Flying With The Family

A family views a departing Cebu Pacific flight from NAIA 3

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

Arriving safely
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.


  1. That was probably anxiety trying to get the best of you. Glad you had a safe trip. Enjoy your stay at Cebu! I'll be stuck in Manila doing nothing.

  2. Glad you had a safe trip. I've never been to a CebPac flight yet.

  3. Haha, havent flew with my whole family yet so I dont know if I'll feel this too. Kakatuwa naman to know that someone like you who flies all the times got worried sometimes too. =)

  4. Anonymous1:16:00 AM

    welcome back to davao!! :)

  5. HalfCrazy,
    Yup, anxiety it is. We were headed to Davao that time.

    CebuPac is unique with their onboard games na may pa-premyo pa.

    Yes, I never get anxious flying on my own. Iba pala kapag kasama mo na mga mahal sa buhay.

    and see Davao soon again hehehe! nakaalis na ako. I have a lot of catching up to do here.

  6. when I saw the Cebupacific lady photo it put a smile on my face! I know ur here for the summer! Welcome home! =)
    I never flew with my family, but like you, whenever I;m traveling with them I'm kinda uneasy, though I love the feeling of traveling with them those morbid news and movies about family accidents while on a trip really scares me.
    Glad your all safe! Enjoy Philippines! or nhave you left Pinas already?

  7. I've had the same feeling when I flew with my brother's family last December, and another brother and his family just two weeks ago. I'm paranoid enough when I'm flying on my own, but my mind just completely went on overdrive when I was with them. I guess we're both worried about their safety, since when we usually travel, we just have to worry about ourselves.

    I hope you're enjoying your holidays in the Philippines!

  8. I'm an anxious flier so I know exactly what you're feeling.

    Happy Easter.

  9. Your fear was quite rational...On long haul flights it's probably not a bad idea to get on different flights...

  10. thepinaysolobackpacker,
    umalis na ako noong april 15 pa Gael. just stayed there 3 weeks - have to save vacations days para naman sa mga susnod na trips later this year.

    ganito pala talaga ang feeling kapag kasama mo na ang family sa byahe. nakakanerbyos. but i had a great time sa Pinas - something to look forward to again in the near future!

    Photo Cache,
    i'm actually fine flying all by myself. it's just way different with family members - anxiety attack.

    The Beancounter,
    my long-haul flights from NYC is always a 2-segment flight since there are no direct flights to begin with. but then, i'm ok flying solo & apparently not with the family :(

  11. hello nomadic pinoy :)

    what's great about long holidays is that in case where you do not have any travels, you gotta spend some quality time with your family specially now that my nanay just got back for a vacation from the u.s. also, you can check back on some of the blogs you have missed because of work and all. have a pleasant break my friend.

  12. Dens, it's not only you. Every time I fly a smaller aircraft, especially in the Philippines, I get that morbid thought as well.


  13. Z Joya,
    salamat bai.

    I agree to that. Happy Easter!

    I feel alright flying on my own - now I know I get anxious when it involves flying with the family.

  14. wow! i didnt know that the plane actually pass over davao city. when we went there it was somewhere far. first to see it from the top here.

    cute ng niece mo at ng stewardess. winks

  15. Your aerial view of Davao was a jolt to my memory! I used to fly in and out of Davao on work assignments from '63 to '65, maybe part of '66. Your aerial pic stirred a lot of fond memories. Thanks!

  16. Anonymous12:42:00 AM

    it only meant one thing : you love your family of course and you're concerned of their safety.

  17. I remembered flying for the first time together with my family. My little sister shouted on our sudden descend since the runway in Caticlan Airport was so short. Everyone was laughing including myself after hearing her. :)

    It was a fun experience seeing the clouds like a cotton candy and as if you were gliding on it was priceless. But the best feeling was when you were all down in the airport safe and having a picture taking having your airplane as the background. :D


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