What brought me to New York

Degani F.A. has stirred a lot of inspiration in my mind to write about things I had put in the backburner. 

In June this year, I would’ve been in the United States for 5 years now.  I came to the United States under a K-1 or Fiancee visa.  Alan and I were hoping I could join him on a tourist visa, but with the tendency to see more denials than approvals, we couldn’t take the chance.  A denial for a visa applications means you can only apply again after another 6 months.  We found ourselves deeply in love and being 10,000 miles apart was torture on a relationship we felt was for keeps.

So after renewing ties on September of 1999, we decided in December of that year we would get married.  Alan filed for the visa petition and brought his family home in February 2000 to do the “pamanhikan” which is the traditional way for a man to ask for a woman’s hand in marraige. 

Our petition was approved by March 22, and my interview with the US Embassy in Manila was set for May.  After undergoing the required physical exams and filing all the additional paperwork, I underwent my interview towards the end of May and left for New York on June 29.  As required by the United States, we had to get married within 90 days from my arrival.  On August 19, we said I do — not even a year to the date Alan walked into my life anew.

I’m sure a lot of people will say that I had gambled a lot in terms of turning my back on my life as I knew it in Manila — but I know that to win big, you have to gamble big.  That was what Alan was saying.  He has had his share of bad breaks in the heart department and had felt that for a change, he saw something different in what we shared together. 

I had prayed a lot before making my decision, and in the end, I felt that God had made it clear to me that this was the one for me.  I wanted to be sure but after so many affirmations, I knew the answer to my prayer was to follow my heart.

I can’t believe it’s been 5 years since I made that leap of faith.  I am the perpetual tourist in this country which I have come to consider my home now.  After all, don’t they say home is where the heart is?  That is the reason why I’m here in New York, next to the man I knew I wanted to grow old with and spend the rest of my life with.

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