For the most part of my journeys, flying is unavoidably involved. Which is fine since I've gotten used to flying solo. But not on this particular Cebu-Davao flight. With me were my parents, my sister and my niece. That's three generations in our family. And my first time to fly with all of them at the same time. Even with a flight time of only 55 minutes, my heartbeat was skipping a beat. I thought I'd be needing Ativan.
|My niece reviews the safety guide aboard an Airbus A319 prior to take-off|
We were booked to fly on Cebu Pacific. Unlike my previous experience with this airline, booking online was smooth this time - and even better that I managed to snag a fare sale for all of us. But even before we flew, my heart was already skipping a beat. Our fast ferry from Tagbilaran was delayed, giving us a suspenseful arrival at Pier 1 in Cebu. Good thing that my cousin was waiting with his car to drive us to Mactan Airport. We managed to check-in 50 minutes before departure.
|Safety demo aboard a Cebu Pacific ATR 72 aircraft|
As we were boarding, my mind flashed back to February 1998 - when a Cebu Pacific flight from Manila en route to Cagayan de Oro hit a mountaintop, killing everyone onboard. I knew that wasn't a healthy thing to think about with only minutes to go before we're airborne. I tried to reassure myself that this airline company has upgraded its entire fleet. Outside the airbridge was an Airbus A319, a far cry from the days when Cebu Pacific flew traveling Pinoys on very old DC-9's.
|Partial view of Davao City on final approach to the airport's Runway 05|
Once seated on our assigned seats, I became acutely aware of my surroundings, checking where my parents were (seated only across the aisle from me), checking the nearest exit and even checking the life vest under my seat! For the first time, I did watch the safety demonstration very attentively while the plane was taxiing. What is this that has gotten into me? Why now when I'm flying with the family? Right after take-off, I tried to ease myself and distract my thoughts away from this business of flying - and the morbid thoughts enveloping me. In less than an hour, we all arrived in Davao City still in one piece.