Life Journal

2017 #lifegoals

Since its still January, I guess I can still post some of my goals for the year. I hope I can tick off all by the end of the year, since most of these are feasible, sort of. So here goes, in no particular order:

  • Finish at least 6 books
  • Finish at least 6 kdramas
  • Finish at least 10 blu-ray movies
  • Lose at least 5kg more
  • Eat at least 1 veggie or 1 fruit a day
  • Do yoga again or pilates 
  • Buy my dream bag, Chanel Le Boy or Coco Handle
  • Go on a European holiday, or at least go back to California
  • Create a new hobby (baking or sewing or anything!)
  • Sell some of my unwanted stuff, have a garage sale
  • Create passive income or side business
  • At least quarterly facial maintenance at either Belo or Aivee 
  • Back up all my 26,000+ (as of to date) photos and videos 
  • Enroll Sophie in ballet
  • Enroll Sophie in a good big school
  • Cook more (esp. when Sophie goes to school)
  • Start looking for a house of our own
  • Conceive another child
  • Have a tattoo

There you go. Some of it are silly I know, but I like this list, and I look forward to seeing them materialize this year. Aja 2017!!! πŸ’ͺ🏼

So long 2016!

2016 for me, went by like a blur. It was probably not the best year for my liking, but I’m thankful for it just the same. I accomplished one of my fervent dreams this year, and then some. 

1. The highlight of my year is definitely getting approved for my US Visa and travelled twice to the US, in California and NYC. Dreams do come true!

2. I have fulfilled my parents dream of going to Holy Land, in Israel and Jordan. We also travelled to Korea first half of this year, where they experienced real snow for the first time. I also started my housing loan for them, so they could move in next year.

3. Sophie is growing healthier and smarter by the day. I continuously enrolled her to The Little Gym, to further improve her communication and social skills. She has since finished 3 terms of the playgym, and hopefully more, to ready her for big school next year. She has also gotten more charming and kikay over the year, and I loved dressing her up for OOTDs.

4. I started baby steps (again) to eat healthier. For over 3 mos now, we had our food portioned and delivered by Chef Gourmade. We do not follow the meals entirely but at least we control our eating habits now.

5. Since our allowances become bigger, I had somehow accomplished financial freedom. But I spent so much this year from all the travelling and material things, and hopefully get back on track of my savings for next year.

6. I guess my most downlow this year is being diagnosed by Adenomyosis. My wish for next year is to have another child again despite my disease.

Thank you for the memories, 2016! So much more to look forward to for 2017, my year! The year of the Rooster. Lets get it on! πŸŽ‰πŸŽŠ

Pain, pain go away

How do I even know where to begin? I thought I had such high treshold because I even made it to 8cm without epidural when I delivered Sophie. But to experience the labor pains monthly, I feel like I’m slowly slipping away. This pain is consuming me. There are times when I just sit blankly, wallow on the pain, too exhausted to do anything else. It is slowly killing the life of me.

I’ve been diagnosed with Adenomyoma and Adenomyosis this year. To put it simply, I had benign tumors outside my uterus. The lining outside thickens and sheds off just like the insides of the uterus during menstruation period. And the result is an extraordinary dysmenorrhea. The pain is somewhat similar to 2-3cm labor pains. It is so severe that I cannot live without pain relievers anymore. The meds and hot packs only alleviate the pain a little, not totally diminish it.

Though I’m still fortunate that I only experience this for 4-5 days in a month. Some women have them for 2 weeks, or worse, all month long, for the rest of their lives. The good news about it is that it will go away, usually during menopause. The bad news, aside from the excruciating pain, is the fertility issue. Although there are many women who conceived and gave birth to healthy children while having the disease.

I had to live through this, I know. I also know in time it will get better. The pain, as much as I wish it could disappear, I can also live with. But not having another child because of the disease, is something l cannot accept, I think. I had a horrible first pregnancy, and I know I can take another more horrible one, if it meant having another healthy child again. So help me, dear God.

Travel Diaries : San Fo and LA 2016

I know I’ve been absent from blogosphere for a really long time. Its just that I’ve been really busy travelling here and there 😬, that I forgot that I have a blog that I maintain every now and then. Anyways, I would like to blog about one of my travels this time. I just got back from a trip to NYC, but I’m not so sure if its worth blogging at all. It had a lot of touristy spots and interesting places yes, but frankly, I do not see myself returning in the next couple of years. I am honestly more interested and inspired with my trip to the West Coast, in California. 

