A plane! A plane! Actually, two planes. Mid-day today, two Cebu Pacific commercial jet liners passed over us on final approach to the nearby Boracay airport. We haven’t seen a big plane for weeks. We thought maybe it had something to do with the May 1 easing of quarantine restrictions.
We found out later, from news reports, that the two planes were filled with Filipino ‘foreign workers’ who have been stranded in other countries until today. They all are from this province, so now they are ‘home’. But they will each be monitored in quarantine (like we were) for the next two weeks.
So no more planes. No airport business. No tourists. And although quarantine rules are officially relaxed starting today, May 1, not much has changed.
Incidentally, I looked up the ‘normal’ flight schedule at our local airport (MPH). The search showed there are about 20 commercial flights both in and out each day. About 15 in each direction are flights to Manila; the rest to Cebu. Of course, small and private planes use the airport too.
To see what might be different May 1, I walked up to the security checkpoint that is at the corner of our small side street and the main road. No change. The barricade and makeshift shelter is still there – and the personnel. And just like the last six weeks, they were serious about safety. Some workers with a chain saw on a moto were signing official papers to access our neighborhood.
Actually, that is a change. Basically, for the past six weeks no one at all has been permitted into any of the neighborhoods that line the main seafront road. The only deliveries we’ve seen recently have been the water jug suppliers. Back when we first arrived, it seemed some kind of vendor on a motorcycle would tool through each afternoon selling bread rolls, or rice pudding, or whatever. Maybe that will start again soon?
The folks manning the checkpoint had limited info when I inquired about the quarantine easing. They did say that public transport tricycles (motorcycles with big sidecars) would be running again – but only two passengers allowed (instead of 6-7) due to social distancing. And all persons between 20 and 60 years of age are free to move about – wearing a face mask. At 80+, mom is still on neighborhood lockdown.
There was no information on other changes. They did not know if/when the pizza parlor or other eateries up the road might reopen. In fact, when I was at the market the other day, I did notice the “Roadhouse Pub”, in Caticlan town center, was open for take-out orders only. Eat-in dining is not allowed even under relaxed quarantine.
Speaking of the market; look at the photo below. There was a major fire this week in the market area in Caticlan. In fact, a place where I bought pineapples and veggies is gone. We found a news report saying seven adjoining shop houses had been destroyed and two more nearby structures damaged too. My opinion: they are lucky to have contained it without injuries. There are a lot of flimsy, wooden structures packed in that area.
Also pictured is the wildfire scene on the hillside about a mile from our apartment. I finally got a good photo showing the large brown area that was torched a week ago. Ironically, I noticed smoke today from someone burning debris (standard practice here) in that same area. Hopefully, they will be more careful – as it is likely that’s how the mountainside blaze got started.
Finally, today I started tinkering with a broken down bicycle that is here on the grounds of the Hangout Beach Resort. It’s actually a pretty high quality, folding, ‘electric assist’ bike — but it’s not in good shape. Further, I can fix a regular bike, but I know nothing about electrified models.
Our host offered it when I inquired about buying a used bike. She apparently bought it in Caticlan at a bike shop – which is not yet reopened. I’ll see if can make contact there in coming days; maybe take it in for estimate or repair? Or perhaps they can help me find a plain old, used bike which would probably be easier and cheaper to have for however long we are here at our beach hangout.
As always, be thankful and generous, happy trails, & more beer.
Life is NOW!
Thanks for reading, “Quarantine easing?”
You might also like:
- How Earth Vagabonds went from home quarantine to community quarantine
- Gigantes islands without any visitors — except us
- What Boracay looks like in pandemic days
What to read that has nothing to do with the pandemic:
- Tecpan, Guatemala: A small city with travelers, no tourists
- ATM Cave adventure in Belize
- Cliff jumping in Bali for the older adventurer
Earth Vagabonds advocate for authentic travel once borders open and restrictions are lifted.