Stages of Grief: Post-Visa Refusal, Part 2

According to the Kubler-Ross model (just had to throw that in to sound impressive….. Hahaha), the next three stages of grief are Anger, Bargaining, and Depression. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to feel those in that specific order, but I don’t. Instead, these 3 get mixed up, and, at times, occur at the same moment.


Once you’ve gotten over the Denial stage, you’re prone to minor outbursts that include, but are not limited to, “P*ste tong taohana”, “Maayo unta’g mag kalibanga toh siya’s usa ka tu-ig”, and, “Bantay lang toh siya kung ako tong makit-an”. What you’ll do if you really do see the consul (who we will now refer to as “Dreamkiller”), though, you don’t know, but it just makes you feel better to say so.

You also start to bargain and haggle with the forces of the universe. You realize that you’re willing to do so much to get that Visa, like twerking down the whole length of EDSA. Although the chances of what you want coming true aren’t very likely, you still convince yourself that it won’t hurt to try. You pray to God and tell Him that you’ll never miss Sunday mass ever again if you miraculously get a call from the Embassy. You imagine that Dreamkiller will apologize for the silly mistake that he committed and tell you that yes, you do deserve a Visa. In addition, because he’s so sorry for all the inconvenience he has caused you, you’re going to be made an honorary American citizen.

Worst of all is the overwhelming feeling of sadness, which is magnified by your recurring thoughts of how unfair this whole interview process is. “Some of us actually have honest intentions about going to the States,” you repeatedly say, “and it isn’t fair that someone can deny me of my dream in just under 2 minutes. If I had wanted to NOT come back, I would’ve done so 2 years ago when I could’ve stepped out of LAX, or last year in Heathrow”.

Since the judgment brought upon you was based on your “socio-economic ties”, shouldn’t they have taken a look at the supporting documents that you brought? Bank statements, business permits, and notarized return guarantee agreements – you had all of those in the long brown envelope you so carefully carried from Cebu to Manila.

You go on Facebook and Instagram not to post a sad update, because these days, you can never tell if some of your “friends” take pleasure from your misfortune, and you don’t want to give them that satisfaction, but because – oh my God, you can hardly believe it yourself – you’re actually looking for motivational quotes. Instead, you see people your age who are in countries that you dream of visiting, you see your classmates from college buying themselves presents for all their hard work, you see the hashtags #blessed and #ilovemyjob thrown about. How satisfied everyone seems with their lives, like they’ve figured everything out, and that only leaves you feeling even more miserable.

You think of all the money you’ve shelled out (how many shirts you’ve had to sell! How many articles you’ve had to write!) into this whole thing, and that makes you want to tear your hair out, but that almost doesn’t matter because what hurts even more is when you think of all the time you spent on it, and all the opportunities you declined because this was your main goal, your plan A…


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