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Connecting flight delay leaves 3 HK-bound Filipina DHs stranded in Manila

30 June 2022

By Daisy CL Mandap


The 3 got to NAIA about an hour before their scheduled departure for HK

Three Filipina domestic helpers who were supposed to fly to Hong Kong yesterday, Jun 29, were left behind by their Cebu Pacific flight after their connecting flights from their respective provinces were delayed.

One of them, Jonalyn B. Patete, said they managed to get through Immigration but failed to make it to the boarding gates before they were closed.

Dispirited, they had to make their way out again after the departure stamp on their passports were voided.


Patete said two of them had flown in from Tuguegarao, Cagayan; while the third had come from Iligan City in Lanao del Norte.

She recalled with some regret that they got to NAIA at 4:16pm and could have still made it to their 5:25pm flight to Hong Kong had they not been too shy to ask to jump the queue at the immigration counters.

Ang pagkakamali namin nakipila kami ng pagkahaba-haba sa immigration without asking someone’s help, na ganun daw dapat ang ginawa namin,” she said. (Our mistake was that we joined the long queue at immigration and did not ask for help – we were told that was what we should have done).


If it is any consolation, however, they probably would not have been allowed to check in for their flight, anyway, given the lengthy process involved in checking pre-boarding documents of Hong Kong-bound travelers.

Airlines are duty bound to ensure their passengers have all the required papers on hand prior to checking them in, or they run the risk of having their flight suspended for five days by the Hong Kong government, which is notoriously strict in implementing this rule.

The repercussions from their missed flight were thus stressful, costly and inconvenient. Their employers had to scramble to rebook their flight and look for another government-designated hotel for their mandatory seven-day quarantine.


The latter is particularly hard to do as most designated hotels are fully booked for this month and next, as many people in Hong Kong have left for the summer holidays, and are now just starting to come back.

The Filipinas, in turn, had to look for a testing laboratory for the required negative PCR test result prior to getting on their flight to Hong Kong; apart from a place to stay, which should be as close to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila as possible, to prevent another mishap.

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Luckily, says Patete, her employer managed to book a hotel room for Jul 5, which she will now have to share with her fellow worker from Cagayan.

It’s not clear if the third domestic worker from Iligan has managed to secure a new hotel booking  as well.

A Facebook post by Patete’s employer earlier indicated Cebu Pacific had rebooked the helper’s flight for today, but this was hardly of any use without a confirmed booking at a quarantine hotel.

To be able to board a flight to Hong Kong, all travelers must have a negative result for a PCR test taken within 48 hours of boarding, a recognized vaccination record showing the passenger to have received at least two jabs, plus a confirmed booking for at least seven days in a DQH.


Nearly 24 hours after their ordeal began at Manila’s airport, the two Filipinas from Cagayan learned they already had the all-important booking at a quarantine hotel.

For the six days that they will have to fend for themselves in Manila, Patete says they will have to stay with an acquaintance and dig deep into their pockets for the costly PCR test. However, they are grateful enough that they are now assured of being able to return to their jobs in Hong Kong.

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