Winter Woes

Last Saturday I woke up early about 6am, to drop a house guest at the subway station. As usual, this time of the year is cold and the snow storm that passed a couple of days ago had left tons of snow all over the place but the roads have been plowed and salted. Suffice to say it is still bloody winter and I am undeniably in the midst of it. After dropping Tim Horton’s drive thru for a couple of coffee to go, I dropped my relative at the subway station and proceeded to drive home taking the regular street and not the highway. It was still a bit dark and this time of the year you’d feel like the sun has difficulty rising in the morning. I moved my radio channel from the monotonous news to music and the device blurted out the 5th Dimension’s century old hit – ” Let the sunshine, let the sunshine, the sunshine in“. Now don’t rub it in. We’re still at the height of the damn winter and I HATE IT to my guts 👿

I disdain winter but love this city and like to live here – how can that be? I have thought about it and realized that I can’t do much about it. Winter is like a nagging housewife or an autocratic boss you have to live with and can’t seem to rid of . You either take or leave them. Maybe there will come a time that I will just pack up and leave, much like giving up on a relationship. This winter season is particularly miserable. The amount of snow to date already surpassed what we had for the last 2 years and reportedly the worst in the last 30 years . So much about global warming. Now I’m thinking that Al Gore is bullshitting about his planet in peril pitch. I never thought I would need a snowplow until I become a septuagenarian but it looks like I have to set my sights on one next year and clear a portion of my garage to accommodate the little monster 👿

So much of being a Pieces and hating winter 😯 I’m looking forward to the school March break when I can drive down south to the Carolinas to escape this freezer to get a glimpse of the sun for a week. Winter officially ends March 21 and it’s not an overly long wait. Officially and actually are two different things though 😐



Here’s one news that I thought would come sooner than later – someone suing the government for over charging its immigration fees. This is actually a class action suit , which means that those who have been victims of this alleged exploitation are entitled to a part of the $702M compensation being sought. The money allegedly represents the net profit the government made from tourist visa fees alone for the last 10 years. Now, how much these lawyers fees would amount to is another topic of discussion 🙂 Right off the bat the scheme sounds a bit complex doesn’t it ? Well, for one I would be one of those who was “exploited” because when I extended my in-laws’ tourist visas when they were here to babysit our daughter for a year when my wife returned to work I paid $75 for each of their visas.

Frankly, I’m not expecting anything back but I’d love this lawsuit to be a start of further investigation into the fairness of their immigration fees across the board. Immigration fees nowadays are hefty if not prohibitive. What is more aggravating is the fact that one pays for application fees without any assurance of success. Take the case of a simple tourist visa application. At the Canadian Embassy in Manila the consul can look at you and may not like your mole at he left cheek and deny your application. The money you paid – $75 for a single entry or $150 for a multiple entry is gone in a jiffy 😦 Let’s not even get to the immigration application fees they charge nowadays which has gone more than 10 times we paid in the 80’s . Duh, immigration is one darn good business 👿


28 Responses

  1. Same here. Winter gets me depressed. I don’t ski or snowboard so my life is boring in winter 😦

  2. Global warming is a reality. I think Al Gore makes sense.

    Hmmm.. $75 for a single entry visa? Pricey.

  3. You betcha! Immigration fees are so darn expensive! Not just on your part but here as well.

    hang in there bro, the winter will be over soon….tara, let’s go to Boracay na!

  4. I hate the cold and I hate the snow…
    I can easily understand you… good that the Winter will be “officially” over in a few weeks.

  5. What’s worse than overcharging is the fact that they get to keep your money should they decide to deny you entry. Heh, sounds more like highway robbery to me. And their stupid thinking is that, if you can afford to come to my country you surely can afford to pay the hefty fee…

  6. hello bw! di ko masabing, i feel you. kasi walang snow dito sa amin. pero naman, pagdating sa lamig eh sobra sobra! i swear, ang gas and eletric bill ko tripled these past two months. kaya i can’t wait for spring, para medyo milder naman ang weather. this would those times when i’d say, give me some sun dammit! hahahah, have a great day 😀

  7. I’m a tropical person, so I don’t think I’d be able to handle snowy winters. My sis lives in Alaska and has to deal with that. I’m glad the weather where I live rarely goes below 50 degrees fahrenheit. 😀

  8. Irrealis – winter is so depressing indeed. I have been watching too many DVD’s lately to pass time 🙂 I also found out that I haven’t watched
    about 10% of the DVD’s in my stock – now is my time to watch them 🙂

  9. Ryan_b – dunno now but the global warming care might be a speculationmore than fact. Maybe the snow we have this winter is just an aberration 😦
    Yes, $75 bucks is a little pricey for a single entry.

  10. Thess – immigration is really good business. Truth is the quotas hardly change but the collections are increasing 😦

    LOL, I love to be in Boracay as in NOW! I just shoveled a foot of snow from my driveway this morning 🙂

  11. Sidney – I know and that’s why you moved to Pinas 🙂 I now find that 4 months is just too long a wait 😦 Maybe I’m just itching to play golf hehe 🙂

  12. Snglyguy – it is highway robbery in my opinion. Again, it may have to do with supply and demand back in Pinas but for goodness sakes there should be some fairness in the system.

