We Made it!

We’re Finally Here – in the Land of Smiles!

Traveling with a lot of luggage half way around the world is a tiring event, but maxed out with luggage and travelling with two family pets is simply exhausting.  I’m sure glad this was a one way proposition.  We arrived in Manila on schedule and to our surprise noticed that the Immigration section had been somewhat overhauled for efficiency and made for a smoother and faster transition through this part of the arrival process. Arriving passengers are now segregated and directed to different areas and the clogged lines of mixed passengers like in the past don’t exist. Hooray! Next stop after claiming our luggage was to visit the Quarantine section of the airport with our two cats and as our good luck would have it, we caught the Quarantine officer in the middle of watching a Philippine soap opera in her secluded air conditioned office.

Dinner and a sunset on Manila Bay 2

Nonetheless, our paperwork was handled very proficiently (it helps to have ALL the requirements and documents required) and we paid about 400 pesos for the cat “visas” and were on our way. Rather than fly from the domestic airport directly to Calbayog City in Samar, we opted to have family members pick us up at Terminal One and drive us to Samar. Bad decision! As we initially thought it would be easier on the animals as they could finally leave their cages after being coopedup for over 24 hours, the long 20 hour trip made it just that more difficult for them (seemed to drag on for me too!) not to mention a Ferry ride from Matnog, Bicol across the San Bernardino Straights to Allen, Samar. For a pair of sheltered animals that have never seen the ocean and then be subjected to a boat ride on top of it all, well…it must have been nightmarish to them, especially after a big long airplane ride. Anyway, we finally arrived in our village of Tomaligues around mid-evening, ate supper and spent no time settling in and finding our way to bed. I was soooo looking forward to stretching out and getting some sleep I completely forgot we would be spending our first night without air conditioning.  As it turned out, I was so tired and the fan was all I needed.

A Smoking Volcano!

A Smoking Volcano!

The one plus of the entire trip was actually the drive from Manila through southern Luzon and Bicol with some sight-seeing and a photo opportunity with the Volcano, Mt. Mayon.  For the two cats though, they could care less about some stinkin smoking volcano  – so their nightmare continued.

12 thoughts on “We Made it!

  1. And a year prior it was my turn with my two White German Shepherds in full size Sky Kennels. My dear wife and I enjoyed the long flight. Being picked up by half the family in two fans, (One just for the dogs). Then a stop in Antipolo to see my niece and her family before heading down to San Antonio, Zambales. The new highway was nice, and then we traveled through what I knew as NAS CUBI & NAVSTA SUBIC. Okay it was 20 years since I left, but darn they did a nice conversion of the old base. Got down to the house and now the neighborhoods kids were all amazed at the Giant with the two White Wolfs! (LOL). First few days were quite amazing for the kids, the dogs, and I. Would change a thing. . . Glad to be here, glad to be surrounded by family, and so glad that there is Iced Cold San Miguel in the refrigerator. Still enjoying each and every day with a positive and care free outlook. Brown Outs – kind of fun. No Internet, no biggie, just run downtown to the cafe if I really need to check my mail and other sites. Lay back and relax! Dogs are fine and they only accidently won one minor disagreement with a local dog. . . . (2 Full Size German Shepherds vs 1 Little Local Dog – You guess the outcome). Life here is very comfortable, hope to get down your way someday Randy, but we are both RETIRED and need to relax!

    • Hey Terry, You guys will just have to find a sitter for the dogs and head this way. We spell “relax” the same way in Samar as you do in Luzon!

      • Looking for flights from CLARK to Calbayog. . . .
        Plus it’s Rainy Season. . .
        But neither one of us is leaving Paradise, so have another cold one and so shall I.

  2. wow ….. so happy for you Randy and all the ones made to Phil……
    you all give me so much energy and hopes for my first time in the islands next December, can wait to learn all the cultural changes and to visit all the beautiful places in the Philippines…… you all take care

  3. Hey Randy…. enjoyed reading your latest blog here…we both know that the internet here is not quite as wonderful as it is in the USA but it works when it works and its there when its there…Globe be it Globe and the unpredictable weather here dictates everything we do, but its good to be here, and we’ll be lookin for more of your post. Looking forward to this coming Saturday to celebrate your anniversary at the Mondejares Puertes resort. Maria and I will bring our swimming suits….. a cool dip in the pool will be a pleasure….
    Your house sure looks nice and is coming along well…. having fresh bananas off the tree in your back of house is convenient treat. Seems like bananas are everywhere here lately…. The Market just up the street from where we live on Magsaysay accross from the Sanitarium hospital had some good chunks of beef…Maria made some beef jerky…really good stuff… and they also sell some good whole chicken that they cut up for us and we make curry chicken with… Hope sometime we can get together and have a couple of brews and some good eats while Im here. I’ll be here until Feb 26, 2013… later on after you guys get the house together and moved in we could take a ride with our wifes up the highway or down to Tacloban….. As you know our dog tachy has been sick but struggles for ambition everyday….the doctor here recommend some medicine for him and some liver of the chicken for him to eat… I think he’s getting better….we are not sure why he’s sick but we think he ate some chicken bones…that could be fatal. Yesterday I took Maria over to St Camillus Hospital yesterday for a neck exray… i think she just has a pulled muscle in her neck from hanging up clothes….. Ok…..time to get some things done around here…take care…see ya later.

    • I hope Maria is okay. Swimming tomorrow might be good therapy. I didn’t realize tachy was still sick. Hope he is feeling better soon. After we get settled I will be looking forward to taking a trip either up north or down to Tacloban. See you guys tomorrow!

  4. So is was reading your story and I am so glad you made it. I have a question you brought you pets what all was involved in getting your pets and was there any paper work that needed to be done. We also are getting ready to move to samar and I have a dog. That my daughter would miss so much if we had to leave him. Can you help thanks and congrats.

    • Hi Thomas, thanks for visiting my site. The process for bringing pets to the Philippines is not for the light of heart. Although it is easier on dogs than cats, the process is time consuming. Most of the information about the importation of pets can be found on the Bureau of Animal Industry website (BAI). The first visit to their site, you should register. Although the site is not very user friendly, by the time you scour through everything, you will be familiar with the policy of importation. At home, the first thing you need to do is consult with your VET about a complete examination for your pet and the completion of the International VET Certification form which can be obtained from the BAI or many VETS. Timing is crucial and the way we understood it was that you only have 60 days to complete the process before commencing your travel. I will also mention that travel arrangements will all be on you and you must check with all the various airlines about their pet policies. In our case, we had to fly Delta because of summertime temperature restrictions for moving pets as cargo. We were able to carry the cats in-cabin with Delta. The completed paperwork (exam documentation) must be forwarded to the nearest consulate for endorsement, and all documentation will be submitted to the Bureau of Quarantine before you clear Customs in the Philippines. It is quite the process, but well worth it if your pet is part of the family. Pets imported to the Philippines are only subjected to an 30 day in-house quarantine. If after you visit the BAI site and need clarification, you can always call the BAI in the Philippines through SKYPE. I found it easy to get through. Or, come back here with your question and I will be happy to try to get you an answer. Good luck. So, what part of Samar are you looking to locate to?

  5. Thank you for the info we love our dog and it is worth any amount of time. We will be moving to calboyog city. That is about 1hour from were my wife grew up. Thank you for the site it helps to know that there are other people doing the same

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