·That people density and air humidity tend to increase in direct proportion to one’s proximity to NSO.
·That NSO doesn’t have a car park for its public but a block away is a gasoline service station with two or three spaces that seem to be (miraculously) always available.
·That NSO has bred, around its vicinity, thriving micro businesses that deal in sama-lamig, snacks, ball pen and abaniko, as well as – don’t ask me why -- vegetable and plant seeds, all of which I bought (yes, including the seeds); but that there’s a market demand yet unfilled for smelling salts, tranquilizers, and – now seriously -- “how to transact at NSO” information manuals (hmm … teka nga).
·That you might really need an abaniko as the old and decrepit and frail have been known to collapse inside, in spite of misting devices at areas where crowds are densest.
·That going to NSO can sharpen your cunning, resourcefulness, and information seeking -- for how else would you know how to proceed, without information posters, handouts, or desks you do not have to line up for an hour for.
· That, even as guards valiantly double up as information officers, the best way to get information on how to get your records – especially if you are a special case like I was -- is to get out, call their delivery service number, and talk with a well-informed officer not necessarily only to get your records delivered.
·That the queues of people are so long that if you come after mid morning you might be given number 4999 when the one currently being served is No. 409.
·That they will refuse to serve you when you come at mid-afternoon but you won’t know it, if you didn’t ask, until you have already braved some lines.
· That guards would permit you to enter almost anywhere the place and people would allow you to cut any which line with a smile as long as you brandish a senior citizen’s card, but you won’t know of this happy privilege until you have begun to grow more wrinkles. In other words, seniors don’t need a number, so what was I doing with number 4998?
·That, in my case, I had to apply for my record, wait two days, and come back to confirm I do not have any record (which I have known all along) and thus what I got was a certificate of “no record” which I carry with me to the city (hall) registry of my birth which in turn will search for my record in their own archives and when they confirm what I tried to tell them (that I don’t have a record) will proceed to late-register me (I am told this will take several months) and then send that late registration to NSO where I have to queue all over again. (I felt – hingal -- rundown writing this, so excuse the run-in clause.)
·That NSO must like their customers around for why else – instead of flinging the exit door wide open -- do they make it so difficult for them to get out of the premises?
·That NSO can be an efficiency expert’s dream project.
· That Filipinos are normally a patient people and that I am not normal.
Watch out for the “city hall” episode on part 2.