Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Ati-Atihan Here We Come

Yeah, there we were on our way to the Ati-atihan 2006!

And I said, Kalibo, here I come again! This btw, was the first festival I have seen outside of Metro Manila some years ago with my parents. It is probably the longest running tourist-drawing street spectacle in the country. I think this should be what everyone must watch first, before peeping into the other newer (and even) grander festivals. Both to get a feel of how it was and how it is now. Not that the Ati-atihan does not get to add some changes or spectacles to make it grander. It does, and by the year too. However, there is just a kind of “different feel” to this one as compared to other festivals. Anyway…

Uneventful check-in, but as usual, we had to queue up a long line entering the Manila Domestic Airport. But at such an early morning, all heads are still sleepy cool and we even enjoyed the banter along the way. It was not a full flight – surprisingly – so we told the check-in agent to give us seats at the back, preferably one person per row hehe. Not possible so he instead gave us a seat each by the window with no one beside. Good enough!

Ah, let’s do this airplane thing a bit. The beauty with riding these planes of Asian Spirit is that  it is seldom full. Why? Because of the usually unfounded notion amongst many Filipinos (many of my officemates included) that the smaller airlines use old and dilapidated aircraft. Plus the fact too, that Asian Spirit did have some accidents in the near past. But I know better than that hehe.

Our flight was using a BAe 146 aircraft. Its a small plane but jet engine just the same. Seats are two abreast on each side and the aisle is just like any other jet aircraft – meaning you still can pass even when someone is standing along the way! And yep, being a new airline, this this we were riding was relatively new. Yeah, I know how to pick that info too!

Hey at one of the last seats, there were two uniformed ladies with their IDs worn conspicuously, all-smiling but prim and silent. They were busy watching the two other ladies who were our flight attendants. I knew immediately they must have been trainees. I asked. Alas, my companions are no different from me, meaning we are all shy hehe, so right after take-off up until almost landing time, they engaged the two ladies in a conversation. Gosh! Am sure the two trainees will have remembered my group than anything official they were supposed to have observed since this was their “observation flight” hahaha!

Arrival. Hmm, a fine morning on a fine day, but we wondered why there were too many people and too many vehicles at the tarmac area. Same case inside the arrival area that we could not even easily get to the baggage claim area as 3 of our companions checked their baggage in. Uhuh, we asked around and that little woman they call a president of this country was due to arrive on a flight that just landed after us. Awwrr, we hurried outside to look for a trike lest the road become difficult with the presence of her convoy whatever!

Hey, reaching La Esperanza, we thought the room was good enough and that whirring thing on the ceiling was strong enough to circulate air from the windows hehe. So we dropped our things and immediately went for center of town. Let’s do that in the next story, okay?!



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