Do you have an incoming flight going outside the Philippines? Are you anxious about your COVID test result? Worry not. Here’s my personal experience.
I tested positive to COVID a day before my flight to the United States – something beyond anyone’s control.
I had 2 questions running in my mind:
When will be the date that I have to rebook my next flight?
What if I get tested positive again the day before my rescheduled flight?
The new travel health protocol when traveling to the United States is to get tested for COVID no more than 1 day before your flight regardless of vaccination status. There are exemptions though which you can refer to the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) website. ALWAYS CHECK THE TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS IN THE COUNTRY YOU ARE GOING TO BECAUSE THEY UPDATE THE PROTOCOLS FROM TIME TO TIME.
They accept either RT-PCR or antigen test. RT-PCR is the golden standard for testing. However, it is more expensive and aside from that it usually takes more than 24hours before the results will come out, some offer a faster result but will incur additional cost. An alternative test they accept is the antigen test which is relatively faster (15mins to 2 hrs release of results) and cheaper. MAKE SURE IT IS A VIRAL ANTIGEN TEST AND YOU’VE DONE IT WITH AN ACCREDITED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER. There are booths that do this in NAIA terminal 3.
A day before my flight, I did an antigen test. Results came out and it was POSITIVE. It is definitely stressful but try to calm down and go straight to your house. Isolate yourself from others. The first thing you have to do is report your positive result to your local health unit (can be you barangay health center). It’s much better if you report any symptoms of COVID before your test and start your isolation the soonest possible time. You do not just prevent the disease from spreading, you are also giving yourself a head start in terms of isolation requirements which we will learn later the advantage.
For the first question, when will be the date that I have to rebook my next flight? CDC requires at least 10 days (for asymptomatic to mild cases, refer to CDC website for a more detailed isolation protocols) of isolation from the date you tested positive or the day after you had no fever without using any medication or the start of the first symptoms. If within those 10 days you had fever again, you have to start from day 0 again. Here’s an example: if you tested positive on January 1, that day will be day 0. The start of day 1 will be January 2. Therefore, the end of your 10-day isolation is January 11. You can rebook your next flight on January 12. The reason behind reporting to your local health unit as early as possible is that they start the counting of your isolation days on the day you reported your result or symptoms. They have to monitor you for 10 days before giving you a documentation of recovery. But what is documentation of recovery?
That question is the answer to our next question: what if I get tested positive again the day before my rescheduled flight? Do I have to isolate again? In my personal experience, the answer is NO (this only applies to those who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms). According to the CDC website, it is not recommended to get tested again 90 days after you tested positive or recovered from COVID since there is a high possibility that you will still have the virus but you are not contagious anymore. This is where the documentation of recovery will come in. A documentation of recovery is a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or public health official (e.g. licensed doctor) that says that you completed your 10-day isolation and you are being cleared to travel or go back to work/school. It is important that the letter either states that you can travel or go back to work/school. The letter needs to have the information that identifies you personally that matches the details on your passport or other travel documents (e.g. name, date of birth). It has to be signed on official letterhead with the name, address, and contact number of the licensed public health official who signed the letter. This document will be given to you by the local health unit upon completion of your 10-day isolation. You also need to attach the viral positive result you had before your 10-day isolation. If you don’t get any proof/documentation of recovery, you have to have a negative result the day before your rescheduled flight.
On the day of your rescheduled flight make sure to bring all the documents you need. A COVID-negative result no more than 1 day before your flight or proof of recovery, vaccination card, passport, visa and other requirements the country you are going to requires you. Make sure to always wear a mask. Wear it properly (covering the nose and mouth), and at all times especially when you are in an enclosed space and/or with other people.
Let’s be responsible for each other in times of a pandemic like this and follow the health protocols anywhere we go.
April 7 2021 when I first arrived in the US (that’s why I told you in my last post that I’m gonna post something in two weeks but it never happened. LOL). I was scared and doubtful – am I gonna make it? I do not have any close friends or family members in that place. New culture, people, work place – basically a new environment.
I have always been afraid but as the saying goes – if it frightens you it is worth the risk. I took that leap of faith. I moved out of my comfort zone. Seven months later, I made it! Or should I say I am happy where I am now. Tbh, I still have a long way to go. Nevertheless, I made it – life adjustment wide. Small victories worth celebrating.
