OFW shares story on return from Dubai to Manila during COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic brought normal life to a pause. As an effect of the lockdown imposed in various parts of the country and around the world, air travel was also suspended. This is in addition to the government urging its citizens to stay home, apply social distancing, and simply travel for essential reasons. Therefore, this has caused a massive challenge especially to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who are set to go back home but got stuck due to the health crisis.

Although it seemed virtually impossible, there are still many OFWs who were able to return home albeit with tighter security and health checks in the airport, and of course, the mandatory quarantine.

Lalaine Ortiz Lacerna, an OFW who arrived in Manila on June 8, 2020, coming from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), shared her story on Facebook.

To my fellow kababayans specially in UAE.
Let me share my travel experience during my Dubai- Manila flight last 7th June 2020.
I know madami ang nagtatanong what’s the current situation in the Philippines.
How’s the quarantine experience like? May swab test ba tlga? May bayad ba and all?…
I Hope my experience helps and somehow gives hope and encourage my kababayans who are stranded abroad and planning to go home during this crisis.

So here’s my story😊:

So, here it is finally ✈️
After 3 cancellations (PAL, Emirates, Cebu pacific )
After all the heartbreaks , numerous calls and long waiting list ng airlines 😭 I decided to get a special flight to Manila via PAL dahil desperado na ako umuwi.
This flights are not usually announced in the airlines website (ayon sa aking pagiimbestiga 🧐)

With a help of a friend working in a Travel agency in Dubai I was lucky to get an earlier date. Thanks to you 😊
Lesson learned: try and try until you succeed 🙏🏻

To make the long story short, my flight was delayed for 3.5 hours. Pero sabi ko okay lang ang importante tuloy na tuloy ang flight ko 😁
Eto ung time na punong puno ako ng positivity and energy dahil nagbaon tlga ako ng maraming pasensya💪🤞🏻

And at last eto na tlgaa un moment ko!
Mapapa sobrang Thank you lorrd ka nlang 🤩🙏🏻

Ung tipong kaka- take off plang kainan na agad 😃I decided not to eat during my 8 hours flight.Why? Diet ako ! Chos😉Because paranoid ako I had to make sure i will not remove my mask the whole flight because i dont want to take any chances of getting the virus.Disclaimer: this is only my choice and I have nothing against sa foods ng airline. 🤞🏻

So, eto na nga, as what I’ve read sa post ng iba.
Prepare your self sa sandamakmak na paper works.
They will ask you to fill up all the forms as this will be needed upon our arrival in 🇵🇭🇵🇭🇵🇭

Rule: BRING YOUR OWN PEN!!!

Touchdown PINAS🇵🇭
Landed at 11:30 am / 8th June
We were greeted by the PCG team ( Phil coast guard ) , OWWA and Red cross team.
They did the briefing on what to expect during our arrival. All are explained thoroughly , infairness i can somehow feel we are treated all nicely and everything was organized.
Kudos PH 🇵🇭 Job well done !👏🏻

And this what I really liked 👌🏻
You can see a lot of this roaming around doing the disinfection in the hallways, chairs etc.
somehow for me this gives me the assurance that we are safe.
Social distancing is maintained, not overcrowded airport .
Again I am impressed 👌🏻🇵🇭

And the adventure begins 🙈😭 after the briefing and all Its time for COVID-19 SWAB TEST.
All pregnant ladies, families and children are on the priority lane. During this flight, I was surprised kasi almost 100 ata ang buntis na passengers 😁
Haha alam na this 😉

Fyi: Since I am an OFW, free po and Covid swab test.
For tourist, student visa you need to pay for the swab at your own expense. If I am not mistaken nsa 3500 pesos ata  (sorry not sure) 🤞🏻

Yung tipong kakabahan ka ksi meron luhaan after 😅🤣
My experience: hindi sia masakit , uncomfortable maybe. Just hold your breath for 5 seconds kalas!
You’re done.

See walang pila sa immigration …
Walang hassle na pila 👌🏻🤩

After 3 hours …. its time to go in our quarantine place. This time wala kami idea which hotels kami dadalin .
Surprise ang peg nila! 💃😉
For non ofw/ Tourist visa: meron po designated desk na mgaasit sainyo in which hotel of your choice kayo dadalin.
Meron po sila ipapakita na list of hotels with prices per night.
Unfortunately this will be at your own expense.

COVID-19 Quarantine Experience After Arriving in the Philippines

And here we are finally🎉
Dahil wala kami magawa while waiting sa bus napagchismisan namin na kaya pla sobrang tagal e understaff ang hotel.
2 staff vs 300 check ins ang peg 🙈
Lesson learn: wag nga mgreklamo bes dahil pandemic ngaun lahat is short staff daw! Ang importante mkakahiga ka na 😊

Tadaaa! After 10 yrs! Chos!
Sulit ang pgaantay beshy🤩
Suite room daw ako 💃❤️
Letzz go💃
Take note: wala po ako binayaran
After the check in and paperworks – we were assisted on our own assigned rooms 😍

✔️Spacious and clean room❤️

Lacerna said that they were served food three times per day while they were in quarantine. All their meals were free.

She added that you can get food delivered to the hotel through foodpanda.

This is really important! 🙈
Dahil almost 6 hours ang aming pghihintay bago mkapunta sa knya knya hotels lobat na ang lahat ng akin gadgets at powerbank.
Remember to bring this with you pauwi ng pinas dahil lahat ng saksakan sa pinas ay 2 pins lng ang available🙈
Cgro sa mga 5 star hotel meron sila available but just make sure nlng kasi since npaka dmi nio uuwi at mgrerequest nito for sure mgkakaubusan sa hotel like what just happened during my stay 😭

I forgot to mention earlier during the briefing pala, we were ask to follow pala this page. Kasi dito daw nila popost Covid test results everyday 😊

And atlast after 4 days🎉
Yesss!!! 4 dayss lang ! 😅 tama ang chismis mabilis na tlga nila nai-release ang result 👌🏻
I got my result and eto ung feeling na pumasa ka sa board exam dahil nakita mo ang name mo sa list !😂😂😂
Sobrang thankfull and blessed lang tlga 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
And everything that just happen thought me a lot of things and lessons in life.

1. Don’t complain – kasi God is preparing things and it will happen in the right time.
2. Trust his will – If you believe that God is with you on your journey . Dont ask and never question , kasi for sure he has plans. Indeed better plans☝🏻
3. Be patient – everything happens for a reason .
Kaya pla ilan beses nacancel flights ko ksi he dont want me to suffer as what others experienced. He is preparing na maging maayos ang lahat sa paguwi namin.
4. Be thankful and share your blessing!

That’s why Im sharing this post to create positivity against the effort of our govt🇵🇭 to bring home all the filipinos around the world.
I know its not easy but I know our govt is doing their best to help us .

Maraming salamat po🇵🇭❤️
Your returning OFW🇵🇭🙏🏻

She was given a certificate as proof that she tested negative for COVID-19. After testing negative, she was discharged from the quarantine facility and can already head home.

“Finally, malaya ka na,” she ended her post.

You can check out her full Facebook post below.

Anything to add to this story? Share your thoughts with us.


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