Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Consular Interview

I have just finished with my consular interview this morning and thankfully I passed. The visa would be mailed to me later this week.

It was quite a near thing and I was almost not granted a visa by the consul since he could not find a premise or the logic of why Asian Journal would need me in the US on a part-time basis knowing that the job seems to be suited for a full-time position and that I could very well do the job here in the Philippines.

I countered that it was what AJ's need at this point in time and I had a set of unique skills and knowledge (in tune with the socio-political situation in RP) suited to the thrust of the company to provide Fil-Am centric original content to their readers as opposed to that culled from local dailies.

In order to fulfill those duties there is a need for me to research on what Fil-Ams want and to spin the articles to suit their tastes. A job which can only be done if I am in the US.

On the part-time part, I just quickly made a story that the work load and time is suited for me since it would give me time to concentrate and research on my planned coffee table book, "The Filipino Experience in America" which hopefully would be picked up and published by the Asian Journal Group.

The turning point in the interview surprisingly was my knowledge about cameras and digital imaging. The topic came up when he questioned me if I had the sufficient skill set and experience needed for the job and I answered my first job was as a photojournalist for Manila Times way back in 1994. It luckily turned out that the consul was an avid photographer and we had a lively discussion about camera gear and photography in general. He was quite impressed with my knowledge and skills and eventually released the visa with a stern warning that the purpose of AJ in requiring me to be in the US is quite thin and to him holds no merit or justification.