I'm back, more or less. In the Philippines staying at my aunt's house (glorious! fast! internet!) with a new definition of luxury, namely:

  • running hot water of sufficient quantity to shower with
  • easily accessible potable water - doesn't even have to be from the tap
  • my own bed in my own room, which is free from most potentially disease-carrying vermin, especially bugs that bite
  • air conditioning and/or heating, as appropriate to the climate
  • breathable air that doesn't trigger the mucous factory in my lungs
  • adequate nutritious and edible food, including vegetarian options
  • clean, indoor, functional, SEATED toilets
  • for bonus points, reliable electricity and net access
  • for I'm-in-heaven bonus points, proximity to a public library

If I can consistently achieve this lifestyle by the time I retire, I'll consider myself to have lived in the lap of luxury. On Monday, I fly back to the United States. When I reach Chicago, I'm going to need to talk with my parents about dual citizenship. I didn't know you could do that with Filipino/US citizenship until I talked with my aunt a few days ago and found out that she and her twin boys were all dual, mostly because it makes it easier for them to go back and forth to visit family, and because the kids are half-Filipino by blood and should have the option of legally keeping their ties to that country. Then I saw this.

A child who is 18 years of age or above at the time of the parent’s reacquisition of Philippine citizenship but was born when either parent was still a Filipino citizen, is considered to have been a natural born Filipino and may apply for reacquisition of Philippine citizenship on his/her own behalf. In addition, the applicant must show proof that either or both parents were Filipino citizens at the time of his/her birth.

Since my parents were still green-carders at the time of my birth, it sounds like I am probably eligible for dual citizenship. If this is indeed true, we'll need to figure out whether this is something I should do.

Having an American passport is a magical thing; doors open, immigration smiles (...sometimes), visas are granted, customs doesn't work you over with a fine-toothed comb. Compared to my relatives with Filipino passports, getting permission to Go Places is a cinch. Studying and working in the US likewise. Everyone I know that carries a Filipino passport tells me how lucky I am to bear a dark blue American one. So why would I want a green one?

Well, the Philippines is a cool country as well, and it's where we come from. I visit often, and this would make extended visits easier. I'd like to go back and live there for a while, maybe teach or start a business or something for several years. Being able to vote is nice (the political situation needs all the help it can get). And... well, why not? Taxes don't have to be double-paid (pay in the country you earn it in, basically) and I can choose which passport/national identity to show when I'm traveling wherever.

But I really don't know the slightest thing about dual citizenship and its pros and cons. Thoughts? Advice? If it's a possibility, should I pursue it?