Just Narrating My Relocation Journey Part 2 of 2: Traveling with a Pet
   Updated: 2022-07-08T02:28:51Z
    minute read


I've mentioned in my previous article about the process of sending my household items to the province. In this article, I'll recount my experience of the travel itself.


Just Narrating My Relocation Journey Part 2 of 2: Transferring with Pets
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    The majority of the household items were already sent to the province. But there are still a few items that I need while I wait for my actual travel date.


    But the hardest challenge that I need to overcome is our pet cat.



    What You Need First When Traveling with Your Furry Babies


    To bring our pet to his new home, we need to comply with the following requirements:


    • Get your pet the anti-rabies vaccine. Do this at least 14 days before your actual travel date. - Mandatory
    • Since your pet will be put with another passenger's pet. If the other pet is sick, there is a risk that your pet can catch it too. You need your pet vaccinated specifically for this. As for cats, it is called Cat Vaccine. - Optional
    • Three days before your actual travel date, you need to get a Veterinary Health Certificate from the clinic where your pet was vaccinated for anti-rabies. The validity for this is only three days.
    • Once you have the health certificate, you need to get a local/domestic pet shipping permit from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI). The validity for this is only seven days.


    If you are near a BAI office, you can process the permit personally. If you prefer an online transaction, you can access their E-Services Facility.


    Just have your pet's vaccine card and the veterinary health certificate ready.



    Why Not Use an Airline?


    If I am not bringing these items...


    Checked Baggage
    Checked Baggage

    Carry-On Baggage
    Carry-On Baggage


    I'll take into consideration riding a plane instead of a ship.


    Aside from the reason above, a pet is considered a cargo. This means that the pet will be put inside the cargo hold with the other passenger's baggage.


    As the majority of our planes here don't have a specific pet cargo and the cargo hold itself is not temperature controlled (the temperature at 30,000 feet is near freezing), it is risky to gamble on the survivability of your furry babies even if the flight is short (1hr - 2hrs).


    The risk is much higher if your pet is an imported one, not the default cat set up here in the Philippines.


    Our pet cat by the way is a default one. PusPin is what we call it here.



    Traveling via Ship the Oldest Form of Transportation


    Saint Therese of the Child Jesus
    Saint Therese of the Child Jesus (far left)


    Our ancestors literally walked the Earth in order to go from point A to point B. And when they attempted to explore beyond the horizon, a boat/ship is the next logical solution.




    Traveling by sea has its own perks:


    • You can sight-see the surrounding islands since the Philippines is an archipelago.
    • You can also explore some parts of the ship (too bad that times have changed, I remember that you can explore up until the pilot's house - bridge).
    • Make acquaintances with other passengers.
    • You can literally bring any amount of baggage, given that you pay the excess baggage fee.
    • The ship has a separate hold for your pets where you can visit to check and feed them.
    • Introverts traveling solo will find this heaven. It is the best time to relax and do some deep thinking.




    • Traveling from Luzon to Mindanao will take at least 3 days. If you are in a rush, this is not the best option.
    • Depending on your accommodation, privacy will be an issue. To solve this issue, you can get business class accommodation. Yes, it is expensive, but it can give you peace of mind during the whole duration of the travel.
    • Extroverts traveling solo will find this an ordeal. Though it can be solved by doing some social interaction with other passengers.



    The Not So Positive Side of Traveling


    Fill the people's stomach to control them
    Fill the people's stomach to control them (free food to compensate for the delay)


    We've all experienced delays during our travels. It is not uncommon to the point that you can just shrug it off and wait for the new schedule.


    But what if the delay duration is so long that it literally took a day? This matter can't be shrugged off easily given that I have a pet to bring.