It was my husband and I’s first trip ever without the little one. It was an anniversary getaway, after all. And since its our first time in the US, we made the most out of it and squeezed in San Fo and LA in just 6 days. Disclaimer though, we are not budget travellers but not business class type either. But we tend to splurge most of the time. As long as we like it and convenient for us, then we’re game.

I booked our return SFO flight during an online seat sale of PAL back in March. Had I known that time that we would be going to LA, I should have booked a flight out of LA to Manila. But oh well, at least we would be wiser the next time around.

Touchdown San Francisco!

Upon our arrival at SFO International Airport, we went straight to the counter of Hertz Car Rental. Hubby said it will cost us less to rent a car than take a taxi going to and from the airport. We were a bit excited (and nervous at the same time!) to try driving in the US. We rented a small car, a Nissan Versa. Good thing we only had 2 luggages coz only 1 luggage fit in the compartment and the other 1 at the back passenger. 

Our car in SanFo, Nissan Versa

Aahh, the highways of California are the best! Even though there are tons of cars, their highways are so wide and well planned out to accommodate hundreds and hundreds of speeding cars. I heard about their speed limit on highways, but wondered why no one is following them. They are all literally fast and furious. And we like it all the more of course. πŸ˜‚

We checked in that night at Omni Hotel San Francisco. We heard about this hotel at OTWOL, a local soap starring the loveteam Jadine, and I never looked for other hotels in SanFo other than Omni. Hahaha. Anyway, they do not have guest parking but valet parking is available and included in our room. The hotel is a bit dated, but is spacious and classic looking. We were starving when we arrived, and nearby restaurants were closed since it was so late, so we ordered burgers in room service. The burgers were huge! We should have ordered just one for the 2 of us. Anyways, as we go along our trip we discovered that everything here is supersized. The burgers, the drinks, ice creams, one serving can serve up to 3 persons. American sizing is huge, for real.

Cheddar Cheeseburger for me
Blue Cheeseburger for hubby

We didn’t have time for a jetlag because we were early the next day for our early access tour to Alcatraz and city tour. Our meetup place was in Union Square, and it was then that we realized that Omni was not a good idea. We had a good 30 minute walk going to downtown. 

Union Square San Francisco
Queueing for the Alcatraz Ferry
Alcatraz in a while
Our motorized Cable Car

We rode a private tour motorized cable car. If it had not been too cold, it would be the best way to go around the city. Everyone loved our cable car, whenever we stop by somewhere, everyone was asking where it would go and wanted to have a ride, or simply have a photo with it.

Touring the Alcatraz Island is also easy esp. because we’re early and there’s not much queue around. Being the non-history buff that I am, I also appreciated it because it provided insights about the lives of the prisoners inside this maximum security prison, even some of the escape attempts a few organized.

Entrance to the Main Prison
Inside the tiny cell of the main prison
The main prison hallways
The main prison hallways
We were not prepared for this! πŸ˜‚ Going up to the main prison
US Penitentiary – The Alcatraz Island

After our lunch of (huge) sandwiches, we toured around the city. We stopped by to several photo taking spots of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. It was cold and foggy that time, and only half of the bridge was visible. 

Golden Gate Bridge from the Fort Point
Our lunch consists of 4 fold ham sandwich, potato chips, apple, cookie and unlimited drinks πŸ˜‚
Golden Gate Bridge from the Lookout Point

We also stopped by the Palace of Fine Arts, to take photos and marvelled at its architecture.

Palace of Fine Arts

The tour finished at around 3PM, and after then we met up with a family friend and godparent at our wedding, Ninong Noel. He has been living in SanFo since 2009, and we both couldn’t be any happier seeing each other for such a long time. 

Golden Gate Bridge at the Battery Spencer
Driving through the Golden Gate Bridge!

We drove to the best spot for photo taking of the Golden Gate, in Battery Spencer. I had to make sure the next time I go here to bring complete gear for wind and cold. It seemed like there was a typhoon with the kind of winds this spot has.​


We also drove to the famous Lombard Street, the world’s crookedest street!



