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.

13 comments:

  1. I've always found the airports of the RP to be odd compared to their American counterparts. Flying into your country for the first time was extremely confusing.

    It's always hard to say goodbye to someone you won't see for a couple years. I'm sure Dodi will have lots of tales when he gets back.

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  2. He'll be alright, dude.

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  3. Sa salita lang modern heroes ang mga OFW.

    Wrong timing ang dating ng brother mo dito sir nick. Super init! Sana ok lang sya.

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  4. Philippine airports are probably the most insensitive when it comes to giving family a few more minutes to talk to each other before leaving and even upon arriving. You park your car a few more minutes in the departure area, they threaten to give you a ticket. They should open up Terminal 3 soon because Terminal 1 just sucks

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  5. If they say that OFW's are the country's modern heroes, they should at least give them a heroes' send off. Paano kasi, la pang nareremit na pera. Pagdating na lang nya may pabanda-banda, etc. Inconsistent ang treatment ng bansa sa kanila, ano? Here's hoping your bro would do well in Saudi. All the best for him.

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  6. eh kasi naman, prenship, sa atin kasi kapag may umaalis sandamakmak na mga tao ang sumasama sa airport para mag-ba-bay. kaya siguro naging ganun ka-unfriendly.

    pero true ha, sa ibang airport, makakapasok ka hanggang sa loob bago mag-security-check. sana kahit isa o dalawa mang lang tao, pinapapasok nila kung OFW ka rin naman.

    yung bagong terminal ba yung pang-PAL?

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  7. Heroes or not, I understand why it has to be done though, unfortunate as it is. What makes it so bad here, compared to say, Philadelphia or LA, is that the baggage and personnel security begins at the dropoff point. In other airports, like the two referenced above, family can follow all the way in to baggage checkin. Manila's security starts right there at the terminal entrance. There really is no choice but to shoo away people seeking to linger, otherwise the crush of people at the driveup point would prevent others from unloading. I don't believe the facilities at NAIA are expansive enough to change it to the LA style. I guess the best thing is to realize that goodbyes end once you are on that outside sidewalk. It's a matter of mental adjustment I suppose. I miss how it used to be in the US before 9/11 when we could follow all the way to the terminal and send off our loved ones properly, and even meet them as soon as they deplaned...sigh. Blame it on the Terrorists!!!!

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  8. Hello Ed! Actually, when I went to the US years ago, I was by my lonesome but I figured out how to book myself to go California via Delta airlines. :-)

    Thanks Igor.

    Talaga Ann! Sana nga. Sanay pa naman sya sa klima ng Baguio.

    You are so right, jgotangco.

    Thanks Abaniko. Oo nga eh. Talagang bad experience ang mag send-off dito sa Pinas.

    Ate Sienna, ganun talaga Pinoy ano? Kulang na lang, maiwan ng eroplano kasi halos ayaw paalisin yung aalis. hehehe. Yung terminal 3, di pa ako nakapunta kaya di ko sure. Pero maganda raw yun. Hopefully.

    Hello Phil. Shoo is right. That's what they do at terminal 1. And the terrorrists should leave so we can shoo them as well!

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  9. mabilis naman ang panahon eh, di mo mamamalayan naka ilang taon na rin siya at magkikita na ulet kayo...

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  10. Boss Lino, naalala ko tuloy kanta ni Aiza. Pagdating ng panahon...

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  11. napag-huhuli na talaga ang airport natin. sana mabuksan na yung naia 3.

    parents ko before ofw din sa isang eye hospital sa jeddah, oks dun.

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  12. saglet, OFW na din ba ako? bagong bayani na din ba ako?

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  13. I remember when I was about 8 or 9 years old, hindi ganito kahigpit sa MIA (NAIA). Nakapasok kami sa loob noong ihatid namin ang tito ko papunta sa US. Tagal pa nga namin doon, palaro-laro pa. Hay! kakamiss talaga noong dating panahon.

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