hold departure order

ever had that instance wherein you are about to leave the house but you cannot ignore that jittery feeling that something is “not just right”?  well i just had one.

my flight back to work was scheduled on my birthday.  i had it organized, and i travel light, i always make sure that everything has to fit in my laptop backpack, prioritize the most important stuff,  then leave behind the ones in excess.

i realized then that something was missing, which was my travel document organizer bag.  my mom was insisting that she never saw it since i went back for days off but i told her i had put it in my cabinet drawer.. i started to doubt myself if i really left it somewhere.. and was thinking what was inside it and all i remembered was it has my frequent flyer cards and luggage tags, an old e-ticket and some used boarding passes.

so i left the house without it, anyways, i considered it then as not that important.  i arrived at the airport 0900H, boarding time was at 1100H and when i was in line for the boarding passes the guy behind the glass window grinned at me and said “sir, it’s your birthday today, happy birthday!” , i smiled and told him thanks as he handed me my pass: economy class, 49A, a window seat.

next step was immigration and i went to the queue area and when it was my turn, it hit me:

there are about 6 filipinos of the same name as me who have legal cases from attempted murder to homicide, i had known this since i applied for a clearance in the national bureau of investigation –  the one on the HDO (hold departure order) list was the one with the civil case.

i had a photocopy of my clearance in the bag that was missing, i always bring this with me for i always get that look from the immigration officer as if telling me that i’m in trouble.

“ma’m i left it at the house”.  was all i can mutter as she stared at the computer screen.  “you have known that you always encounter this problem and you still forgot your clearance”? she said, “what if i put you on hold, and not make it in your work destination”?  all i can make was a worried expression.

luckily, she did let me go, but only for now.  the next time if i don’t get a new clearance i will not be able to leave the country.  i will surely fix this problem when i go for days off in september.  while waiting to board the plane i called on my mobile phone to say my farewells to my mom, siblings and some close friends.  after i told my mom about the incident she called me back and said she found out where the bag was.. my eldest brother mistakenly took it in my drawer, thinking i wasn’t using it anymore.

and you know the legal case of the person of the same name as me that put him on the hold departure list?  here it is:

the offense of willfully and knowingly having more than one wife or husband at the same time.  the offense of willfully and knowingly entering into a second marriage while validly married to another individual is bigamy.

the case was filed in 1991, i was 16 years old then.