Happy that my yearly vacation from my job has come. I’m going on vacation to the Philippines, and we all know that these days are having difficulty traveling because of the Covid-19 presence. However, I pursue my vacation.
Lots of flights have been canceled worldwide, and the number of plane tickets has surged. I think that my decision to carry on my vacation is a good or bad idea. I didn’t know till I start my journey back in the Philippines.
My packs are ready, including face masks, hand sanitizer, and face shields; I went to Hamad international airport (Doha) early, hoping that my flight would not be canceled during the rush hour.
When the baggage counter open, I was surprised that there are lots of passengers like me and we all fall in line to check in our luggage which in Philippine airlines baggage limit is 2 baggage with 23kgs each is only allowed and a single hand carry that should weight only 7kgs.
Swab Test before Boarding Philippine Airlines
• Swab test is not required in Philippine airlines
Philippine Airlines Baggage limit
• two (2) pieces of Luggage with 23kgs each
• one (1) hand-carry with 7kgs weight
Disclaimer: the baggage limit above applies to the time of my travel to the Philippines. Always check the PAL website Here for any changes.
At the Hamad International Airport
Qatar is one of the best countries in handling and implementing safety protocols in combating the spread of coronavirus to ensure that residents and visitors in Qatar are well protected against Covid-19.
Hamad international airport in Qatar precautionary measures to combat the Covid-19 are strictly in place.
All people at the airport are wearing their face masks, and other travelers have their face shields. Social distancing is observed, and most seats are alternated with safety caution tape so that travelers will sit apart from each other to maintain social distancing.
Temperature scanners and hand sanitizers are you can find in most places inside the airport. To make sure all commuters monitor their body temperature and hand is always clean.
Vacation to the Philippines of Overseas Filipino Workers from Qatar
This vacation back to the Philippines is far different from the past years I’ve taken. I have fears traveling this time, thinking that I might be contacted with the virus while traveling.
But, fortunately, seeing all the precautionary measures in place at the airport and On-board of the Philippine airlines, my fears suddenly diminished.
My flight scheduled departure is 07:15 pm (Doha time), and our flight departed on time.
Flight crews wearing full-body suits, far from their regular beautiful uniforms when I saw them the last time I went on board.
Even their wearing that kind of gown, which I think is a little bit difficult to move and uncomfortable, their job handling all the needs and assistance to passengers didn’t change. Salute to the very hard-working crews of Philippine airlines!
The plane is full of passengers. I didn’t see any vacant seats available, very far from what I thought. Before I left my room, I thought that maybe passengers are little due to the ticket price and afraid to travel these days, I’m very wrong!
But, anyway, with an estimated 9 hours in the sky, sleeping is tough. Maybe, because of excitement or can’t sleep.
Talking with other passengers on board, I asked them if they were on vacation just like me or for good, and some say they’re on a long vacation and others for good for not having a job.
Vacation to the Philippines (Arrival)
We arrived in Manila, Philippines morning as early as the estimated schedule.
I did not see any open shop. Shop are all closed.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) enters the plane cabin at the time that the plane stopped. Philippine coast guard staff checked passengers’ health declarations, which we filled up before landing.
They have temperature scanners to monitor and check our body temperature to ensure that there is no sign of any symptoms of the Covid-19.
Briefing to all the returning overseas Filipino workers or OFWs and non-overseas Filipino workers is immediately conducted by the PCG before moving on to the immigration section.
Returning OFWs and Non-OFWs Briefing
The Philippine Coast Guard Checklist:
• any symptoms of Covid-19 (cough, difficulty briefing, body temperature)
• checking if there’s any expectant or pregnant
• arranging transportation to the hotel
• hotel assignment
After the briefing, we directly proceed to the immigration section and then claimed our belongings which is already out of the baggage carousel and just waiting for us to get them (thanks to those who assist our baggage).
We are surprised that after getting all our belongings, they started giving us food and water. And it’s free!
They told us to wait for a while, airport staff gave us our hotel assignment, And I was assigned at the I’M HOTEL in Makati city, which is written on the brochure that the airport staff handed over to me.
Travel to the Hotel for Quarantine for going vacation to the Philippines
Outside the exit point of Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminal 2, Shuttle buses are waiting for us. Again, the Philippine coast guard assists us on the shuttle bus that will take us to the hotel.
Upon arrival at the designated hotel in Makati, they kept us inside the bus to wait till all our baggage finished sanitizing.
The hotel staff sprayed some sanitizing agent on our baggage.
Not waiting for so long, the hotel staff gave us some instructions at the lobby and gave us our room designation.
Now it’s time to rest. Woah! What a long journey, but it is worth the experience of traveling during the Covid-19 pandemic.
How Many Days in a Quarantine Hotel for Returning OFW’s and Non-OFW’s?
• Philippine government shoulders the expenses of OFW in their quarantine.
• The hotel is free, including transportation, food (breakfast, lunch, dinner) others are to be paid for by you.
• Six (6) days before the swab test, days start from the day of arrival in the Philippines
• After swab testing, the result will come between 2-3 days as of the philippine coast guard
• A negative result, inform hotel staff and show the PCR test result and you can go to your home destination
• A bus shuttle will drop you at your destination, or your family can pick you up at the hotel by bringing an acceptance letter coming from your Local government unit or barangay.
As a positive result, they will send you to Overseas Worker’s Welfare Administration or OWWA quarantine facility.
If you planning for a vacation in the Philippines for OFW, make sure that it’s not only 1 month or 2 because quarantine for both countries like the Philippines and Qatar are required, your days will spend most in quarantine facilities or hotels.
Not only that, staying alone and doing nothing in your rooms for weeks is not enjoyable. It’s boring!
Two Person is not allowed in one room at the hotel, even when you are a couple. Yes! You heard me right. They only
allow parents with 17 years below of age company in one room.
Non-OFW will shoulder all the swab test and quarantine expenses, which is a lot of money.
So, if you are a NON-OFW, think first before you go on a vacation to the Philippines.
I hope my blog helps you decide if you planning to go for a vacation to the Philippines if it’s GOOD or BAD.
and, if you want to read more like this article, check out my other blog Here
For more info, check out the video below on Philippine travel tips and guide during Covid-19 travel