Friday, November 5, 2021

We're Home!

I shed a tear when we touched down in Manila. I was weirdly smiling from ear to ear under my mask. We're finally home after 22 months! I honestly didn't get to fully enjoy the experience of riding a plane again. We finished packing at around 4:30am and just rested a bit. Got up less than an hour later to prepare to leave for the airport. 

My evil laugh after successfully ruining Sweetie's selfie.

Sweetie was my superman. We split the work to finish packing and cleaning up the house. I cleaned the fridge while he focused on throwing away things. He packed my sewing machine and the air filter while I finished packing consumables. Traveling with intent to go back to the same place is much easier versus traveling to go back home permanently. It must have been a divine superpower who helped us finish everything. I don't know how Sweetie managed to haul down all 11 luggages we ended up bringing back.

It would have been easier if we moved to a hotel after the movers got our stuff, but we had to take all precautions to minimize risk of getting infected so we just stayed home until we left.

Good thing we took the pains to make a fool proof plan. Our first challenge was getting to the airport on time. It was always hard to get a ride before sunrise in our area. We managed to find a taxi service that could accommodate all our stuff and at an early hour. Luckily the driver really helped with carrying our things. He even took care of putting them on the trolleys. 

Our second challenge was making sure I survived the long airport walk. It used to be very easy for me, but since 2018 my SOB* got worse. We originally did not want to get special assistance to minimize risk of exposure to other people, but we eventually did. I was provided a wheelchair upon check-in. The challenge? Sweetie had to push me and bring all our hand carry. Two of my hand carry bags were medication. My device bag was 10kg (2 laptops, my cameras, Switch and other valuables). Sweetie's device bag was heavier because his devices were bigger than mine. We took it slow and got more assistance in the lounge. 

See you later Singapore. Thank you for taking care of me. 

The third challenge was making sure we weren't split up in our quarantine hotel. A single room policy was announced over a week ago and it wasn't clear how to best get an exemption. My doctors were very supportive and provided two letters stating I needed daily living assistance. I think being on a wheelchair helped. The manongs who got me from the plane insisted on putting Jay on a wheelchair too. They also took care of all our things. Ahh, that's what I love about being home, it's so easy to get help. 

The BOQ officer who assisted me took care of bringing my documents to the doctor-in-charge at the airport. The doctor was really concerned whether I needed to be brought to the hospital immediately or if it would be better for me to home quarantine. I explained to him that I would be okay and just needed an exemption for double occupancy. He said it wasn't a problem since things were easing up. We were relieved. 

Hello Philippines, we're back! (I think the manong who assisted Jay was the same one who did when dislocated his knee! We'll have to check our archives hehe). Yes, we switched to N95 masks before take off. First time to wear face shield! 

We're home! We were so busy at the airport we didn't really get to appreciate the whole process. Being on a wheelchair changes your perspective too. I'm really glad we requested for special assistance. The check-in process was very long. If you're traveling back to the Philippines, make sure you follow the registration, vaccination and testing requirements to make the process smoother (I have a guide here). If you have medical conditions, it's helpful to send a respectful email to the agencies involved. We had a lot of concerns, but I believe St. Jude granted my novena prayer to be protected from any harm. 

We are home! And our hotel was really, really nice and upgraded our room. It's just a bummer we couldn't order food from outside. That's fine, we can survive six days of quarantine (as long as I don't eat all the Skyflakes in just two days!). I was hoping to get in touch with family and friends when we arrived, but exhaustion took over and here I am awake at 2 in the morning blogging. Jetlag ka ghorl?

Oh, I have a question... how does one get used to wearing a face shield? I would have probably tripped if I wasn't on a wheelchair. Good thing the manongs were nice to let me know when to take it off. 

I can't wait to really, really get home and hug Miggy and my Mom! 

*SOB - shortness of breath

BOQ - Bureau of Quarantine

No comments:

Post a Comment