Quarantine changes, visa issues, cooking success

The quarantine rules were changed because more COVID-19 cases have popped up in this region of the Philippines again. And while the numbers are relatively small, officials want to prevent a spread.

Quarantine changes

A new executive order was issued in Aklan Province in light of the latest news. Thousands of Overseas Foreign Workers (OFWs) have returned to the Philippines because of the pandemic. The latest cases were traced back to repatriated OFWs.

The official government press release says there is one new case in Aklan Province, and more cases in other provinces in the Western Visaya region.

The amendments to the Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) that impact us: people can only go out for essential goods and services; people over 60 and under 21 are not allowed to leave home.

The provincial order is dated June 5, but we didn’t see it until today. (It was posted to the Aklan site yesterday.)

Meanwhile, several Western Visayan governors meet tomorrow to create a plan for the “new normal” to get businesses going again once the current MGCQ is lifted. The MGCQ is scheduled to be lifted on June 15. An estimated 36 million Filipinos are now living below the poverty line thanks to pandemic business fallout and tanked tourism.

Visa issues

We still are unclear what to do about our visas. The original plan stated we had 30 days from the start of the General Community Quarantine to get to an immigration office. In our case, the nearest office is on Boracay Island. But now the GCQ is a “modified” GCQ.

I’ve joined a few Facebook groups filled with expats in the Philippines. No one knows what’s going on when it comes to the visa requirements. In fact, according to group members, they get different stories on what do to from different branches of government.

Hopefully, whenever we get to the immigration officials, it will be a smooth process.

Tedly and I have been in the Philippines seven months now; Mom Diane for six.

Cooking success!

I’ve had a cooking success! Yes – me!

I was at the market, and shopping for stir-fry veggies. I do not know what came over me. Maybe it was my sister channeling in all the way from Ohio.

But instead of grabbing the pre-cut squash, beans, eggplant and okra sold everywhere, I felt like taking on a cooking challenge. I asked the proprietor what ingredients would make a good Filipino stir fry.

She pointed out jackfruit, mung beans, sweet potato leaves, told me to add coconut and garlic and onion. Sounded easy so I bought some stuff. She said to cook the beans first, and gave me a few other instructions.

Since I’m not talented at cooking, I asked Yolly for more guidance. She’s the owner of the Hangout Beach Resort where we are staying, and she’s awesome. I brought the ingredients to her and said: “Help!” She guided me through how to prepare this typical stir fry, including how to make coconut milk. Did you know you simply add water to shredded coconut and squeeze and squish it out of the shredding? I was amazed – it really looked like thin milk!

It was my first time in the kitchen in …. years?? LOL. Tedly is the cook in the Earth Vagabonds equation.

I guessed at the amounts, and I’d add more mung beans and a lot more coconut milk in the future. But overall, I was pleased with how this turned out!

Maybe I’ll try more stuff in kitchen during inevitable quarantine changes in this travel pause.

Thanks for reading, “Quarantine changes, visa issues, cooking success.”

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Quarantine changes, visa issues, cooking success

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