If you’ve ever traveled abroad, you’ve probably had to deal with immigration personnel of some kind. And if you’re like most people, not all of those experiences have been exactly ideal. Of course, you can’t really blame the immigration workers–after all they have stressful jobs and have to deal with grumpy travelers who’ve just stepped off long flights.
You might say that they should focus on increasing the number of immigration personnel, streamlining the immigration process, or at least giving travelers free bottles of beer. And, in fact, the Philippines Bureau of Immigration agrees with you about the first two–but they also had another idea: Flash mobs!
Trust us; it’s a better idea than it probably sounds at first.
Apparently the Philippines Bureau of Immigration, or BI, felt they had a bit of a public image problem. Now, we can’t really say whether or not that’s true–though we doubt they were any worse than most immigration bureau’s around the world. After all, who is actually happy about some random person going through their bags after a 10-hour flight? Heck, even if it was our favorite Ghibli gal, we’d still be pretty annoyed.
▼Not pictured below: Happy people.
However, the BI wanted “to make foreign visitors feel right at home the minute they set foot in the Philippines,” as they stated on their official webpage. As such, they started a new program given the somewhat awkward title BI-CARES, which is apparently an abbreviation for Bureau of Immigration Courtesy, Accountability, Responsibility, Efficiency, and Services. The program actually seems fairly well thought out–it increases the number of helpful workers at the airport in addition to improving the process for travelers. The program is also designed to stop human traffickers looking to exploit Filipinos and has already stopped six people from being taken, so we’d say they’re off to a pretty good start.
▼Immigration Control: The Musical, soon appearing on Broadway
But BI-CARES is also designed to improve the agency’s public image and help people feel at home. Again, we’d just go with free beer, but we suppose supplying exhausted travelers alcohol isn’t exactly a recipe for success. Instead, the Bureau of Immigration decided to give travelers a show by performing a flash mob/dance routine!
▼We applaud your dance skills…but where’s the beer?
▼You know, forget the beer, give us an encore!
The dance, which features everything from synchronized arm waving to cartwheels, is meant to embody BI’s new direction and their new motto “Good Guys In, Bad Guys Out,” which is pretty catchy–but it does kind of remind us of surgical masks. Regardless, the dance video, set to the uber-popular Pharrell song “Happy,” is undoubtedly fun. We admit that we wouldn’t have complained about being in line at the immigration counter at that airport, so mission accomplished!
Strap on your happy face and check out the video below!
That’s some pretty good dancing if you ask us! Sure, it might not be a night at the ballet, but it does beat our Vine Boin Bounce dance. (Shhhhh! Don’t tell Mr. Sato we said that!) Also, that was some pretty good cinematography–we’re glad it wasn’t all just shaky smartphone footage. Hopefully you’re not sick of that Pharrell song yet though, since we’re pretty sure you’ll be hearing it again as soon as you turn on the radio…
So, good job, Philippines Bureau of Immigration! We’re already looking forward to waiting your lines! Though, seriously, look into that free beer thing…