The Epic Journey out of Puerto Princesa

a.k.a Kasalanan ni Bagyong "Frank"

I should really learn how to drive so Jan and I can qualify to audition for the next season of the Amazing Race. We should be a shoo-in.

Chapter 1.

We woke up the morning of Sunday not thinking there would be anything wrong with our flight back given that the weather was a little better than the day before. That was not to be when we got to the airport. While the Philippine Airlines and Air Philippines check-in counters seem to be moving smoothly, we saw that the Cebu Pacific lines were taking quite a while. I was sensing something was wrong when I keep hearing the word re-booking and refund from the teller as she speaks with every passenger. I thought the flight would just be delayed. But noooooo! It was friggin’ cancelled! Whaduh-ef? The 4PM flight would push through but ours was cancelled. Ano yun?!

My temper was rising since I had a connecting flight to Davao at 720 that same day. It rose some more when we were told that we had two options: a refund or a rebooking. But guess, when the next available flight for rebooking was… last flight on Tuesday! Whaduh-ef?!

Cebu Pacific insisted that they can not take responsibility for other expenses incurred because the delay was caused by terminal weather. Which I do understand, but the shitload of inconvenience that their cancellation caused is still terribly irritating since they were the ONLY airline who cancelled flights. It seems more logical to just add another flight for the entire batch of passengers but then they had all these sorts of excuses like their planes were too small, that other areas had cancellations as well so it would be difficult to add new flights. I was just too darn pissed that I couldn’t accept any excuse. Plus the fact that the lady attending to us was not exactly charming us with her graciousness. It was clear that she was irritated with our questions and she was losing her temper as well. But excuse me, lady, you can not expect easy understanding for the nuisance that you are causing us. Hmph. Kakagigil!

At the same time, Cebu Pacific could have fielded more staff to attend to the needs of their passengers so the process would be much quicker for everyone including themselves. But noooo! They only had four people to attend to something like a hundred fifty passengers. Jeez! This is the time when you realize you really just get what you pay for. Crappy service for cheaper fares.

Cebu Pacific, excuse me lang noh, mura man o mahal ang bayad… maayos dapat ang serbisyo! Inyo na ang ka-cheapang P50 mineral water niyo at snacks at diyaryo. Okay na yan na wala, pero naman-naman-naman… give good service pa rin! Maliit o malaki bayad, it is still your client’s hard-earned money they are paying you!

Chapter 2

Anyhoo… because of that, Jan and I were in a terrible fix. There were available flights in Philippine Airlines at 4,954 per passenger. Our cash on hand was around 3,500 only. Our refund was 5,900+. We were still short. Neither of us had a credit card.

We asked if there was an ATM, but the guard said there wasn’t any. Aaaaagh.

Jan was able to arrange that Cebu Pacific deal with PAL for us to convert our refund to a ticket. A TICKET meaning one ticket. Just me. Not including him. He let me have the ticket first since I had to fly to Davao in the evening. We had to do what we had to do.

At the ticketing office, I was asking for an economy ticket but the dude at the counter was saying that only the business class seats were available. Whaduh-ef?! I felt like I was left with no choice so I agreed. So I had to add P75.

While Cebu Pac was arranging with PAL, I figured it might be cheaper to just rebook my flight for Davao, then book a next day trip to Manila. I was still formulating the plan and calculations in my head when the Cebu Pac dude presented me with my business class ticket already.

Agh. The thought of flying home to Manila alone leaving Jan behind… It doesn’t sound like a good way to end a honeymoon. I was fervently hoping and willing that fate to let us take a flight home together.

Chapter 3.

When I entered the departure area again, Jan was by the door. I asked him how things are going with his family booking a flight for him online. Of course, Murphy’s Law had to run the show. It was brownout in Manila. Ack!

He was thinking of taking Air Philippines, but I told him I asked already and their flights cost P6800. We double checked our cash on hand. It was really just a little over P3,000.00. He thought of asking if he could just pay via BPI Express Payment System. Though the amount was not enough for a ticket as well, unless we would be allowed to combine cash and debit card. The dude at the check-in counter recommended we try asking the ticketing office.

So Jan rushed to there (with his wounded feet – another story) to ask. Then ten minutes after, he was told to run to the check in counter to approve the combined used of card and cash. So the nice gentleman at the counter said it was no problem. My poor husband had to rush to the ticketing office again.

I was getting nervous because he was taking longer than expected. I head a plane landing which I figured was our supposed flight out to Manila. Excruciating moments after, Jan was running with cash in his hand and no ticket. They do not have a system for debit cards, only credit cards! Agh. But the little ray of sunshine was there was actually a Landbank ATM within the airport. So the reason why he took long was he had to withdraw. But even as he maxed out his card, we still did not have enough. We were P800 short of an economy ticket, and as I was previously informed, all that was available were business class seats. Agh!

