Tips to Pass Philippine Immigration with Q and A
Do you need more tips to pass Philippine Immigration? Last April 2019, I just had a Q and A with a Philippine Immigration officer which I never expected. That time when I had to leave Bali, I just arrived in the Philippines in January 2019. I just came from a 4-month Southeast Asia backpacking trip.
This happened at Mactan Cebu International Airport with it’s newest terminal 2 for international flights. The new terminal is indeed impressive. I just had my black backpack with me as my main bag and the second bag is my laptop bag with no check-in baggage.
Q and A with a Philippine Immigration Officer | Tips to Pass Philippine Immigration
While waiting for the queue, I was confident to face the Philippine Immigration Officer with a smiling face. She smiled back at me. I handed her my passport, reviewing the stamps on my passport while she was checking something on her computer screen. I thought she would put a stamp to it right away but I was wrong.
Then she asked me these questions in Filipino but will translate it in English:
1. Why you were gone for so long last year? Like 4 months?
2. Where are you working?
I am working at home.
3. Are you a hiker? A mountaineer?
Sometimes I hike, sometimes I’m a scuba diver, but not really a mountaineer.
4. Are you meeting someone there?
I meet a lot of people while traveling so there’s a chance that I’m traveling with strangers and sometimes with a fellow Filipino.
5. How much did you spend for the entire 4 months?
Actually, I don’t remember but my budget is PHP 20,000 a month.
Related Article: How I Saved 100K PHP to Travel 5 Countries in 2015?
6. Are you blogging?
Yes, I blog sometimes. It’s just a hobby.
I answered all the questions confidently and with a smile, especially with the last question.
A side comment on Question #2 | Tips to Pass Philippine Immigration
What I wrote on the form about my job is Administrative Support that’s why she asked me where I am working. If you put ‘freelancer’ that’s the time they will scrutinize you of what you do. Better avoid the word freelancer and focus on a job title that suits what you do.
Related Article: How I Almost Got Offloaded as a Freelancer?
Surprised with Question #3
I was surprised when she asked me a question if I was a hiker or a mountaineer. Well, I think it was because of how I look like a backpacker. I wasn’t wearing anything glamorous. I was wearing my headband which most of the hikers wear when they go to other Southeast Asian countries to climb mountains. Wore a black jacket to beat the cold.
With the way I look, I wasn’t a typical Filipina traveler with a strolling suitcase, wearing make-up, and a big hat. See photo above.
On my backpack, I had my swimming fins and snorkeling gears with me so if they will ask me more about my adventures, I can show them what I always bring with me.
Related Article: 10 Realizations While Traveling Long Term as an Ordinary Filipino
Take note at Question #4
A lot of female solo travelers are questioned if they meet someone in another country, referring to a boyfriend. Sometimes, this question will turn to another set of questions until you get startled easily. Turns out you will lose your confidence in this question. Unless you are confident that you are in a long-term relationship, you can answer this and be prepared to be asked for more questions about your relationship with your boyfriend. And maybe, they will ask you for more proof. Such a hassle.
Personally, if I’ve been asked a question like this I don’t want to tell them about my personal life. Filipina solo travelers are confident to travel with or without a boyfriend.
Smiling at Question #6
It’s good to know that some Philippine Immigration Officers are aware of blogging already. Because why not? Maybe there’s a chance that they were able to read some travel advice from travel bloggers like me. Or some vloggers doing YouTube videos from their travels.
Related Article: A Personal Experience How I Started Travel Blogging
Do you have any more tips to pass the Philippine Immigration?
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Roxanne is an aspiring digital nomad. A virtual assistant since October 2009. She is a hobbyist blogger, photographer and travels a lot.