I Got Infected with Dengue Virus in Biliran, Philippines

4:00:00 PM Pinoy Boy Journals 0 Comments


I actually didn't want to write about this so much because it's a bit too personal for me. But since this is my online journal which i'll be sifting through posts years from now, i want to put into writing what happened to me. Nobody's reading this, anyway. And i want to remember what really happened. 

Back in March 2020, before the pandemic and lockdown started in the Philippines, i was able to happily travel to Biliran province in Visayas. I have traveled to Biliran once back in 2012, roughly 7 years ago. And going back for me was a bit exciting. I was able to visit so many places back then, but the typhoon wreaking havoc across Southern Visayas didn't allow me to venture into the open sea. There were so many islands that i would have wanted to visit. I promised that when i come back to this blessed province, to the sea it is. Island Hopping was my top priority of things to do in the province, this time around. I did just that. I was able to visit Sambawan Island. You can't be a beach fanatic in the Philippines and not have visited Sambawan Island. You can read more about my travel notes here. Then, i was also able to island hop around Higatangan Island. Know more about it here and here. And lastly, i was able to enjoy Almeria, my home away from home in Biliran Province. I actually stayed in the same hotel 7 years ago. It didn't change a thing, except for the enormous pool i sadly wasn't able to enjoy because i was to damn lazy and it was raining a lot. All my stories are found here

It was a rainy yet hassle-free trip for me and a friend. I transited in Tacloban Airport to head to Biliran because there's no direct flight to the province. I took a shuttle van UV that takes around 3 hours to head to the province, a small jeepney and skylab to head out the fish port, and lastly a boat to take me around the island so Sambawan and Higatangan. This was also the same route going back. I had a couple of hours to spare in Tacoban so i enjoyed a Happy Meal at McDonalds.

I arrived safe and sound back in Manila after almost a week. It was tiring as hell but i pretty much enjoyed my stay. I had a couple of drinks, and food was superb as always. I even clocked in sleeping at around 9PM to wake up in time for sunrise. It's that early. I was even able to run and work out for most days. 

And then two days after, i got sick. When i mean sick, i mean muscle aches, head spinning nausea, and fever up to 39 degrees. I haven't been this sick, in like forever. Cliche as it may sound, i am a fairly healthy bloke. I exercise a lot and watch what i eat. I love fruits and vegetables. And traveling for me is both a leisure exercise and a time to unwind. So i am physically, mentally and spiritually fine. I am always fine. 

The sudden high fever was a no-brainer for my father who happens to be a doctor. He could solve the puzzle in minutes. I have traveled to an exotic destination, and got high fever unexpectedly. My body aches and muscles weak. Over-all, i am sickly but it's not a flu and i didn't have colds. The next day, i had fevers as high as 40's, and i'm feeling more sick. This time around, my taste buds have been affected. Food tastes like metal to me, and although the fighter in me is alive, my physical body wasn't. 

I got to the hospital to get confined, and the blood test results came out i was positive for Dengue. In a nutshell, i couldn't believe it. I have been traveling to exotic destinations since 2007. I've stayed in the worst places with more mosquitos, and have visited the dodgiest most exotic locales. Yet, this supposedly easy trip was the most deadly, bar none. On the other hand, there's so much to be thankful for - it's not Covid-19, and that i was able to fly back to Manila in time before my Dengue symptoms started showing. Imagine if i was still in the island and i have a 40 degrees celcius fever. I can't. It's also a blessing that the Dengue strain i got was a weakling. My symptoms although clear were mostly mild. It didn't take long for me to get well. 

From when i first started getting symptoms till the day i was officially release in the hospital, it was almost a week. I lost weight, and have been feeling weak. My mind was ready but my body needed some more rest. I even had a flight to Bali, Indonesia which got cancelled because i was still confined in the hospital. Eventually, the whole trip got cancelled because Indonesia closed its Denpasar Airport due to Covid-19. 

As mentioned, i woudn't want to write this because i didn't want to glorify what happened. Worse, i didn't want to put a bad light on Biliran. It's not the province's fault that it has Dengue mosquitoes. C'mon. Although, the local government unit can help totally eradicate Dengue through destroying its breeding places, and proper counselling and information drive. Later on, i found out that there was indeed a Dengue Outbreak in the province. But partly, it's my fault, too. I should have been more careful. There's danger anywhere. There's a lot of things going on when you're traveling. Part of which is the many bad things that can happen - accidents, sicknesses, among other things. I know better now. I will write more about Dengue, and how it affects travelers. Because they do. It happened to me, so it can happen to you. 

Imagine, i have been traveling for more than 13 years and this is the first and only time i got sick while traveling. And it's Dengue. Unbelievable!

P.S. If anyone asks where i got it? Although not 100% accurate, most probably the Dengue Mosquito bit me in Higatangan Island during my stay at the hotel which had a vacant lot beside it. It was non-AC room, and we opened the windows for proper ventilation. Oh, well. 

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