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'Traumatized' Pinoy traveler 'throws away' P15,000 after missing int'l flight due to immigration interview

By NICK GARCIA Published Jul 10, 2023 2:21 pm

A traveler from Laguna missed his first trip abroad after the Bureau of Immigration (BI) allegedly made him wait for so long and subjected him to unnecessary questioning.

Aldrin Clark Edward "Ace" Bicomong on July 1 took to Facebook to air his frustrations, saying he threw away P15,000 in just a night and calling what happened as the "worst experience ever."

"Totoo nga ang sabi nila about gano ka BS ang Immigration dito," he said.

Giving a timeline of events, Bicomong recalled how he was already at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 at around 6 p.m. for his 9:40 p.m. flight via Jetstar. He paid for his travel tax, checked in, and took his boarding pass.

By 8 p.m., he said he went to the BI's office for interview. There was a second interview, he noted, as it's his first time leave the Philippines. He was "patiently waiting."

But little did Bicomong know that things will take a turn for the worse.

By 9 p.m., he said he asked for a follow-up since it's just 40 minutes before his flight. He was then told to take a seat and wait for an immigration officer's call.

By 9:30 p.m., it was already boarding time and Bicomong was still waiting to be interviewed.

Jetstar made a last call at 9:40 p.m., and the plane left between 9:45 p.m. and 9:50 p.m., he said.

"Nagtake-off na yung plane saka nyoko kinall-out? Tapos sasabihin nyo na di nyo kasalanan na naiwan ng flight?" he said, adding he was told to just rebook his flight.

Bicomong noted the questions during the second interview was the same as the first, and when it was finally done, he said the immigration officers "gaslighted" him with, "sayang naman sir di kayo umabot."

He had no choice but to try to rebook the following morning, so long as he can leave as planned. But he said Jetstar didn't offer flights during his preferred date.

His ticket was then tagged as a no show, making it invalid and non-refundable even though he checked in on time.


Bicomong lamented the lack of sleep, the waiting time, the exhaustion, and the hunger he endured, only to go to Laguna empty-handed.

"Akala ata nila nasisimot lang yung ganung pera," he said. "Gusto ko lang naman mag vent out ng stress. Ay lalong na stress sa nangyari."

He said the incident traumatized him, so much so that he doesn't want to leave the Philippines anymore.

His post got over 103,000 reactions (mostly "Sad" and "Angry"), 17,000 comments, and 37,000 shares.

The BI has yet to issue a statement on the matter.

PhilSTAR L!fe also reached out to the agency for comment, but has yet to receive a reply.