A few of my girl friends who are married to foreigners have told me, not once, but a number of times that they will adopt their husbands’ citizenship when the time comes, if only for the chance to change their passport.According to them, travelling between countries is a hassle when you’re holding the Philippine passport. Visa and immigration officers tend to give one a hard time, a sad fact of life that comes with being the citizen of the Third World whose enterprising countrymen can come up with anything – from fake LVs to fake documents. Yes, including what am talking about in this post.
I don’t know yet how I’ll decide when the time comes.Apart from that unfortunate incident with the US Embassy a few months back, I haven’t really felt discriminated in a port of entry or given the run-around. Also, travelling to the US and Europe doesn’t hold luster for me anymore, as I’ve done it when I was younger
and my fear of flying sucks. Right now, I am just enamored with travelling in and around Asia. It’s good thing that being a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Filipinos can roam around most parts without need for a visa.
Also , Doubting Thomases among immigration and embassy personnel should rest easy with the implementation of the new machine-readable passport since late 2007, and a biometric one coming up soon. Technology these days has made it virtually impossible for anyone to manufacture passports in their own backyard, which should be a good thing for legitimate travellers like you and me
Luckily, I chanced upon the Henley Visa Restrictions Index which ranks countries according to the “travel freedom their citizens enjoy.” In the global ranking, Denmark topped the list, with 157 countries their residents can go to without need for a visa. The Philippines had a score of 50, ranking below Zimbabwe, and just the same as Ukraine. This means there are 50 countries we can go to without need for a visa. Partial list after the jump:
South America: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru
North America: Costa Rica, Dominica, Haiti, Turks & Caicos Islands
Europe; Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
Africa: Burundi, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia
ASEAN: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
Non-ASEAN: Hong Kong, Macau, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Sri Lanka
Middle East: Iran, Israel
Note: I guess this is the disadvantage of having a PI passport. You’d want to travel unimpeded to Paris and Tuscany but your option is visa-free access to Azerbaijan instead. Ugh. UGH.
For health, passport, and visa requirements on your next trip, this KLM site is really helpful.