Basic Speech 3

Toastmaster Speech

More than a year ago, a very exciting moment in my youthful career came to reality, a fantasy I could not imagine even in my wildest dream. 


Last November 9, 2007, I was sent to Lexington, Kentucky, United States of America for a very tough mission to get done.  The task is to test and certify Lexmark 3650, Lexmark 4650 and Dell V305 to be compliant with the EMC standards set by US, Europe and other countries.  It made me ecstatic knowing that I’ll be coming to America.  However, I also feel very anxious looking at the task assigned to me.


First list on the itinerary was the flight from Cebu going to Manila which was a day before the actual flight schedule going to the US.  Here, I encounter my first obstacle.  I was not allowed to check in at the hotel because my reservation was mistakenly booked by travel desk for the next day.  I was stunned for a couple of minutes but was quick to make a call for help to fix this issue even if it was almost 8 pm in the evening.  The good part is, they were still on duty and the problem was fixed.


By the time we reach the point of entry at Los Angeles, I encountered another problem, this time with the Immigration officer.  I did not do well in the interview so I was brought to second inspection and put my I-94 on hold.  Together with other entrants, we were in a room, like in the movies, with dim light, being interrogated seriously and not far from being considered a terrorist.  Maybe I look like a man from Afghanistan.  Do I?


In my mind, I’m already thinking of myself being deported but I did not notice an Immigration officer came and pull me out of the room to do the interview again.  This time, they issue my I-94 which made me relieved so much. Whoooh!!


But this next and last hurdle could not get even nicer.  This was the worst one!  After the Immigration Office, next stop was the US Customs.  Again, they prevent me from entering the US borders because they saw an apple inside my baggage which, according to US Customs rule, was prohibited.  I really don’t know that it is prohibited but according to the statement, ignorance of the law excuses no one.  So I surrender my passport and they grilled me with sharp questions.  I was the most ill-fated person that day.


I don’t know what has gone into the mind of the Customs officer because they let me enter the US borders after the interview and I’m very thankful for that.  At last, the needle of agony was finally pricked out from my being.  Whooooh!!! What a roller coaster experience!


Toastmaster and friends, what I’m trying to point out is when experiencing this kind of situation, there is no need to get rattled.  Though the situation is too hot to handle, pressing the panic button will not help.  Instead, take control of the situation and suppress those nerve impulses from exploding.  Just like what happen to me, jumping from all those hurdles was not easy and no one knows the circumstances could worsen.  I was just so affirmative that even in the face of adversity; I still manage to see a light behind those dark horizons.


This was the key that opened the door to my destination, a destination that is only found in my dreams and that dream is now a reality although there were successive nightmares along the way.


*This article was delivered by TM Ed Bas Jr. as his Basic Speech #3.