I was able to roam around NYC and NJ. Right now, I am in a flight going to North Dakota and I am getting overwhelmed with everything.
I am and will be forever grateful to God. He really is faithful to His promises. Who would’ve thought that I’d be in this position rn? Totoo yung mahirap maging mahirap kasi parang di mo maiisip mangarap dahil ang goal mo na lang ay to survive everyday (It’s true that being poor is tough as dreaming is your least priority because your goal is mainly to survive everyday). Pero totoo din yong libre lang mangarap kaya taasan mo na (But, it’s true that it’s free to dream so dream high).
It was never easy.
I was never part of the rich kids club. Grepa kung grepa (hanggang ngayon haha) (Financially struggling (till now haha)). Naranasan naming kanin-toyo meal sa buong araw (We experienced eating just rice and soysauce for the whole day). Tapos (Then), I remember back in high school and college I had to walk 4kms going home kasi wala akong pamasahe pinambili ko kasing pagkain, and nag1-2-3 nga din ako once for the same reason (because I do not have money for transportation as I spent it for food, and did not pay for the transportation once for the same reason). Coz food is layp (life) haha. Sakto lang kasing round trip na pamasahe baon namin (We only had the exact amount for a round trip fare). Dati di ko maintindihan bakit yong mga classmates ko may bagong gamit kada simula ng school year tapos kami laging recycled from last year (I didn’t understand back then why my classmates had new school supplies every school year whilst we always recycled last school year’s supplies). But now I fully understand how my parents strived and gave the best of whatever they had back then for us to live and finish school and I will be forever grateful for their life.
I was never the smartest in the room. I failed a lot of times in life. I was never a straight A student. Ang mahalaga nakagraduate (The important thing is I graduated). 🤣
I was never the prettiest (based on society’s standard). Pero, alam ko, ng pamilya at mga kaibigan kong ako ang pinakamaganda (please walang kokontra haha) (But, I, my family and friends know that I am the fairest of them all (please do not object haha). If I only conformed with that standard prolly I’d be in Hollywood and will say no to Ryan Gosling. Love you, babe. Haha
Totoo din yung everything happens for a reason (It’s also true that everything happens for a reason). I was an NGW for n years na hindi tumataas yong sahod, walang bonus, walang benefits, walang anything (no salary increase, no bonus, no benefits, no anything). I applied for several permanent positions locally pero, shuta laging (but, shit it was always), “we regret to inform you…” – heartbreaking and kakainin yung confidence mo sa sarili (it will eat out your self confidence). Pero, ganun pala yun, sa isang daang bagay na tatanggi sayo, ay may dadating na isang bagay na tatanggap sayo nang buong buo (shet kung it also applies sa jowa, need ko pang 100 jowa haha) (But, I realized, even if you get 100 rejections, you will get fully accepted by one thing (shit if it also applies to romantic relationship, I still need 100 relationships haha). .
It’s truly frustrating when you see others getting their goals faster than you do. But as cliché as it is, life is not a race. We all have a unique timeline designed based on the desires of our heart. We just have to believe, be patient and keep working on it.
When God starts to say “it’s time” or when the universe starts to conspire for you (whichever you believe in), everything will work amidst all the inevitable chaos. Nakakatakot na nakakaexcite kasi parang naaayon lahat ng pagkakataon para sayo (It’s scary and exciting at once because it seems that all the odds are in your favor).
If you are reading this now, losing hope and getting tired of life, it’s normal to feel that way but never give up. Listen to your gut feeling, trust the process, and keep living. One day your heart will be filled with pure joy na mapapabulong ka na lang randomly ng “salamat” (you’ll randomly whisper “thank you”).
I hope you don’t get tired of waiting for God to say it’s time or for the universe to conspire. Never be afraid to dream the impossible. Be patient with yourself and one day you will see that it pays to work on what your heart is craving for.
Are you still into plants after the hype? Well, hello again plantitos and plantitas! I am still a plantita cos that’s what my day job requires me and I am not complaining. Have you ever thought if you are being practical with your newly found habit? Being a plantita/tita is not a joke nowadays; I have seen people buying plants at an enormous amount! But how much is too much if we enjoy our plants? Here are the 5 signs I think you should look out to see if you are still a practical plantita/tita:
Acquiring new plants moderately. As an agriculturist, I have seen different plants from different places. Some of them grow easily others do not. Some you can easily get others are rare. If you have budget go and splurge and buy all the expensive plants. But you are not being practical if the plant you acquire out of impulse can be bought 10x cheaper.
