[Traveling Fangirl] Road to End Vacuum Part 1

15 Jul

Off to the US

I have fangirl blood running through my veins. And when I get hooked on a certain fandom, I tend to go nuts. Perfect example would be my eternal love for American rock band, Incubus.

Anyone close to me knows how much I LOVE Incubus. I practically breathe their music. In 2008, I went to another continent just to see them.

Feel free to tell me how crazy I was.

Three months after I finally met and watched Incubus for the very first time during Light Grenades World Tour in Manila, I received a newsletter from the band that their guitarist, Mike Einziger, would be having a once in a lifetime show called End Vacuum at Royce Hall in California, USA. The management would be conducting a contest and up for grabs is a pair of ticket with after party pass. One winner would be selected from each country and state in the US.

Of course, my initial reaction was “I want to join this contest!!” Who wouldn’t? AFTER PARTY PASS at stake! But yeah, too unrealistic. It was more than 10,000 miles from where I live, I didn’t have enough money nor visa to support that fangirl craving.

The idea of letting that chance slip away didn’t sit well with me. So after bursting all these thoughts that it was a crazy idea, I applied for a US VISA.

Everybody knows how hard it is to get a US VISA. At that time I was 24, my savings weren’t big enough, the stamps on my passport weren’t that many. As a traveler, I did have plans to apply for a US visa but I was holding it off until I have a better shot at really getting one. But that was the beauty of being a fangirl, you get extra guts to do things you initially thought were impossible.

So I paid 5,000 pesos in BPI, filled out the application form, asked my brother who was working at a travel agency to schedule my interview and gathered all the  requirements needed.

I made my entry for the video contest and submitted it a few hours before the deadline. I just have this positive feeling that I could make it all happen.

The day of the interview came. I went to the US embassy in Manila after my shift. I got no sleep and Godzilla sized butterflies were flying in my stomach. I didn’t want to get my hopes up but at the back of my mind I was really really hoping I’d get approved to the point that I could see myself in tears if the consul said to my face, “I’m sorry but I have to deny your application” To pacify myself, I just thought that if I did get denied, I’d just wait for another world tour and watch them at least 5 times in all cities in Asia that don’t require visa.

After the crucial waiting game that lasted for almost 2 hours, my turn came. I tried to appear as calm and non-chalant as I stood in front of the consul.

Consul: How long have you been with Ingram Micro?
Me: 3 years.
Consul: Your office building is the same with the US embassy call center.
Me: Yeah. and it’s actually located at the same floor.
Consul: So what’s your purpose for visiting the United states?
Me: Vacation. And to watch a concert in LA.

He examined my application form and passport, then typed something in the computer while I try  not to pass out.  I was clutching on my documents real hard, anticipating for the consul’s signal to pass it to him so he can check my COE or savings account. After a few seconds, he looked at me and  smiled, “Ok. Enjoy your vacation to the US”.

*insert squeal*

That was it?!! No tear-inducing interrogation, no belittling about how I dared apply for a US visa when I only got Php46,000 on my account which was not even sufficient to buy a RT plane ticket.

Pure blisssssssssssss!

He gave me a piece of paper which contains direction on how to pay the courier that will deliver my passport plastered with my newly acquired US VISA! Oh yeaaahhhh!

After 3 days, I received the packet from the embassy and got another surprise. I was granted a 10-year multiple entry visa! Again, *squeal*

Thank you Lord for this blessing. Thank you dear saints of impossible wishes.  Thank you universe for conspiring to make this dream come true.

So the next blessing came in form of an e-mail from Ren management. I won the contest! I’ll be representing all Incubus fans in the Philippines. I’d see them in their hometown and I’d get to party with them!!!

Breathe Aissa. Breathe.

You know this very cliche saying that if something is meant to be, everything will just fall  into place?

Everything, literally, fell into place. At the back of my mind, I was getting paranoid. So many good things were happening, this couldn’t be real. Somebody please wake me up!

But I wasn’t dreaming. I was wide awake…. living my fangirl dream.

July 27,2008. 1 month and 12 days after I received that newsletter, I found myself at NAIA, bound to USA…

Insane? I know…

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