The Airport is such a busy place. Everyone is roaming around with their luggages and you will literally see people from different walks of life patiently waiting in line to put their bags on the check-in area. Most backpackers prefer the hand-carry option by bringing less clothes and stuff in order to save some money. They have different reasons on why they’re here: Majority flies to go on a vacation, some have work-related tasks to do while there are those who are eager to go home.
I consider the airport as one of my favorite hangout place no matter how big or small it is. For my domestic travels, I usually go two hours before my departure date, while I go to the check-in area three hours prior to the scheduled flight if i am going out of the country. It is really nice to compare flights beforehand in order to get cheaper plane tickets. You can still use your extra money to buy some snacks while waiting.
It is already a habit of mine to observe the passengers at the departure area especially if i am traveling alone. My laptop is useless when I can’t find an outlet so I tend to just sit in the corner and wait. I remember on my first solo moment at NAIA 1. I met a married couple already in their 50’s who are excited to visit their daughter in Dubai. They were excited and looking forward to their unica hija’s treat as she promised that they will shop ’till they drop.
In the left corner, there’s this twenty-something guy who is bound to go to Italy to work for the first time. I think he’s a registered nurse in the Philippines, but will work as a caregiver in Italy. He told me that it is his second time to work abroad (his first is in Singapore) and he was just forced to take up Nursing in college. His dream is to be a dancer, but we all know that being a dancer is not a stable job. He considers his three year old son as his inspiration to do better in life.
I saw some foreign backpackers too. I suspect that most of them traveled all over Southeast Asia and the Philippines is their last stop. You can spot some businessmen too in their coats. I’m amazed that they can bear the heat that night LOL.
First time to do a connecting flight (Manila-Dubai-Birmingham) by myself. Man, this is exciting! I can’t wait!
Three months after, I am already set to leave Birmingham and step once more to NAIA 1 as a balikbayan. Together with other tired and impatient passengers, I waited for my luggage and it took almost thirty minutes. I felt bad that first timers might have a bad impression on my country since it is too crowded and chaotic. Why is the arrival area of NAIA1 airport like this?
As I step out and search for my friends, I’ve seen some families waiting outside. The young kids are reunited with their parents who worked in a foreign country for greener pasture. The rest are in the Philippines for business while some are eager to fly to either Boracay or Palawan to visit the fine beaches. Me? I couldn’t remember exactly what I felt, but I remember not believing I am in the arrival area. Weird me LOL.
The Airport is one interesting place. You’re excited to leave and take that flight, while the homecoming makes you feel a bit lost.