Pinay vlogger misses flight in NAIA due to ‘irrelevant questioning’ Immigration Officer; BI apologizes
Manila, Philippines – Cham Tanteras, fashion stylist, freelance writer and vlogger ranted on Tiktok about her experience missing a Gulf Air flight to Israel and Palestine in December 2022 because of the immigration officer who reportedly asked questions irrelevant to her itinerary.
Shortly after the video was posted, the Bureau of Immigration (BI), however, has since issued a public apology in its Facebook account to a passenger (without mentioning Cham’s name) as well as the other Filipino passengers for the “inconvenience” that the situation might have caused.
Tanteras, however, is not satisfied with the apology ang has release another Tiktok video in response to BI’s statement.
In a viral video called “immigration rant,” posted on Tiktok, Cham shared her ordeal, which began as she lined up at the NAIA Terminal 1 immigration counter between 7 to 8 am on December 21, 2022. The queues were long at that time.
The female traveler, however, was surprised when the immigration officer began quizzing her about her motive for the trip.
She was likewise asked further irrelevant questions asked certain immigration officer named “Abdullah” based on his nameplate.
“The line was so long, since I’m a solo traveler but it’s not my first time traveling solo. Of course, the immigration officer kept asking questions about my flights, my previous flights, my reason for traveling, which was supposed to be just spending Christmas in Jesus’ birth places,” Cham said on her video post.
The immigration officer went on to ask questions about her reason for travel. She was later directed to go through the BI head office in NAIA Terminal 1 where she would be asked more questions.
“I wasn’t asked right away; I waited for like more than 30 minutes or almost an hour for my turn,” the Siargao-based vlogger added.
This time, Tanteras said she was questioned if her parents had separated and if she had her yearbook with her. “Who brings a yearbook going to Israel? Who brings yearbook when you travel,” she said in disbelief.
As she did not bring her yearbook, Tanteras who graduated from college 10 years ago, said she was advised to present if she’d brought a graduation photo with her.
“I recall that I have a wacky photo of me in my toga. And then I showed it to him, and he said, ‘okay, that’s fine,” she said.
“And then he found I have a DTI of my business, freelance stuff, and he was asking what [I’m doing] here in Siargao. So I had to explain in detail in an essay form what boodle means,” she said.
At that instance, according to her, airport ground personnel kept returning to the immigration office to inform her that it was her final call and she must proceed to the boarding gate.
The ground crew also asked as to whether or not the immigration officer would offboard her as they don’t “need to keep coming back.”
To which the officer said, ‘I will not offload her. Just wait for me for more questions.’
“In my mind, I was like, you don’t have plans of offloading me so why do you have to keep asking questions,” Tanteras said. “Up until he finally stamped my passport, that I was allowed to go.”
Tanteras narrated that she sprinted with the airport staff. Unfortunately, it was too late because her boarding gate had closed. Thus she missed her flight.
When she inquired what she should do, she was told to “just rebook your flight” for the following day. But her two connecting flights the next day is to Tel Aviv. Gulf Air however did not rebook her flight.
“Long story short, I booked another flight the next day. Another airline. In Terminal 3 there was no problem at all. The process was smooth in Terminal 3 and that was it,” Tanteras said.
She however had to spend P27,000 just to book another flight from another airline to proceed with her travel.
That excludes the P19,000 she spent to buy the ticket for the Gulf Air flight that she missed.
“So thank you immigration officer Abdullah. I have to miss my flight I have to pay for it. You don’t have any accountability cheers to them,” Cham said at the end of her video rant