Brandon & Arlene

Brandon and Arlene share their journey of starting a vlog to document their lives and experiences, highlighting their initial cluelessness about vlogging but embracing the learning process. They met online during the COVID-19 pandemic and maintained a long-distance relationship for 10 months before meeting in person. Despite the challenges of navigating a relationship across continents, with Arlene living in Leyte, Philippines, and Brandon in Seattle, USA, they discuss the difficulties of obtaining a visa for Arlene to visit the U.S. and their plans for the future. They express their excitement and nervousness about meeting for the first time, their enjoyment of the Philippines, and their commitment to continue their vlog as a way to share their story and connect with others, despite the technical hiccups and the awkwardness of talking to a camera.


How We Met

We have no idea what we're doing, basically. Yeah, right after that, that's how I met Arlene, and then we talked for 10 months because it's my first time, and I don't know what to do. So, are you coming to the US? Thank you. What's up, guys? It's Brandon and Arlene's blog, and we're going to do our first Q&A. Alright, yeah. So, we were making these videos and stuff, and we realized when we were talking like we haven't properly introduced ourselves. What actually happened was on this trip, I just, you know, Arlene and I decided that we were going to start recording more for ourselves and also for my family who's 8,000 miles away. So, we decided to go ahead and upload them on YouTube and whatnot. Long story short, we have no idea what we're doing. So, we're making these videos, and we're going to edit them and upload them, but we figured if we're going to do that, we might as well do a proper introduction and do a kind of a Q&A to give you guys a better idea of who we are, what we've been up to, and some of the plans, I guess, for the future. So, that's why we're doing this. Let's get to the questions.

Well, I'm Arlene, and I live here in Leyte, and I'm 24 years old, and Joey is from Seattle and is 35 years old. Yeah, so we met online in March, no May of 2021, April May, May 20th. So yeah, we met in May of 2021 online through one of the dating chats. Basically, what happened was I went to work that day, that was in the middle of COVID, and one of my coworkers actually got sick. That was in the very beginning where people were really freaking out and whatnot. So, my boss called me and another coworker of mine at that time and said, you know, you two got to go home because that's the company policy. And so, when they sent us home, it's like, you know, six in the morning, and I was expecting to be at work all day long. I was home for a couple of days, but I had gotten really bored and I didn't know what to do, so I said screw it, I'm going to do online dating. I've never done it before, so I didn't know what to expect. And basically, yeah, right after that, that's how I met Arlene, and then we talked for 10 months online because we couldn't meet due to the travel restrictions at the time. Long story short, 10 months later was my first trip, and we're still going strong, LDR.

So, are you coming to the U.S.? Oh yeah, maybe. We're not sure. We're still in the process. It's hard to go out in the Philippines. Yeah, it's extremely hard to get a legal visa to the U.S. It's much easier for me to come here than it is for her to go there. So yeah, we're going through the process, you know, getting the passport and everything. And I mean, just to get her government ID, like a basic kind of driver's license thing, it took her over one year to get that. Yeah, like seriously, guys, it's just everything in the Philippines is kind of a little bit slower, a lot of paperwork and stuff, and we understand that. We're just doing what we can, and we just patiently wait until things come up. And so, that's why we're trying to get as much done while I'm here so that we could drive around to all the different places we have to go to do the paperwork. But yeah, so she's going to apply for a U.S. visa, and if it works, it's great, and if it doesn't, we'll just keep doing what we're doing.

Alright, so the very first time we talked for 10 months, and then I flew over here when the travel restrictions were over. And then, so what was that like? Are you nervous? Well, of course, it's really, at first time because it's my first time, and I don't know what to do. You didn't seem nervous though. I was. You just held it in good. Yeah, yeah. But at the same time, I was really happy. Yeah, it was weird for me because I wasn't nervous at all, like the whole time. Even the only time I was a little bit nervous was right after I booked my ticket to the Philippines. The next morning I woke up and I was like, oh my God, I'm actually going to the Philippines. But by that time, we'd already been talking for like eight months or something, and then by the time I got here, it was like 10 months. So, I don't know, I just felt comfortable the whole way. Even it was just, it was never awkward for me. It was just fine. I don't know how to explain it. Well, I was just comfortable.

So, I don't know what to do. A lot of new experiences for Arlene. [Laughter] I mean, I love it here. So, this is where I want to be. It's so peaceful, and it's completely different than the U.S. I love it, so I want to be here full time. It's going to be a couple more years. Right now, we're still in the middle of our LDR. I'm coming and going about every six months now, and I'm still working full-time, saving and whatnot, so that we can eventually build here. So, in the meantime, things are going to remain the same for a while, still planning what, what yeah. So, the future of this Vlog or whatever you want to call it, I guess I'm kind of liking it. Do you like it? Yeah, it was really awkward at first, like talking to the camera, and then especially out. Well, first off, still always make me feel nervous, okay, because you know, I'm not used to it. It's awkward if you've never done it before. You should try it, just at home, talk to your camera, and it's a weird experience. So, I think we're both getting much better at that, and then out in public, you know, being a Westerner here, you're going to get looked at anyways, and then now we really get looked at, especially if we have the camera out. People know you're videoing them or whatever, so it is definitely different, but we're kind of enjoying it. Like I said, we have absolutely no idea what we're doing. We're just making some videos, hopefully they make sense. I know I've already made a lot of mistakes, and I accidentally deleted a bunch of video footage, and you know, we're having microphone mistakes and all sorts of problems, you know, but it's part of anything you do new. So, it's all a learning experience, but as long as people are somewhat interested in whatnot, I will continue to make them. We're having fun, and we'll just keep doing it.

Alright, guys, that's it for today's Q&A, and if you have so much question for us about us, just leave it in the comment, and please like and subscribe. Alright, that's it, guys. Bye.

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