It’s exactly two years since Ondoy, the kind of storm we don’t want to see again in our lifetime.
I was looking forward to visiting Cebu for the first time. But I didn’t count on the date to fall on September 27.
Jeroen had just arrived from Singapore, and I didn’t want to leave his side. But I had a 6 AM flight to Cebu.
I couldn’t sleep. I tried to sleep at 12 midnight, but since I’m used to sleeping at 3, it was useless.
I got up at 3:15 to shower and get dressed. Pia and Elmo Magalona picked me up to go to the airport.
As ambassadors of HP and Bangko Sentral’s No To Fakes Campaign, we were supposed to be in Cebu for a press conference at noon.
We arrived at NAIA Terminal 2, checked in by 5 AM and went straight to Gate 1 for the 5:10 boarding, which was not yet scheduled. Pia suggested we wait it out in the lounge.
Boarding got moved to 6:45 AM and then 7:45 AM.
Personally, I did not want to get on the plane. I am very paranoid about flying. I would not make a really good flying companion and passenger in this kind of weather.
Pia was worried we would not be able to return to Manila on the same day as she and Elmo had a string of commitments this entire week.
Pia and I passed the time at the Mabuhay Lounge trying to tweet via intermittent WIFI as our Globe signal was down.
As a mom, I did not want to get on the plane. Between Pia and I, we have 11 kids.
Looking at the worsening weather outside, we looked for a signal to tell Harold Geronimo in Cebu that we were planning not to go on the plane.
Harold tried to convince us otherwise, but I made up my mind. You can’t pay me a million pesos to go on that plane. Pia said the same thing.
As we approached Gate 1 to speak to the ground stewards, a line formed for PR 847 bound for Cebu.
Harold called back and said they decided to call off the press conference for us.
Pia and I were able to contact Jeroen to send the driver back to NAIA.
On our way out we saw that passengers were stalled at the check-in counters. Apparently, PAL employees decided to go on a strike at that moment and stop working. 14,000 passengers were stranded today.
I felt for the people stuck in that boring airport, especially the foreigners. If I were to be stuck in an airport, Hong Kong or Singapore would not be bad choices.
As soon as we left NAIA Terminal 2, a strong gust of wind slapped us in our faces. Trees swayed and street signs fell. Umbrellas turned inside out. We got wet walking towards the car, drove through puddles and floods, and made it to our homes.
Later this afternoon, our flight was finally cancelled.
I was shaking when I got home, but glad to see my boys planted on our bed with their laptops.
I changed my clothes and fell asleep, I don’t know what time, but I woke up at 2 PM.
Had cereal and spent the day with my boys.
Electricity went on and off, and there was a battle among dying Internet connections (luckily we have a backup Globe Tattoo).
I ate so much junk. Watched 2 Broke Girls and spent the day just happy to be home.
P.S. Thanks to Pia for taking the pics and taking care of me. And to Harold, for understanding.