I have been looking forward to this trip that would have taken me to Dumaguete and its beautiful Rizal Blvd and yummy treats and to Siquijor and its quiet beaches, folk healers, and enigmatic caves with 11 other friends from my mountaineering group.
I have been having anxiety attacks for the past weeks and the jaunt would have been the perfect stress-buster. But thanks to the weather over Dumaguete and my paranoia and folk beliefs, I am stuck in Manila.
Contacts in Dumaguete have said that the city has been flooding since Monday due to heavy rains. Waiting for our 2:50 pm flight at the spanking Terminal 3, one contact said there was strong rain and wind. At about 2pm, it was announced that our flight was on hold due to the weather conditions at Dumaguete. I had begun praying for clear weather. At about 3:45, we were told to board. Several minutes inside the tube, we were told that the flight had been cancelled. We trooped to the arrivals area and on to the Passenger Assistance Desk. Of course, the people manning the desk were just as surprised as we are for the cancellation. An irate foreigner (Middle-eastern looking) was raising hell and so was another passenger, an elderly Filipino who was admonishing him to shut-up as it wasn’t the desk people’s fault. They were after all supposed to have information for arrivals and not departures. A few minutes later, Cebu Pacific agents arrived and said that there was a special 7:40am flight the next day to accomodate everyone and that there was no need to re-book to that flight anymore.
We thought of re-routing our flight to Cebu but thought it would be too much hassle. We re-booked our flight home to Sunday instead rather than Saturday. Not wanting to go home, we scuttled to Bayani Bar along Fort Bonifacio which is owned by Jong’s friend. It was decided that we would spend the night there then just go to the airport early morning for some shut-eye.
At about 8pm, after a dinner of tapsilog, internet surfing thanks to Kelly’s Smart Bro, and Text Twister, it became clear, at least to some, that there had to be another way to spend the evening. Me and Danny ended-up going home to my place for a bath and some shut-eye.
5:30 am we were at the airport to meet the rest. Erick had already backed out while Ari and Mariano were nowhere. After checking-in Danny and I had breakfast at Delifrance while the rest headed to the waiting lounge. Because the weather forecast at the internet said that it would 4 days of shower and thunderstorms at Dumaguete, I again rained on the heavens for safe passage and good weather. I concluded by saying “You know what’s best.” At the bathroom, I head the announcement “All passengers bound for Dumaguete, your flight is currently on hold pending improvement of the weather conditions at your destination.” Right then, I took it as a sign. Now, I normally am not into premonitions or anything like that as most of the time, I am proven wrong. But this was just too much and after an anxiety-inducing roller coaster ride on bad weather from Davao to Manila, I feared this trip was just going to exacerbate my anxieties. I don’t know if it was just my inner paranoia but a couple of days ago, a scene of me at the waiting lounge, resisiting my friends’ attempts to make me board the aircraft, played in my mind. I considered that Sign #1. No amount of bendaryl or positive thinking was gonna make my fly. So I went to the counter at the waiting lounge and had my checked-in luggage off-loaded. 5J625 flight was boarding at about the time they were supposed to be departing which meant that there probably was a break in the weather. It must have sounded lame but I told the rest that I was backing-out due to my paranoia.
Once out of the lounge, I had my terminal fee reimbursed which was a surprisingly easy and pleasant procedure then procedeed to the check-in counter to retrieve my backpack which was waiting for me.
So here I am. Depressed how my flight paranoia grounded me. I am sure 5J627d departed and arrived, even if delayed. The counter girls were even convincing me to just proceed with the flight. “Sigurado kayo Sir? Tumuloy naman na yun 625. Tuloy na kayo.” But as a confirmed Happy To Fly pill user, paranoia is paranoia. Oh well. Reality has bitten. I am such an airplane scaredy-cat.