The first major pandemic lockdown in the Philippines happened more than two years ago – it was March 15, 2020. And now that we are on the lowest alert category (Alert level 1), it would be the first time to travel again for most of my countrymen, including I.
To be more specific, it would be my first time to ‘fly‘ again since my last trip from Hokkaido Japan in 2019. While we’re still a bit cautious as the pandemic is still ongoing, we push for our passion in traveling while maintaining the government-set health and safety protocols.
Lets Go Sago would like to extend our thanks to Bacau Bay Resort Coron who have invited us to visit their resort who have officially opened to all tourists, including foreign travelers since February 2022, when the government has allowed such via alert level 2. More about this amazing travel destination in the next blog a day after tomorrow.
For now, let me share with you some of my airport experience and photos through this brief blog. (You can find my videos on my travel TikTok and Instagram Stories highlights):
Aside from the pre-pandemic travel preps, and the previous on-pandemic RTPCR requirement, the Philippines’ Department of Tourism (DOT) has now waived such under Alert Level 1 for local tourists, and just requires an online S-Pass registration to travel to any destination in the Philippines with a Vaccination Card within the DOTR Travel Bubble.
S-PaSS is basically a tool “to facilitate your travels to provinces and cities with travel restrictions” in the Philippines
Requirements might slightly vary depending on inbound travellers’ destination alert level as of this writing; nan your status if you are a traveler whether you are a tourists, a returning resident, an APOR (Private and Government except NGAs and AFP returning for duty), or an AFP Personnel returning for duty.
S-Pass requirements for Local Tourists:
- Hotel / Accommodation Booking
- Two-Way Tickets
- Full Vaccination Card
Simply said, as long as a local tourist have prior hotel bookings in your destination, have your two-way ticket bookings, and is fully vaccinated, S-Pass approval would be a breeze. The website says approval might take 24hrs to 48 hours maximum, I had mine approved in 30 mins during office hours.
It would be best for you to register in advance as each type of traveler would have a different set of documents. For local tourists like me, I think it was made easiest as the DOT intentionally did so to revive the ailing Philippine tourism industry.
At the Airport
From Trinoma Mall in Quezon City to NAIA Terminal 3. your Grab Car fare (4-seater) can be around P500+ to P800+, for non-rush hour rates to surge rates, respectively.
Don’t be late as the NAIA 3 entrance gate can have a long line to begin with, I waited 20 mins until our bags reached the luggage scanning machines. And when you’re in a hurry, every minute counts.
Are there a lot of people inside? you guessed it right! Face-mask aside, and if I didn’t know there was pandemic, you would think it’s just an ordinary pre-pandemic day at the airport. 🙂
Nonetheless, check-in was easy as we did prior web-check in. If you have baggage to check-in, you can utilize the “self check-in” kiosk / stations where you can PRINT your bag check-in tags and proceed to manual bag drop counters. After which, you can proceed to your boarding gate.
The flight was generally good and we reached Busuanga Airport (Francisco B. Reyes) in Coron, safely.
We were not able to help our selfies, IG stories and TikTok videos (also known as ‘work‘ for digital content creators), but airport marshalls were also adamant to remind passengers to proceed and not to loiter to long. They were kind enough (no hostilities experienced), but let’s also do our share as responsible passengers, and not abuse it.
Remember to abide by the health and safety protocols!
Moreover, don’t forget your checked-in luggage just like some of my friends and colleagues who were too excited to go to Bacau Bay Resort Coron that they immediately went out of the airport and looked for the hotel resort service van. They had to be reminded by the organizers to go back and get their luggage from the airport carousel. 🙂
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