I shoved my wallet to Jan and told him to use my ATM. I had three, but I was not sure whether they would work in a Landbank machine. Already sweaty and visibly tired, he rushed to the ATM again. I was just waiting by the window keeping track of the boarding. My own stuff were already checked-in and I already paid for my terminal fee.

The nice guy at the counter (sorry for not getting your name, Kuya!) told me to just stay where I was since he was going to board the plane first. Oh no. But he assured me he will come back to take care of Jan’s ticket.

So there I was by the window, with P4,100.00 on hand, nervous and fervently hoping, when another PAL crew came to the check-in and was surprised to see me just waiting by the window.

“Ano yan?”

“Hinihintay ko kasama ko, nagwiwithdraw kasi kulang pa cash naming para sa ticket.”

Another one of the crew members heard us and said, “Sa bayan pa! Naku di na kakayanin yan.”

“Di po, Landbank lang. Dito lang sa airport.”

They didn’t reply to that anymore.

Chapter 4.

Jan was finally back with additional cash.
Landbank would only take my payroll ATM which had the least amount of money, but thankfully was enough for the cost of a business class ticket.

We were trying to pay at the check in counter when the new dude said they don’t take
We insisted that the ticketing office told Jan that he pay there. And the dude insisted back that that had to be done at the ticketing office. Whaduh-ef?!

So my unfortunate Jan had to run back to the ticketing office to try getting a ticket for himself. Again. The PAL person got Jan’s name so he can issue a boarding pass already. He asked me which ticket was he getting, business or economy. I asked, “may available pa na economy?! Sabi sa akin, business class na lang. “

“Madami pang available na economy.”


“Di ko po alam ano kukunin niya.”

From my vantage point, I could see the PAL passengers boarding. It’s getting more exciting and scary by the minute!

He went to the ticketing office to ask. Jan was able to get an economy class.

Whew. Good. Cheaper. But dang, they made me get business class. Hmph.

Anyway, they issued a boarding pass for Jan. I paid for his terminal fee as well.

I stood by the door to wait for him to come. At the same time, I can see the people
from the pre-departure area trickling out one by one.
At the very least, they can’t leave him behind anymore. But I could not breathe a sigh of relief until we go in together. Apart from the fact that his ticket is with me and he wouldn’t be able to go in without me anyway.

And finally, Jan arrived. His new Palawan shirt soaked with sweat and he breathless from the running around. We were going to go home together. Yehey!

Epilogue 1

My brand new dear sweaty, wounded husband and I walked together to the airplane. I was relieved that I need not abandon him. And inside, I was laughing at how our honeymoon ended and how our new life together begun.

Epilogue 2

I was able to take my flight to Davao. But what was supposed to be a 720PM flight ended up 10PM. And when I got there, taxis were charging P600! Isusumbong ko kayo kay Duterte. But God loves me. I was able to find someone to help me. :)


Lightheaded said...

Kachat kita ngayon so dun na ako magko-comment :)

anj said...

haha! nice chat it was. kahit na nakaka-bad trip cebu pacific ang topic. hehe. :)

Ina said...

Aw.. we should have just gotten you PAL tickets! Minsan talaga, it's worth it not to make tipid so much. So sorry.

I was actually thinking, well, maybe Jan and Angie will take this opportunity to EXTEND their honeymoon instead of go through the hassle of traveling in the middle of a storm. But, it's stories like these that are fun to tell you future kids and grandkids. :)

foomeister said...

Anj, only just caught the news about thy holy matrimony via Pau's blog. Yey! Congrats and best wishes. You looked stunning. And I like your Epilogue 1 deep&meaningful: bodes well for you guys. :)

Also: Neil Gaiman and I Can Has Cheezburger? Ka-ching. So in common.


anj said...

ina: haha! we could've. but caryl was leaving the same day and jan wanted to see her dear sister off.

at the same time, i was not really downright pissed or anything. when jan finally got his ticket, i was near-amused. and i had the feeling we would make it together, just with a little more excitement. haha.

fats! what's your link? i can't seem to access your profile. :)

foomeister said...

hmm... weirdness. mebbe because I signed in on OpenID? waddabout this comment via my Blogger? In any case, I blog fromthesidewalk.com :)

Anonymous said...

wow! ang exciting ng kuwento ah. but i'm happy for you na sabay kayo nakauwi. reading the part where i thought jan would be left behind parang naluha ako (blame it on the preggy hormones) pero ang thoughtful talaga ng asawa mo. laging ikaw at ang kapakanan mo ang iniisip.

congratulations again, anj and jan. :)