Although Filipino travelers are not explicitly affected by the Trump Administration’s controversial executive order now in partial effect, the recent events at Marawi City causing a subsequent Martial Law declaration to the entire Mindanao has resulted to other countries becoming more on guard around Filipinos.
It doesn’t come as a surprise, though, that people are kept on their toes at this time. The Philippines has been catching more worldwide media attention by the day due to our own political and social issues and Trump himself couldn’t help but tag the country as a “terrorist nation” during his campaign. Filipinos are still generally welcome to US shores, but that alone won’t protect us from the everyday bigotry we might face.
There’s also that unsettling feeling of not being able to depend on the current Philippine Administration for assistance when the need arises. President Rodrigo Duterte had once claimed he would not “lift a finger” to help affected Filipinos in America, if any.
Visa applications are expected to be much stricter now too, although not as much as they would be for Muslim-majority countries, namely Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen. It might not be a requirement for Filipino tourists yet, but being able to prove that you have a “bona fide relationship” with a U.S. citizen has become the new criterion for getting approved.
It’s still safe to say that the Philippines remains to be a country of less concern to America. However, this doesn’t mean it won’t be in the future. In the meantime, it’s always best to stay alert when flying out of the country not only to the States, but to anywhere around the world.
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