Hello, world! So as you may have already guessed from the title, this blog will be devoted to showing passport chops and immigration paraphernalia. Not much to say or show, is there? Well, you may be surprised. While I will try my best to post my personal passport chops and passport chops only, I will from time to time come up with posts on things that may interest those others out there to read my blog. I really am not writing this for anyone but myself as who would be so interested in immigration law, passport stamps, and visas as I am?

I'm pretty sure that most will not find this blog very interesting, but I do hope that there is a readership out there as enthusiastic as I am about immigration, passports, and visas.

Happy viewing!

jueves, 24 de marzo de 2011

A Chinoy Student's Travels, 1967

Here is a passport that I have been wanting to have for quite some time now. It is not very easy to find Philippine passports issued before the 1970s not only because not many people were issued passports, but also because many are kept by the bearers' families long after they are gone. Unlike in most Western societies when the personal effects of someone who has passed away are sold off in estate auctions, given away, or simply dumped in the garbage, Filipinos tend to keep them as remembrances of their departed loved ones. Also, the fact that your predecessor was issued (and used) a passport in the olden days is a sign of affluence and one would certainly like to hold onto that.

That is why I jumped at the opportunity to nab this passport when I saw it on eBay. Perhaps some other collectors out there also have a gap in their Philippine collection as the bids for this old thing were very high, especially considering that this is a damaged passport (it was wet and it seems a rat or some termites ate off part of the edges) and the visas and stamps inside are not very interesting - there aren't even any revenue stamps!

Nonetheless, I certainly wouldn't let this big fish get away! And so I am proud to present it here.

This passport belonged to a Chinese Filipino (Chinoy) student born in Manila and living in Pasay City at the time. What is interesting is that the person to contact in case of an emergency lived in Cebu, so I wonder if his family was originally from there and not Manila. This young man travelled to Japan and the United States on this passport. Surprisingly, he spent only a few days in each country on both trips. Was he there for academic purposes? For a conference or a contest, perhaps?

An interesting stamp from his Japan trip is one that indicates that he exchanged $19.05 at the Haneda Airport Exchange Office of Mitsubishi Bank on 19 Dec 67, the day he left on his flight back to Manila. I am guessing he thought it would be wiser to exchange his Japanese Yen into USD dollars in Tokyo rather than exchange then into Philippine Pesos upon his return to Manila. Perhaps the exchange rate for the Yen was bad back home?

His port of entry for his US trip is Honolulu, but I think it was just a stop-over on his way to San Francisco as his Philippine departure stamp indicates "SFO" as the destination. Because the flight was long-haul, most planes at the time (no jets yet!) would stop over in Hawaii and/or Guam on their way to the mainland.

The passport itself is very similar to US passports issued at the time. Like its contemporaries from the US, the Philippine passports had windows on the covers to show the passport numbers indicated inside. There are also spaces for the bearer's address as well as the address of an emergency contact in the same area: on the inside of the front cover. The layout of the information pages are also similar to those of US passports in the 1940s (the Philippines gained independence from the US in 1945) and the perfin on the upper right that reads "DFA" (for Department of Foreign Affairs) is similar to the perfin on the US passports at the time which read "USA."

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