All it takes is an RT-PCR test and a few online permits to be able to spend the rest of quarantine in the beautiful oasis of Bohol.
There is a new concept in the adulting scene. It’s called WFB, also known as Work From Beach. Many millennials are choosing to live the island life, while working a full time remote job in a company based in Manila. The MEGA team is in no exception to that. The idea of work from beach has been a recurring topic during our alignment meetings. As a result, one unanswered question is left for us to ponder on: Is it really possible to work from a beach during the pandemic? That’s why we opted to try out the WFB setup for a week in the beautiful island of Panglao, Bohol. We were determined to find out the answer and (of course) get a vacation out of it. Our work force composed of 20-somethings are the perfect candidates to try out a new and adventurous lifestyle. The goal was to immerse ourselves in the island culture, refresh our minds through travel, and complete office deliverables on time– all while keeping safe and negative amidst the pandemic. But, before we get ahead of ourselves we need to accomplish one important thing: getting in the island.
What’s a travel bubble?
It’s important to take note that not all regions and cities in the Philippines have the same travel requirements. It all really depends on the current situation of the city you are visiting. For example, the entire Bohol is divided into multiple bubbles. If you aren’t familiar with the concept of the bubble, it’s basically a respective area you can go about your business in. Therefore, you can not travel from one bubble to another. With that being said, you have to stay in the bubble you’re assigned to. That’s why it’s very important to choose the right bubble. Your designated bubble depends on the resort you’ll be residing in. You wouldn’t want to be trapped in a bubble with nothing to do, so pick your accommodation wisely.
Bohol Permits and COVID-19 Travel Requirements
For our one week of WFB, we decided to stay in Amorita Resort. The resort is assigned to the Panglao bubble within Bohol. One of the reasons why we chose Amorita Resort is for it’s amazing location. We were in the same bubble as multiple beaches, coves, and diving spots. The requirements to get in the Panglao, Bohol bubble are the following:
- RT-PCR Swab Test Result
- Plane Tickets
- Resort Confirmation Booking
- Traze App Registration
- Individual QR code
- Registration in the Province of Bohol website
- Registration in the Municipality of Panglao website
- Mayor’s permit
We had little to no problem in getting all our requirements. The only mishap we encountered was our buzzer beater submission of the mayor’s permit before flying. The application for the mayor’s permit must be submitted with the RT-PCT tests, while the tests must be taken within 72 hours (3 days) for it to be honored. With the help of Amorita Resort’s Assistant Front Office Manager, Dom, everything went according to plan.
The Stay in Amorita Resort
To be absolutely realistic, you won’t be leaving your hotel a lot when you’re traveling in the middle of the pandemic. Most of the tourist attractions are closed or have a lot of requirements before allowing visitors to enter. That’s why it’s so important to choose a resort that has everything you want to do during your stay. Amorita Resort provided us with just that. The place was quiet enough to unwind in, but also busy enough to have an itinerary full of adventure. To top it all off, the food and drinks served in Amorita proves that their services are indeed world class.
Leading a healthy lifestyle
I never knew I could be a healthy person, but in Panglao I was. Emphasis on the was. The amount of outdoor activities are endless in Amorita Resort. A week was not enough to try out everything the resort had to offer. Our favorite activities were archery, swimming, yoga, biking, kayaking, and paddle boarding. Sir Nilo, the resort’s Housekeeping Manager even invited us to his own version of the Amorita Run. Jann Pascua, MEGA’s Associate Creative Director, tried out the course with Sir Nilo. They finished 3km jog around Panglao and a 1km course within Amorita. The run consisted of multiple station stops for different exercises, which includes drills such as: jumping ropes, push-ups, burpees, archery, and hula hoop.
Exploring what nature has to offer
Despite everything that is happening to mankind, wildlife is flourishing beyond expectations in Bohol. During our trip, we were able to see fireflies in the mangroves, a school of dolphins, a rare whale shark sighting, traveling turtles, and a harvest moon. Whenever we spoke to someone about our experiences, they would tell us how incredibly lucky we were to see all of these natural wonders. When tourism was very much alive pre-pandemic, lots of animals would stray away from over populated places. Now that Panglao had the rest it needed, it’s the perfect time to respectfully admire the wildlife they can offer.
Living the island life
The island life is not merely about being able to take a swim any time one pleases. The island life is about the culture, the people, and the food. In all these aspects, Bohol ranks highly. It’s safe to say that we left Panglao with newfound friends and a lot of memories. In Amorita alone, we were able to befriend most of the staff members. They gave us a one of a kind experience by placing friendship and respect over everything. Not to mention, we stuffed ourselves silly with all the best eats from Amorita’s Saffron restaurant. Our notable favorites were the baby back ribs, tuna poke bowl, Quatro Formaggi pizza, and the Saffron iced tea.
Work from Bohol, the verdict
It can not be done without proper planning and a lot of discipline. WFB (Work from beach) is not for those who genuinely want a vacation experience. We made it work by creating an itinerary with Amorita Resort and by setting hours within the day for deliverables. To put it into perspective, we were working from 10 am to around 4 pm. After which, we would start our planned activities. We would also get back to the hotel at around 9 pm to finish any left our work and to sleep early for the next day. In some way, task overload was a lot more bearable when working poolside. Taking a 5 minute break was not like how it was back in Manila. Instead of lounging around the house, we were taking a quick dip. All in all, WFB was the best idea we’ve had for a while. It’s for the go-getting workaholics that need a break, but won’t admit it.
Bohol’s little darling, Amorita Resort, is now open for business in #1 Ester A. Lim Drive, Barangay Tawala, Alona Beach, Panglao Island, Bohol, Philippines. Still following safety protocols, you can now book a stay at the resort. For more info, follow Amorita Resort on Facebook and Instagram. You may even call them through their mobile at +63 917 861 9441 or through landline at +632 5318 3388.