Philippine Quarantine Day 5: Free-er

We are healthy.  We are safe.  We are free – er.

This morning we got the news our quarantine area would be expanded to encompass the whole grounds of the small resort where we are staying — not just our apartment and rooftop.

This came after the only other guests at the property, who had also been confined here all week, an Italian/Belgian couple, left the compound in hopes of getting back to Europe.

We are now the only people at the HangOut Beach Resort in Caticlan, Aklan, Panay, Philippines — although several staff members, the owner/landlady, and a few of her friends are on-site every day.

Philippine Quarantine Day 5

Flight

The European couple departed hurriedly at around 9:00 a.m. after receiving news they could get aboard a flight that was leaving from the Caticlan airport.

We’d been told several dozen other tourists had been stranded at the airport since the coronavirus lockdown began here five days ago. And in total, about 600 people – both foreigners and Filipinos – were still trying to leave this area. To our knowledge, no flights went in or out all week.

It was about 7:15 a.m. when a plane went over us on final approach to the airport – mostly used to serve the nearby tourist island hots pot of Boaracay (where we had our original reservations). Departing take-offs go the other direction, but during the day we heard two departures.

As of tonight, we know our former quarantine mates made it to Manila. They texted a photo to our landlady from Manila airport where they were hoping to arrange onward travel.

Temperature checks

Of course, we’ve had our daily visits from the local health officials to collect our body temperature readings. Today: 8:15a.m. and 4:50 p.m.

Both times my temperature was registered and recorded as 34 degrees Celsius. That is 92.3 degrees Centigrade. Useless! Obviously, the reading is faulty or the scanner malfunctioning.

My mom’s and Ellen’s readings were also ridiculously low today. Regardless, the numbers are updated on our charts and we are told “see you tomorrow” by the cheerful, masked health department worker.

We’ve decided to be grateful the readings aren’t mistakenly high. So we say nothing. We don’t know what would happen if officials thought we had fevers.

Dinner

With our new ‘freedom’ of movement, we were able to eat with our host/landlady in the small restaurant of the resort tonight. It is the first time we’ve been allowed back to the reception area since we stumbled in begging for accommodation five days ago.

Due to lack of any guests, the menu has been curtailed/discarded. We’ve told the owner and staff to let us know what is available. Tonight, chicken schnitzel, mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables. Mmmmm… I love schnitzels, and this was especially delicious with a cold Red Horse beer.

There is also billiard table, bar, and lounge seating as part of the reception area. In addition, there is an upper level dining room with fabulous beach and sea view. 

We will be able to enjoy these areas at any time going forward.

Life is now!

Note: This is a daily series during the Earth Vagabonds 14-day quarantine period with alternating writing by Tedly and Ellen. If you missed how we got stuck, start with our initial report.

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Philippine Quarantine Day 5: Free-er

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