I was never one for living in the USA. I have never envisioned myself staying there. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the country. It’s a beautiful country, even though I haven’t been there before. The movies got me thinking of how magical America is. It’s just that I thought everyone was in there already, and pursuing their dreams in that country. The American Dream, like they always say. And since I was the kind of person who didn’t want to go with what everyone wanted, I thought to myself, “Hmm, If I was going to live/work in another country, it would be another Asian country, or maybe Australia, or maybe, just stay home – The Philippines.”
But, connected to my previous post, fate has its own way of things. Of course, fate decides that I would fall for a guy that lives in California, and that actually, HE is that one I would be spending the rest of my life with. Thanks for turning my world upside down. But, I have no complaints. 🙂
Before I go posting my interview experience at the Manila US Embassy, I would just like all my other Filipinas to be SURE about the man that they are going to be spending the rest of their lives with. I know for a fact, from all the stories the elder ones have told me, that life in America ain’t at all what you call “The Life.” You have to work hard, and it is the survival of the fittest. Don’t be blinded. Work hard, and you reap the benefits. Marry cause you LOVE him, not because you want to go the the US. I don’t want to hear another story of a Filipina being used and abused. Know the person first.
Now, let’s go to the interview experience!
There is a new building for interviews in the US Embassy and it is located right across Padre Faura. Eitherway, if you’re staying along UN Avenue or Padre Faura, it’s walking distance. My fiance and I stayed in Citystate Hotel along Padre Faura, although I think you can find better hotels than this one. It had old rooms, a super small television, and wifi is not for free.
Here is a site to check what hotels are near the embassy: http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/48111-manila-embassy-and-st-lukes-area-hotels/
On our interview day, June 10, 2011, we woke up at around 4:15 in the morning. Got ready, ate breakfast. Don’t forget to eat your breakfast. It is very important because you would be staying inside the embassy for half a day. We walked to the embassy at around 5am. There was a short line already, so we went ahead and fell in line. There are about 3 lines – 2 for immigrants, 1 for tourists, and I think there was another one for seafarers though I’m not sure. Best to just ask the people already there. There are also seciruty guards to assist you there.
- appointment letter
- 2×2 pictures
- black pen (NOT a sign pen)
- Don’t bring any electronics, no food or drinks. We just bought our papers and a wallet, that’s it. Just don’t bring anything. It’s less stress for everyone.
After waiting for 2 hours, we were finally called. Always look at the number board to see who is called. It is called in RANDOM. They jump from 5000 to 7000. So, you better always check, so you don’t miss it.Anyway, we were called for an initial interview with a balding Filipino guy. He asked more questions than the American did which I find annoying! Anyway, he basically talked to my fiance and was just telling stories. I HATE it that fellow Filipinos treat other Filipinos like they’re stupid. It is not an admirable trait at all! He asked us:
- What is your name?
- What is your petitioner’s name?
- Where does he live?
- Where does he work? When I said Costco, the Filipino said, “Oh, I love Costco” and started telling stories for more than 10 minutes. (insert me rolling my eyes here)
- How many boyfriends have you had? (WTF! What is the relation of this question to the petition!)
Finally, after an hour, we were called for a final interview. I was really nervous for this part, but apparently, there was nothing to be nervous about. The only window open, and it was a jolly woman with curly hair (which only confirmed our suspicion that all the guys are watching the basketball game). She was really nice and smiley which eased my nervousness. My fiance was re-assuring me and all. She asked:
She would signal for my fiance to not say anything, so I did all the answering.