The Philippines Return and K1 Visa

If you follow my randomly spaced out blog then you know I am in a relationship with a Filipina. I met her a couple of years ago online. Decided to travel there to met her in person. We clicked and have been together ever since. Last year I proposed to her and we have spent the last few months waiting on her Visa.

In May it was approved. So I booked airplane tickets. Correction - I purchased very expensive, last minute airplane tickets for us and took vacation to go and bring her back.

Before I talk about the trip. What a whirlwind this 2015 has been. We both new the challenges and such with her coming to the country but this was compounded by me excepting a new managerial job within our company and moving to a different part of the state. Plus trying to find a new house for us and selling the current house. Let's not forget the joys of moving. All on top of the insanely busy work schedule. Like I said, 2015 has been a whirlwind.

But it would all be better once Pam arrived. The day that K1 Visa came in was a great weight lifted off our shoulders. And the process was actually rather painless compared to some of the horror stories I read. My advice is give the government lots of information and dont try to hide anything. They will find out anyways.

So after working the 2nd biggest event I have of the year and getting about four hours sleep, I jumped in my jeep with the suitcases and heading out to O'Hare Airport early in the morning. The flight was Chicago to Honolulu to Guam to Manila. So the positives is I have now stepped on the soil of another country and now only have Alaska as the only state in the US not to visit. The negatives is there was once again delays. And neither of the flights to Hawaii or Guam had free food.

After arriving late and getting through all the usual airport process, which by the way the new terminal is outstanding and a much needed upgrade to the Ninoy Airport, I successfully negotiated my cab fare at a reasonable rate for the first time. I am very proud of myself. Went to the Tune Hotel in Makati where Pam was waiting on me. No matter how long I have been travel, no matter how tired I feel, whenever I see her beautiful face answer the door it makes everything better.

Normally we would have some sort of vacation booked but since was the last time she was going to be home for quite awhile, we decided to spend most of the time with family in her family home; after spending a couple of days by ourselves in the city. We actually didn't do much this time around. It was too damn hot. The hottest it has been in my four times in the Philippines. One afternoon we went to my favorite beer destination in the city, Global Beer Exchange and one morning we spent walking around the gorgeous Bonifacio City. This part of Manila feels a lot like America. There are sidewalks and stoplights which people abide by and lots of restaurants and commerce and it's clean. It is definitely the ritzy side of Manila. Both days were fun... when I wasn't sweating bullets.

We headed to Magalang, which is outside Angeles City, to stay at the family home. Basically we just hung out with her siblings and their kids for a few days enjoying our time together. I toughed it out in the scorching heat and humidity with no air con before having to go into the city and stay at a hotel for a night to cool off. It was a bit eye opening living without all my American conveniences for a few days. I gained a great respect for the people here who go about there lives in the weather of 95 degrees with 90% humidity. I got introduced to many of the extended family and her grandma during this trip. We went to a big family fiesta where the Red Horse was flowing heavy and the food was a plenty. The lechon was excellent. One cant go wrong with pig roasted over an open flame. The family made me feel instantly welcomed and part of the group. It was a fun day and pleasure to finally meet all of them.

The day before we were to fly out, for America; we decided to rent a large van and take most of the family on a day trip to Manila. We went to Star City Amusement Park and had fun for a few hours. Then we got dropped off at the hotel where the emotional goodbyes were said.

This was Pam's first long flight. Actually only her second overall, the first being when we went to Palawan. The flight went Manila to Tokyo to Detroit to Chicago. I was a tad nervous about entry, mainly because of some horror stories I read, But it was simple and painless. Again, keep things detailed and honest if you go through this process.

Then drive to Crown Point from O'Hare wasn't terrible either as I saw it all through her eyes of curiosity. It nakes it all new to me too.

Welcome to America dear.

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