After China, our next destination was the Philippines.
It was not easy for us to get to the Philippines.
Buying the plane ticket was simple enough. We managed to get a relatively cheap ticket at a rather humane flight time of 9am.
For once, we took heed of our previous experiences and got to the airport at 630 am – more than two hours before the actual flight. As we waited in line for our boarding passes, we actually gave ourselves high fives and chest bumped for this rather uncharacteristic display of adult-ness. As the counter staff started checking us in, we were discussing where we wanted to go for a slow leisurely breakfast.
That’s when the counter staff asked us a Strange Question,”Do you have an onward ticket from the Philippines?”
In the spirit of winging it, we had bought a one way ticket into the Philippines.
The Master Plan was to see how much we would enjoy the place before deciding when/if we would leave the Philippines. Apparently, that is not the way they Do Things… we need to have a ticket out of Philippines before they are allowed to check us in.
Friendly Travel Advice to all: There are many plane ticketing agents in airport terminals.
Friendly Travel Advice Number Two to all: ALL of these plane ticketing agents are NOT open at 7am.
That is how, instead of having our leisurely breakfast as planned, we were frantically tapping into the airport’s wifi network, trying to find an onward ticket from Philippines.
Cheapskates that we are, we were still trying to find the cheapest tickets, so we compared prices across multiple budget airlines.
I tried to plan ahead and gave ourselves until 815am to look for the tickets, so that we’d have enough time to check in.
I was an idiot.
We found cheap onward tickets from Manila to Taiwan via Cebu Pacific airlines, but we forgot to take into consideration the infernal buying form that took a zillion years to fill in (you know the usual crap: name, age, sex, hair color, color of pubic hair, etc…).
By the time we were done with the form, it was 830 am.
The counter for checking in for our flight was closed.
Somehow, we managed to persuade a wandering staff member to check us in (we must’ve looked really pathetic). As he filled in our particulars in his system, he asked us another Strange Question, “Where’s your ticket out of the Philippines?”
WE HAVE TO PRINT OUT THE E-TICKET!!
The airport staff who were not bent over laughing at our predicament hurried us into the airport office so that we could print out our tickets. In the background, we heard someone shouting they’d have to call the pilot for permission for us to board.
Yup, we held up an entire flight. One big tick off the old bucket list.
Now is probably a good time to mention that the only reason we were able to reach the airport so early was because we did not sleep the night before. We figured we could sleep our fill on the flight.
Because of this, both of us appeared outwardly calm while all the drama was happening around us. Everything was happening (for us) in the slow motion manner that only the sleep-deprived would understand.
Thankfully, the pilot was nice enough to allow us entry. We were hassled through security with our backpacks on. We had to endure the death glares of some of the other passengers when we boarded the plane. I don’t think our case was helped by our big backpacks knocking on a few of these passengers’ heads as we walk down the aisle (I cannot confirm nor deny that some of these knocks were intentional).
I’m sure a lot of them would love to have some Words with us, but we totally blacked out once our asses touched our seats.
It’s hard to believe all this happened before 10am in the morning.
It’s a promising start to a fine adventure indeed.