A former Miss Universe semifinalist shared her musings about the process of traveling overseas and the weakness of the Philippine passport on a Twitter post.
Actress-host Mary Jean “MJ” Lastimosa, a Miss Universe 2014 top 10 semifinalist, cited that Filipinos have to secure visas from embassies to be able to travel to certain countries.
“Ang sarap mag-out of the country, nakakatamad lang mag-collect ng requirements at mag-apply sa embassy,” she tweeted on Friday, June 2.
Visas are usually granted by embassies or consulates of a country that a traveler intends to visit.
“Sobrang waley [wala] talaga ng passport [natin], anezzz [ano], hahaha,” MJ added to her tweet with a grinning-with-sweat emoji.
Ang sarap mag out of the country nakakatamad lang mag collect ng requirements at mag apply sa embassy. Sobrang waley talaga ng passport naten anezzz hahaha 😅
— MJ Lastimosa (@MJ_Lastimosa) June 2, 2023
Her post has reached 178,000 views and over 1,200 likes so far.
It has also received several comments on the replies thread and the quotes section, with some Filipinos agreeing with MJ’s sentiments.
“True ‘yan mare, ang dami pang tanong, parang feeling ko tuloy sasalang ako sa indoor interview ng Miss Universe, my god!!” a Twitter user quipped.
“Forever jelly [jealous] of powerful passports,” another online user agreed with a pensive face emoji.
Another Filipino shared an observation about other travelers, particularly Caucasians who beg for funds while traveling to countries. They are dubbed “begpackers.”
“Ang effort natin, no? Kahit capable, minsan naman… Pero may mga strong passport na nagta-travel ng walang pera, tapos subtle na namamalimos pang-travel back to their home country, or to cross to another country. Sadt,” the Twitter user said.
The Philippine passport is currently at the 76th place on the Henley Passport Index‘s global ranking as of the first quarter of 2023. The firm is considered the authoritative ranking of all the world’s passports.
It said that “Pasaporte” passport holders can visit 66 territories worldwide without a visa. These areas include Israel, Singapore, Taiwan and Brazil, among others.
Meanwhile, countries whose passports have a number one rank are Japan and Singapore, followed by South Korea on the second spot.
Such countries have the highest visa-free scores in the passport index, indicating that their respective passport holders can visit several countries without needing to secure a visa.
A visa is an official document allowing the holder to enter a foreign country legally. It is usually stamped on the holder’s passport.
According to the Passport Index, “visas are necessary if you’d like to travel to a country that does not have a visa policy in place with your home country.”
Visa restrictions are in place to check and control the flow of visitors in and out of the country.
It is also implemented to prevent illegal immigration and other criminal activities like human trafficking.
Letting travelers apply for a visa also gives the authorities a chance to vet their potential visitors since there are individuals who would work or settle in their country without following lawful processes.