Afterwhich we had an early dinner in Franciscan Crab restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf, and even though the huge garlic crabs were so-so, the clam chowder in sauerkraut bread was amazing!

Crab Feast!
Best clam chowder ever! πŸ˜‹

Then it was time to say goodbye for our short but meaningful reunion. Ninong Noel had a tough life in the US, it was even his first time to go to the Golden Gate and Lombard Street, even though he’s been here for 7 years. It made me appreciate more the fortunate lives that we have, being we can travel in the US for just a vacation, and not worry about anything when we go back home.

The next day we’re not too early with the tour, so we had time for our breakfast at the next door’s Bob’s Steak and Chop House. Food was amazing and certainly worth the $30 vouchers.

Breakfast steak and eggs
Bacon and eggs for me

We had a half day city tour again, but with a bus this time. Went to see the Golden Gate bridge again, Land’s End lookout, the Presidio and finally at the Fisherman’s Wharf. We’re supposed to go up the Twin Peaks but the guide said it would be worthless due to fog. Had lunch at the wharf with clam chowders and lobster rolls. 

We had a flight to LA by 4:30PM, and even though the tour ended at 12:30 we waited for another bus to take us back to the hotel. It was already 2PM when we left Fisherman’s Wharf, and we were already wondering if we can make it to our flight, since we still had to return our rented car at the airport. We only had about 30mins before the flight, and thank goodness, no sh*t happened on our way to checking in. It was seriously an amazing race. If we were in Manila, we would not make it for sure.

We had an hour and 20 min flight to LA via Virgin America. Upon our arrival we went to Hertz again for our rented car, a bigger Kia Optima. The staff in Hertz LA are more kupal, they charged us several insurances without asking us first. And our booked car was supposed to be a Chrysler 200, but was “unavailable” and gave us the Optima. We should be wary of them next time.

Our car in LA, Kia Optima

Our first stop in LA was what else? In-N-Out Burgers! We’re a bit disappointed with it though, Shake Shack is a whole lotta better, imho. We also dropped by at the Best Buy because hubby wanted to check some tech stuff.

In N Out Double Cheeseburgers
Happy boy!

We checked in at The Georgian Hotel in Santa Monica. It was a simple and quaint hotel by the beach, and maybe the priciest of the 3 hotels we checked in, as per its location. It was already late and we just rested for tomorrow’s activities. The next day, we had our breakfast at the balcony of The Georgian. Having breakfast at the hotel’s balcony in Santa Monica beach sure has a different feel, like its once in a lifetime, y’know.

Steak for breakfast
Breakfast by the Santa Monica beach πŸ˜‹

Our tour for today is called A Day in LA whole day city tour. Meetup for the bus is just 2 mins walk from The Georgian, that’s why I chose this hotel. Our bus has an old Californian theme, a Rasta Bus. 

Our first stop was Venice Beach, located on the other side of Santa Monica. It was famous for its arts and entertainment and the muscle beach, where muscled men workout by the beach.

Our buwis buhay selfie across the street!
Venice Beach
Venice Beach

Next stop was Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, the most expensive shopping street in the world, where designer brands line up the street.

Rodeo Drive πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ
Rodeo Drive πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ

We had lunch at The Farmer’s Market. Hubby couldn’t forget his lunch at the Pampas Grill, and talked about it all the time, even after our vacation. I, on the other hand, couldn’t forget the Rocky Road caramel apple I bought. It had the thickest chocolate topping, and was so big that I ate it for 3 days. Our short time at The Farmer’s Market brings so much fond memories for the both of us.

Need I say more? πŸ˜‹
Lunch plate by Pampas Grill!

Our next stop was the Griffith Observatory. I wasn’t so much with the observatory, but it has a beautiful view of the city, and the Hollywood sign is visible, though small. The James Dean bust is the best spot for the Hollywood sign photo op.

The Griffith Observatory
The Griffith Observatory
Can you see the Hollywood sign? πŸ˜‚
James Dean 😎

Our last stop was the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was crowded and crazy, and good thing I didn’t book a hotel here, though I did consider at some point. There were famous theaters here like the TCL Chinese and Dolby Theaters. And lots of famous names on the walk of fame.

