Pinay who falsified name smitten by a Mexican late

By Alex P. Vidal

“As usual, there is a great woman behind every idiot.” —John Lennon

WHEN Josefa Alcoriza landed in the United States via Los Angeles, California sometime in May 1990, she knew flying back again into the “land of milk and honey”–if ever she decided to return to the Philippines–would be next to impossible.

“So, I decided to go TNT (tago ng tago),” she admitted while flashing a funny face, her mannerism.

Alcoriza, 65, of Purok 1 Sisi, Magsungay, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines, used a fake name in a valid passport when she obtained a tourist visa.

Her first application was denied in the US Embassy in Lahug, Cebu City.

“I was so desperate to go to the United States because of a very humiliating incident in our place where my name was implicated,” Alcoriza volunteered.

She did not give details.

“It was a love triangle turned awry and I don’t want to recall the past now. It gives me more pain each time I remember it,” Alcoriza explained in vernacular.


When she first applied for tourist visa three months earlier sometime in 1990, her application was denied “because I didn’t know how to describe Mickey Mouse,” Alcoriza chortled.

“The consul said, ‘what is the purpose of your travel?’ I answered, ‘to see the Disneyland, sir.’ He asked me, ‘what is there in Disneyland that you want to see?’ I answered, ‘Mickey Mouse, sir.’ He asked more: ‘Who is Mickey Mouse?’ I answered, ‘He is a rabbit, sir. A big rabbit with tall ears, two big teeth, and small begotes (beard)’,” disclosed Alcoriza.

“It’s Bugs Bunny you are describing,” Alcoriza recalled the consul as telling her.

Nursing a heartache, Alcoriza returned to Bacolod, her passport stamped with a word “denied.”

Upon the advice of a travel agency fixer, she changed her name and applied for renewal of her passport.


Alcoriza tried her luck in the US Embassy this time in Manila under a false name.

She succeeded in her nefarious act and was granted a tourist visa with multiple entry good for 10 years.

Alcoriza, a lesbian, stayed alternately in Los Angeles, Anaheim, Sacrameto in California for three years working as nanny and dabbled in housekeeping before flying to El Paso, Texas to work “under the table” in a garment factory.

“That’s where I met Rosanita (Ortaleza), the love of my life,” revealed Alcoriza, who was then 43 years old.

Rosanita, 30, was a Mexican illegal immigrant, who entered El Paso through the barricades or popularly known as “over the bakod” (over the fence).

“I loved Rosanita and she loved me, too. At least that’s what she told me,” Alcoriza alleged.

Single, with money to burn, and with no big family to support in the Philippines, Alcoriza showered Rosanita with amenities in life, including expensive jewelry and signature handbags.


Through Alcoriza’s “kindness”, Rosanita was able to send $500 a week to her family in Ciudad Juarez, a neighboring Mexican border city located a stone throw away from El Paso.

“Rosanita was my world; she was my everything until one day in 1994 she just disappeared without a trace,” she said. “No any sign of departure. No letter. No notice whatsoever.”

Rosanita’s mobile phone “could not be reached”, she said.

Balajadia said she surmised either Rosanita was caught by border patrol guards and deported back to Ciudad Juarez or had eloped with a Hispanic man.

To compound the matter, Alcoriza discovered their joint savings account at Wells Fargo had been emptied.

“Only $15 was left out of about $8,000 in our joint account,” sobbed Alcoriza.

She approached a certain Romulo Contreras, a Hispanic-speaking bank executive and learned from him the money had been withdrawn through a normal process via ATM.

Alcoriza refused to believe she had been conned after being castigated by friends for trusting Rosanita.


After a futile attempt to search or “rescue” her girlfriend in 1996, Alcoriza decided to “forget Rosanita for a while” and made a rendezvous to Jersey City in New Jersey.

When her tourist visa expired in 2000, Alcoriza was already a long-time “resident” of New York.

“I have made adjustment (with my life here) and I didn’t intend to go back to the Philippines anymore,” she intoned.

Balajadia found a new flame, Alma (not her real name), a Pinay caregiver in Long Island.

They lived together in one apartment in Queens.

Alcoriza disclosed she also maintained “off and on” relationships with two other Pinoy women — Jamjam and Rhodora (not their real names), both caregivers.

Alma, a public school teacher in Carmona, Cavite, Philippines, was building a P1.8-million house in Brgy. Barrios, Carmona through Alcoriza’s “generosity.”

Alcoriza admitted that “at this point of my life, I can’t afford to be alone. All I wanted was a woman, a life-time partner.”

Warned by “concerned” friends on the possible repeat of her ill-fated romance with the “desaparecido” Rosanita, Alcoriza bemoaned, “Give me a woman or give me death.”

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo. — Ed)


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