FACT: Not Everyone Can Freely Travel

A viral story spreading in my country is how a Filipino traveler bound for Israel was halted by immigration officials asking her all sorts of questions, like (1) if her parents are separated, (2) if she was a graduate or not. And when she said she was a graduate, the immigration official asked for her yearbook.

Imagine that. You're trying to catch a flight to another country, and the immigration official decides, "You can't go to your flight unless you show us your college yearbook from 10 years ago RIGHT NOW."

Because of so much questioning in immigration, she missed her $344+ flight and had to pay $489 for a new flight ticket.

The viral story has led others to share their own similar experiences with immigration officials. (More info on the story:

I'm sharing this here to highlight what I've said here before: Not everyone in this world can freely travel to other countries. You're lucky if you're from a country with a strong passport that allows you to breeze through immigration officials. A lot of us don't have that privilege. You could be a f'ng Ph.D. holder, and an immigration official can easily stop for a hour of questioning; for all we know, they might even ask you to explain in length what your dissertation is about. Heck, the example I gave was someone from the middle class who actually had money to spend (but not that much). How much more for regular folk?

Imagine if we just want to travel to wrestle someone. Imagine all of the questioning one has to undergo just to wrestle someone in another guy. Heck, if I said point blank that I'm traveling to another country to wrestle someone, the immigration official might question me by saying that I look too unfit and unmuscular to be wrestling, or I may be asked to give a impromptu oral essay on my wrestling style and whatever my previous matches were. And even then, that's no assurance that immigration officials will let you pass or not.

So yeah: traveling around the world is a privilege. If you have that privilege, enjoy it and make good use of it.

Last edited on 3/15/2023 3:48 PM by DM Mask
Votes disabled.



osakarob (35 )

7 days ago

Interesting story. It appears that the corruption of the immigration official who was hoping for a bribe from the traveler played an important part in her missing her flight. It's a helpful reminder that when traveling one should not assume transparency, honesty, and rule of law are evenly distributed across the world.


KOFistBoxer (1)

7 days ago

I would absolutely agree that long-distance travel, especially expensive or international, is not possible or easy for everyone. I would agree that not all government officials (immigration or otherwise) are fair, reasonable or honest. Definitely agree that standards and protocols will vary greatly by country or region.

All that being said, it's also very important to remember, not all stories printed on the internet are true, fewer and fewer "reporters" are honest and not pushing any kind of agenda, and not every video of someone complaining on social media is and honest one where the person accurately describes events the way they actually transpired, with no spin that is attempting to sway the viewers to their side.

Yes, on its face, a customs official asking to see a yearbook photo sounds ridiculous.... if it actually happened.

Either way, I would say it's a good idea for people people to be careful and attentive, know the local customs and protocols for a given region, know what scams or dangers to look out for, keep in mind the reputation of law enforcement, and try an be as prepared as possible in regards to travel. In regards to this site I would just say people should not expect or insist others travel to them if they wouldn't consider the opposite (especially long distance/international) and to be considerate to other people 's situations. Best of luck.


randyrobts (9)

5 days ago

I no doubt believe it is difficult for some people to travel due to restrictive laws. Whether this particular incident occur is unknown but I’ll believe the good intentions of the teller. However, it is a conversation that seems out of place on this site.


bluetiger (6 )

3 days ago

(In reply to this)

This actually happened. It's on our local news.