Pia from the travel agency has just delivered my renewed Philippine passport. Valid for the next five years.

The face that leaps out of the first page of this pocket-sized green booklet appears Sad.

I compare the photograph with the one in my old passport. Also Sad.

And then with a much older passport. Still Sad.

Must be the downward curves on the corners of the mouth that make for the countenance.

Or, the deep slopes under the eyes.

Or, the drooping weight of cheeks.


Or, the simple matter of a purposive and successful attempt to look Somber. And therefore, Serious. And therefore, Legitimate.

After all, the Department of Foreign Affairs doesn’t issue passports to anyone looking like a silly monkey.

(Despite the undeniable and striking resemblance that can be pointed out by any Darwinian theorist.)

In any case, when I find myself at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport sometime in July, I will just have to curb my enthusiasm.

Fight off the grin.

And just think about….hmmm, scotch tape.

That could work. I have neither traumatic nor delightful experiences with scotch tape.

I’ll easily manage the desired nonchalant sadness that will make me recognizable.

(and perhaps convincing enough to even fool immigration officials into thinking they’ve known me all their life.)

(not that there’s any reason to fool them.)

It’s just that I am pretty excited.

Pretty and Excited.

Because next month, I’m bound for Singapore to visit Madly Maria, Alfred and Ching as well as Yoj and Randall.

Already have a roundtrip ticket for my 9-day stay.

In between those days, Maria and I will fly to Vietnam and discover as much of Ho Chi Minh city as our two day trip will allow.

Except for Hong Kong (and of course, the Philippines), I haven’t been anywhere in Asia. So, really…

Am really, looking forward to this travel. Especially that roomie Bee is also keen on joining us in Sing for a few days.

Yehey! Yehey!

Oops, getting carried away.

Better think scotch tape…