2020 - Pinay Daily Ramblings

Monday, March 2, 2020

How to bring your pets from Philippines to USA
Monday, March 02, 2020 2 Comments

Waiting to check in

I recently brought my pets (dog and a cat) with me to the United States and here are the steps I did:

1. Get your pet's vaccines up to date before you even book your flight. Do this 30 days before your flight. 30 days is very important if this is the first time your pet got vaccinated. Some airlines also require boosters to be at least 30 days old.

2. Book your flight and make sure you reserve a slot for your pets. I used Korean Air and they are fantastic with handling pets. Delta doesn't allow pets in cabin for long haul flights.

3. Buy airline approved pet carrier. I got this at Pet Express. Medium size for my toy poodle weighing 12lbs. Make sure to place LIVE ANIMAL sticker on every corner of the carrier.

4. Get a vet health certificate from your local vet clinic. Make sure the vet mentions that the pet is negative for screw worm and other parasites and the vaccinations are updated. You should do this 3 days before your flight because it can't be used for more than 3 days. 

5. Take your pet's health certificate and vaccination records to Bureau of Animal Industry in Quezon city the day after you get your pet's health certificate from the vet. This is where they will issue an import permit. The import permit is free. No need to bring your pets with you.

Bureau of Animal Industry

6. Prepare your pets for the flight! Make sure to line your pet's carrier with a pee pad and include a blanket. Make your pet wear a diaper as well. 

We arrived 4 hours before boarding time in case something goes wrong and we need to go out and buy something else for the pets. When we got to the airport, Korean Air's counter was still closed. We checked in online and had to fall in line at the baggage drop counter. From there, they weighed all our baggages and checked my dog which will be in the cargo area. My cat went with us in the cabin.

Everything went smoothly and Korean air staff were all nice and friendly. 

My cat fits perfectly under the seat.

My dog is now a snow lover. She absolutely loved it. I thought coming from the tropics, the cold temperature will shock her, but it didn't.

My cat loves looking out the window and watching some birds and squirrels playing outside.

I highly recommend Korean Air when traveling with pets on a long haul flight.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

St. Luke's Medical Experience for US Visa - Day 2
Tuesday, January 21, 20200 Comments
Reception area

My appointment was at 9am but I decided to go in early. At around 7:30am, I arrived at St. Luke's. I showed my receipt to the lobby guard and he scanned my index finger. He pulled up my info on his computer and stamped the receipt with "for immunization".

I went to the immunization area located in second floor and gave my receipt to the person in the US counter. I was told to wait for my name to be called. There were at least a dozen people waiting to get their shots there already. I guess it's fine to go in earlier than what they told you.

Around 8:30am, my name was finally called to the immunization room. They briefly asked me for my health history and then proceeded to give me the 3 shots I needed. I was given varicella, mmr, and tdap. It was quick and easy, didn't really hurt much.

I went down to the ground floor for releasing and after about 30mins, I was asked to go to counter E. She made me double check my info and asked for my passport. After everything was sorted out, she handed me my immunization record (personal copy) and a cd containing my chest X-ray. Lastly, she handed me a sealed envelope and instructed me to bring it with me to my visa interview.

I was out of there by 9:45am. It was quick and easy.

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Monday, January 13, 2020

St. Luke's Medical Exam Experience for US Visa - Day 1
Monday, January 13, 20200 Comments
January 13, 2020. Taal volcano erupted and it sent ashes all over the Metro. I was unsure if I could even get a cab to St. Luke's at 3am. I was also afraid to sit there and wait outside while ashes were falling. Instead, I opted to leave Makati around 4:45am and I booked a grab ride to St. Luke's.

Outside line

I got there at exactly 5:05am and there was a line already. After 25 mins of waiting (around 5:30am), the guard finally started letting people inside. I was afraid I'd have to stand outside too long to inhale those toxic dust from the ashfall.

After showing the guard all the necessary documents : passport, letter from US embassy, visa interview appointment confirmation, letter from NVC with the case number, 4 pcs 2x2 pics with your full name printed at the back, and St. Luke's online appointment, the guard gave me a number.

Made it to number 41

I was told to go straight to the reception area where you sit down and wait for your turn. After about 30mins, I was able to go to window F and I handed all my documents along with my passport. She checked it carefully and then told me to go to the cashier for payment (5th floor).

5th floor

Medical exam fee is 17,025 and it already includes all the vaccinations required. After paying, the cashier gave me the receipt and instructed me to go to the X-ray department. There was a line already when I got there. Waiting time is about 35mins. Their X-ray room is much more advanced than the ones you see in local clinics here.

After the X-ray, the laboratory was next. I gave them my checklist and passport and they made me sign a waiver for std testing and told me to wait for my turn. It took about 40mins before they called my name. They extracted blood and then I had to pee on a cup they provided. Note: don't even try to wash the outside of the sealed cup or they will reject your urine sample and you will have to wait an hour to pee again.

Vital signs was next. It took around 45mins waiting time. They measured my weight and height at first and was told to sit and wait again for my name to be called. After another 15mins, they called me over to get my blood pressure. I was then directed to the eye exam room where the doctor checked my vision. After the eye exam, physical exam was next.

I waited outside the doctor's room for about 30mins and when it was my turn, she just asked me some routine questions about my health history, etc. She then told me to undress (with my underwear on) and lie down. She looked at my wrists, my tummy, and she asked me to get on a side-lying position with my knees slightly flexed. That's about it. She told me to get up and put my clothes back on. I was out of there in just 15mins. She gave me back my checklist and I handed it to the person in the US counter.

I took a seat and waited for my name to be called. After around 30mins, my name was called and she handed me my receipt and told me to come back the next day around 9am.

Here's the timeline of the whole first day:

5:05am - arrival
5:30 - line up to get a number
6:00 - reception
6:30 - cashier
6:45 - xray
7:20 - laboratory
8:00 - vital signs
9:00 - physical
9:45 - US counter
10:15 - Everything's done and they told me to come back the next day

SLMEC's address is:

1177 Jorge Bocobo St, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila

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