Cebu 2011 Day 1: NAIA3 and Cebu Pacific
While my Dad is a full-blooded Cebuano and I’ve spent many New Years celebrating with Cebuano relatives, I have never really gone on an exploratory trip to Cebu. Sure, I was there on business once, during the Ragnarok Philippine Championship 2005 (back when I was still a Gameplay Specialist for Level Up! Inc.), but this is the only real time I’ve gone for purely personal reasons, driven by creative demons that insist on testing the limits of what I can do. I went with fellow artist, my BFF Cris.
Anyway, first day did not go as planned. I rely heavily on sunlight when it comes to photo shoots so I was disappointed to find myself at the hotel at 6PM when I was expecting to be there before 3PM. Why?
Ninoy Aquino International Airport 3
Pictures of the NAIA3 are strewn everywhere on the internet, so I will no longer post those. What can I say about this new airport? Hm. Well. NAIA3 is like that beautiful but palengkera actress. Gorgeous on the outside, jejemon on the inside. The staff were inefficient: they don’t know the flow and they were very very slow. This airport seriously needs a VISIBLE customer service counter because you can’t ask anyone questions. You’ll just go round and round in circles.
Plus the waiting area looks like a quarantine. It was so stuffy. Then I had to encounter this:
Dear flamboyantly gay passenger right in front of me (in the waiting area): This is not your bedroom. Please put your shoes on and don’t lie down across all the chairs. Or if you’re going to remove your shoes…ANOBA MAGLINIS KA NAMAN NG PAA! Daot ka sa sangkabaklaan.
Ayan ha. I used yellow light so you’d at least look presentable. Yellow light is flattering.
(Cris said that foreigners do this a lot. I’ve never seen it, even when I traveled by myself to L.A. and Singapore. I just think it’s rude. Foreigners doing it doesn’t make it right, especially if there are other people who might need seats.)
Cebu Pacific Strikes 3
I normally don’t like flying Cebu Pac because I usually regret it. (I remember how I and my colleagues threw up on the way home from the RPC2005 because the pilot had to circle repeatedly. He can’t seem to time the right landing.) Unfortunately, this is one of those times when I don’t have a choice.
Strike #1: Web Check-in. Please don’t come up with something like this if you can’t provide a staff for the web check-in counter. We ended up falling in line with the regular people who were checking in baggages. That queue was long. To think, there were three girls manning that counter while the web check-in counter remained empty.
There was also a moment when one of the girls was trying to finish another errand while I was being served. The girl on her left panicked and insisted that I be served first before they do anything else. I was probably scowling, hence the reaction. (I once caught a reflection of my scowling self in front of the monitor. Scary.)
Strike #2: Delayed Flight. This one can’t be helped sometimes but…
Strike #3: Flight further delayed because of human error compounded by multiplied passivity. After waiting for an hour for our plane, I thought we’d finally have a smooth take-off. Urr. It took the staff a while to settle things because…the head count was all wrong. Meaning, someone who was not supposed to be inside the plane was inside the plane. Of course, announcing the flight number will not yield any results if a stowaway is hell bent on traveling without paying for it. And the pretty girls and boys of Cebu Pac just stood there, waiting for…we don’t know what. After what seemed like an eternity, they finally decided not to look for that person and just take off.
You guys can re-check the boarding passes, you know.
So we arrived at the hotel when the sun was no longer up. We scrapped a whole day’s itinerary because…well, the whole day went pfffft! BFF Cris and I just decided to have dinner at the Ayala Center and see what we could explore at the Sinulog celebration.
Anyhoo…here’s my teaser for the day, the heart of the Sinulog Festival, this symbol of holiness:
I’m saving my best Sto. Niño exhibit photos for Sarimanok.PH so watch out for those. =^.^=
(Gosh. I was so exhausted from the trip, I fell asleep while writing this blog entry. Oh, and what do you know! My Sun Broadband dongle actually works in Cebu! Haha!)