Whenever I think of how I managed to get to where I am today, I always come to a close debate with myself.
Am I here because Fate and Destiny promised this journey for me, or because I took control and action over my life?
Many people here in the Philippines believe in the idea that if something is meant for you, it’ll be given. If it isn’t to be, it won’t. Yet deep inside, I didn’t want to be Fortune’s blind slave, waiting for whatever is meant for me to happen.
I knew I wanted certain things in life, and I was oh ever so determined to get them.
More money, a family of my own, freedom.
Suffice to say, I am where I am now because I went against this idea and ran after what I wanted. I gained a career through the relationships I’ve made over the years, staying in close touch with the people I used to work with. I remained reliable, friendly, and consistent with my work ethics, and all that has brought me to Philippine Airlines flight 400 bound for San Francisco.
How I Earned My US Visa
The US visa process is the first step to making this trip to Baltimore and New York happen.
Thousands of Filipinos have paid the visa application fee (P6786) to make a difference in their lives. Whether it’s for pleasure or work, some would go as far as to lie themselves into North America.
I’ve read a good balance of stories that more or less told me what to expect and prepare for. I arrived at the US Embassy with a small pouch filled with old passports, old US visas, and a bank certificate proving my current assets.
These and the truth were all I had to show to the consulate.
I went from Step 1 to Step 3 with as much calm as I could muster. I watched and listened to applicants being rejected or approved, the latter consisting of rich families and privileged folks who were able to go to the US previously. It didn’t take long for me to fall back into Destiny’s arms for assurance that whatever happens is for a good reason.
As I stood in front of the US consulate, I told myself that whatever happens, at least I would do my very best to present my case. If Destiny decides that this isn’t the right time for me to fly, then I’d accept it wholeheartedly ONLY if I have done everything to prove to the US consulate that I’m not an illegal immigrant.
I now realize that a good balance of reality and self-motivation fits me better than having to decide between the two. I’d have my feet planted on the ground while being stubborn and determined enough to pursue what I wanted to do.
At the end of the interview, I got approved for a visa. You can just imagine me walking along the Manila Bay with a wide smile on my face. A new journey is about to unfold.
Manila, Day 3
Glaizee and I decided to stay at the Diamond Hotel Manila thanks to a gift certificate my sister gave me for a free night’s stay.
Before heading over, I took Glaizee for her first ride on the LRT/MRT system. It’s a Saturday, so thankfully there aren’t a lot of people when we got on board. We were going to get off at Quezon Avenue station to have breakfast with my sisters and to see them before my flight to the US.
It was around 12 noon when we arrived back in Ermita, so we had to rush back to our Airbnb to grab our stuff and check out.
Glaiz printed out her boarding pass and we stayed at the Execration internet hub to pass the time before taking the taxi to the Diamond Hotel.
Even with the affordability of a good Airbnb, I always welcome a chance to stay at a fancy hotel. So as soon as we stepped inside our room, I jumped onto the bed and savored the comfy pillows and smooth sheets. The room was beautiful and the view was great that it was almost difficult not to leave the room for some last-minute shopping.
By 7:30pm I was already packed and ready to head to the airport. Glaizee would be staying for the rest of the night before flying back to Cagayan de Oro city.
Our Manila trip was a huge success for me, and I’m glad to have been able to share it with a good friend.
Next stop: San Francisco / Baltimore