I was supposed to fly out of Manila on the 14th of May. I was on the visa check line when I found out that it already expired. The next option was to be a chance passenger and that's where my 2 days of hanging out at the NAIA Terminal 1 started.
After much crying and self-remorse, I started my vigil on Friday, the 16th. I thought my new visa was going to be handcarried from Dubai but it did not happen. I was there from 4pm to 6pm.
I was back the next day early at 12nn because I wanted to make sure I get in the stand-by line. The tension that I felt for the next 12 hours was something that I've never experienced in my life. What made it bearable was the support of the PAL Operations staff who were very helpful.
I did not get in the 6:50 pm flight of May 17th despite the full force presence of the team. Though it was disappointing we were still hopeful because there's still the midnight flight. While waiting for the next flight, I had a pizza dinner with the team and took this photo to remember my bonding with them.
Another 6 hours of waiting and sitting around the small office happened. I was so bored that I even showed these people who were strangers just a few days ago my family and trip photos. And they were so kind as to indulge me and my craziness.
When I heard my name called to get a boarding pass from the Emirates people (codesharing with PAL), I felt like a won the lottery and was jumping up and down with Jack who was assisting me that day. Last on the immigration counter and boarding gate, I finally landed in Dubai on the morning of May 18th.
I am so grateful to the men and women of the PAL Operations Team for the extra mile most especially Ms. Yssa (who met the person who handcarried my visa from his flight and ran all the way to the standby counter to hand it to me) and Jack (who escorted me through immigration).
You guys were awesome and will never be forgotten. Maraming salamat!