JOURNEY BACK HOME: AN OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKER’S STORY

The flight was in the evening via Sri Lankan airlines. Upon boarding the plane, the crew gave each passenger a bottle of drinking water. The flight from the Maldives to Sri Lanka was one hour and 10 minutes. Upon arriving at the airport in Sri Lanka, we were given a packed meal. We waited inside the airport for more than six (6) hours before we boarded another Sri Lankan Airlines plane that will take us to the Philippines. It was a very long and exhausting flight.

OFWs falling in line to go inside the Velana International Airport
OFWs falling in line to check-in for the flight at the Velana International Airport

On June 11, 2020, I arrived in Manila, Philippines together with other OFWs from the Maldives. We were immediately led to a room where they orient us on what we are going to do. We were handed out forms to fill up. After filling up the forms, they collected it and we immediately underwent swab testing also inside the airport. After the swab testing, we fell in line at the OWWA booth to fill-up a form then waited for the bus to take us to the quarantine facility. After a few minutes, we proceeded to ride a bus going to the hotel where OWWA arranged the accommodation. We were checked-in at Dusit Thani Hotel Manila. Other OFWs were checked-in at Crowne Plaza Manila.

Inside the NAIA international terminal, OFWs fall in line to fill up the OWWA form before riding a bus to the quarantine facility
Inside the bus on our way to the quarantine facility

While waiting for the result of the swab testing, I stayed in the hotel for 4 days. We were not allowed to go out of the room. Our breakfast, lunch, and dinner were free. It was delivered on time at our doorsteps. We can also order food thru the room service of the hotel. If we need to buy other necessities such as medicines, an OWWA representative can buy it for us.

Information letter for Dusit Thani guests.
The keycard to my hotel room
Free coffee and drinking water inside the hotel room.
A huge bed just for myself.
Inside my hotel room.
Toiletries and washing materials provided inside the hotel room.
I have a bath tub inside my room.
Watching a movie by myself.
My breakfast in the hotel room.
The view outside my hotel room.

On the third day of my stay at the hotel, I received the result of the swab testing and it was a negative result. I was so happy I can finally go home. The next day, June 16, 2020, at 9:30 in the morning, the hotel receptionist called and told me to check out. Upon checking out of the hotel we fell in line to show our passport and a screenshot of the swab test result to the OWWA representative. Our bus was waiting outside the hotel to take us to the domestic airport. The bus took us to the domestic terminal where the OFWs fell in line to get inside the airport. An airport employee checks each of our passports and filled-up a form before we can get inside the airport.

Inside the airport, we formed another line to get our health certificates. After getting the health certificates, the OWWA representative gave us a packed lunch. There were seats for the OFWs while waiting for the flights. It was a long wait but it was worth it. They announced that the flight will be in the evening.

OFWs inside the domestic terminal waiting for the flight back home.
Free lunch and drinking water provided by OWWA.

Together with other OFWs we patiently waited for our flight at the airport. We checked in for our flight at 11:00 pm. We flew via Philippine airlines first landing at Cagayan de Oro City, then General Santos City and then Davao City. At the Davao City airport, multicab jeepneys were waiting for the OFWs to take each of us to our homes free of charge. I finally arrived at home at 4:30 am on June 16, 2020.

It was a long and tiring flight but I was very thankful to finally arrive at home safely and healthy. After one year and three months, I am finally home.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Juls says:

    Thel, we’re glad you’re safe back home na.. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anithel says:

      Hi Juls. Thank you so much for leaving a comment in my blog. Please don’t forget to like and follow my blog. Thanks. Take care. God bless you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Marichu says:

    It’s a shame you had to give up the Sales Rep job. This pandemic has taken away not just lives but also dreams, hopes and opportunities. I’m sorry for that , Thel. In the right time, it will come back to you. I’m glad that you are home safe and sound now. Such a long and tiring trip but it’s well worth it. Keep safe, Thel! xoxoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Anithel says:

      Thank you Chu. I hope and pray that this pandemic will end soon. I really want to work again in Maldives. Please pray for me Chu.

      Liked by 1 person

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