On July 10th, my family and I took an Etihad flight in going home to the Philippines. It was around 5:00 o’clock in the morning when we left Muscat and arrived forty-five minutes later in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
We took our breakfast at the airport and waited for a couple of hours before we embarked for a nine-hour flight to Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
It was around 11:00 o’clock in the evening, July 10th, when we landed in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport 1. I noticed that NAIA 1 got a new face lift. They have renovated the whole place adding some new carpet, metal railings, and ceiling designs. One thing I am happy with was the immigration process was quite fast and easy unlike three years ago that we waited for ages. After we gathered our baggage, we immediately headed off to the queue for the free shuttle bus ride to NAIA 3 where we took the domestic flight to Cebu City. Gladly as soon as we arrived in the domestic airport when it started to rain.
There are many things that distinguish the Philippines from Oman. For example, the weather here is really unpredictable. There are days that it’s occasionally hot and humid while some weeks of continuous rain. It’s very crowded anywhere you go. The people are noisy and talk so loud even in front of each other. The mode of dressing is very liberated and fashionable. But I love the feeling of being at home. And yes, I believe that “there’s no place like home”.
We felt so hungry during the whole trip and my kids were so delighted to see the Jollibee Food Restaurant is available in NAIA3. You see Jollibee the most famous food chain in the Philippines because of the unique taste of their food that suits to the taste of Filipinos. We immediately scope our seats and left our baggage outside the restaurant. Each of us ordered 2pieces of chicken joy meal. Oh.. the smell of the chicken is so delicious! satisfaction guaranteed!
Our flight to Cebu City was around 5:00 o’clock in the morning via Cebu Pacific Airways. It was an hour after we landed in Mactan International Airport.
Unfortunately, we were stranded for more than 10 hours because of the aircraft engine problem. I am already so damn tired and exhausted. My children were so bored and sleepy. This is pretty normal especially that our body started to get oriented with the environment and the new time zone.
The Cebu Pacific Airways management provided free food for stranded passengers. But still we bought some food to fuel ourselves. The wifi in the airport was very slow so my kids just watched kids movies in the laptop or played with their smartphones apps. Sometime they took a nap to regain their strength while waiting for our flight to Surigao City, our homeplace.
It was around 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon when a 100-seater aircraft took off to Surigao City. The flight was about one hour and we landed safely in Surigao Domestic Airport. It was actually a very nice afternoon. Not too hot and humid. I can see the progress of my city from above. A lot of things have changed for the past three years that we were away.
Then, finally I saw my parents – my ever beloved Mama and Papa. So thankful to God that I have seen them again all in good health and shape.
We went straight to my parents’ house where we savor our lovely and delicious dinner.
What a wonderful relief after a very long flight back home.