18 September 2010

FLASHBACK: travel-gone-bad-during-Typhoon Frank experience (2008)

JUNE 21, 2008 — My mom and I were on our way to the airport..We’re
going to Bacolod City for a short vacay. This day started out not that
bad. For starters,mom and i were arguing about simple things like
whether to call a cab company and have them send one to where we we
live or just me going to our street corner and just plainly hail one. I
opted for the latter because it was raining and it’s just 2:30am. I was
gonna get friggin’ wet and cold and that was what exactly happened to
me. ok, that was finished.

We were very early for our 5:15am flight, we arrived there at 3am (very
early according to my standards especially with the fact that i’m used
to travelling domestically). We heard some talks that typhoon Frank was
destroying bacolod province but we just kept mum about it, after all,
if it was that bad then Philippine Airlines would have cancelled our
flight.We boarded the plane on time so i guessed there was no room
for concern anymore.

During flights, that’s where i get my sleep from the lack of it during the pre-preparation time so i was soundly napping, without a care in my surroundings. The first signs of
stress on air was the turbulence. Of course it’s a natural occurrence and it gets you smack on the nerves everytime it happens. But when i glanced outside the window, my gosh! ZERO VISIBILITY. My mom and i were tensely awaiting something bad that could happen anytime, you know, like crashing! The pilot was announcing that we were experiencing some difficulties due to the bad weather at the visayas region. That’s where we got dumbstruck. I mean, why did they allow us to travel if the weather was that terrible. Then came the announcement that we’ll be landing in a few minutes at the new bacolod airport. We were all relieved to hear that piece of good news! The plane was shaking uncontrollably on our way down to the runway. Scary! I could see clearly the runway and felt the nearness of  landing to safety but to our dismay, just a few couple feet left from the blasted runway, we got airborne again. The pilot made a sudden decision of flying up abruptly and later explained to us that if they persisted on landing, we could have crashed because by the looks and feel of it, we would’ve swung
from one wing to the other and that could eventually lead to the loss of balance of the aircraft and yeah, our certain death.So we headed to
Cebu’s Mactan Airport to await news there. Flight was much better than that of bacolod. After landing, we were made to wait for 3 hours because some of the passengers were scared of flying back to manila so they were checked in by PAL to some hotel, but their fare going back to manila or bacolod was to be shouldered by them and not the airlines.they agreed. By 11am, we were back at manila again. PAL employees weren't quite sure what to do with us so we waited again at the terminal for further announcements. They reached a conclusion that we should wait for the 4:30pm flight later that day, saying that the weather would immensely be much better than the earlier one. While waiting, they gave us free crappy lunch but we were too famished to
care so off we ate till the last morsel. 5 hours of waiting needs a lot of energy so my mom and i just sat at the cold metal benches and counted the ticking minutes, not literally of course.4:30pm came and so we boarded the plane again and anxiously waited for our flight to arrive at bacolod. but yet AGAIN, this time, while still up high in the friggin’ air, the pilot announced that we CAN’T land again because of nasty weather conditions.. OMG!! Just imagine the despair we all felt at that moment, some of the passengers were close to tears because of their own heavy personal reasons. They were really serious, as in some of them were going home because their mom or dad died and the next day was supposed to be the burial day. So sad! needless to say, they delivered us once again, the second time for the day, at the cebu airport where yet again the same process earlier was repeated and waited for 3hrs again. by 11:30pm, we were at Manila AGAIN. They didn't let us come out right away because they said that our flight was not ‘legal’ or something like that so they had to fix it first with the airport control. After 20mins, they finally let us out. That day was a really traumatic one. imagine, we were there when the airport opened and we were still there when it was closed for the day already. Finally, they decided to give us all rooms at the grand boulevard hotel
to stay for the night, free of charge.. 
dapat lang noh! We got a 9am flight the next day. 

To summarize it all..from manila airport, we attempted to land at bacolod but failed, went to cebu and back to manila again and by 4:30pm, attempted to go to bacold again but failed again, went to cebu and back to manila as the day ends..ALL IN ONE DAY!

JUNE 22 - I woke up at 4am and was still feeling a little lazy but forced myself to get up already. I peeked at the window and was so surprised to see and hear strong winds
howling outside. THE TYPHOON WAS ALREADY IN MANILA! WTF! and the whole
area was in a blackout state. The hotel was just using their generators. I called the front desk to ask if our flight was cancelled but they haven’t recieved any advisory yet so it was still on. I took a bath, waited for my mom and got down to eat breakfast. I was so hungry, i remembered that they didn’t provide us any dinner. Just one piece of
dunkin donut and that was still at cebu. Thank God it was a breakfast buffet so i ate my heart out, after all, it is going to be a long day for us yet again, i felt it in my veins. We got on the bus and on our way to the airport, the scene was so scary.Light posts were tumbled down by the winds, flood everywhere, no one in sight. just us, a lonely
bus filled with nervous passengers carefully cruising the streets on its way to its final destination. We arrived at the airport at 6:30am, i got wet when i retrieved our bags at the luggage compartment of the bus. What a great way to start the waiting again. We checked in, and placed ourselves at a solitary corner and waited..and napped for a few
minutes. 9am came but our flight was not announced so we guessed already that we were delayed. Finally, we were announced at 1pm. We boarded the plane and we landed, thank goodness, at the new bacolod-silay airport.

That was the turn of events on those two frightful, irritating yet accomplishing days. As i was typing this, i got tired too. But thank GOD, we were still alive and kicking and
sane enough to tell this fateful story. :) 

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