Dolby Theater
Mickey Mouse!
TCL Chinese Theater

After Rasta Bus dropped us again at Santa Monica, we walked to the pier and just enjoyed the sunset. It had gotten so cold, and even though its cold people flocked to the beach. The pier was jampacked. It had different restaurants and food stalls, games and entertainment, rides, souvenir shops. There was an art lettering stall there and we had Sophie’s name done for $1 each letter.

Santa Monica Pier
Sunset stroll by the pier

After our stroll we ate at a famous restaurant called The Lobster. They couldn’t have given themselves a more appropriate name, their lobster really IS the lobster, its the bomb!

Steak and lobster
The lobster πŸ˜‹

We called it a night after such a long day. The following day, we checked out early and travelled to Universal Studios, around 45mins drive from Santa Monica. We spent our whole day here. We purchased front of line tickets, so we didn’t have to fall in line every single time. 

We got to ride several rides like The Hogwarts ride, The Mummy, Jurassic Park. We also saw the Studio Tour, Waterworld and its behind the scenes, and Animal Actors. We got to take photo with minions Kevin and Jerry, and my childhood fave, Betty Boop.

The Hogwarts

Betty Boop ❀️
Watching the action-packed the Waterworld

We had lunch in Hogsmeade called The Three Broomsticks, and had (huge) ice creams at Phineas Butterfat.

Huge vanilla ice cream of Phineas

After our tiring day, we walked to the City Walk and had early dinner at Johnny Rockets. We were kinda scammed here, with a photo worth $15. Anyway, charged to our experience again.

Bacon cheese fries at Johnny Rockets
Johnny Rockets bacon cheeseburger
We checked in at Residence Inn Beverly Hills by Marriott. Their breakfast was buffet, parking was self-park, room was spacious (and had free popcorns!). It even had reasonable rates. It was the most ideal accommodation really, though the location was kinda off. It was about 30mins away from Universal Studios.
Self parking at the Residence Inn Beverly Hills
We loved our big room!
Kitchen and pantry

The next morning we’re off to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure (DCA). Disney is in Anaheim and a long one hour drive away from Beverly Hills. We bought the park hopper tickets so we can hop to and fro each park. Since we’ve been to a couple of Disneylands, we spent most of the day in DCA. The Radiator Springs ride is the best! We queued for an hour, since they do not have front of line tickets and we did not know about the Fast Pass. I also had a photo op with Minnie ❀️. 

We love Radiator Springs!
Minnie ❀️
DCA Mickey’s Fun Wheel
Disney California Adventure Park
Raspberry chocolate cake at Carthay’s Circle
Lunch at the Carthay Circle – Bacon Cheeseburger

For lunch we dined at fine dining restaurant Carthay Circle. The Carthay had an exclusive spot for viewing of the World of Color fountain show, which was a fantastic show to end our day.

And since I missed going to the Ghirardelli House in SanFo, I made sure I didn’t miss it in DCA.

Ghirardelli chocolate ice cream
Before calling it a night we drove to Pink’s Hotdogs, which is only about 10mins from our hotel. We wouldn’t want to leave LA without eating at the original Pink’s.

Night snacking at Pink’s

On our last day we planned on going to Rodeo Drive and just have lunch again at the Farmer’s Market, but an old friend wanted to meetup with us. So we went to The Grove and had lunch at The Cheesecake Factory instead. 

Cheesecakes heaven
Met with an old friend, JB

We were chatting for so long that we kinda lost track of the time. Our flight to Manila was in SanFo and we still had to take a domestic flight. Thank heavens again the US Airports are so efficient, (we love the Air Train!) that after returning our rented car at Hertz, we went straight to checking in and boarding. We had a good experience flying with Virgin America, and I know for sure it won’t be the last. 

The weather in LA for a September was good. We expected it to be too hot unlike in SanFo but it was good enough. The sun was always up there in LA but the wind was cold. It was ideal for travelling too, since we didn’t need bulky clothes that take up most of the luggage space.

Maybe the best thing about California (or maybe US in general) is the food! We can eat everything here, and we always joked that we cannot live here because we will die young. Hubby always has steaks and I always have chocolates! And like I said, the servings were huge and sometimes I didn’t get to finish a sandwich and had to pack and eat later. But it never happened because I had to eat another one again!

