Ever since my first employment after I graduated from college and passed my profession’s certification exams twelve years ago, I have not stayed home with my parents for longer than two weeks. Work has been successful enough to necessitate my relocation and thus live separately from my family. Going home and spending some time with them come short of a luxury for me. So this year and for the last two Christmas vacations, I made it a point to spend the holidays with them.
It’s weird, however, that something relatively unexpected and funny would occur during my travels. The first time I went home for the holidays in 2006, I took the “ro-ro” to have some adventure. True enough, I had a pretty exciting adventure starting with the bus that I ought to take from the terminal in Cubao. Since it was a last minute decision on my part, I had no other choice but to take whatever available trip there was. I have heard a few stories regarding the discomfort of travelling through the national nautical highway but again, I have decided and there was no backing out. Besides, I could not get any plane seat with an airline nor a timely schedule from any shipping company the day before Christmas. It was just impossible. And I hopped in a different bus approximately five minutes my bus should leave. I only realized that I made a mistake when I overheard a passenger near me confirmed with the konduktor the approximate time of arrival in Batangas port. I thought the old lady was just mistaken about her itinerary but it was I who’s riding a wrong bus and practically clueless about the travel. Yay! It was just fortunate that my bus was only two lanes away since it was already gearing up to depart.
Everything went well after the bus ‘switching’ until the supposed last ferry ride in Mindoro. I only heard and read about the island province in history and Philippine geography books and it was my first time there. Midnight. Very Dark. Strange-looking people. I could not understand the language. And voila! There were no more ferries available until the next ten hours since my bus was late. After almost three hours of waiting, it was announced that another ferry bound for Caticlan is coming but not all could be accommodated. I was just lucky to board it after some trading with other passengers. I arrived home after almost 28 hours of travel. It was not the kind of adventure that I was looking for. I took the plane when I went back here in Manila.
And then there was this incident last year when I flew back to Manila on New Year’s Day.
And early this morning, during my flight, PAL announced that there was an “overbooking” that triggered non-boarding of some passengers. HOW COME??!! It was my first time to hear such “overbooking” thingy. I mean, how could there be an overbooking if the whole booking/reservation and subsequent confirmation process is controlled by one and only one database with PAL?! Hmnnn…I was tempted to call someone I know.
But here’s the offer that some of the passengers found it hard to refuse: PAL offered a FREE roundtrip ticket for any domestic destination that would expire for one year from today and if you volunteer to give up your seat, they will REFUND the current paid ticket or process a re-routing for free over and above the free ticket. I was actually tempted but I thought I sacrificed enough for that very early flight. The result – my flight was delayed for 45 minutes.
The good thing about all these events is that I am still here blogging. hehe Merry Christmas!