Tuesday, January 22, 2008

World Citizen



A few weeks ago, I was finally able to accomplish and finalize the recognition, dual citizenship, or whatever you want to call it, papers that essentially make me a citizen of both the Philippines and the United States.

With the help of some friends, I was able to achieve a worthwhile task with little investment. Equipped with the required documents, some IDs, a couple of mugshots, and the right connections, I obtained my Philippine passport at the DFA in Manila, rendering me free to stay as long as I'd like in either country without worrying about penalties or deportation. With that little maroon booklet, I came one more step closer to becoming a citizen of the world.

Although I didn't encounter much hassle at the DFA, the necessities of processing Liza's, Thurman's, and my paperwork have always made me ponder as to why divisions and barriers existed between nations at all, when we all should have the right to travel anywhere around the world--our own natural birthplace. This freedom to travel wherever we please would add more meaning to democracy and equality among humans. The lack of borders would no doubt make many people's lives much easier and more efficient as equal opportunity is extended internationally.

I thought about such ideas and browsed about the internet for like-minded thinking. What I came across caught my interest. It appears that whole organizations are devoted to the ideas of internationalism, world citizenship, and world government and democracy. In fact, there are even protocol and doctrine-backed documents like the World Passport, the World Identity Card, the World Birth Certificate, the World Marriage Certificate, the World Political Asylum Card and the World Press Card (for members of the World Media Association). (For more information, see World Government of World Citizens, World Citizen Foundation, and Association of World Citizens)

Furthermore, over 150 nations have accepted the World Passport on a de facto or case-by-case basis and a few nations have accepted it on a de juris or juridical basis. I was so interested by it that I thought I'd give it a try myself and purchase a World Passport but I had my own set of barriers (financial).

And as I thought about it further and analyzed the concept, I saw possible problems with such a unification. The most obvious problem would be if the concept was magnified and applied to the household unit level. Extending one's freedom to travel where they please including another's home or property would most likely clash with our territorial instincts, not to mention current laws and constitutional rights.

Also, with the abolishment of geopolitical divisions and national borders, I am afraid mass migrations would occur, causing an extremely high population density in places in high demand. Moreover, the issues of overpopulation and the scarcity of resources would be even more pronounced as goods would need to be dispersed among everyone around the world, possibly creating more chaos and quarrels than there already is.

Not only that, but an over-blending of populations may suffer the same fate as melting pot nations like the United States. In such countries, where assimilation of many immigrants of different races takes place, detachment of civilian units and loss of respective cultures may occur as individualism arises.

Both angles provide some good points, but they also have some weak areas. But if we are to open our minds, consider both sides, and take the best of both concepts in moderation, perhaps we can create a world where sovereign states have closer cooperation and peaceful interaction, all citizens' human rights and freedom are respected regardless of nationality, and heritage and cultural traditions are preserved.



12 comments:

Jepoi said...

Whew!!! I love traveling... but u know what, I think PASSPORTS are really necessary... for terrorists to be identified... What I want to be abolished is that VISA thing... It discriminates....

bertN said...

Congratulation on being a citizen of the Philippines and of the United States at the same time!

If you are carrying both passports when you travel, be sure to show only one when you go through the immigration section at your port of entry to avoid potential problems with less knowledgeable immigration officers.

supermanix said...

congrats

Roth Family Adventures said...

Congrats on achieving dual citizenship.

This is a very interesting post, weighing both sides of having a border-free world. But as you concluded, it probably would not work for a myriad of reasons. As long as humans and lived on this planet there have been borders. From nomadic tribes to settlements to colonies to nations, borders have always existed. That'll never change.

Anonymous said...

I am almost inclined to re-acquire my Filipino citizenship. Do you have to pay some sort of Taxes earned in the US to the Philippine government?
I could not imagine, they will give you a renewal of the passport in the future without showing proof of tax payments.

from Dubai said...

Advance Happy Birthday!!!

Midas said...

Congratulations on your dual cit...does it mean you have to pay taxes to two countries?

Joey said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVID... I NOTICED NA NGAYON PALA YUNG BDAY MO..

YOUR LIFE IS AN INSPIRATION FOR ME. KEEP POSTING...

jograd said...

Good day bro! You just celebrated your birthday pala, Happy Birthday - Pinoy style \../

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to You!!! May God Bless you always...

judd salas said...

hi david! happy birthday! thanks for sharing this article with me. i love it. you are on your way to being a citizen of the world. make the whole world your oyster shell. and let us know how you've been growing. kindest regards, judd salas

Lester Cavestany said...

While most Filipinos eagerly ditch their Philippine citizenship and passport in exchange for a Western one, you're going against the flow and showing your countrymen in the Philippines that we should always remember our ancestry and hold on to our roots. Mabuhay ka!

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