2014 isn't looking too good for planning and travel. I booked flights for me and my mom going to Bangkok for the Chinese New Year. I got her tickets via PAL from MNL to BKK and CEB from BKK to MNL before all the outburst that is happening now in Thailand. I got my tickets via Jetstar.
From the pictures and the news, it does seem blown out of proportion considering when I look through Twitter to help assess the situation, it doesn't seem dangerous or at all violent. But, it has been driving me crazy having to monitor the situation and not being able to decide whether to push through with it or not. I've been holding off on booking hotels because I don't want to have to add another layer of uncertainty and rebooking and other administrative tasks just to change plans last minute!
So, today, I decided to rebook my mom's CEB flight instead from TPE to MNL and got new flights for her via PAL for her MNL to TPE flight. Meanwhile, I used wego to find cheap flights and found one roundtrip for 580 SG to TPE. So, yes, we're going to Taiwan instead for Chinese New Year. A bit of stress now gone, but a bit stressed with the expenses! Now, I might not be able to push through with my plans to do Amsterdam-Paris-Barcelona for April because of cost considerations since I'm trying to stay in the green with credit card spending and avoid having to touch my savings.
Anyway, that's just me typically stressing about things. The good thing is that at least we don't have to worry about anything happening to us when we do go to BKK like in case they shutdown the airport since the elections is scheduled on the 2nd of February (Travel plans are from 29th Jan to 2nd Feb). Plus, I don't want the unnecessary pressure of disappointment from my Dad and Mom considering it should be a wonderful celebration of my mom's 60th birthday!
Time to research about the places to go and hotel to stay in Taiwan! I haven't even considered the fact that based on what I've heard from friends, the language barrier is quite strong in Taiwan!
An interesting note though - I saw online that as of August 8, 2013, Philippine passport holders who have valid entry visa to US, Japan, UK, New Zealand and Australia (and maybe some other countries I forgot to note down), can apply online to get a clearance certificate and avoid the hassle of applying for a Taiwan visa. So, my 10 year US visa has served another purpose! Will have yet to see how the process goes, as far as booking and other things are concerned, I'm done for the day.