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The Trip to Germany 

The Flight Ticket

Once the visa is in your passport you will be able to fly to Germany. Your friend will have booked a flight for you a long time before, and this flight will have been rescheduled quite few times because of all the delays during the process of getting the visa. But now you can finally get the ticket. As you cannot enter the Manila International airport without a valid ticket you have to go the downtown office of the airline you are flying with and pick up the ticket there. It is quite possible and common to deposit a ticket there via a German travel agency. The alternative is that your friend transfers the money for that ticket and you have to buy the ticket in that airline office. I usually prefer the first method, as this does not involve you to walk through the streets of Manila with something between 30,000 and 40,000 Pesos in cash in your pocket.

Manila International Airport

First of all allow enough time to go to the airport. You should be there between two hours and 1.5 hours before departure. And of course you know the Manila traffic situation. As I mentioned already it is not possible to enter the Manila International airport without a valid ticket. All your luggage will be checked on entry to the airport building. One small item, never bring Lambanog, this is prohibited to take with you on the airplane because it is too strong! Once inside the building you have to find the check in counter of the airline you are booked with. There you will check in your luggage, receive the boarding pass and you will find a little departure form laying on the counter. This you will have to fill out before you can pass through the emigration counter later. Another thing which can happen to you is that you suddenly may have to pay something called travel tax. Information about that you can find on the page "Travel Tax". But usually this has already been paid together with the price for the ticket. You can check with the airline office before.

After check in you will pass through the airport tax counter. You will have to pay 550 Pesos per person leaving the Philippines. No more money is required then.  The next stop is the emigration counter. Here the officials will stamp your passport, indicating that you are leaving the Philippines. Now you are free to enter the international area of the airport. The departure gate you will find on your boarding card, plus you will find some monitors with the complete overview about the next departures. So you go through a security check again and finally you can relax in the waiting lounge of the airline at the gate.

Important notice: There might be people asking you for additional payment. This often happens when they see that you look very scared because this is your very first international flight. They look official, and they tell something like that money is needed for the departure fee or similar. Ignore them, piss them off, or call a guard, the only money you really need to pay is the airport tax (550 Pesos or 10 USD).

The Flight

First of all you will probably have a flight which does a stop over after a two hours flight in either Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Taipei or Singapore. So after a first dinner you will have some more time to see another country, but only from the international area of the respective airport. The airline personal will inform you before you leave the airplane how to get back to your plane (Typically another plane, so you have to take all your belongings out of the plane. Don't worry about your luggage, that will be taken care of by the airport people. . Remember, your Pesos will not be accepted anymore, and when you plan to change some of them into the local currency, forget it. The exchange rate is terribly bad. The best solution is that you have some US Dollars available which you can use either directly as money or you can change them. But you will have no time for a little snack anyway, so you would be able to survive without that as well. Remember as well, that the time has changed already by one hour (exception Hong Kong or Taipei), so check careful when you will have to be back at the waiting lounge for your ongoing flight.

This one now will be between 11 and 12:30 hours (Via Taipei you might have another stopover in Abu Dhabi). You will get another dinner, followed by some breakfast 1.5 hours prior to the landing in Frankfurt. Hopefully you were able to get some sleep in between, otherwise this is a very boring time. As the flight is overnight there is no chance to see anything from the plane anyway. This means that you should not be to disappointed when you do not have a window seat.

The Frankfurt Airport

Once you have arrived in Frankfurt airport you will have to adjust your watch one more time. The total time difference between Manila and Frankfurt is 6 or 7 hours, depending on the German summer or winter time. Here you will arrive either at terminal one (when you are flying with Thai Airlines, Singapore Airlines or Lufthansa) or at terminal two (when you are flying with Cathay Pacific, China Airways or Malaysian Airlines). Some other airlines are possible too (via Dubai or some other Arabic cities), they typically arrive at terminal two as well.

After you have left the airplane you will have to go through the passport control first. Here the immigration officer will check your visa in your passport, and will ask a few questions.  Just answer, and tell him your boyfriend is waiting outside. It is definitely good to have his handy number available as well, just to convince the officer that everything is OK. This is followed by the baggage claim, where you will get your luggage. With you luggage you will go again through the customs control, but there should be no problem. Once you have passed that you are finally in Germany, you will find your friend waiting for you outside with some flowers in his hands and tears in his eyes. and then all your problems are over.

Health and Risk Insurance

As you will be staying for quite some time in Germany it makes very much sense to apply for a health and risk insurance. Typically you can get these insurances in any ADAC office for not too much money. You have to present the passport with the visa and the boarding card showing the date and time of your arrival. Better you inform your friend about this possibility, otherwise he will have to pay a lot of money in case that you have to go to a doctor because you got the flu or something similar. Usually this has been arranged by your boyfriend already, so you don't have to worry about that.