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Day 1 - Visit to Philippines During Pandemic

I'm packed! June 18, 2021 at 7:00am is my flight leaving Fort Lauderdale airport, first leg heading to Dallas Fort Worth.

My husband is taking me to the airport at 3:00am, I told him it is better to be early than having to rush, we don't know what the line would be and how strict it would be at check-in.

I feel like I am about to go to a war without weapons, I know that I have to go through a quarantine period in Manila for 7 days but then the rules changes everyday. I am like blind folded during this whole trip.

All because I wanted to see my Mom.

At this point, the situation about my Mom is worth taking a risk.

We arrived at the airport at around 3:36 am, my husband dropped me off at the entrance and I walked feeling confident but the truth was - I am nervous, I was scared! Normally, you can check-in ahead or check-in at one of those kiosks but in this case I couldn't do those options, it doesn't allow me. I have to check-in at the counter with real person, so when it was my turn, the lady was asking me all sort of questions:

  1. Are you a US citizen? - Yes

  2. Are you a dual citizen? - No, but I took an oath during the citizenship ceremony

  3. Have you been vaccinated? - Yes

  4. What brand of vaccination did you have? - Moderna

  5. Can you show me your vaccination card? - Yes, here.

  6. Have you downloaded the MySoS app? - I didn't! I did not know this one!

  7. Can you show me your negative covid-19 test? - Sure, here.

  8. Have you downloaded the app called contact Tracing App? - Yes.

And so on, and so forth... she kept saying, please bear with me, I am still checking something. In my mind I was like - "Jesus, help me"! Then she made a phone call - I can clearly hear their conversation - which means, with all the questions she asked, she isn't sure about my status whether or not I can fly to the Philippines.

I hear "Can you check this for me?" Whisky, Quebec, Beta, Tango, Yankee, Romeo - is she allowed to enter in the Philippines?" A huh! Okay! Yes, okay! Thank you!

I was like... please God! Keeping my fingers crossed.

She finally says, I just want to make sure - you are all set - the gate will be open in 15 minutes.

Thank you God!

That was only the first gate of 20! Can you imagine!? I arrived at Gate 5 - flight heading to Dallas Fort Worth, the first person at the waiting area (photo on the right). I called my husband and provided an update. While waiting I walked around trying to find a coffee shop that was open.

Surprisingly, with the pandemic, there are still a lot of people flying. Well, just like me but I have a good reason.

My Mom isn't feeling very well, this has been going on since March 2020, recently my brother informed me that she isn't really in her best condition. It isn't covid-19 sickness, she is at age. I thought I needed to see her before anything else. In this situation, there is no question as to when is the best time - right now is the best time.

After 3.5 hours, I landed in Dallas Fort Worth, which wasn't so bad. All I did was sleep on the plane. I had the best seat with lots of legroom. Thanks American Airlines for the social distancing and accommodating flight.



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