    Let me recount my experience:


    • The original schedule was on May 23 @ 9:30AM
    • I received an E-mail two days before my actual travel date that it was rescheduled on May 23 @ 7:00PM
    • When I arrived at the terminal, I processed the necessary papers and paid the fees for my pet, excess baggage, and terminal fee


    The ordeal starts:


    • The scheduled time of 7:00PM did not materialize. They offered passengers traveling to Butuan to ride a ship that is bound to Cagayan de Oro. Once they arrive, a free bus ride will ferry them to Butuan City. This is not ideal because it is a very roundabout route, and I am bringing a pet. I need to board the exact ship.
    • The waiting game started. The night turned into morning and the happy faces of the passengers became contorted. Some become angry and are looking for someone to vent their frustrations.
    • Unfortunately, the receiving end of this anger was the personnel of the NorthPort terminal. To be fair, it is not their fault why shipping company is experiencing delays. NorthPort is just in charge of the facilitation of the ships. They are not the shipping company itself. However, explaining this fact will only fall on deaf ears. This is why most people fall into fake news because they refuse to accept facts.
    • The management also had a fault on this because they didn't send personnel quickly to update the passengers about the schedule. This is understandable because if they send the wrong person with no skills in empathy, he/she will end up food for some of the rowdy passengers.
    • The passengers have the right to be angry also. This is especially true for passengers bringing their kids. Some are even infants. The stress of taking care of the kids, not being able to sleep, and only being met with an extended delay is taxing.
    • As for me, this is not my first encounter with delays. The only difference now is that I am bringing a pet who needs to be fed regularly because it only eats canned cat food. I was a bit restless because of this but was able to control my cool and did not enter the fray of other angry passengers.
    • May 24 @ 7:00AM. I was able to go to the baggage area outside the NorthPort building to feed my cat. Hoping and praying that my other bags are still there when I get back inside.
    • At around 10:00AM, passengers were able to board the ship bound to Butuan. Once I was in my room, I ate the provided lunch and slept to recover from the previous day's lack of sleep.
    • The ship departed on May 24 @ 8:00PM. Literally a one-day delay from the original schedule.


    While on the ship:


    • Sleep was disturbed at around 7:30AM on May 25. The reason? To answer a survey form. I can give them a poor rating for just waking me up, but I need to be objective and answer the survey fairly.
    • Since I was already awake, I decided to go to the deck to have some sunshine and took some pictures of the surrounding islands.
    Enjoying the View
    Enjoying the View

    • Routine visit to my cat to give meals.
    Our Kyubi
    Our Kyubi

    • Gave the other passenger's cats as I can't stand them "meowing" at me when I passed them.
    The other passenger's cats
    The other passenger's cats

    • Recorded the ship's track via a GPS app. Because… I'm weird, I can, and I have nothing better to do.
    GPS Track
    GPS Track (OSMAND)




    • Docked at Cebu Port May 25 @ 8:20PM
    Cebu–Cordova Link Expressway
    Cebu–Cordova Link Expressway (PPP - JVA)
    (Proposed: 2014) | (Agreement Signed: 2016) | (Concession Duration: 2015-2050) | (Ground Breaking: 2017) | (Completion: 2022)

    • Left Cebu Port on May 26 @ 12:00MN
    • Docked at Nasipit Port May 26 @ 10:00AM
    Nasipit Port
    Nasipit Port

    • Reached destination @ 4:00PM



    Closing Thoughts


    Delays are part of one's travel itinerary. You can't change the situation no matter how much you throw a fit, but you can always find ways how logically deal with its aftermath.


    Don't whine and act like a mob.


    Don't let a delay ruin you or your family's beautiful travel story.


    Choose your family. Always.





    This article was written with the intention of sharing the author's experience as an informative piece and NOT to defame the Shipping company.


    I am just sharing my experience to at least give others an idea of what to expect when traveling with a pet and when experiencing travel delays.




    What you should do today


    How was your experience when you were traveling with your pet? Share your perspective in the comments below.


    Read Previous Article: Just Narrating My Relocation Journey Part 1 of 2: Transferring Household Items


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