Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Yesterday, 07/19/2011

(Day 1 - 17 more days to go for my "cross-US-the-border" experience)

as i have made mention on my earlier posts that i have applied for a tourist visa for the US, yesterday was the personal appearance to the US Consulate Office in Toronto.

just to make sure that i will not be late, i have ask my reliever at work to cover me for a day. so i can go to Toronto the night before. Pat was so kind enough to say yes. so, off i go to Toronto Monday afternoon.

While having my dinner, i am memorizing and practicing and analyzing (LOL) if what would be the best response for whatever question that the consul will be asking me. i have picked out the best. and i even exchange messages to a friend who previously applied for it and get approved, and he said very well done to all the answers that i chose.

went home. but i don't know but i can't sleep. so i went out again and grab a bottle of beer until it became three... went home again, but to my disappointment, the alcohol did not help at all. i was probably asleep by 2am, but up again by 6.30am. oh my! i wanted to be fully rested so i can be fresh looking when i go there. anyways, what can i do? LOL!

went out, took my iPad with me, grab a coffee from Timmy's and sit at Alan Park Garden's, and browse the net, while letting the time flies. I went home after two hours at the park. Took a shower and get ready. i went out of the hostel at 9.30am and went straight to St. Michael's Cathedral and offer prayers. I stayed there for an hour and proceeded to Eaton Center to have my breakfast.

By 12noon. i am already on my foot to the US Consulate. and good of me that i went there earlier because, i just learned that the embassy is not allowing any electronic gadgets inside. oh my! my techy JJ is rushing to find for a locker. Good that i remember that the Bus Terminal have lockers. (thank you that i went to montreal a week earlier and took the bus) which is 4 blocks away from the embassy. so i go. and went back.

Aha! the line have gone long already. i ended up to be no. 40 on the line. so at 12.45 they are starting sending people inside. and yehey! i was in. on the second line, where they are giving another instruction, the guy asked, do you have any picture with white background? i don't have it. oh my! he asked again, do u have Can$10 with u. yes i have money but it's not what he is asking. so i asked people on the line if they can change my 20 bucks. nobody answered. i even bargain my money for the $10 i need. still nobody answered. oh by the way, i told the guy "i have US$10." unfortunately, the machine at the US Embassy only recognizes Canadian dollar... hehehe... anyway, off i went out of the premises and look for the change. when i went back, another probably 20 people got ahead of me. Oh My!... anyways, what can i do? LOL!

as i reach the final instruction point, i am all set to take up the challenge... hehehe...

at last! i am inside the receiving area. the guard was pleasant and good looking (hihihi). went in line for the submission of the folder. the guy who checks out your docs (he is the first after you pass the security guards at the very entrance of the embassy) and passport and pic will put it on a blue folder. so the lady who took my folder sent me to the picture machine. and then went back to give it to her. I even made a joke "sorry! it took me awhile, it's hard when you're not goodlooking!" she laughed and replied, "for us as long as the background of the picture is white, it's all good!" and we laughed at each other. and we exchanges some more lines. that first encounter made me a little relax. she gave me my Number - #169. that is how far i've gone for number #40 outside. LOL!

so when i was sitting at the receiving area and waiting for my number to be called. i can hear how people are being interviewed. i am getting the idea of what kind of questions are being ask. my number was asked, window number #10. the pleasant lady who have a ready smile and cheerfulness to every client took my finger prints. very hitech... infrared finger print machine. Oh my Philippines! My native land, when are we stop getting our fingers dirty every time we are having our finger prints done. hehehe...

after the finger printing, i am asked to sit again and wait for the last part, the interview.

the man on window 8 called for my number. he is very pleasant. all the questions are basic. "why do you want to go to the US?" i wanna answer "to find my love"... hehehe... but i did not... hahaha... u have relatives there? i said none but i have a brother and a sister here in canada.  oh my! all the memorized lines are gone. i am back to being JJ. the honest to goodness in everything i do. i just spontaneously answered him, brief and concise, with all honesty and slowly replying while looking at his eyes. The winning answer could probably be  "i have worked since i was 13yo, 3 years after my father died to help the family survived and put food on the table. now that everything is a little settled in my family after 28 years, i think i deserve to have some fun. i have thought of exploring canada, but due to financial limitations i cant. so i have thought of exploring the nearby places and did it. i just wanna see niagara falls on the other side and check out buffalo. as i have heard a lot of good things and places to see there."

after the speech! he is very kind to tell me that my application is approved. gave me a piece of paper for the instructions on how am i gonna get the passport with the visa. and said "have fun in buffalo, you deserve it!"

that's is a great experience of my life. i have dreampt of it and after a long long time, i got it. Thank God!

and for those that had helped me pray, my Facebook friends... to Suz, Rick and chiccoreal. for the wonderful messages you gave me yesterday, although they are not related to this, those messages that made me feel love and special, boost my ego and self-esteem, i wanna say THANK YOU. i love you guys!


  1. know...I liked how you told this story...
    It came to my mind that this could be a novel...I was drawn in by your is so unique...keep a journal of your trip..maybe try sketching or take your camera along...document for future reference....
    You tell a story very well
    And everytime you find yourself putting your looks down...STOP! You are a very nice looking guy...
    and hasn't anyone told is what is inside that shines on the outside...
    your are gorgeous
    now own it!

  2. @Suz, thank you. i think i a slowly looking possible writing. i will post recollection of whatever i can remember about my life and my family's. but holding it up for awhile. after i get hold of the book that i bought - the one that you recommended. maybe it can give me an idea on how to start... thank you very much...

  3. the book is not about HOW TO but rather discovering long buried creativity....
    I think you may have an interesting memoir in you
    the story about the unmade funny

  4. You seem incredibly good humored about all of the problems you had - many people would have been very angry and upset. (How silly - the American embassy machine only recognizes Canadian money.) I'm glad that you made it through and got your visa. I hope that you have a wonderful time in the states. And yes, I think you do have a story to tell about growing up and how you got to Canada!

  5. @li, i will.. there are a lot of stories that i can write about me and my life, that people would laugh, cry and admire... i am now seeing what i can do on my spare time... thank you very much!

  6. So glad you got your visa. Dealing with government red tape requires great patience.

  7. @Vicki Lane, thanks for the visit. Yes you're right. Good that I am over it. And I wanna thank God!


Your comment are highly appreciated!.. Maraming Salamat Po!..