Hello, Friend!

By Sarah Aterrado - March 23, 2023

Jan renewed his driver's license today. I already renewed mine last year so I shared with him my experience to set his expectations—the entire renewal process may take the entire day.

Since his license has already expired, I drove him to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in the morning. His appointment was at 8am. I decided to leave the car keys with him because I reckon he would be done in the afternoon, and he could just fetch Rhett right after school. Then I took a jeepney on my way back.

I decided to eat breakfast the moment I got home, and just when I was about to take my first bite, I received a message from him.

"All done. Mga ten minutes ra."

Like what?!

Since when did LTO's system improve?!

Had I known, I could have just waited for him. It's un-be-lie-va-ble. 

But what really surprised me was his new found friend, Nica Friend or "my friend" as what people fondly call him. He is the most bubbly, fun, and probably the only smiling personnel in LTO Region 11 all of the government offices in Davao, or maybe even in the entire Philippines.

He is super friendly. He randomly gives out biscuits and water (which were also given by his fans). He shares tips and insights (especially to new drivers and violators). He brings good vibes to everyone. And most importantly, he is warm, fast, and efficient—something most of our government employees apparently lack.

I started watching his videos when Jan told me about him and you could see me always grinning from ear to ear. I'm pretty amazed at how he can make the the drivers cooperate and dance with him too. Whatever sorcery you are doing, keep it up, friend.

Now, I'm probably the only person in this country who is slightly upset for having a driver's license that expires in ten years because I'd really like to experience, even for once, not getting exasperated with the slow and inefficient government frontline services. But I seriously doubt he will still be there when the time comes. With his affable nature and genuine public service, he will surely go places.

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