[INFOGRAPHIC] 16 Cheapest Walking Distance Hotels Near the US Embassy in Metro Manila

How in the world can I bring my cellphone to Metro Manila if they're not allowed in the US Embassy?

That was my first thought when I found out that electronics weren't allowed in the US Embassy during my K1 visa application interview. I was coming from Batangas and going to Manila just for that appointment.

I knew that the US Embassy was along Roxas Boulevard and most hotels I see in that area were very expensive so I thought of tagging my sister along on the day of the interview, leaving her in a coffee shop with my cellphone, and going back for her when my interview's done. That would've been expensive, too, since I will pay for my sister's bus fare and food.

Looking through the hotels and accommodations around the area, I suddenly realized that the US Embassy is near Robinson's Manila and UP Manila, and it would be impossible to have a lack of affordable accommodations around the area. I thought:

Sure. I'll walk 5 minutes further instead of just crossing the street if it will save Php5,000. 

My First White Christmas

Christmas, for me, usually starts in August. This year, it started when the snow fell.

Snow has been romanticized by everything I've watched on TV with it. It looked very appealing because it's photogenic and the outfits you need to wear while it's snowing were very cute.

[INFOGRAPHIC] It Took Us 168 Days to Process My K1 Fiancé Visa

Processing my K1 visa was the most tedious government process I've done so far.

I didn't know anyone who went to the US on a K1 visa and getting someone to take care of processing my papers for me would cost minimally at $600.

I knew I didn't want to spend that much and I felt like we could get everything done in the same timeframe that these agencies who claim to make the processing time shorter.

Starting Anew: When I Moved to America

2015 was the year I bought the www.intransitph.com domain for my blog. It never crossed my mind that it would be a wrong move to put PH on my blog URL. I thought I would never leave the Philippines and thrive living in Manila.

Being an OFW wasn't even on my periphery. Traveling as a tourist appealed very much to me but migrating sounded so expensive and daunting.

As the old Filipino saying goes:

Wag magsasalita ng tapos, Kristel! (Don't make definitive statements, Kristel!)

Tambayan Capsule Hostel: Affordable Accommodation in the Heart of Metro Manila

I was shocked when I found out that cell phones weren't allowed in the US Embassy.

That was on top of coming from Batangas City before my visa interview. I knew that most hotels around the US Embassy were too expensive and beyond my budget.

The great thing is that I found Tambayan Hostel. It was a 15-minute walk from the US Embassy which made it very convenient for me. I didn't worry about how to get a cab or Uber after the interview since I just had to walk back.

Delicious Filipino Food at Tambayan Gastrobar

It's been 3 months since I left the Philippines and I've been craving Filipino food every day.

As much as how it's hard to look for Filipino food that's reasonably priced in the US, it's also the same case in the Philippines. You'd think that there would be a lot of choices like these back home but you'd have a safer bet of going to a Filipino mom's kitchen than to spend a lot of money trying out restaurants only to be disappointed (most of the time) in the end.

That's why I was thrilled to find Tambayan Gastrobar last July and have a lunch break with them before I headed back to Batangas during that time.

#TrueAussieBeefPH: Featured Australian Grassfed Beef Dishes at Epicurious

I've never been a fan of beef aside from having it as a hamburger or as corned beef because most of the casual dining places I've had it from didn't cook it enough to get the tenderness I wanted.

This was what I thought of when I got an invite to try out Australian grassfed beef at five restaurants last July 6. I wondered if I will like the food since I'm more fond of chicken and pork.

Out of curiousity, I went for the tour anyway.