Immigration interview issue inspires humorous, satirical memes, skits

March 22, 2023 - 1:59 PM
Bureau of Immigration
Undated photo of people lining up before officers of the Bureau of Immigration in an airport. (The STAR/Rudy Santos)

The immigration process at the airport was recently the subject of humorous, satiric memes and skits on social media.

Facebook accounts uploaded different memes that referenced the recent incident wherein a traveler missed her flight due to a lengthy immigration interview.

The traveler named Cham Tanteras made headlines for her video where she talked about the time an immigration officer asked for her yearbook and graduation photo and other personal details that caused her to miss her flight to Israel.

This cost her P19,000. She was forced to book another flight to Israel the next day worth P27,000.

RELATED: Bureau of Immigration urged to refund flight expenses amid offloading, missed flights | ‘Power tripping?’: Pinay traveler misses flight due to lengthy immigration interview

Reports about this video soon triggered widespread criticisms against the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

Some social media accounts, meanwhile, took the funny route and expressed their frustrations in the form of memes.

The Facebook page FTTM, short for “Follow The Trending Movement,” uploaded two memes that referenced the immigration process at the airport on March 13.

One meme showed a stock photo of a man holding what looked like a book. The text in the image reads:

“Me at NAIA [Ninoy Aquino International Airport] with my yearbook in case hanapan ako ng immigration officer]:”

The other graphic featured a popular still image of Robert Downey Jr. where he seemed to be showing relief.

The text on it reads, as follows:

“Me pag nakalagpas ng immigration knowing na makakapagpost na ko ng airport stories:”

Filipinos normally post airport photos and videos to document their travels on their social media accounts.

The entertainment company PGAG also uploaded an infographic that cited a yearbook, a prayer book and a cult necklace as supposed “starter kit” for first-time travelers to pass the immigration interview.

“Dasal na lang talaga,” the caption of the post reads.

Twitter user @Geno5787, meanwhile, likened the questions of immigration officers to Filipino travelers to those of a popular hot seat segment in “Tonight with Boy Abunda.” The late-night talk show was previously aired on ABS-CBN.

Immigration interviews were also recently a popular subject matter in comedy skits.

Macoy Dubs uploaded a video that showed him acting as an immigration officer who loves to small talk with the flight passenger.

“Immigration officer but chika,” the text in the video reads.


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A post shared by Macoy Averilla (@macoydubs)

A TikTok content creator named Steven Basil, meanwhile, portrayed a presumptuous immigration officer who has a knack to offload passengers in his video.

“Mahaderang immigration officer,” the text in the video skit reads.

@steven_bansil Kung ganito Immigration Officer mo? #foryoupage #fyp #immigration ♬ original sound – Steven Bansil

Another content creator Fonz, with the handle @fonz made a video from the passenger’s point of view.

In his scenario, he asked the immigration officer to travel with him to avoid being offloaded.

@ribspPaano ba hindi ma-offload♬ original sound – fonz

In an update about the fiasco involving the BI, the immigration officer involved in the yearbook request was reportedly removed from his position amid the pending investigation.