Remembering My PRC Day: The Pinnacle of My Names’ Corrections
16 April 2009. A Thursday. The day before the last day of filing for NLE at PRC. We arrived at CDO past 3pm. That was after I went to Tambacan and Dean Gaid for her signature. at 4AM Martin went to NSO for our certificate of marriage. He saw Mimi and Karen and Michael there. Martin and I then met and had lunch at Mandarin before we traveled to CDO.
I could not forget that day. It was the culmination of the erroneous names I’ve had had for the past thirty decades! What I’ve always known was that my surname was erroneous. At the PRC, however, with the trained eyes of the senior evaluator, my first name too had an error!
I’ve prepared for this day a year before. In June 2008, I’ve filed for the correction of PALLER to FALLER through my younger sister, Annabelle. She had to go home to our hometown and travel for a day for such an errand! Kim went with her that time. What made my case more complicated was, in fact, on my birth certificate, it was recorded PALER. The legal world finds this rather unacceptable. Well, I am just a victim here of sheer ignorance!
Anyway, I paid a little more than a thousand for the application of change of spelling for my surname at our Municipal Registrar. At last, on the first week of March 2009, the security paper from NSO finally arrived! I immediately submitted it to the MSHC Registrar’s Office. I felt relieved that the FALLER I’ve been using at MSHC was finally legal and official. And that I would not have problems with PRC then.
Voila! When I was facing the lady at PRC window 1, she saw something on my NSO document! My first name had only one word MARYANN! Looking at me through her spectacles, she told me to have an affidavit that one word name is in fact two words MARY ANN! I was beginning to feel the knot on my stomach tightening – that was already 4 o’clock in the afternoon! My classmate Mimi had bade me byebye at least 30minutes ago! Classmate Vina finished hers in the morning as she left Iligan at dawn with her husband. I wouldn’t like to come back again here the following day! Another thing was, the lady noticed that on my Certificate of Marriage, my family name was still PALLER. She also wanted me to add that on the Affidavit!
My brain cells were on somersault searching for a lawyer’s name that I knew of based in CDO… Common, I forgot the name of Abing’s friend who we visited one time at RTC Branch13 just a block away from PRC! I later remembered her to be Gerlie Luis! And she called me ate huh… Anyway, my brain was able to recall Roel Camorro, ninong of Kim! Good that I still have his number on my cel. I dialed and God blessed me it rang! And my fears that he could be out of town or on-leave were appeased. “Si, where are you here in CDO? I really need your help for an affidavit ….blah..blah…blah…” He instructed me to proceed to his Office. While in taxi, I already sent him a text message of my concern. Good that Martin’s with me and he knew CDO well. In 5minutes, we were in Roel’s Legal Office!
After few words & hugs’ greetings, Roel said “Let’s get down to business then!” Facing him was his computer, an unfinished document already there on the screen. He perused through my documents while instructing clients entering the Office to sit down and wait, mumbling, “an erroneous first name and an erroneous surname…” After few clarifications by questions and answers, the affidavit’s printed! I also asked him to make me another affidavit that is generic – for passport purposes. That was ten minutes to 5! He dismissed us by saying, “I would be insulted if you’d pay me!” I simply replied, “I am indeed honored to have you summarized my Being.” Roel’s undergraduate course was Philosophy (magna cum laude).
We scurried back to PRC and arrived five minutes before 5 o’clock! No more cuing, just less than 10 people around. The lady at Window 1 had her back turned arranging documents. “Ma’am…” She looked at me and raised her left eyebrow, “unsa na man?” I smiled at her and handed her the Affidavit and the rest of documents she already had checked on earlier. She read the contents and told me, “ok, you hurry to the cashier and pay and then go to the second floor.” No more cuing… while I was paying, Martin pasted 2×2 pictures on two more sheets provided and went upstairs and cued as the third client.
The girl before me was told “What time did you come here?”
“so, you should have been told to come back tomorrow!” aghhh, patay ko ani…
To make this story short – – Martin and I were out of PRC already finished … time was 5:10pm.
I texted Roel, “We did it! The lines used in friendships ‘Just call my name and I’ll be there’ and ‘I’m just a text away’ have become true to me today. Thank you for being there.”
He replied, “What are friends are for?”
[originally posted at Multiply, Jan 30, ’10 7:32 AM]