Choosing to Stay Behind

I’m applying for a US Visa in the near future, and it’s more complicated than I expected it would be. For one, I have to convince the American Embassy that I’ve no plans of migrating to the United States and going TNT (Tago nang Tago – basically settling as an illegal alien). The best way to do that would be to let them know of my plans for the future, like where I’d like to be employed or if I’m pushing for graduate studies. I don’t like talking about my plans for the future, not because I don’t have any, but because when I say things out loud they tend not to happen. Regardless, all I really want to tell the Embassy Officials is that I only want to go to America for vacation purposes, and that I really have no problem with staying in the Philippines although everyone around me seems to want to go abroad – if they’re not abroad yet.

kaboompics.com_Tilt-shift- street by night

Young Filipinos, based on my observations, mainly settle long-term in a foreign land for either one of these two reasons: 1) They’ve got more opportunities abroad, especially in terms of education and income; or, 2) They have nothing to tie them down here – and yes, this is more personal in nature. I don’t have either of these motivations. It’s not that I’m not ambitious, but I think that the level of education and employment that I want are both available here in the Philippines; besides, my family and friends are here. Right now, there is no reason for me at all to leave the country, or maybe I’ve been blessed with whatever the opposite of wanderlust is because I’m so averse to being uprooted. I’ve always been relatively content to be stuck at home. Why is that? People would tell me I’m wasting my life away, and maybe I am, but to me it doesn’t feel like it.

The bottom line is that I’m the type of person who gets distressed when I’m not sleeping in my own bed with my stuffed penguin, having brushed my teeth and drowned myself in my favorite moisturizer. The type of person who likes meeting the same people every week over Sunday brunch, talking about ordinary things that happened to our ordinary lives or to ordinary people we know. Maybe someday I’ll get hit with a sudden bout of wanderlust, and then you’ll find me hopping from one country to another like aliens will be invading with light sabers very soon. But for now, I’m content with being in Manila surrounded by the people and things that I love. And if the Embassy people should ask me to prove why I’m not going to settle as an illegal alien in their country, then I’ll have to tell them the truth. All I really want within the next twelve months is to have a small apartment with reasonable rent and a fully-functional kitchen somewhere in Quezon City. That’s all.

A.

Photo (c) kaboompics.

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2 thoughts on “Choosing to Stay Behind

  1. Ugh. The US embassy once denied my visa application. If they could have just read my mind, they’d have known I had no intention whatsoever of living there or working there. I still have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about that hehe. But hopefully they aren’t as judgmental now. 🙂 Good luck with your visa!

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