We are healthy. We are safe. Actually, we are very comfortable.
Still, we are not permitted to leave the confines of our two bedroom apartment (and rooftop) near the port of Caticlan, in the Northwestern corner of Panay, Philippines.
Philippine Quarantine: Day 1
Today was our first full-day of quarantine, after arriving here at about 5:00 p.m. yesterday and being notified by local health authorities of our status.
Anybody who wants to see the resort property that was kind enough to take us in, ‘The HangOut Beach Resort‘ is searchable on Google and advertises on booking.com and other hotel sites.
We have rented a second floor, two bedroom unit with full kitchen, AC, big balcony, private rooftop, and sea views across to the island of Boracay (where we were supposed to be now). We must stay within our specific area for the next 14 days.
Our place is called a resort, but in a Philippine sense. It is really a small seaside compound on a dead-end beach road, surrounded by many modest homes and bamboo huts with thatched roofs.
While our accommodations are of western caliber, the immediate area is more authentic. There are many roosters, dogs, motor scooters, music, and neighbors living their lives. We’ve been told they know we are quarantined and are concerned with our presence.
Temperature checks established
Early on day one, the top barangay (neighborhood) health official came to our apartment and took our passport information to start a medical chart for each of us where our body temperatures will be recorded twice each day and any other symptoms or pertinent information.
A few hours later a different health worker came to our door and took the first temperature readings using a thermal detecting device pointed at the forehead. All our readings were around 36 degrees Celsius. Considered normal.
Settling into our quarantine home
In the meantime, we settled into our new home, unpacked our luggage, got hooked up to WiFi, and established WhatsApp communication with our landlord/resort owner, Yolly. We can now message back and forth as needed.
Early afternoon, she delivered to our doorstep a countertop water dispenser and drinking water jug (tap water is not drinkable here), a clothes washing tub and laundry soap, a lovely fruit basket, and a 12-pack of Red Horse beer, a Philippine favorite. Woohooo! We are set!
A few hours later we ordered dinner and received two chop sueys and a spaghetti bolognese delivered from the HangOut Resort restaurant. Delicious, large portions, great price! Thanks, Yolly.
Being quarantined means we can’t have in-person contact with anyone, so supplies and food is left outside our door on a table – then we come out and collect it.
We can also chat with people at ground level from our second floor balcony.
In fact, there are two other people here under a different quarantine. A guy from Italy and a woman from Belgium arrived several days before us and are stuck here — unable to leave the property, but not confined to their room.
As tourists, they are attempting to find a way to get back to Europe. We are content where we are.
As always, we are not in any rush. No deadlines, no flights, no back to work date. And best of all we feel fine, healthy, normal.
Day 1 down, 13 more to go!
We will be resting, relaxing, reading, writing, web-surfing, doing some rooftop exercise, observing local life, and of course, blogging about our quarantine life and experiences.
We feel lucky to be where we are at this moment, despite the quarantine. We believe that we are exactly where we are supposed to be. Call it divine providence or fate or whatever. The HangOut Beach Resort will be our home for the coming weeks — and we are comfortable with that.
All we can do is cooperate and see what happens. Hopefully the whole coronavirus panic will fade in coming weeks and the current travel bans and lockdowns will be lifted.
At some point, my mom will head back to the US (her first flight was cancelled), but we plan to continue our global wandering if possible.
Life is now!