Who would’ve thought that I would get a chance to go through all this and fail.
My beloved N had the most amazing chance of going to Spain for 4 months. After careful deliberation on both his and my end on one fateful day in March, during a splash out in their backyard in Ilocos, it seems that I would get a chance to go to wonderful and exotic Europe.
How lucky was I, I thought. I would be travelling to China in May, and then another trip in July, or so I thought.
Preparations began since the departure of my business trip. The booking of the airline ticket which took a few eons and a lifetime to accomplish, firstly, the Singapore Airlines site doesn’t permit me to book the flight, the countless calls to their customer service, and finally I was able to book the itinerary that I wanted. 1 day before I leave for China.
And all the other important details took place, the searching of accommodations, the meticulous planning of the itinerary, the money saving, the bank linking, the pressure was mounting. All throughout my days in Hangzhou, all my colleagues ever hear from is my excitement to return back to Manila, process everything and fly to see N.
Finally, we were back home. The bookings were placed, and what a pleasant surprise we inserted a Paris trip onto our Itinerary.
June 14, 2012 was the day I meet the VFC people to pass my requirements. The night before, I checked and re-checked everything. Everything was in place. My colleagues pooled funds to add to the additional money that I have as well as N’s recurring deposits to my other bank account and I felt ready.
I passed my envelope to the representative with shaky hands, and they said to just expect a call for an appearance to the Consulate.
The next day, the call arrived. I went to see my formidable Consulate Officer on Monday at 10 am.
Monday morning came and there I was in smart casual attire, shaking nervously and I proceeded to Window 2 where I greeted the Spanish Officer a hello.
He bombarded me with a tirade of questions, I answered everything. And in a few minutes it was over.
I went back to the office thinking if everything I said or did was enough. Based from the absurdity of preparation and planning, it seems so.
I got back their resolution on the 19th of June with the Refusal Letter with Item # 9 crossed out saying that my return to my home country cannot be ascertained.
I was crushed. Literally. I spent 15 minutes trying to compose myself at the convenience store of the Consular office downstairs while trying to figure out how to get back to the Office in my state.
I was able to return in one piece, subdued and indifferent with my group crowded around me thinking of ways to handle the appeal.
So I gave it one last shot.
I wrote a letter stating my reasons on why I want to be there, I gave them N’s return flight back, I showed them my condo here, and I requested to see them personally upon my return and sent the appeal together with the supporting documents on June 26.
I picked up the resolution 1 week later only to find that they refused my appeal and when was it dated?
At that point, I had to laugh it out. and I wrote N this insanely long letter about it.
Today, I got the results of my visa appeal, and obviously, or maybe I was already expecting it that it wouldn’t really change.
I called Singapore Airlines and requested for cancellation already. It’s already under process. There will be a 100 USD deduction from the total amount. Better getting 64k than losing 68k altogether, i thought. I didn’t cry, I just thought, 28 more days before I get to pick you up at the airport and hug you tight. Which is really the only reason why I want to go to Spain. To see you and to hug you and to be with you after months of not seeing each other.
It made me realize that no matter what kind of things I say on the appeal letter, what kind of documents I give, they would probably never give me a proper resolution anyway. I showed them your return flight and my condo and my letter and my request to appear before them upon my return to Philippines with no avail. It seems that I, no matter how non-filipino I look, one look at my passport stamped with the word PILIPINAS is enough for them to make a resolution without any bearing to what I said, the effort I put through with my itinerary, the sincerity of my words and the credibility that yes, I do not want your European dream or to marry your stinky European men, I do not have any intentions of staying and I really, truly do want to come back home Just because I’m not the diplomat’s daughter or of Spanish blood nor I was born with affluence or I am some sort of powerful person it doesn’t mean that I’d jump at the chance to stay in their beloved Schengen Territory.
I had to talk to my manager about that because I was late for a meeting to pick up another refusal letter from the embassy. He just told me that Europeans do have some sort of superiority complex, as he too was denied when he tried to get a Schengen Visa with the French Embassy but was able to get a visa from the Italian Embassy 2 months after.
It made me feel a little better to know that.
It hurt me alot the first time because we did everything to a T. The effort I placed in, the months of preparing, the frustration, the research, the checklists, the excel sheets, the asking of money, unfortunately everybody but the embassy saw that, they saw the excitement since China, they saw me go through the details, the manic, obsessive compulsive tendencies, the anticipation of questions at the consulate,
They didn’t see me cry though. They saw me deflated, disheartened and indifferent. I went through the days like a zombie, I didn’t want you to know, I wanted you to think that it didn’t affect me so badly, but it did. I felt stupid, I felt that I didn’t do enough, I didn’t plan enough, and I didn’t prepare enough. I thought that maybe if I passed your flight information the first time I applied, it would’ve succeeded. I thought that if I went with a cover letter or with my deed of sale or with any other information, they would let me go.
It seems it didn’t help at all. I got the Visa Refusal again today with the same stupid ‘x’ on Item # 9 and when was it dated? June 26, 2012. The very same day I passed my appeal letter. They really didn’t give it much thought. It’s like, ok let’s give them the illusion of a visa appeal but if we don’t like their face or their race we just reject them no biggie and give them Item # 9.
If I didn’t call and ask, they wouldn’t even tell me the resolution. I had to call them earlier today, And now I know that the extension number for appeals is Local 102. They already knew the resolution since last week, and yet I didn’t hear anything from them. I asked for a follow up last friday, and nothing.
This ends my European adventure. What an emotional trip. It hurts the most when you have to think of every place you need to go for your itinerary, building the excitement as you go through the plans, envisioning your dream to become a reality, but even when your motive is sincere, you are still under their mercy.
I want to say, thank you baby, because you wanted me to be there. Thank you that you changed your mind and you want me to be with you in Spain. For paying my ticket and for trying to help me get there in a big way.
For that alone, it’s enough. I can live not to see the Parc Guell or the Eiffel Tower or the Alhambra or whatever piece of artwork or museum or history they have.
Now ask me if I can live not having you. :) Sa kanila na yan lahat! Basta akin ka nalang! Haha! ^____^
Finally, I can move on.
And finally, I could.
Today is supposed to be the day I fly to Spain. Barcelona to be exact. By tomorrow, I could’ve been hugging N and kissing him after months of not seeing him. I could’ve been taking pictures at the El Barri Gothic and looking at Gaudi’s work I could’ve been holding N’s hand eating at Gelati and munching on Churros and trying Paella.
But unfortunately, the fates are not kind. They teased me mercilessly over the course of the last few weeks. By making our family eat in a Spanish Restaurant, by making me show all sorts of Spanish Logos and emblems because of the World Cup, and it was disheartening.
Worse to find out that most people showed not only 6 but almost 7 digits in their bank accounts.
What am I to do? I am but a simple girl who just wants to see my boyfriend and enjoy Spain.
Anyway, to my next great adventure.
Hopefully, it would become a reality.