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Saturday 15th February 2020:
Up early (5:15am) to catch the plane (7:30am) to Manila. Left Emma at Ron and Vicky’s and they drove us to the airport.
Here till Wednesday. Guy catching up with old school friends and also commencing my residency application which is known as an ACR.
I did have an ACR but I let it expire and immigration will not renew it so have to do the whole application process again.
Sunday 16th & Monday 17th February 2020:
Guy caught up with family and old school/college friends.
Tuesday 18th February:
Up early (4:30am) and off to the NBI offices for my security clearance for my residency ACR card.
Arrived at 5:20am and there were still 20 ish people in front of us.
Got the paper work done and will be back in two weeks to pick up my clearance.
Spent a few hours at the Mall of Asia purchasing some luxury goodies to take back to the island.
Wednesday 19th February 2020:
Up at 4:45am and off to terminal 4 at the airport for our 5:30am flight back to Marinduque. It is a nice short 45-minute flight so all good for my motion sickness.
Ron and Vicky picked us up at the airport in Emma. We dropped them back at their place (4km up the road from us and made our way home. Sssooooo good to be home again at OUR place.
Wednesday 4th March 2020:
Up early (5:15am) to catch the 7:30am flight to Manila. The task at hand is to get all the paper work lodged for my ACR (to become a Philippine resident).
First stop was the NBI to collect my security clearance papers (like a Police background check). Then off to immigration.
Spent the whole day at immigration going from window to widow, floor to floor (3 floors) getting the correct documents signed and authenticated. At midday the only working lift broke so had to use the stairs for lots of trips up and down the floors.
So, after submitting all my paper work, having an interview with an attorney, having my biometrics collected (face and finger prints) and paying P13,000 ($410 AUS) the application process is completed.
My ACR card will be available in 6 weeks ish.
Going to sleep well tonight.
Thursday 5th March 2020:
Early start again at 5:15am and off to St Luke’s Medical Center for a Golden Health Screening Package. It is aimed at older people (50+ like us) to give them a complete health check.
From 7:00am till midday we were pricked, prodded, had blood extracted (for a battery of tests), peed into a jar (also for a number of tests), x-rayed (chest), ultra-sounded (Bladder, Liver, Kidney, Prostrate etc.) stress tested on a treadmill (for the heart), ears and eyes tested and asked a thousand questions.
Will get all the results in 3-5 days.
Initial results are that we are both fighting fit but will reserve judgement till the official results are in.
The service was outstanding. Lots of professional staff and very friendly and helpful.
Cost for Guy was P24,787 ($775.00 AUS) and mine was P28,961 ($905.00 AUS).
Friday 6th March 2020:
Leisurely day today after the last two hectic days.
After a sleep-in it was off to see Guy’s mum and family.
Next stop was The Mall of Asia (MOA) for some luxury item to take back to the island (Cheese, nuts, etc).
Saturday 7th March 2020:
Up at 3:25am and made our way to the airport to catch the 5:30am flight back home to Marinduque. Nice smooth 40-minute flight so all good.
So nice to get back home again and relax.
Thursday 12th March 2020:
Up at 3:30am to hand over Emma’s (Toyota SUV) keys to our part time driver Willie. Emma needs a 10,00km service at the Toyota service centre on the mainland.
To get there, Willie drove for an hour to get to the port. Then 3 hours on the Ro Ro. Finally, a 2-hour drive to the San Pablo Toyota service centre.
All done and he arrived back at the Castle at 10:00pm.
Friday 13th March 2020:
Awoke to the news that Metro Manila will be shut down March 15 to April 14 with the military and police keeping everyone inside their homes. Very limited air, sea or land travel permitted to and from Manila.
Later in the day we also heard that Santa Cruz (opposite side of the island to us) was going into lockdown same as Manila.
We are okay on the island. We reviewed our typhoon survival kit and added a few things, all good.
Some shelves in the Gasan supermarket are now bare as locals start to panic buy, but mostly limited to essential stuff like 2-minute noodles and canned milk.
Better stock up on “toilet” paper.
Saturday 14th March 2020:
First report of a person being monitored for the virus on the island. He travelled from overseas, so a potential virus carrier.
Sunday 15th March 2020:
Marinduque is now under complete quarantine, except that food, supplies, & medical personnel can come from the mainland. Everyone else is to self-quarantine.
We will just have to sit on the front veranda and watch the world go by for a while.
Friday 20th March 2020:
Just tried to get to our local market (Buenavista 4km away) and were informed we would need a permit. Permit obtained from checkpoint near us, so all good. We can only travel within our local area.
To go to Boac some 30km away there are only 10 permits per day available and they have over 200 requests for today.
We are fine travelling on our permit. Can get everything we need locally.
Friday 27th March 2020:
Our local Barangay (like a suburb) is allowing people to go to the local town (at the moment) of Buenavista (4km away) to get restocked with food.
You need a pass which can be obtained from a checkpoint 200m up the road from the Castle. This enables the number of people that are in the township at any one time to be controlled.
Once in town you need to show this card at some shops to get served. Once you are on the way home you have to drop off the pass and get signed out.
We drove in and I stayed in the car while Guy shopped. Shopping was pretty quick as there was nobody about. There was a reasonable selection of food available, about 50% of veggies that we normally have. Groceries are also still in plentiful supply, but stock like eggs and chicken are being held at the port due to bird (?) flu…. same thing for fruits coming from the mainland are not coming as often as everyone like, 2 of the 3 fruit stalls that we normally go to are closed today.
We are both doing fine and taking in the serenity.
Saturday 4th April 2020:
When your locked down, you need to utilise all of the fruit you can. This includes the Watermelon rind. Guy found a recipe to turn it into yummy candy. It really is very nice.
Check out this web site. www.myheartbeets.com
Search for – Watermelon rind > 10 Ways to Eat Watermelon Rind > 10. Candied Rind
Tuesday 7th April 2020:
Shopping day today. Down to our trusty checkpoint and got our permit to go to Gasan. Plenty of fresh fruit, veggies and meat available.
On the way home we bought a bag of fresh treats from the bakery for the good folk manning the checkpoint. They are there day in, day out and do an awesome job in controlling travel on the island.
Wednesday 15th April 2020:
4 weeks today we entered lockdown on Marinduque. We have been out 4 times (with a permit) during that time to get fresh food.
The lockdown has been extended to 30th April so 2 weeks to go. Hopefully at this time the lockdown will be scaled back gradually.
During the 4 weeks we had 4 virus infections on the island. They were quarantined and made a full recovery. The island is currently virus free.
We are very lucky to be in our own home on a large block (2,908 square meters) so we can wander about. Being on the beach helps as well.
I hope you are all well and here’s to getting back to the NEW normal.
Our lockdown is meant to end on this Thursday 30th April after a 6-week stint.
Saturday 25th April 2020:
As of an update by the government from yesterday, a Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is supposed to end on April 30 but was extended in some areas for an additional 2 weeks, including Metro Manila and other areas of the country with virus hot spots.
Areas under a general community quarantine (GCQ) (this includes Marinduque) will be allowed to reopen manufacturing, electronics and exports, e-commerce, repair and maintenance services, and housing and office services.
The island is still virus free so all air and Ro Ro access is for freight, food and authorised people only. Hopefully the permit for local travel will be eased so we can catchup with friends and Guy can play Mahjong again.
So, here is to recovering to the new “Normal”.
Life is good.
Trevor & Guy