One morning in February of this year, a tall black man and a Chinese national came to the house and asked for my assistance because they wanted to donate to the city government LED lighting materials to replace the existing bulbs in all city street posts, including the barangays.
The black man, who introduced himself as a former member of the Chicago Bulls and teammate of the legendary superstar Michael Jordan, and his Chinese companion told me that my name was introduced by a city employee who believed that I have some friends at City Hall and Davao Light and Power Company (DLPC) and I can facilitate the early acceptance of their donation.
My visitors showed a documented communication letter addressed to Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio through the Office of the City Administrator. They sought my assistance because the city was asking “too many papers before it will accept the donation”, particularly the city council and the DLPC that presently maintains the city street posts. They believed that I can help them.
I frankly told them that I am nobody to our city officials, contrary to what that city employee was bragging about that I am “malakas sa” City Hall. But I promised the donors I will try contacting a ranking officer of the DLPC who maybe of help to them. He is Ross Luga, the communication officer of the company.
The two left and said they will pay me a visit again the next day to get confirmation of my communication with Davao Light. They have never showed up since our first meeting. Yet I still contacted Ross and explained to him the offer of donation.
Ross told me that it really needs the approval of the city council because any donation to the city should pass the legislative body – “that is SOP (standard operating procedure: editors)”, I remember Ross telling me then on the phone.
“Ano ang intensiyon ng donors that they wanted to give that big amount of donation to the city? Medyo katakataka!” Ross asked.
I told Ross that I also asked the same question to the two men, and their answer was that, their “boss wanted to invest in the city.”
Medyo katakataka nga. End of my conversation with Ross on the phone.
Last week, after four months out of the country on vocation, a neighbor informed me that she read in the newspaper that the black man who contacted me last February in the house and offering to donate LED lights to the city was arrested by the immigration bureau while holding a basketball clinic in a subdivision in the city. He is charged of overstaying in the city and a criminal case of estafa after he allegedly ran away with millions of pesos from the sales of real estate owned by his victims.
The suspect, upon knowing that I am connected with the media, also told me that his girlfriend was a reporter of a local TV station.
His Chinese companion when they first came to the house is still at large. Kamuntik na akong nadamay!
As a reminder to would-be immigrant applicants to the United States, one is advised to keep an open mind and a positive attitude when already abroad. Avoid making unnecessary criticisms and comparisons between your home and the US. Give yourself time to adjust and don’t be too hard on yourself as you transition. Each person adjusts at his own pace. Don’t compare yourself with others.
These were some of the reminders the Commission on Filipinos Overseas here to me when I was yet to be given the go signal to travel abroad.
You will not find difficulty in whatever your motivations, provided you comply with the US government requirements to avoid unnecessary inconvenience when exiting the Philippines and entering the USA.
Generally, I did what the Commission had told me then, but there were some that I failed to follow me while in the United States. As a writer, I believe that my readers deserve to be informed of what they don’t know.
Admittedly, I committed some violations by comparing the American life with ours in my columns sent to the TIMES. Yet, I succeeded in achieving my goal in just a few months. America really believes in press freedom!
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