On Saturday, June 6th, I woke up and discovered I live in a different Region of the Philippines. Without actually moving, I now live in the NIR. Negros Island Region. I went to sleep Friday night living in the Western Visayas but woke up Saturday morning living in the NIR. Imagine that.
President Aquino used his pen and by executive order, he created the new Negros Island Region. “Say it ain't so,” some said in bewilderment. It is so. The President feels this move will boost the economic and social development of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental.
Before, Negros Occidental was in the Western Visayas and Negros Oriental was in the Central Visayas. Regardless, Negros Island now has its own region. Hip hip hooray! I just witnessed Philippine history in action.
Despite the region classification change, some things have not changed. Most Filipinos in Negros Occidental still speak Ilonggo and most Filipinos in Negros Oriental still speak Cebuano. There are also some cultural differences that will not change. Filipinos on the west side of the island will still feel a kinship to Filipinos in Iloilo. Filipinos on the east side of the island will still feel a kinship to people in Cebu. Perhaps over time, Filipinos on Negros Island will feel more united, which I think is part of the overall move.
The region reclassification of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental is only one example of the constant changes in the Philippines. President Aquino is trying his very best to make the Philippines a better country for Filipinos and a more attractive country to foreigners.
Within the many government agencies, change is always springing forward. Personnel changes and policy changes are ever seemingly constant for the good of all. At least that is the goal.
The Bureau of Immigration and the Land Transportation Office are the two Philippine government agencies that I most often deal with on a personal level. I must submit my annual report to BI within the first 60 days of every calendar year. Since I have the permanent 13a visa, I do not have a visa to renew. However, I must renew my 13a ACR I-Card every 5 years. That is coming up in 2016. I must renew my Philippine drivers license later this year at LTO. This is done every 3 years and there have been policy changes since 2012.
Just Roll With The Flow
Complaining about frequent changes in the Philippines is not going to revert it or keep it from happening. No need to work yourself up into a frenzy. You must do what is required for you to live here.
I learned years ago to just keep on rolling with the flow. I've never encountered any change in the Philippines that has been a game changer. It may require a little legwork but I am not in a hurry. Very few things happen here at the snap of a finger. I actually enjoy the laid back lifestyle of the Philippines. Things I once thought were urgent are not urgent at all.
“Take your time” is a phrase you will often hear in the Philippines. I certainly agree with this philosophy of life. Take your time. Life is still short even if you live to be 100.
I plan to keep on with the same outlook on life. I will take my time and keep on rolling with the flow.