14 July 2006

Leaving on a jet plane


Yesterday, I accompanied my brother Dodi (three years younger) to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). After nearly six years of going to and from Manila and Baguio to apply for a job overseas, he's finally leaving. He's bound for Saudi Arabia, do a temporary stop at Jeddah where he will receive his assignment. He will be working as an optician, a trade he learned from my father.

His significant other went with us too to bid him farewell. It was kind of sad really, looking at her trying to catch a glimpse of Dodi where he falls in line and goes through the process inside the terminal while we stood outside.

And as usual, the security personnel would occasionally ward off those left behind to the side streets. It's prohibited to linger there. When they would come near us, I would tell them that our car is on our way up the terminal to fetch us. And the others would get driven off.

That is another sad part of going to the departure area. Our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are being touted as the modern heroes, and yet being at the departure area reminds me of these two things:

- they fall in line outside embassies, under the sun, with no seats, and
- their relatives get shooed off the airport terminal, with no regard for the feelings of these people.

I haven't seen the new airport yet, but I believe Terminal 1 is poorly constructed. It's there to facilitate the transport of people, but it is not designed to be people-friendly.

Sorry, I really had to rant about that airport part. I think it's really despicable the way they ask people to leave the departure area.

Now where was I? Oh, yes. My brother will be out of the country for 2 years. So until then, I hope he's there now safe and sound. See you in 2008, Dodi.
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