a black graduation robe and hat at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila on Friday. He was planning to travel to Japan as a tourist.
Filipino Tourist Shares Photo Wearing Graduation Toga and Cap at Ninoy Aquino International Airport
His post was received with funny reactions and thousands of shares. He had arrived at the airport wearing a toga to “prove” that he had graduated and did not need to present his 10-year-old graduation yearbook as part of the Philippine immigration’s stringent measures.
Just recently, an incident of a fellow Filipina tourist being asked overly lengthy and ‘unreasonable’ questions made headlines, prompting the Philippine Bureau of Immigration to issue an apology and clarify that Filipino tourists do not need to present their yearbooks at the airport.
Morales said the stunt was not meant to mock immigration officials but to call attention to other Filipino tourists who were allegedly held unreasonably at the airport and prevented from leaving the country.
The traveler later updated his post with a photo of him in Japan, implying he had graduated from the questioning of authorities at the airport.
Jose Morales eventually made it through immigration control with no further delay and marked his successful exit from the country by posting another photo to his account where he is seen ‘tossing’ his mortarboard cap while smiling gleefully and holding a ‘diploma’ as if celebrating graduation day. The caption read: “When you have surpassed the questioning of immigration authorities in the Philippines.”
PH Bureau of Immigration Assessing Filipino Passengers
The Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) has been under fire online following its ‘strict measures’ on assessing departing passengers. The reason is that many Filipino tourists have allegedly been denied from boarding their flights due to certain criteria deemed by the agency.
The reason why Filipinos are facing difficulties in passing through immigration is that the BI follows a strict policy of verifying which passengers are travelling to other countries for leisure or work.
This is because the BI seeks to combat human trafficking by preventing illegal activities such as the smuggling of people into other countries.
There are some Filipinos who travel abroad for the purpose of tourism, but end up staying beyond their authorised period of stay and look for employment. The BI is trying to prevent these kinds of activities.
In response to the uproar, the Bureau of Immigration released a statement saying that they are sorry if they caused any inconvenience and apologised for the “unfortunate misunderstanding” that occurred with some Filipino passengers.