We also loved driving here! Almost all of the drivers are disciplined, pedestrians and cyclists are priority, and they hate being honked at. 

Maybe the very thing that turned us off a little was the Tipping. Every service has a corresponding tip. Even though our valet was free in Omni and The Georgian, every getting of the car has $2 tip. Every luggage put inside the car has $1 tip. The restaurants even has tip suggestions, 15%, 18% or 20% if you find the services exemplary. In fairness, the services in the restaurants were excellent though, maybe because they are expecting large tips. In Franciscan Crab, I tipped a whopping $40 for a $200+ meal! Americans are so used to tipping, a whole opposite of the Japanese. Mind you, it is required, and it definitely ruins the budget. 

And oh yeah, the parking fees anywhere in SanFo and LA were outrageous! Imagine paying 27 friggin dollars for just 3 hours at the Fisherman’s Wharf! 

But man, we had such an amazing time in California! It was probably our greatest trip ever. I don’t know, maybe because we’re not stressed with the time because we made our own itinerary? Or maybe because we drove our own car? Or because it was our first time, perhaps? Or maybe, it was just the 2 of us? If hubby had his way, we would have gone to Vegas on this trip. But 6 days is so little to squeeze everything in. And we haven’t been to Yosemite or Napa Valley, too. At least there’s so much more to look forward to next time. I know for sure I will be California dreamin’ until I get back here again. ❀️

Weaning soon

As the days draw near, I can’t help feeling sentimental that my breastfeeding journey is coming to an end. As my husband and I are planning to have another little one soon, we have decided not to include Sophie on our upcoming trip overseas, so that she could wean too. I read somewhere that sudden weaning maybe traumatic for a child, but I think I have done more than enough, having been breastfeeding for nearly 3 years now. I would like to thank my tired and worn out breasts, for providing me not only a healthy and intelligent child, but also a special bond only Sophie and I share. In lieu of this, I plan on having a tattoo, to celebrate my tough and beautiful journey. ❀️ Until my next breastfeeding journey (hopefully), signing off soon. 

Three and a half decades

As I turned another year older a couple of days ago, I can’t help feeling anxious that the big 4-0 is not too far away. It will come, and it will be inevitable. As much as I wish I can go back to being 13 and that somehow a part of me still lives in the past, I know I’ve been given a good life, better even, than I can ever imagine. It is not perfect of course, and I may have a lot of regrets, but those are overshadowed by overflowing of blessings I receive continuously. Sometimes I think I’m not too worthy of them, and that other people are far more deserving than I am, but there must be something, some reasons.. I must have done something good and right in the past to deserve what I have today. Thankful beyond words. ❀️

08.18.16 celebrating with family

Guilt stricken

Its 3 in the morning and I can still hear the kitten cries. Its been crying on and off the whole day, probably looking for its mother, which Kuya Cansio said, has died in the morning. He said he saw the mother cat very weak yesterday, and earlier the kitten unknowingly still breastfed over its dead mother.

I’ve been feeding the mother cat whenever we are at the big house over the weekends. I was wondering why she suddenly passed. I remember last week when I accidentally stepped on her while she was sleeping, I still have several scratches on my legs until now. But after that I said I was sorry and had given her food, she seemed okay. And it was almost a week ago. Has she gotten into a car accident? I sincerely hoped it wasn’t my stepping on her which caused her life, which left a poor, young kitten behind. For some reason, I was disturbed by my guilt. Sigh. Rest in peace now dear cat. 😿

US Tourist Visa for Filipinos – My Personal Guide

Since we have bought our flight tickets during the last Travel Madness sale, at some point we would have to apply for the US Visa. I guess considering the numerous travels we had over the years, we’re a little (just a little) confident that we have an edge to be granted the most elusive visa of them all. Of course we did some research on the common questions to be asked for the interview. Nowadays, you can’t just complete your application and just head straight to your schedule at the US Embassy and thats it. You HAVE TO study your answers beforehand. While most of our answers are scripted, it meant positively on the consular officer, as we are answering in sync and know what we are going to say. It is still best to come prepared.

When I tried to schedule online, the earliest available is June 27. But when I called their hotline, the earliest is June 6. So I grabbed the June 6 as it will spare us the agony of waiting for so long. I guess it was better to just call the hotline instead, since they can accommodate us earlier because we have a small child. The MRV payment is needed to be able to schedule the appointment interview. We already paid this in BPI.

