December 01, 2003


As of this writing, I still haven't applied for a passport. Nor do I know when I'll be able to apply for one. Beating the December 15 deadline for the Singapore scholarship is already impossibility. I may not also be able to join the out-of-country shoot of my new movie project. All because of an unforeseen mistake.

See, I need to show an authenticated copy of my birth certificate as a requirement for passport application. I thought there would be no hitch. I would go to the National Statistics Office (NSO) to apply for one and a day after would have my authenticated copy. That easy. But as soon as I got hold of the authenticated copy upon claiming it today, I found out the big mistake. I'm registered to a different name. My name is not my name.

Of course, I know about this. And I also know that a few days after my parents registered my original name, they had it changed to my present name. I told the NSO person that my name's already changed and there's a birth certificate bearing my changed name. But the NSO person put it succinctly. My original name is the name under their files and so that's my name! Plain and simple. I would need to apply for a change of name to have the name I'm using now. Are you still with me?! :)

Here lies the problem. The requirements to have my name changed are numerous and complicated. Furthermore, the request should be sent to the local registrar of my birthplace (which is in Mindanao). I immediately called my Tatay to ask for his help but I seriously doubt that the change of name would be swift even if we submit the requirements right away. Not in our bureaucracy.

I will still do everything hoping for the best results but expecting for the worst (as the cliche goes.) It just bewilders me that the name I've been using for 23 years is not really my so-called "official" name. It means that if the national ID system will push through, I'll have a different name and that's just weird. Nevertheless, I'm grateful that my parents changed my name. My original name sucks and it will remain off record! :)

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