American expat in Philippines rescues report cards at Iloilo High School. I was on my way to Mandurriao Plaza again. Made an earlier trip to this educational institution to retrieve money stolen from my nephew Sharwin. Now I was on my way to obtain report cards that my niece and nephew needed in order to enroll at the high school in Guimaras.
Sharwin, Shaina and Melinda
I wasn't too happy. The report cards needed to be signed by the Iloilo high school's principal but the principal had called in sick. The administrative staff had refused to turn the documents over to my asawa and did not have any idea when the principal would return. I was on a mission. I wouldn't be leaving the school without the report cards.
Walked into the building where the Kommandant's office was located. I had spoken to him before regarding the teacher that had taken my nephew's money in my earlier visit.
Camouflaged students, one playing the guitar, were seated outside of the Kommandant's headquarters. A student soldier knocked on their leader's door and informed him an American was here to see him. I was immediately ushered in.
Photo Source: www.militaryphotos.net
Shook hands with the Kommandant and explained my situation. I expressed disbelief that no one in the high school other than the principal had the authority to release the report card for my niece and nephew.
He escorted me to a Filipina lady who was a department head and who would be able to help me with my problem. Let's call her "Ma'am."
I related my story to "Ma'am." She asked me to please sit and wait and since the teacher's faculty room where I was located had good air con, I gladly complied.
After 10 or 15 minutes "Ma'am" returned. She advised me that the report cards could not be released without the principal's signature and that the principal had called in sick.
"Yes, I already know that Ma'am. Is there no else in charge that can sign the cards and release them to me?" I asked.
"No, sir," was the reply.
"Ma'am, can I have the cards without the principal's signature?" I inquired. "The principal at the high school in Guimaras knows us and will accept the report cards without the principal's signature"
"Let me check, sir, please wait," she answered.
10 minutes passed. "Ma'am" returned.
"I'm sorry, sir, we cannot release the report cards," she informed me.
"Ma'am, I am not leaving here without the cards. I will stay here all day if necessary but I'm not going anywhere without them. My niece and nephew are missing school in Guimaras because of this delay" I firmly responded as I stood up and walked out the door, back to the Kommandant's office. I had my fill of this bureaucratic bungling.
As I took a seat in the Kommandant's waiting area, surrounded by the student soldiers, "Ma'am" quickly entered the Commander's office. A few words in the local Ilonggo language were exchanged and "Ma'am" approached me again.
"Sir, would you accept a photocopy of the report cards?" she asked.
"No, Ma'am. I am not leaving without anything but the originals." I replied.
"Ma'am" informed me she would text the principal. A flurry of text messages were exchanged.
Sir, would you sign a waiver stating you received the cards without the principal's signature?" she inquired.
"Yes, Ma'am," I answered. " I would sign a deal with the devil if that's what it took to get those report cards."
Ma'am smiled. "Let me get the waiver prepared, sir. Come with me."
The waiver was prepared. It stated that I would "suffer the consequences" of taking the report cards without the principal's signature.
"I'm prepared to 'suffer the consequences', Ma'am. Here's my signature," as I handed the waiver to her.
I was handed the report cards. I thanked "Ma'am" and apologized if I was disrespectful in any way.
"No, sir, you weren't. I understand you love your family and want to get the children enrolled in school," was her answer.
Hopped in the jeepney. Called my asawa. Cards were secured. Blood pressure was now going down. Life in the Philippines.
Update: Another trip to the high school had to be made to retrieve the "137 forms" that the high school in Guimaras needed. The principal was now hospitalized. The necessary documents were going to be released to us right away by a department head but we were told by the administrator of records that we could not get them that day. I went back to the Kommandant. We walked out of the high school an hour later with the 137 forms.