Bye Bye Pinas, Hello Dubai

My first international flight was with Emirates Airlines which gave me a taste of quality service and an unforgettable experience. It’s totally different compared to a domestic flight for so many reasons. But, as much as I would like to share that experience with you right now, I would prefer to share first the processes I went through before I could finally stepped in the said plane.

My brother demanded I should be at the airport five hours before my flight schedule, it’s kind of early I thought but I have to follow him since he had done this and that before. However, when he demanded I should be in Manila a day before the flight, I wanted to say no but then again, since this is my first time, I just let it be and agree to his commands. And so I flew to Manila last May 7 via ZestAir, I thought I had chosen the right airline then until I was told I had to pay Php 2250 for my excess baggage. I was preparing a thousand peso for my 25 kilo baggage, and then I thought I should have gone with Cebupac since they have this better baggage deal, but anyways, I was there and I was left with no other choice so I paid the amount with a sad and heavy heart.

Due to the baggage issue plus the super hot temperature inside the tiny Tagbilaran Airport, I wasn’t able to properly bid goodbye to my family and to James, it was almost 12 when I checked in and the flight schedule was at 12:25. Well, remembering that scene I guess there was an advantage to that, it left us with no “drama” moments, I didn’t see mama cry unlike when we were sending off my two brothers last year. Then I wasn’t able to kiss James goodbye too, haha! I didn't cry too until I reached the waiting area but I composed myself and just thought of happy stuff.

ZestAir is indeed different to CebuPac in terms of service and amenities; I would prefer flying with Cebupac in the future.

In an hour, I was in Manila, some relatives fetched me from the airport going to Taguig where I stayed for a day and met some far relatives I just saw for the first time and they also sent me off to the airport the next day.

Initial plan was to be at the airport at five in the afternoon however, we went out of my aunt’s house at five thirty. She cooked dinner and she asked me to eat before going, so I did.
Then I made a mistake, I didn’t pay much attention to my ticket and so when my cousin asked me what terminal to go and what airline, I didn’t even bother to check my ticket and told him it’s Philippine Airlines, since he was familiar with the specific terminals for the airlines, he assumed it’s in terminal 2. We were saying our goodbyes then, I went inside the terminal and I was thankful a guard approached me and asked for my ticket courteously, “Baka kasi ma’am sa ibang terminal ka kasi Dubai yung pupuntahan mo” and boy I was glad he did. I should be in Terminal 1 as per my ticket, my cousins didn’t go away yet so they accompanied me to the said terminal. Downside was, the taxi driver asked me to pay Php 200 for the five minute drive from Terminal 2.

We finally bid our last goodbyes when the lady guard confirmed that I was in the right terminal, I waved and signaled them that I’m okay. I soon entered the My 25 kilo baggage was very heavy but this gentleman helped me carry it to the x-ray lane. And while inside the airport’s international departure area, looking at the crowd with all the people going from here to there, I don’t know what to do first. I tried looking for any guide boards, like those in some government offices like DFA where it gives us a step by step process on what to do first and this and that but I couldn’t find one, I started roaming around, after ten minutes, I found myself in front of an information desk. The sweet lady confirmed I should wait first since the check in time will be at eight at counter 24-32. Woah! Now I know what to do first.
In my seat I just figured out that there’s a huge board in front of me which spins (like that of a slot machine) and changes the information every once in a while. It has the destination, flight number and the counter where to check in, it also has the info on what gate to go to by boarding time. By eight, the labels all spun but I couldn’t locate my flight number in the board (by this time, I started to get nervous). Ticket shows flight number was PR660 but board shows the only Dubai destination flight was EK335. Then I recalled my father’s text message that in anytime I feel troubled or afraid I should remember Psalm 23, it helped me indeed and I was okay (you might want to check it too). I went over to counter 28 and stood at the end of a very long line.

I guess I need to take a break, stay posted! I'll just play Candy Crush!

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