Doing research before buying. You want that cute pot? New soil mix? Different rock cut? Wait! Have you done your research? Because you might buy something your plants do not want. Some media are not suitable to some plants. Pots without holes can cause waterlog condition to your plants. So before you check out your cart, do your research first.
Using whatever available resources you have. I know you want the best for your plant but as our basic science plants are independent creatures as they can make their own food. Plantitos/titas need only to provide the optimum condition the plants require. Look around you before you buy something. Do you want to pregerminate seeds but you do not have planting media? Try asking for a little amount of sand from a nearby construction site, that would work in pregerminating selected seeds.
Considering edible plants. Most plantitas/titos grow plants as decoration to beautify their place or make it more relaxing. It is also their way to release stress. But why not plant some edible plants so that you release your stress and expect some healthy food you can consume later on. Check out my previous posts on edible plants you can easily grow.
Happiness with your plants. Bottomline is that whether you spend more or less with your plants, you should find that you are happy with what you are doing. You should also see yourself not abandoning a single plant. If you see a plant of yours wither because you simply do not have time to look for them, maybe you are not being practical and consider giving them before the others die too.
I have been dating myself every valentine’s since the beginning of time. LOLjk. I recently watched Jollibee’s valentine special short film and reminded of the number of times I dated myself during valentine’s week. Here’s the link of that commercial/short film by Jollibee. Sorry for spoiling you. 😛
If you ended your relationship just before the love month (nice timing) or haven’t found the one you may consider dating yourself. When my friends heard that I consistently date myself they wonder how I do that because they feel like walking around or eating out alone are not something they’d want to do. But, to be honest, it is one of the things I look forward every month. Dating yourself is like dating someone but with this set up you get to know more about yourself. You will have time to evaluate and reevaluate your life – past mistakes, achievements, challenges and opportunities. Aside from that, you get to go to places and eat foods you want without using extra energy considering your date’s wants. So, whether it is your first or nth time celebrating the love month alone, I hope you will have a well-spent Valentine’s Day.
I used to be that shy type girl in class not because I was born this way but because the society told me to. My environment’s standard of beauty is having clear skin, pointy nose, on-fleek brows and almond eyes and because of that I thought I was not beautiful. Insecurities swallowed me whole back then and I thought I’d never gonna conquer the monster.
Growing up, people would say that beauty is subjective and I did not know that the day would come that I’d agree to that. Before going to how I redeemed my confidence back, let me share to you these words from Emily McDowell, “‘Finding yourself’ is not really how it works. You aren’t a ten-dollar bill in last winter’s coat pocket. You are also not lost. Your true self is right there, buried under cultural conditioning, other people’s opinions, and inaccurate conclusions you drew as a kid that became your beliefs about who you are. ‘Finding yourself’ is actually returning to yourself. An unlearning, an excavation, a remembering who you were before the world got its hands on you.”. This quote may seem not appropriate as it looks like a quote for finding yourself but here’s the tea for those still in deep pit of self-doubt – gaining back your confidence is to find your true self first.
To be able to conquer your insecurities in your society’s standard you have to go back to yourself before they got you. One of the things I did is to go out of that society I grew up – I traveled. My younger self knows that my first few travels were for leisure and pictures purposes. But, as I wander from one point to another, I was able to see life in a broader perspective. Travelling will allow us to learn and relearn things, to discover people living way differently but still function and not hate themselves. The challenges along the way will unleash potentials and skill you didn’t know you have.
Boracay may be beautiful to you but not to your friend. Mt. Pulag is worth the trek for others but to you it was a usual mountain climbing experience. Durian is probably comfort food to others but not to you. You see, travelling to a place far away from your home town is life changing. It is a subtle way of stabbing your insecurity monster and finally living out the life you’d always wanted. That experience made me see myself and others being equally beautiful in our own different ways. And if ever you are reading this thinking you are not beautiful enough for this world, you are wrong – rediscover yourself and find that you are more than enough to deserve all the best this life has to offer. *wink*
Have you ever had a goal in mind you really want to achieve but none went your way and end up getting frustrated because the universe seems to be not on your side? I guess we all have moments like that especially when we figured out after n years of living what we really want in life. Do not give up and be patient. Keep doing what your gut is telling you. Let me tell you a story about the love-hate relationship between a person I know and the universe and I hope this will inspire you to not give up on your bucket list.
