Wednesday, June 4, 2008

NBI Clearance

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It was still dark when I arrived at the NBI Clearance Center, a quarter before 5 am. I was already number 90. Numbers 1-89 must have slept there. Feeling hot and hungry, growing tired and alternately standing, squatting and sitting Indian style on the pavement outside the center while staying in line, we were finally let in the building by 8 am. They were only admitting 450 applicants per day so close to a hundred people had to be turned away. Inside, we were made to wait for another hour. Not having much choice about it, I waited it out in the company of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. Then I lined up for the form, filled it out, lined up again for the thumb printing, and then again for the picture taking. After the mug shot, I was told to wait once again.

While waiting, I thought of what I learned from this pursuit for an NBI Clearance:

  • How kind strangers can be. Amidst the confusion, the guy standing in line behind me, Mr. 91, (who, unlike me, was just there to renew his clearance) gave me valuable tips on what to do and where to go.
  • What not to name my children. According to the NBI Officer, we should refrain from naming our children: 1) after our own names (think: juniors and roman numerals I-IV); 2) with a dash, slash, asterisk or any other punctuation; 3) with generic, common names. It’s better to give them unique names like (quoting the officer), “Timberland, Northumberland, Upo and Patola.” Not following these naming tips will surely be detrimental to their own quest for an NBI Clearance.
  • What to bring when applying for a clearance. 1) a book, a magazine, an MP3 player or anything that will keep you entertained while waiting and increase your tolerance for boredom; 2) A chair. There are no seats outside the building and, inside, chairs are rented out for five pesos each; 3) Wet wipes. They charge another five pesos for a 3x3 inch piece of alcohol soaked paper; 4) Packed lunch and breakfast. Or you’ll pass out from hunger.

By 2 pm, I finally got the clearance: “No record on file.” Hallelujah!


Anonymous said...

So the guy, Kidlat, who owns the OMG and his son Kawayan should have no problem getting NBI clearance. :)

Angeli said...

But Kidlat Tahimik's real name is Eric de Guia. His sons - Kidlat, Kawayan and Kabunyan - surely would have no problem with getting cleared. :)

I know a person named Namnama. Cool, huh? :)

artemis said...

In fact Kidlat's (Eric de Guia) case is more complicated. He says, he is Kidlat Jr. while his son is Kidlat Sr. because he named his son "Kidlat" first before he himself adopted the name for his own.. ha ha!

Anonymous said...

Our neighbor's dog in the old barrio is named Kagatem. :)

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