Journey to United States: Preparation and Arrival

Virginia, USA
Moving to a foreign country is probably one of the biggest life transitions a person could ever have. The whole process could be both physically and mentally exhausting though I believe it is more of the latter. There would be times that you would just want to give up as the cultural differences can be overwhelming but always remind yourself to take it as a challenge that you would want to overcome. Yes, it may take a while but I assure you that life would get better with each passing day.

Moving on, this blog entry would be the last installment of my blog series - Journey to United States. This entry would cover the preparation period which includes the orientation, events happening in between and the arrival. So expect that this would be as long as my previous 'Journey to United States' blog entries.

 

ORIENTATION

For every Filipino leaving the country to settle permanently in a foreign country, it is a requirement to register with the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) and attend the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar. A CFO sticker would be affixed to the passport once you comply and finish the whole process. Be reminded that you can't leave the country without the certification even if you have the visa. 

Despite making an appointment online I arrived at the CFO - Main Office (Manila) around 08:30 A.M. which is an hour and a half early to my selected schedule. Just like the medical and interview process there were almost a hundred of applicants in the CFO office, I did not stand the chance to sit but thankfully the queuing went on smoothly.

Requirement for Registration
  • Original and Photocopy of Passport (biographic page with information and photo);
  • Original and Photocopy of Birth Certificate (From NSO or CTC from Local Civil Registrar duly authenticated by NSO);
  • Original and Photocopy of Visa, if applicable;
  • Photocopy of Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR);
  • One (1) valid identification card with photograph (eg., SSS ID, GSIS E-card, PRC ID, driver's license, postal ID, ARC, etc.) 
  • Photocopy of Immigrant Data Summary for USA-bound emigrant (must not be detached from visa packet);
  • Duly completed emigrant registration form; and
  • Registration fee of $400.00

Five Step Process
  1. Proceed to the designated counter for submission and verification of required documents;
  2. Proceed to counter 4 for verification of registered forms;
  3. Proceed to Cashier for payment of fee;
  4. Attend the Pre-departure Orientation Seminar; and
    • The seminar would be about the rules and regulations of traveling abroad, cultural differences, rights of every immigrant, etc. Not to forget you'll be given a certification, brochures, and a booklet. (Note: Keep the booklet as it is very helpful.)
  5. Wait for the release of Passport with CFO sticker affixed.
The whole process including the transportation period took me four hours which is not that bad. With all local process accomplished, I could finally sleep well and not worry about any immigration issues. All I just have to do is spend every single day I have left in the Philippines with my family and friends.

EVENTS IN BETWEEN


EAT BULAGA STUDIO VISIT

Twitter is the only social media outlet where I promote my blog, rant about life and fangirl. With the latter being mentioned, I never expect myself to be a fan of local artists more so of a love team. I'm one of the thousands which attention got caught by the so-called 'AlDub' craze. Yes, I'm a hopeless romantic and I do fall for cheesy, romantic story lines.

Anyway, I got the chance to watch in the Eat Bulaga studio with the uncertainty of meeting Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards. Hoping that they would surprise the studio audiences as it was their 'weeksary' but luck wasn't on my side as there were both at the barangay. Despite such I had a great time meeting other artists and fans.


DESPEDIDA PARTY 

I never really planned to have a farewell or Despedida party but my brother insisted and organized. I requested them to just keep it simple and private as I don't want anything grand. Due to conflict of schedules and prior commitments, my brother ended up organizing separate dinners for my relatives and friends.



PRE-ARRIVAL & ARRIVAL

I didn't want to leave the Philippines to be very honest but the time has come for me to pack up and go to the airport. As much as I try to be cool with the whole situation, I ended up crying as I bid goodbye to the family I'll be leaving behind. My heart broke into pieces especially when I hugged my niece.  

Actually, my flight going to United States had the chance of getting cancelled because of the snow storm but they push through and believed that it was already safe to travel. My flight going to Narita via ANA took about four hours if not mistaken. I also had an hour and a half layover so I used that time to wander around the airport and eat. The most grueling of all is the Narita Airport to Dulles International Airport flight which took about 13 hours. Besides not getting a proper sleep, my butt really felt numb.

Before I end this entry, I would leave you this quote:
" Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder. Let the challenges make you strong."
- Unknown.
My dear blogosphere friends, I may be ending this blog series but I'll be coming up with a new one which features my trips in District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Not to forget, you will see more art and crafts related post here in my blog so please do watch out.


25 comments

  1. This is a nice post. I remember going through all the process before. It's nice to read your posts. A lot helpful to others who are going through the same. Yayy. Goodluck in US!

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    1. Thank you, Kristine! It's hard right but I'm learning in the process.

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  2. I always said I wanted to leave the PH - not permanently, but for work. I can already imagine how emotional that would be, lol. Hope you got over the culture shock, Tricia!

    xx, Richel Goes Places

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    1. I actually never see myself getting old in a foreign country but here I am trying to adjust. Yes, hopefully soon. Thank you , Richel!

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  3. Cute post :)
    BLOG M&MFASHIONBITES : http://mmfashionbites.blogspot.gr/
    Maria V.

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  4. Oh wow! God bless on your next journey!!!!! <3 :) im sure you'll have the best time! Sad to see u look the ph though! Im from the Philippines too!

    www.kynagem.com

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    1. Thank you, Kyna! I can't wait for that time to come. Wishing you all the best there in the Philippines.

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  5. Lovely photos - looking forward to seeing more from your next journey!! Hope you're having a lovely weekend :)

    Layla xx

    http://www.sprinklesofstyle.co.uk

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    1. Thank you, Layla! I will share more in the coming days. I;'m hoping you a wonderful weekend as well.

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  6. Lovely photos :) You look so happy! Looking forward to see what's next on your journey

    Best
    Michaela
    Michaelablog

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    1. Thank you, Michaela! I'll be posting 'em real soon.

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  7. This is so exciting - I've always wanted to moved to America! I can't wait to follow your journey and wish you all the luck in the world!

    Hayley xo
    www.frockmeimfamous.com

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    1. It can be scary at first but once you get a hang of the culture, it can be really fun and liberating. Thank you, Hayley!

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  8. Looking forward to seeing more - hope you're having a wonderful time :)

    Layla xx

    http://www.sprinklesofstyle.co.uk

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    1. Thank you, Layla! You too, I wish you a wonderful weekend.

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  9. Thank you for sharing this Tricia :) This is very helpful :) I wish you the best of luck on your next journey! :)

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    1. Your Welcome, Danica! I'm glad that you find this post helpful.

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  10. I enjoyed reading your Journey to United States series! It was very helpful too. Good luck in US. :)

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    1. Thank you, Karen! I really appreciate it.
      Oh!! I almost forgot thanks for following me in Twitter.

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  11. You moved to US alone? Wow, you are so brave Tricia!!! I envy you! Haha! Good luck in your new life and adventure in US! :D

    xx, Ella | Wandering Ella

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    1. Thank you, Janine! Though most of the time I'm alone, I have some relatives who grew up here and live nearby so it's not really that sad anymore.

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  12. Congratulations Tricia! I think you will have a great time in the US! xx Enjoy! This was a great informative post.

    www.wildfirecharm.com

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