Welcome to the Philippines and planes with games

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Flag of Philippines  , Visayas,
Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Got up at 7am, quick shower and packed up. A few final cups of PG Tips (which I hope Steve has no idea how many cups of tea we have had while in Hong Kong), and Riqua ordered us a cab to the airport. We said goodbye to the kids and gave them our presents (colouring books and balloons) and headed off. As always Steve supplied us with the knowledge that you dont get charged if you put your luggage on your knee, in the boot costs money.  Crazy eh?

We got dropped off at Hong Kong Airport and meandered in to find the Cebu Pacific desk. We casually wandered over to the desk and explained we wanted to check the bags through as we had another flight and we were told this was not possible. We were asked for proof of our onward flight out of the Philippines (Steve had obviously warned us to make sure we booked something but we knew better and ignored him). "Unfortunately Sir we are not allowed to check you in without evidence of departure from the country". OK, panic, get the laptop out, try and get on wireless, fail, run around airport looking for people using laptops. Find one man, he gets us on. Quickly discuss how long we want to stay for. I dont know say two weeks. Right we had previously talked about flying to Bangkok, but we dont know just how mad things will be there in about two weeks. So we look at flights to Vietnam they are too expensive. Time is running out to check in before the desk closes so we book the cheapest flights we can find, and we book to fly to Kuala Lumper on the 2nd of June. This allows us to check in for our flight to Manila. Initially we are told we do have enough time to get on the next flight then the senior woman comes over and tells us there is not enough time to get on the flight in Manila so they will send an urgent message to ensure someone is there to help us make the connection as fast as possible. We then had to run to the gate to board the flight, time is that tight.

Cebu Pacific are not only very cheap but a pretty cool airline for several reasons. They claim to be the only international airline to play games throughout the journey to win prizes. Its a bit like a pub quiz really. So for the one and a half hour flight we did a bit of blogging and a bit of playing. We were also given the luxury of emergency exit seats. What a privilege? Well after sitting down we were approached by the stewardess who confirmed we would be responsible for a number of tasks in an emergency situation, to remove the emergency exit door turn it around and discard it out of the door, we then needed to inflate the emergency exit slide, Erica would slide to the bottom and stabilise the slide while I ensured the remaining passengers removed footware before using the slide. We were then given the option to move seats and given some further special instructions to read. All very odd. The captain also appeared to have a rather eratic method of flying, the plane wobbled like no mans business and we appeared to apply full throttle, cut the engine, full throttle, cut the engine, wobble wobble and so one. We had come across this before with a taxi driver in Chengdu.  We were terrified coming in to land.

Upon landing we were about 5 minutes late so before the seatbelt signs had gone off I was in the overhead locker trying to fight my way to the front. We got off the plane and sprinted to immigration and passport control. Needless to say whilst breathless we were first to the desks and there was no queue. Straight through and sprint to the baggage hall, after only a couple of minutes the baggage belt started and we were about 5th bag off. We then ran through customs and out of arrivals into departures. I had a baggage trolley that I just threw on an escalator. About half way up it sliped and fell back onto me. We then sprinted to the check in desk where the queue had been blocked off. We pushed our way to the front to see the most laid back attitude. Check in closed 45 minutes before take off. We finally got checked in with about 20 minutes to take off. Sprinted to a desk where we had to pay a departure tax, with no currency we had to run back to a cash machine, “Card not recognised” we then had to run back to another area of the airport to a currency exchange where we threw 40 of our USDollar and probably got stung for I dont know how much. We ran back to security literally pushing people out of the way, paid our 400 pesos, ran through security with someone shouting at me "take your shoes off", I didn't, ran off and no one stopped me. We sprinted to the gate and basically sprinted straight onto the plane before starting dripping in sweat.

The plane was filled with what appeared to be dry ice (this happened once in India as well), people were trying to waft the stuff away as the plane took off and the cabin filled up, lots of peolpe were also coughing too. After a few more quizes and prize givings and blogging we landed in Cebu to another bumpy and swaying landing. We got off the plane to a baggage claim full of people from outside the airport. We wandered over through the taxi touts and eventually found the meter taxi rank and headed to the Cebu Guest House. We are definitly out of 'the developing world' of China and back into the the real developing world, children begging at the car and dirty streets. Can't wait to get to the island. thankfully the hostel has wifi and the blog is now up to date. After 8 cans of San Miguel for about 25 peso's each (40p'ish) including two Ice strongs a bat flew into the room and attached itself to the smoke alarm. This had definitely not happened at Chez Tunstall. Oh and there are lots and lots of mozzies.  Erica alert.

Not a great first impression of the Philippines but we are looking forward to getting to the island of Malapascua tomorrow.
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Rorie on

If this was anyone elses blog i would say they were slightly exaggerating but having travelled with you for a month i actually believe every word of it, you dumbass. The mozzies are pretty bad here in Guilin aswell so tell Erica she would have been done eitherway. Saw some unreal rice fields today though which kind of makes up for having to spend 60 euros on another visa to get back into China again. Hope tomorrow works out even better for ye!!!!!!!!!

Stevie T on

Pleased you enjoyed your time in HK. Welcome back whenever you're passing.
ps: you forgot the kids
pps: we don't have any smoke detectors, that's why
ppps: that's a can not a bottle, can't fool me. Will follow rest of the adventure with interest, bon voyage

farknash on

Mate. Not in the slightest bit stressful, then? Kin hell! xoxo

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