Covid-19: Repatriation flights to Manila from Singapore

This situation is developing.

If you’re an unfortunate soul that has to travel during this period, I can only imagine the anxiety. Luckily, I found a new job a few weeks ago which can keep me in Singapore. The thought of having to travel during this period is very stressful. I was anxious over travel restrictions due to the pandemic.

However, don’t lose hope. It is possible to go home to the Philippines. This is my action plan if I were going home during this period:

  • Check with the airline on flight availability. I’ve listed below what I understand are available options for flights between Singapore and the Philippines. Currently, it’s limited.
  • Understand the travel situation both in Singapore and the Philippines. As of this writing, Singapore Changi Airport has already closed two of its four terminals (T2 for renovation and T4 for reduced travel during this time). Understand that traveling will take longer so this means checking in extra early. Understand that you will be subject to testing and quarantine upon arrival in the Philippines. A fellow OFW shares her experience making the journey from Singapore to Manila here.
  • Prepare for the journey. Face mask, hand sanitizer, cash on hand, etc. I even suggest packing light snacks (Skyflakes!) because of the possibility of limited food options available at the airports.

As of 23 May 2020, this is the current status of Singapore and the Philippines.

SingaporePhilippines
Circuit Breaker until June 1, 2020 – the country will re-open in 3 calculated phases from June 2Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila, Laguna, and Cebu / Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) or General Community Quarantine (GCQ) elsewhere outside MECQ areas

Important: The Embassy of the Philippines in Singapore organizes repatriation flights for Filipino citizens and OFWs. Please check the Embassy’s Facebook for the latest announcements here. With Circuit Breaker ending soon, more flights may appear from June and July.

Flights to the Philippines from Singapore

AirlineFlights to the Philippines
Philippine AirlinesAll PAL domestic and international flights are cancelled until May 31, 2020.
Our flag carrier PAL is operating limited repatriation flights. Learn more here.
Cebu PacificAll CebPac domestic and international flights are cancelled until May 31, 2020.
Singapore AirlinesAccording to SQ, reduced flights are available between Singapore and Manila. Please visit this page to learn more.
Jetstar AsiaAccording to Jetstar from an update in April, temporary flights are available from Singapore to Manila. Details here.
ScootAccording to Scoot, there are no Scoot flights to the Philippines through to June.

Flights to Singapore from the Philippines

  • Flights are very limited as of this writing.
  • It is understood that Singapore is not accepting short term visitors or tourists during this period. Likewise, it is understood that the Philippines is currently not allowing international travel for Filipinos for tourism purposes. I mean, who wants to play tourist these days?! Watch YouTube.
  • Singapore’s Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) provides guidance on re-entry for those with Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP), STP, IPAs, etc. Please check here.
  • Even with proper documents, a rule of thumb is that for re-entry, prior approval from ICA is required before you commence your journey. Please check with ICA!
  • Also worth bookmarking: Ministry of Manpower and Ministry of Health for the latest advisories.

Those are the resources I’d bookmark. Get your information from these trusted resources (Philippine Embassy in Singapore, government websites, and airline websites) instead of hearsay.

It’s a stressful time but hang in there and keep safe!

Have you made the journey or traveled during this Covid-19 pandemic? Share your experience and tips in the comments.

Photo by Ina Carolino on Unsplash

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4 favorite places to do Filipino groceries in Singapore

In this post, I’ll share with you my top four favorite places to buy Filipino groceries in Singapore. If you enjoy this content, please don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to get notified when there are new posts.

Many years ago, I would load my luggage with groceries from SM Hypermart. I would pack Pancit Canton, Century Tuna, and bottles of Green Cross rubbing alcohol into my luggage to bring to Singapore for personal consumption. Why? Back then, I really didn’t know where to do Filipino groceries.

Today, it’s much easier to find and buy Filipino groceries when in Singapore. Here are my top three places where I’ll go to buy:

  • Lucky Plaza – spoilt for choices
  • Your neighborhood Filipino stores – dedicated
  • ValuDollar – limited selections
  • Major grocery store – your Fairprice and Giant

Lucky Plaza

The obvious place to grab Filipino groceries is at Lucky Plaza. I’ve shopped for sardines and Green Cross alcohol while sending remittances at Lucky Plaza. There is a large selection at Lucky Plaza and you will be spoilt for choice. Many of stores carry the basic necessities. You can also throw in peanuts, grab a cheap haircut, remit cash, and eat Filipino food. Lucky Plaza is your one-stop shop.

Neighborhood Filipino stores

One of the most convenient places to quickly grab Filipino groceries is the neighborhood Filipino store. An example of this is the Katipunan store at Tampines Bus Interchange. Here you can find quick groceries.

ValuDollar

You might be able to spot some Filipino groceries at ValuDollar which is popular among Filipinos. The exact selection for Filipino products at these cram-packed stores might be limited. But it’s worth a look.

Major groceries stores

Major grocery stores in Singapore like FairPrice and Giant carry Filipino items in their International Section. You have to keep your eyes peeled because they are often just a few shelves. But once you spot the Mama Sita’s seasoning and bottles of Mang Tomas, you know you’re in business.

Doing Filipino groceries is easier today than it was several years ago. I’ll be writing about where are the better value places to get Filipino groceries and I’ll run a comparison on price points.

Let me know where you go to get your Filipino groceries!

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