This person was not born with a golden spoon in her mouth. But she had dreams you will think way too impossible given her family’s financial status. Nonetheless, she kept working hard. She had faith but just like the others, we sometimes get weak and ask if dreaming is just a waste of time. There was this time she told her self to just live in her simple comfort zone. However, her gut was telling her otherwise. She wanted to persevere amidst the things life had been throwing to her. There were a lot of times she considered giving up and wonder why this was not what the universe wanted for her.
And then one day, after years of waiting the universe conspired for her dreams to come true. It was scary because all her life she thought the universe hates her for being too ambitious and all of a sudden everything went smoothly towards what she wanted badly. Yes. She achieved what her mind conceived not a day after she had set her goals not even a year later but in time she did thru years of hardworking and praying.
Some people might get what they want in an instant others do not. We all have different timelines and the universe knows when is the best time. Never give up on your goals. Listen to your gut and keep working and praying. One day the universe will surprise you and conspire and when that time comes, go with it. You are limitless.
Are you one of those who said that 2020 will be the year you are going to achieve your goals? Because I did. Before 2019 ends, I looked back and realized that I have been delaying my long term goals for instant gratification. I told myself that I am gonna work harder. Then 2020 started and I was very motivated to exert extra effort for the universe to conspire for my dreams. But then COVID happened and everything has become uncertain up until to this writing.
Is it still worth it to start pursuing our dreams in time of Covid19? Can we still cross out one of those goals in our bucket list? Why do we need to work for our dreams if tomorrow is full of uncertainties? Can we postpone achieving or even setting our goals? Is it still okay to dream?
With the new variant of the virus, another level of anxiety may arise (or has arose in some places). The world hasn’t healed well from the original variant and now we are facing a more contagious one. We couldn’t blame people from getting scared about the future. And it is okay if you have decided to create a list of your 2021 goals. It is okay if you aim to achieve those this year because you know what they say? Nothing is impossible. But, remember, it is also okay to hold back if you think you are not yet ready; prolly the time for you to rest your mind, body and soul, and once you get that energy, you will be ready to put that game face on. It is okay to start your dreams now, tomorrow, the next day or until the world stabilise. Whatever you are comfortable with, dream on.
Dreaming during a pandemic is difficult. At the moment, we can still dream, work for them to become reality or just write them down. As we wait and hope for a brighter light, let’s help one another. Let us follow the protocols our place has put to prevent the spread of the virus. Wear mask, wash hands frequently, and stay home if you do not have any urgent matter to attend to. Stay safe, dreamers!
I have been some of my friends’ confidant with their relationships’ ups and downs. Sometimes I ask myself why me? I have been single since the beginning of time (LOL) so where will I get the words of wisdom they need? 😀
It has been years since the first friend of mine shared her fairytale that did not end into a happily ever after, then months after another friend had the same dilemma until I lost count. Looking back, I realised how immature I was before than now. I used to tell my friends who kept going back to their exes how stupid they are. But as time goes by, I have realised that my friends do not really need my advice – they know the answer, their guts are shouting if they should either stay or leave the relationship. You are what they need – someone who will listen and not judge them. Advise them if you see something is clearly wrong on what they are doing, and if they do not listen, please stay and try again.
There are times you will feel like you are repeating yourself – same advice different person. I hope you never get tired lending your ears and arms. Embrace it. Learn from it.
If you are like me who constantly receives good and bad love life news…may you feel blessed with all those souls willing to give you a part of it.
To all my friends who loved before, sorry for judging your decisions. I will try my best to become a better person and look at as many sides of the story as possible before drawing conclusions. Thank you for sharing an important part of your life. Whatever you decide may you find the happiness you deserve. And to those who got broken, may you heal well, and grow into a person your past and present self would be proud of. I pray that all of you find your right person in the right time and place. As you journey to meeting Mr/Ms Right, remember that my line is always there for you (just needs a couple of wave before answering. LOLjk).