Travel 115: Blessings in mid-air – Cebu Pacific Style

After having spent more than 5 hours in-flight in Cebu Pacific from Manila to Ozamis to Cebu to Manila and then off to Zamboanga City, I find more reasons to smile than to sulk and complain of how our flight was canceled. Foremost, I am grateful I had been safely ferried from one airport to the other, making sure that the fuel is enough, we have to stop over Cebu to refuel then off we went back to Manila. We cannot land in Ozamis as expected since it is in its zero visibility status thus the kind pilot reassured us safely back to Cebu and then back to Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Manila. Did others start to complain? Yes, they were a handful of them started complaining but modesty aside, the kindness and grace of the cabin crew on board that flight just made us feel safe even though the weather is not cooperating with us.

One reason I had been grateful is that in spite the LPA in Northern Mindanao, we never experienced the worse turbulence, similar to the ones I found on movies. It was just a peaceful journey through 37,000+ feet above sea level. Which of course, made me contemplate the “what if’s”: What if the plane suddenly disappeared and then it will be the end of us? Will I be remembered long enough of my good deeds or not? Will people mourn me or will they just laugh at me at my sorry condition? Will they ever find reason to search and rescue me or just leave to die? Those are what made me think in those silent hours I was mid-air. But I am grateful I am still alive to write this.

That experience proved to me kinds of people. The younger generations are carefree and just slept on the entire flight. I was seated next to elderly women out to vacation and they worry not of our safety and the safety of the aircraft but they worry of the prepared breakfast, merienda and the lunch that awaited them in Ozamis and then eventually to Tudela, in Misamis Occidental. I saw a young man perhaps working in a call center in Manila and in fashionista outfit, complete with Michael Jackson hat, fidgeting on his Play Station. I saw yet another man, perhaps in his mid-40s trying to read his book. I saw OFWs, perhaps seamen very uneasy and started to complain of food and free accommodation by Cebu Pacific and I saw a couple in their late 30s holding hands in mid-air, as if reassuring each other that we all will be safe.

As for me, I just had my book written by Robert Draper entitled “Dead Certain” and ordered Piatos. I have had to enjoy this experience since it’s my first time. I just would want to reflect why God permitted me to be in such situation. I enjoyed my life as much as there were physical discomforts but all throughout, I am safe and I felt safe on Cebu Pacific.

Piatos on hand, the book opened to the pages I am reading, I tried to just think of happy thoughts. I just tend to reflect the kind of people I have met through this experience. It made me realized that the older people are more concerned of the generosity of their hosts than their safety in travelling as evidenced in the shared sentiments of the elderly women with me, trying to share insights on how the adobo smelled or the bibingka tastes. One elderly woman even complained that she has bought so many ensaymada. It also made me think that the younger generation are more concerned of themselves and their games than their safety too. For me, I am just happy to be in Cebu even for just an hour for refueling.

Cebu Pacific experience made me felt lucky I have had the time to reflect more about life. It made me ponder on how I might be if I had been in a plane crash. I was flipping the safety instruction guide, trying to see how to react when for example the plane crashes on water or land. Well, that made me realized too that the safety instruction guides of most airplanes are just idealistic by nature. Their assumption always had been that the plane is in top-shape after the crash, no fires, no splitting of the plane, no injuries and death. Just simple disembarkation manual which most of the time, do not happen when say, the plane crashes on a forested area in the mountain or shark-infested blue waters. But that has to be left because I am safely home after a land travel from Zamboanga City to where I am living in Pagadian City.

When asked: Will you still travel? Yes! Cebu Pacific? Yes! Well, at least, I felt like a jetsetter for a day. I have found out that I can even travel to the entire Philippines in just a week with Cebu Pacific.

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