October 10, 2006

Home for the Fiesta

As I have mentioned in my previous posts, I went home to Iligan for the weekend. It’s been 21 years since I last spent fiesta there. That was way back in Grade 6 then. Both my kuya and I went on to study in Manila for secondary schooling on a science scholarship. Afterwards, studies and work have kept us from visiting on a fiesta. We did not have the resources to travel around in mid-year back then. So, it was with much good fortune that AirPhil offered a peso promo fare. What usually costs around 6,500 pesos round trip was pegged at 1,900 already. Of course, I immediately seized on the opportunity, now who wouldn’t?

Despite typhoon Milenyo’s lashing the previous day, I woke up very early on Friday to get to the airport on time, anticipating that some traffic might somehow build up somewhere along the way. Surprisingly, only a handful of vehicles took to the road at this time. Thus, I was at the centennial airport by six o’clock.

After the ceremonious ID checking, x-raying and removing of shoes, at last I was inside. I turned to ask assistance about the check-in counter of my destination and I was directed to the monitor. There was no CGY in that long list so I somehow assumed checking-in has not started yet. I walked around for about 30 minutes then finally settled on a nearby seat. By seven o-clock, there was still no sign of any check-in counter being opened for the Cagayan de Oro flight. The monitor also still has not indicated CGY yet.

I then decided to approach the Supervisor counter and inquired on my flight, to which I got the brief response of “Counter 33 po”. What the ____?! There was already a long queu there. I was certain no announcement had been made, else, I’d have heard it. So, this was how it worked at Centennial Airport. Do not ever rely on the monitor or the PA system, I tell you. Ask.

By this time, there were two lines formed at Counters 33 and 34. About 5 minutes on the line, I felt someone tap me on my shoulder. I turned around and discovered an old friend, Gugong, from College. He too was going to Cagayan de Oro. He was supposed to take the Thursday flight. But due to the typhoon, flights have been cancelled so he had to re-book for Friday. We talked for aw while then had to part when the line started moving. Our line at Counter 33 had to merge with Counter 34, so you can imagine what a pretty long line that was.

We had a 30-minute delay. Other than that, the flight went on without a hitch. I was met at the airport by my Mom and Dad. We immediately rushed back home as there will be several relatives coming. When we arrived, everyone had already had lunch. After talking to the guests, I proceeded to have my lunch. My Aunty Marites just waited for me to gulp down some chow and off we went to my Lolo Bebing’s. He just had a gallbladder operation the day before and was still weak. But nevertheless, was able to get up and talk to guests.

It was a good time to get together with relatives from my mother’s side. The oldies talked of years past. And I had but few snippets to join in on the reminiscing. At about which time, the boyfriend of my younger cousin, Janice, arrived and came to sit at our table. Everyone was teasing them that they have to wait up for the long line of still single Yañez gals, before they can tie the knot. Bah! I said, that might never be… There’s about 3 of us older than Janice there. Aunty Marites is ahead of the line, then Ate Ching-Ching, and then there’s me- bwahaha… It must be true, how my niece is calling me old maid. I swore, I’m gonna give her a different impression of what an old maid is like. And what a challenge that’s gonna be. Oh well, it’s just maybe a matter of shifting paradigms.

There was more singing and karaoke that night. I was left the last one standing.. or rather singing… With most of the neighbors already deep in slumber, off I went to dreamland, too.

Saturday after fiesta is always a good day to go swimming. So off to Timoga we went. Timoga is a mountain spring known for its pristine waters. This cold crystal clear water is freely flowing down the mountain and pools have been built along its many facades so that people can enjoy its coolness. We went to the highest peak (16-ft deep pool). It’s quite a tiring walk up but it sure is worth the effort. The free-flowing waters are very clean. “,)

Sunday came and I had to say bye-bye once again to Saint Michael as I had to fly back to Manila and it’s back to work again on Monday.

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