Daily Archives: September 14, 2015

Renewal first, extension of validity second

“It has been said that a pretty face is a passport. But it’s not, it’s a visa, and it runs out fast.” — Julie Burchill

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Contrary to what was trumpeted by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Office of Consular Affairs, not all Philippine embassies and consulates are willing to immediately extend the validity of expiring Philippine e-Passports upon the applicant’s first request.
I found this out on September 9, 2015 when I went to the Philippine Consulate General on corner 46th Street and 5th Avenue here to file an extension of validity of my Philippine e-Passport, which will expire next month.
I also intended to apply for renewal thereafter. My current e-Passport was processed by the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles five years ago.
I emphasized during interview at Window 3 that I came to apply for extension of validity of my e-Passport.
The male officer asked why. I wanted to avail of the policy or program being offered by the DFA for holders of expiring e-Passports based abroad.


I thought that an application for revalidation/extension was a wise move before applying for renewal, which will take some time to process.
In Los Angeles in 2010, the Philippine Consulate General collected my old passport while my new e-Passport was under process, thus I wasn’t able to fly back to Vancouver until my new e-Passport was released three months later.
A “revalidated” and “extended” e-Passport can be used for travel within six months to one year pending the processing of the new e-Passport, or so I thought.
I cited the DFA’s press statement released last month that “the Office of Consular Affairs in DFA-ASEANA, all Philippine Embassies and Consulates, Regional Consular Offices, and Mall-based Satellite offices are now authorized to revalidate expired e-Passports and extend the validity of expiring e-Passports for a period of not less than one year, but not more than two years upon the request of the applicant, free of charge.”
I submitted my e-Passport.


The officer on Window 3 asked me to proceed to the adjacent “interview room” where a lady officer told me that instead of extension, I should apply for renewal.
“Can I apply for revalidation/extension while at the same time apply for a new passport?” I inquired.
The lady officer retorted that I should apply for renewal first.
I agreed.
After the processing, I was told that my new e-Passport would be released by December 15, 2015 or after three months.
Since they didn’t cancel my old passport, I was made to believe that I could still use it when I travel to Germany on November 2015.
The DFA press release last month added: “Moreover, those who already applied for new passports may request for the revalidation or extension of their passports at no additional cost.”
“The revalidation/extension requests of applicants whose passport releases are overdue will be prioritized,” the DFA press statement stressed.

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Posted by on September 14, 2015 in NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!


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‘Novak’, ‘Anatoli’ no appeal to American fans?

By Alex P. Vidal13639769_10208106336328750_1664974680_o.jpg-1263950

NEW YORK CITY — While leaving the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing on a rainy Sunday, we paused for a while and wondered: “Are American fans biased against non-American sounding names of sports icons?”
Or was it because of the political affiliations and backgrounds of Novak Djokovic and Anatoli Karpov why the Yankees apparently have no love lost for them?
In spite of his sterling performance in the 2015 U.S. Open Tennis Championships men’s final against Swiss star Roger Federer on Sunday evening in Flushing Meadows, world ATP No. 1 Djokovic had to cope with occasional boos and shouts from a partisan crowd on several occasions during his service motion.
Although he bundled out world ATP No. 2 Federer, 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-4, the 28-year-old Serb, who now resides in Monaco, could not appease the pro-Federer fans that included celebrities David Beckham, Hugh Jackman, Leonardo DiCaprio and Blake Griffin at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.


What many Americans probably think when they hear the word Serbia is the Bosnian Genocide masterminded by Serbian General Radislav Krstic, who played a major role in the Srebrenica massacre, an “ethnic cleansing” that claimed the lives of estimated 100,000 people in 1995.
What some of them don’t know is that Djokovic adheres to Eastern Orthodoxy in the Serbian Orthodox Church and is a member of the “Champions for Peace” club, a group of famous elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport, created by Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organization.
The rivalry between Djokovic and Federer, meanwhile, reminds us of the great rivalry between chess’ Garry Kasparov and Anatoli Karpov.
Having met 42 times, Federer and Djokovic are tied 21–21. Many experts have included their rivalry as one of the best rivalries in the Open Era.


Karpov was the dependable Soviet Union hero who adhered to Communist ideology, while fellow Soviet and flamboyant Kasparov was part of the new brigade open to change starting under Mickhail Gorbachev.
The two chess super Grand Masters produced more epic wars with future politician Kasparov edging out Karpov in four more encounters from 1985 to 1990 including a drawn FIDE title match in 1987.
It was believed that the rivalry between Kasparov and Karpov led to a big change in world dynamics and ushered in a new era.
It’s probably a coincidence that Roger and Garry are American-sounding names and both darlings of New York sports fans, while Novak and Anatoli sound like perennial Cold War era villain characters.

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Posted by on September 14, 2015 in SPORTS, Tennis, U.S. Open