    I know some legit guys who wanted to come and visit their families here but were refused, maybe they didn’t speak well enough to convince the interviewer 😦 Some of them made it and visited mostly in summer and went back after a month. Gosh, they were decent folks who just wanted to see the place 🙂

    I was a little concerned that my in laws couldn’t get their tourist visas but I did submit the supporting papers what they asked me. We desperately needed them to baby sit our 1 year old at that time as my wife was planning to return to work. This was about 4 years ago. THe consul asked only one question to my in-laws, one at a time ” What’s the name of your son in-law ?” and they answered correctly with my real first name 🙂 If they botched the answer it could have been over and bye bye with the money. Sometimes these proceedings look idiotic hehe 😦

  13. Nell – gas and heating bills are also another thing. My house has a wood fireplace which is no longer allowed by law in new houses in line with the environmental protection initiative here. They only allow gas fireplaces here now 😦

    Winter here isn’t as cold as other places, but the snowfall had been diabolical this year and that’s what I hate the most 😦 This morning a neighbor in my block who is retired was kind enough to plow the front of my driveway with his snow plow with the 3 foot lump of snow left by the city’s plow trucks when they plowed the road 😦 Duh, I thanked the man for saving me the hard labor. Imagine, this is after I manually shoveled my entire driveway 🙂 Siguro I need to take my vacations in winter starting next year hehe 🙂

  14. Wil – lucky you 🙂 Alaska – hmmm.. they have real winters there 🙂 Ours isn’t really that cold, a few notches higher than NYC on the average. Cars here don’t have block heaters for one unlike other places. It is just the snow – it irritates me to the max 😦

  15. tourist visa fees: single entry costs 3,000. my friends got their tourist visa two weeks ago. they applied through mail. no interview of sorts with the consul.

    the US embassy increased their tourist visa fees to 130. it used to be 100. thanks to the continuing appreaciation of the phil peso. bummer. 😦

  16. The US, like Canada, is guilty of the same thing. They charge an arm and a leg on filing fees re immigration. And yes, there’s absolutely no guarantee that one would be successful. No use complaining about the system because the average American citizen is not interested in the immigration issue.

    As for winter, I plan on someday moving to a state with a warmer climate. I’m getting tired of the winter season. I love where I live but winter does get to be a hassle at times.

  17. Mari – it is now P3175 in vew of the stronger peso. It is easier to get a visa for those who can show that they’ve been travelling in an out of the country i.e. to the US, esp returnees to Canada but it can be a grind for new travellers 😦 Diplomats are actually exempt. FYI the immigration fees are astronomically high nowadays 😦

  18. Panaderos – you are absolutely right. The locals don’t give a rats ass about immigation fees coz they never have to deal with it 😦 Canada is now charging landing fee of $975 per adult over and above the processing fee of $550 duh. I remember I only paid $102 for everything and my visa was mailed to me as I was working in another country.

    I am actually thinking of filing a divorce against winter as we speak hehe 🙂 Man, I just have no love for winter any longer 😦

  19. haha. divorce against winter. cool 🙂 i don’t blame you, bro. rain brings sad thoughts to mind; what more with winter. haha.

  20. ah, i hate these immigration things – application and fees the like.

    i think it is just fair that if people are denied of visa, they should be entitled of reimbursement…or pay when approved. if not, lower application cost. that is too much.

  21. Barry – yes, I hope to file a divorce case on winter. The relationship has gone drastically cold, devoid of any warmth whatsoever hehe 🙂

  22. Ipanema – immigration is one darn good business. They call their fees as
    “immigration cost recovery fees” hehe 🙂 I’m not sure if there’s profit in it or not!

  23. Immigration recovery fees my butt… they didn’t even have to spend a cent for the paperwork. Kumbaga… laway lang ang ginagamit nila.

  24. Sngl – precisely the point of the lawsuit – that the true cost of processing tourist visas appears to be half of what they currently charge 😦

  25. Hehe… hirap talaga ng winter… I don’t think I can stand more than a few days of it. 🙂 But I guess your city has a lot to compensate for it naman… you just have to live with it. 🙂

    $75 is not so expensive for a one-year visa. Here, it’s US$75… for only three months.

  26. Toe – yes, we do have many ways here to cushion the effects of winter in order to maintain our sanity hehe 🙂 In my case, shoveling snow from my driveway and the walkway had gotten into my nerves 😦

    3 months is way too short ! I always thought that visit visas are 6 months and can be extended up to a year .

  27. I don’t like cold weather so even if I haven’t experienced winter, I think I’m gonna hate it as well. But looking back, it’s funny how we as kids used to long for snow so we could build a snowman and play in a white field throwing snow balls at each other all day long. 🙂

  28. Abaniko – I really don’t mind winter if it comes for only one month in the year LOL 🙂

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