Living in The Philippines > Getting here and back and getting items here and back

Good Luck With International Travel!!


We left the USA for good on 3/Feb/2021. 

Amongst the documents we had with us were the following:
1. My wife's old Philippine passport.
2. US Passports for all of us, (me, wife, two kids).
3. KungFlu (Covid) test results.  We were all negative.
4. Return tickets to Guam for May.  (We probably won't use them, but return tickets are required for travel.)
5. Proof of a reservation at approved quarantine hotel in Manila.
6. Marriage certificate.
7. Birth certificates for both kids.
and most importantly ....
8. A notarized letter from the mayor of the town we were moving to that we were allowed to quarantine in my wife's house.

The whole trip was a ridiculous hassle.  To start, we almost weren't let on the plane in Dallas because the ladies working the counter claimed we need to fill out some online form for the Philippine Red Cross.  (We never did fill out that form.)  What finally convinced them to let us on the plane was the notarized letter from the mayor.

Then we were almost stranded in South Korea.  The lack of a common language may have contributed to our problems here, but the dumb girls at the check-in desk had us walking all over the airport in search of ..... God only knows what!  Finally, after everyone else got on the airplane, some lady who seemed to have some idea of what she was doing looked over our paperwork, and once again the mayor's letter seemed to do its magic.  We were the last people let on the plane.

We then had to stay two weeks in the "quarantine" hotel in Manilla.  Forunately it was across the street from a Robinsons Mall.  Unfortunately the kids weren't allowed in the mall, (stupid KungFlu requirements), so they got very, very, VERY bored and restless.

Finally we had to self-quarantine for two weeks in the family house here. 

Now I am enjoying the torrential rains, (and accompanying mud), of "dry" season.  We are way out in the province of Zamboanga del Sur somewhere.  I shudder to think about what the rainy season will bring.

We do have good, mostly stable internet access, and a clean, nice house, so as long as I stay inside I'm reasonably happy.  But I don't think this will work for me long term.  My wife is of course very happy, as she is back home with her family.  My older kid is mostly happy.  He helps out with some of the farm work, and plays with his iPad.  I think our younger kid is more like me, but not as discontent.  (He finds things that he enjoys to do.)

Now to be honest ...... I'm pretty much always discontent wherever I am.  View my grumblings with the appropriate amount of skepticism.

Steve & Myrlita:
The question I have is this: Could your wife have used the Balikbayan? You would be good to go for one year.


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