On the day of our interview, I brought all the docs we would be needing: (Standard Tourist Visa for Filipinos living in the PH)

1. DS-160 confirmation page

2. Appointment letter (sent in email by the US embassy customer service)

3. Original MRV receipt 

4. Passport

5. 2×2 photos 

6. All other docs (proof of financial capabilities)

Since I applied for the DS-160 online, I did not need the 2×2 photos anymore (I was wondering too why I still need to bring them). I already uploaded the digital copies during the application. As for all the other docs, the officer did not ask for any of them.

Our appointment schedule is 9:30am, and since the guards are strict about lining just 15 mins before the schedule, we walked from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (from the other side of Roxas Blvd., where my sis in law dropped us and would be waiting) just 10 mins before 9:15. We waited for just 5 mins outside, and come 9:15, we queued going inside. The first queue we were asked for the Appointment Letter, and the staff put barcoded stickers on the back of our passports. She also gave us a letter E yellow cardboard (express queueing for senior citizens, pwd and with small children), when she asked for Sophie’s age and I said she’s 2. 

When we got inside there’s a security checkpoint, and an x-ray machine for the bags and belongings. ANY electronic devices are not allowed, as in ALL, even USBs. So we did not bring our cellphones anymore.

Since we have the letter E, we bypassed long lines and headed straight to the first counter, where we were asked DS-160 confirmation questions by a Filipino staff. Next counter is the biometrics-taking, an American officer took my husband and I’s finger scanning. No biometrics for small children like Sophie.

The next queue is the Interview. We lined up with the seniors and with small children, and waited for around 40 mins before it was finally our turn. Since we were seated in the area where applicants passed by after the interviews, we have witnessed different reactions and expressions. Some fortunate ones were crying tears of joy, clapping their hands, shrieking “yes!” or just simply have joyful smile on their faces. The unfortunate ones however, have blue papers in their hands, returned passports and have disappointed, faraway looks. 

The feeling was nerve racking. I felt like I was going to get my IELTS results. (add: I was positive that I would fail my IELTS back in 2008, so when I went to get my results, I could hardly walk up the stairs going to the IDP office — I was a total nerve wreck!) It was so stressful I could not wait for our turn and get over it. When it was finally our turn, my husband carried Sophie while I gave our docs to the officer. Here’s how the interview went:

Us : Good morning.

Officer : Good morning. Hi Sophie, how old are you? (I was surprised she called Sophie by nickname)

Sophie quietly said “two” and raised her 2 fingers.

Officer : What’s your relationship?

I : We’re a family.

Officer : What’s your purpose of travel?

I : We would like to tour, go shopping and go to Disney World for our daughter.

RJ: We would also like to try different restaurants like the Pinks Hotdogs and Buffalo wings.

Officer : Buffalo wings (smiles) How long will you be staying?

I : Probably around 2 weeks.

RJ: We would also like to catch the Black Friday sale.

Officer : Right, so you can get good deals. (Smiles) Dad, whats your job?

Tabs didn’t hear this. So I nudged him and said, dad!

The officer was a little amused. She turned to Tabs, “You’re the dad, you’re the mom.” (To me) and laughed.

RJ: Sorry. I’m the Chief Technical Officer of a family-owned corporation. We have 3 *** gas stations.

Officer : How long have you been in the company?

RJ: Since its incorporation in 2007.

Officer : How many people are there in the company?

RJ:  In all 3 branches around 70 plus 10 accounting staff, so around 80.

Officer: How much do you earn?

RJ: I earn *** a month, excluding allowances.

Officer : And how much including your allowances?

RJ : Around *** a month.

Officer : Mom, what’s your job?

I : I’m a businesswoman. I have a *** shop in the ***.

Officer : How much do you earn including all allowances?

I : I earn more or less *** a month.

Officer : Which countries have you travelled?

I : We’ve been to London (nods her head when she heard London), Japan, Korea, China.. (she cut off, she didn’t seem interested with Asian countries)

Officer: Is Sophie always with you?

I : Yes, we always bring her with us.

After a pause and tinkering on her computer, finally she said.

