Pineda is with Arnaiz right now in California.
Mamatay-matay ako sa inggit when Arnaiz posted that photo.
Earlier this year, Pineda told me that they are planning to go to the US in month. Sama daw kami. I told her that Alvin, Anika and I can’t go with them because we will be spending a lot for Anika’s 7th birthday this April. Also, we just went to Canada last last year and grabe din ang nagastos ko dun. In short, even though I will promise that I will not go shopping, the expenses will still be big. Bayaran pa ng tuition this April so it’s really gonna be magastos.
Alam mo naman si Sombrero, naka-plano ng wagas ang pera niyan. Hindi mo basta basta mahuhugot.
However, she still told me apply for a US visa, in case I might change my mind about going with them. I didn’t because I was lazy.
Things got real when they bought na the tickets. Tuloy na tuloy na sila!
PINEDA: Mare sumama ka na. Wala ka naman bayad sa eroplano.
I told her sige. I will try to go with them IF we get approved for a US visa.
Pineda, JR and the kids went to our house one night to have dinner and para matutukan ako mag-apply ng visa.
As in Pineda placed my laptop in front of me and opened the website for the US visa application! Tutok kamo eh.
This is the site you have to go to when you want to apply for a US visa: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/
Pineda helped me input the details.
It’s very easy pala.
After filling out all the information needed for all three applications (If you will be applying as a family, there is a choice there that you can pick so you can be processed as a family application. I didn’t do that because late na namin nakita na may ganun. Ang ginawa ko is individual ang application. Okay din naman.), you will need to print out the forms that you need to bring to the bank to pay for the visa fee. I think one form per person.
The visa fee is around Php 8,000+ per person.
ME: Mare, pag na-deny kami ng visa, iiyak talaga ako. Hindi dahil hindi kami makakapunta ng America but because Php 24,000 talaga ang mawawala sa akin eh!
That’s one Louie Vuitton bag already.
After paying in the bank, you will need to re-open your application at the website. You will need to input the numbers that the bank gave you upon paying.
You need to print the Appointment confirmation and the Application confirmation (both have bar codes) and bring it with you to the US Embassy.
The earliest interview schedule that we got was three weeks after my application.
Matagal. I also learned that the visa will arrive 3-5 days pa after the interview.
I will not be able to join Pineda in their flight to the US.
Sunod na lang daw ako, she said.
Best in fighting spirit kasi yang si Pineda eh.
Our scheduled interview was at 9:45 pm. We all woke up early. We parked at the lot beside Emerald Restaurant along Roxas Boulevard near the US Embassy. Php 100 ang parking dun if you don’t eat at their restaurant. We ate breakfast and made tambay at the Starbucks near there. We walked to the US embassy around 9am. There weren’t any lines. There were some people waiting around to go inside for their appointment. There are no more long lines because it doesn’t make sense to go to the embassy super earlier than your scheduled appointment. They won’t let you in if it’s not your scheduled time yet. They will check your Appointment confirmation printout for that. It’s best to be there mga 30 minutes before your schedule.
I was so nervous. I was scared about the interview. Baka kasi ma-deny kami. Nakaka-sad yun. Pineda told me to bring the following: all our birth certificates, marriage certificate, bank statements, employment certificate with salary, properties titles, Anika’s school ID and report card. I also brought all our old passports so that the embassy can see all the visas and travels that we went to.
We needed to prove na mga biyahera kaming mga nilalang.
We needed to prove that we had strong ties to the Philippines. We need to prove that we do not have plans to go TNT in their country (tago ng tago).
Also, I didn’t bring any bag, wallet and cellphone. You can’t enter the US Embassy with a cellphone.
They made us go in around 9:15 am. The girl at the entrance will check your appointment confirmation print out then she will stick bar codes at the back of your passports. This bar code at the back of your passport will be used a lot when you are inside the embassy. They will just scan it then your submitted application will be in their computer screens na. No more bringing of printed out forms.
I was surprised because there were so many people applying for a US visa! Ang dami talaga from all walks of life.
We had our photos taken inside the embassy compound at Php 80 each. Eto yung nagtagal. We waited for 30 minutes for the print out of our photos. I am not sure but I think better if you have photos with you already as long as they’re in the correct size for a US visa.
The application procedure inside the embassy was very efficient.
First, you fall in line for the initial screening. Here you will be asked why you are going to the United States. We said we are going to have a vacation. They will ask for your photo then they will scan it. This will be the photo that will be placed on your visa if ever they will give you one. Next, you fall in line for the biometrics. They will get your finger prints. Lastly, you fall in line for the actual interview.
Did I say I was nervous? Alvin was laughing at me.
How can you not be nervous eh you can hear the interview of the other people there? I saw so many people get denied. I heard one interviewer said, “Why will you spend half your salary just so you can go to the United States?”. Gosh. How will I answer to that?!
You will know right away when you will be denied visa because they will return your passports to you. If you will be given a visa, they will get your passport.
When it was our turn, lumapit na kami dun sa window. Alvin was carrying Anika because the table was quite high for her.
The person interviewing us asked us where we will be going. He asked us where we will be staying. He interviewed each of us. For Alvin and I, he asked for our full name, our age, what our job was, where we worked, how long we were working for our employers and how much our salary was. He asked Anika her name, age and where she was studying.
I think eto ang nagpanalo sa amin that day:
US EMBASSY PERSON: So Anika, when you go to the United State, what museums and libraries will you go to?
ANIKA: What?! No! I’m going to Disneyland to see Mickey Mouse!
Natawa yung nagiinterview eh.
US EMBASSY PERSON: Anika, do you travel a lot with your parents?
US EMBASSY PERSON: Where did you last go?
ANIKA: In Keneda (Canada).
US EMBASSY PERSON: Really? What city did you stay at?
ANIKA: In Towrontow (Toronto).
Hanep. May accent talaga dapat?!
And then the US Embassy Person told Anika, “Okay Anika. Say hi to Mickey Mouse for me.”
I felt so relieved and happy!!!!
Our US visas arrived na at home. 10 years multiple entry, baby! Bad trip lang yung kay Alvin because the gender in his visa is Female. Kaloka. We need to have it changed. I have yet to figure out how.
Pineda has been messaging me from the States. I couldn’t follow there agad agad because we have two buildings that will RFO this month. Kailangan ko asikasuhin yan.
I really wish I can go to them before Pineda leaves.
Yun lang actually ang gusto ko why I want to go to the States now.
I just want a photo with Pineda and Arnaiz sa Amerika.