I recently applied for and have been approved for a US Tourist Visa. I have heard a lot of stories about people getting denied hence I was apprehensive in applying for one. The high visa refusal rate, in fact, isn't true. According to this site, the visa refusal rate for the Philippines is 33.8%, which means you have almost 70% chance of getting approved.
I applied for a B1/B2 Non-Immigrant Visa. B1/B2 is the US visa code for temporary visitor for business & pleasure. Note that this post is written according to my personal experience.
Here are the steps on how to apply for a US Tourist Visa
1. Accomplish the Online Non-Immigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160).
Go to https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/ to fill out your application form. This form will be the basis of the questions that will be asked during your interview. You don't need to complete this form in one sitting (and I highly recommend that you review your form thoroughly). Your application form can be retrieved from the site for one month, you only need to remember your Application ID.
It took me at least 2 weeks to accomplish and submit my form. I had to review and edit several times to make sure I don't overlook any detail. I finally submitted it 3 days before my appointment.
2. Upload a digital ID to complete your application form.
You will need to bring a 2x2 ID photo during your interview, you will also need a digital copy to be uploaded with your application form. Your photo should be not digitally enhanced (not photoshopped) and should comply to the requirements.
I had my photo taken at Photoline with a CD copy for only Php 135. You have to tell them that it's for a US Visa.
3. Pay Visa fee and Schedule your appointment
Create an account at this link to pay for your visa fee. After your visa fee is paid and confirmed, you can already schedule an appointment. A reference number will be given to you for the visa payment, please take note of this reference number. The visa fee for a B1/B2 visa application is $160 or Php 7680 paid via BPI. Instructions for the US Visa Fee are posted here.