The day has finally arrived. Me and my friend Chie met at exactly 6 AM at our agreed meeting place. We still could not believe it was actually happening! All was going well until we approached Pasay City area. Our taxi driver thought we asked to be dropped off to NAIA 2 instead of NAIA 3. I was so worried that we might miss our flight since there were only two hours left before our departure time when we arrived. I glanced at Chie and we strongly agreed we both clearly said NAIA 3.
After a few minutes, we hopped off the cab and did not mind not getting the change. Taking a few deep breaths, the officer-in-charge at the departure area told us to relax since there was still ample time before boarding. We did as we were told and we patiently waited for our turn at the check-in counter. Surprisingly, my friend Chie’s ticket which she purchased online but was paid through LBC (cash – with receipt, e-mail confirmation and all) was said to be ‘on-hold’ and not confirmed. She was instructed to proceed to the express counter and was offered to settle a whopping 350 USD at first!
Thankfully, she asked the breakdown of those charges. Turns out they would automatically include meals, insurance, checked-in baggage fee etc in this rate. After some negotiations, she was able to just pay 150 USD for a ticket with checked-in luggage. My friend does not want our initial plans not to go as is so even if her pocket would be crying later on, she went ahead and purchased the ticket (#ouch!)
Early this year, we have actually planned to visit just Singapore. I was able to buy a round-trip ticket during Cebu Pacific’s seat sale at only almost 4000 Php all-in. However, we have decided to make this a tri-country journey. Chie just purchased a one-way ticket to Singapore and a return ticket from Bangkok to Clark (Our itinerary was SG-MLY-Thailand overland). We thought after getting our boarding passes we can now rejoice but the Philippine immigration officer questioned her for about 10-15 grueling minutes since she did not secure a return ticket from Singapore. I had no problems since I am employed by a private company and had a return ticket on hand (which i bid bye-bye also to later on). The officer just asked for my company ID and voila, I was off to Merlion City! I watched over my shoulder expecting Chie to appear behind me. I was getting a bit nervous as I watched from afar. Chie was obviously getting edgier by the minute. Good thing we had our whole itinerary, transportation and hotel reservations printed out. Since she is a businesswoman she presented proof her income and some business papers to prove that she has no plans in turning incognito or playing my Fairy God Mother (who is popular among kids because she disappears with a blink of an eye). I remember candidly she narrated that the officer smiled a bit when she read in our ititnerary: Chie and Paula’s birthday celebration to be held in Kuala Lumpur. Oh well, I guess being true to our plans helped convinced her to let my friend join me in the boarding gate. And off we were on our way to Singapore. 🙂