Officer : Alright, you will receive your visas within 7 days.

The interview ended and we said our thanks and goodbyes. Of course we were elated after! The interview was short and concise, and we didn’t have to defend or explain further anything, like some of the applicants before us. The officer’s mood was light during our interview, very much unlike how I thought of her when we were in the queue. I thought she was scary and bitchy, but she was not. My nervousness quickly went away during the course of the interview.

In reality, getting the US Visa is probably one of the easiest to process. Since the officers face around 150 applicants per day, they do not have the time to ask for the docs to support your answers. They will simply depend on the DS-160 that you submitted and how well you answered the questions.  The DS-160 is more on personal details, but the most important thing here is that you study and know the answers to the frequently asked questions. If you will lie (unless you’re a very good liar),  they can spot in your answers as they give series of questions depending on how you answer them. They are trained to recognize your real standing and your purpose of application.

Since we passed our interview with flying colors (hehehe), we received our passports 3 days after, all with 10 year Multiple-Entry Visas! US of A, see you real soon! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

Get started with your application here.

Election blues

In exactly 4 days, the Philippines is going to have its new president. The last election, I voted for someone I believed in, someone I really liked to become the president. Unlike in 2010, until now I’m still undecided who to vote for. I know thousand others like me share the same sentiments. Sometimes I caught myself thinking, are these people the best that we got? 1 of these 5 hopefuls is someone who will lead our nation in the next 6 years, someone who will be our representative in the international community. 

When I learned that MDS is running, I immediately thought she could be that someone. But she has been sick for a while now, and the last presidential debate where I thought she would redeem herself, turned out to be much too painful to watch. I would love her to be our president, but from the looks of her, she isn’t even 70% healthy. Her medications clearly deprive her of what she used to be. If ever I decided to vote for her, it’ll be not only because she deserves to be the president, but out of respect and honor for her life and deeds. Its just sad that MDS is the president we never had. 

The leading candidate now, Duterte, I’m not sure if I even like him. I know where a lot of people are coming from, being he promised to swipe crimes in 6 months. But clearly, he isn’t the role model type. He has a bad mouth (he swears on national TV all the time), a womanizer (which he is proud of), a liar (maybe? because of his undeclared wealth), a killer (i guess? how do you even intend to stop crimes in such short period? unless you quietly take care of them), and many other negatives I could think of. Duterte’s avid supporters called Dutertards (hahaha) are very protective of their bet, thats why he’s too confident in this race. Imagine jumping from mayoral to presidential. Well who knows, maybe, just maybe, he can change the Philippines. But maybe not because out of respect and discipline, but out of fear. My biggest fear would be another Martial Law under his regime.

The 2nd in survey, Poe, I disliked from the very start. I didn’t know where she gets the galls to even dream of becoming a president. Granted that she’s a foundling and maybe a Filipino, we can’t deny the fact that she used to be US citizen. If she has plans of becoming a president in the future then, why on earth did she turned her back on her PH citizenship? It just meant that she has no plans before, but because she has found an opportunity due to her popularity (using her deceased popular father’s name all the time of course) and the people’s so-called clamor, (as well as Chiz’ pushing?) she just decided to run. She must have had good intentions, but she is just one ambitious opportunist neophyte politician in my eyes.

The next in the survey is the government’s bet, Roxas. I have mixed feelings about this guy. Whatever the truth about his whereabouts during Yolanda, just take a look at the metro’s trains and traffic. Its a mess. I hate it when he says the government is already doing what the others still promise to do. They maybe doing it but its obvious they’re not effective. He maybe the most qualified next to MDS, or he maybe the next lesser evil of them, I just wish I have other better option than him. I seriously dislike his face, and his snotty face of a wife. 

The last is Binay. Honestly, being a resident of Makati for such a long time (I live in Paranaque now) I do not have any bad blood against him. Having practically grown up in the city where my family benefited so much under his governance, I actually feel sorry for him if he loses this election. If he wasn’t involved in too much corruption, he could have been a good president, he could have been my choice.

On May 9, one of these men and women would be the next president of our nation. I hope I pick the right one, and I hope my fellowmen do too. I wish I would live to see the day where politicians have honest intentions of serving the country. Tick tock tick tock. God bless the Philippines. πŸ™πŸΌ

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