Estonian national trapped in NAIA for 110 days is finally on his way home

Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 08 2020 03:31 PM | Updated as of Jul 08 2020 08:12 PM

Photo by Roman Trofimov

MANILA -- (UPDATE) After getting trapped in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for 110 days, an Estonian national on Tuesday evening is finally on his way home.

“After media attention, my embassy and airline fixed it very fast in two days. ...I left NAIA at 8 p.m., yesterday (Tuesday),” Roman Trofimov told ABS-CBN News.

"AirAsia informed me about flight details and only given me less than hour to get ready so I did not even have time to take shower or have dinner. Even despite that, I feel great knowing that I am a free man now," he added.

Trofimov had just landed in Amsterdam and is expected to arrive in Estonia later Wednesday.

The media relations of NAIA said the Estonian national is under the care of AirAsia.

AirAsia told ABS-CBN News that they informed the passenger the night before and reminded him the following day about his flight back to Estonia.

The airline added that it covered the costs of accommodation and food, three times a day, of the stranded foreigner, while his exit flight was arranged in coordination with the Estonian Consulate General in Manila.

Trofimov, a 36-year old software engineer, said he arrived in the Philippines on an AirAsia flight from Bangkok last March and was headed for Cebu as a tourist.

He only found out about the enhanced community quarantine during his interview with the Bureau of Immigration and stayed in Terminal 3 for a week, and then in a lodging facility provided by AirAsia afterwards.

“The airline also started to provide meal two times a day, but only plain rice and meat, lunch and dinner. No breakfast. All stores in [the] airport were closed except Jollibee. So I [have] been eating rice and meat for 3.5 months and [my] health got bad now because I was a vegetarian before I come [here],” Trofimov said.

He added that he was only given two pieces of bread and two bottled water for breakfast.

"Even that breakfast stopped at one point since they say stock run out and was waiting two weeks for them to even give this breakfast again and constant fighting with them to resume this 'breakfast,'" he said.

AirAsia, however, said that Trofimov was given one order of rice and one viand during each meal. "Eventually, he was allowed to choose what he likes," AirAsia told ABS-CBN News.

Trofimov said he had a hard time during his stay here in the Philippines.

"I am a disabled person, my back hurts everyday because this facility is not meant for people to stay for so long. Because of plain food and no vitamins I feel very weak and depressed," he said.