ONDOY’S DESPEDIDA FOR ME
My weeklong vacation in the Philippines was worthwhile. It was mainly a quality time with family and relatives. A lot of eating in and out, chatting, giggling, gossiping and all that you can imagine. Until the not so pleasant one happened.
Whenever I would travel or for anything that I would do, I normally set an “allowance for fortuitous events”. I intended to do a little shopping from at least one of the malls in Metro Manila on the last day of my stay, Saturday. But for no particular reason, I just thought that something might come up that day that I did the shopping part on a midweek (Yes, I was in Megamall/Shangri-la last Wednesday all day long. I avoided going to Makati because it’s impossible for me to hide there. My ‘secret’ vacation would be doomed. Heehee.).
Then something really came up last Saturday. The remaining hours of my whirlwind vacation were spent with flood and in helping out my family in cleaning the mess. This is the first time this happened at the fourth district of Laguna. I took these photos before 7am. That time, it still felt like an adventure. We never thought it was going to be worse in other areas (especially to the nearby province Rizal).
The flood receded favorably after lunch. Since morning though, the power supply was expectedly cut. Just when I needed my mobile phones’ charge the most, they failed. Since morning before my batteries died on me, I was calling this airline to rebook and/or confirm flight cancellation. I got an SMS from one of my contacts that she saw on TV that all the flights in NAIA 1 were cancelled. I was relieved for a moment and by that time, we were already braving the so unexpectedly waist-deep water in Calamba. (My ranting faded immediately as I learned about the situation of our fellows in Rizal and other worse-flooded areas. I thought my situation was nothing compared to them.)
We experienced hell from Pansol to SLEX, Skyway and to the airport. Let’s just say that we reached there at 2:30AM. And my flight was at 1:15 AM. Only to find out that all the airlines really cancelled their flights, except mine and the one by Malaysian Air. NAIA 1 was a nightmare on 27th (carried over from night of 26th) and 28th of September. I was stranded in the airport for at least 20 hours. What a nice way to end a whirlwind vacation eh? Anyway, after a considerable amount of research, I formed a conclusion that this airline* braved the weather and made a last minute decision to fly the 62 (made on time) out of 200 confirmed passengers, just to avoid the cost of caring for us.
And I experienced the worst customer service in my entire life. I might write about it in my next post.
*I’m trying my best not to name the airline. I love its quality flying to pieces. Just that its customer service IN THE PHILIPPINES sucks big time.
On our way to the airport we were listening to DZRH’s Operation Tulong and it was heartbreaking to know the situation in Rizal, Marikina and other places. As I returned here, I learned about the plight of a dear friend/former officemate who lost everything. Right now, the Filipino community in UAE are sourcing out whatever form of help we can extend to the victims of Ondoy. PLEASE check this list of disaster emergency relief numbers and information on how to help. Please be involved in whatever way we can.