20 November 2006

Off to Vancouver

JUST GOT off the phone with Cheech, Nene Guevara's tireless alter ego at Synergeia Foundation. Her contact at the Canadian Embassy said Vice Mayor Gabby Bordado's visa application had been approved, and will be ready for pickup tomorrow.

That was a huge relief for us, paving the way for our week-long visit to the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, where we are slated to discuss details of a proposed course that will bring UBC graduate students to Naga City. We will also visit the Vancouver School Board, and using contacts that Reuel Oliver of the city investment board will furnish us, touch base with a Canadian institute that specializes in computer animation.

If things proceed as planned, it will surely be another "police academy" milestone: the last-minute DILG travel authority, one of the last seats for our return flight that is just a hairline above budget, and then the visa approval which, 24 hours ago, seemed to be beyond reach.

Fedex-Airfreight 2100 will have a lot of explaining to do. To send documents to the Canadian embassy, one pays a premium rate of P320. But the additional document we sent last November 15 reached the embassy two days later. And we had no inkling about the unfolding fiasco, until Cheech came to the rescue. Talk about lousy service of the highest order! And customers do not have a choice. Maybe it's high time the Canadian Embassy reviews its relationship with this courier company. Going by our most recent experience, its clients deserve something better.