For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else. –Ralph Waldo Emerson.
I was told that when you keep experiencing the same thing over and over you didn’t really learn the lesson yet. I wish not to blabbermouth about my flaws but I couldn’t shun away from it. I confess that until now I am still learning about punctuality and often the price that I have to pay is really exorbitant!
Changing habits doesn’t really happen overnight. I’ve read that acquiring a new habit would take at least 21 days and you have to be consistent. I miss another flight again, Athens bound to Rome. It’s exasperating I know especially that I did write before hoping that my missed flight from Paris bound to Singapore would be the last one, sigh! And it’s not only flight that I am missing, train and even bus schedule. I miss my 7.45am train ride from Aix-les-Bains to Geneva that I have to wait for another hour to catch the next. Blessing in disguise that my host could not make it as early as 9am to fetch me at Geneva terminal station. I miss my 8pm bus schedule from Lisbon bound to Madrid. It was out of stupidity that I didn’t adjust my clock to Portugal time and still made Spain as my time reference. A few domestic flights in the Philippines like missing my 5.25am or 6.25am early flight to catch the conference within that day. I didn’t worry that much as I was on official business, I can immediately re-route my flight to the nearby city I would be flying. Only I have to ready myself to be reprimanded by my lady boss. I didn’t know that this unhealthy habit would continue and if wouldn’t stop, I don’t know, it’s kind of a torment. So I found myself a quite regular uninvited sleeper at the airports of Changi, KLIA, Athens, Rome and Oslo airport so as not to miss early morning flights.
Because of these missed flights, I paid for hostels where I didn’t sleep at all, and instead slept at the cold floor, chairs at a café and benches at the airport. It was quite an experience but not so comfy! Then I have to pay for almost always double the price of the air ticket that I just have to buy.
One thing I wish to point out is not that only because of my tardiness that I miss multiple flights. You see, am trying to even blame my tardiness to my alibis. There were instances when let’s just call it a jinx. My missed flight from Athens to Rome, I was at the immigration already when they asked me to transfer the sunblock into smaller bottle so I could carry it. Only to learn that after reaching the gate, I would have to be with those stewardess who would not talk to me and very soon brought me to the ticketing area and there explain I have to purchase a new ticket because I couldn’t board! Talk about downsides of flying low cost airlines. Like my missed flight from Singapore to Manila, I checked-in like 3 hours ahead of my scheduled flight. An hour before my departure, decided to wander at Duty Free, bought some chocolates, and… boom. I was refused to board, I was told I should be around at least 15 minutes before departure time.
Often (sorry for the rudeness) shit happens when you least expect it. From my own land – at Clark International Airport, I didn’t foresee it coming. I flew from Clark and not Manila because I wish to fly cheaper. Only to have met another disgusting incident. I was denied to board because I could not show my return ticket. I booked 2-way via AirAsia and Jetstar, my fault was I didn’t have any print out. I was rebuked by AirAsia Supervisor Cesar Reyes to board when I could not present a print up ticket. He criticized me for not reading the terms and conditions of and blah blah blah. Mr Reyes really made me feel like stupid. I kept resisting, firmly stand my ground, asserting for my – I thought basic right? As miserable as it could, I felt as if I lost all the charisma I have had and my aptitude to persuade naturally had gone into brink. The scene had caused commotion to the passengers queuing that the Supervisor asked me to go into his office to settle the issue. Only then Mr Reyes changed tone when he checked my passport and he was speechless for a moment. I can only guess why ;-). He then told me he will see me again in a short while. Later, he sounded very diplomatic, explain this and that then to settle the issue, he offered me a free ticket, same time, but I have to fly the next day. I gently refused and told him the very reason why I have to fly on that very day was to attend my graduation in the afternoon. I have no choice but to catch the next earlier flight to Singapore and paid almost 3x higher than what I had paid before!
I did plan to write to AirAsia to lodge a formal complaint but due to fast turn of events (did I forgot about it? My attention was drifted to what the Little Prince called “matters of consequence”). I found myself for a yet another spur-of-the-moment wandering from south up to north east of Malaysia.
For the benefit of my fellow Filipino travelers. here is an excerpt from Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s Memorandum on Departure Formalities for International-Bound Passengers in all Airports and Seaports in the Country dated 03 January 2012.
Pursuant to Republic Act No. 9208, otherwise known as the “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003”, and its Implementing Rules and Regulations, Republic Act No. 8042, otherwise known as the “Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995”, as amended by Republic Act No. 10022 and other related laws, the following guidelines, providing for definite parameters in the strict enforcement of immigration departure formalities intended for the prevention of trafficking in persons, illegal recruitment, and other related offenses, are hereby promulgated for strict implementation/compliance by all concerned:
I. TOURIST TRAVELERS
A traveler intending to go abroad with a tourist/temporary visitor’s visa shall be subjected to:
1. Primary Inspection
During primary inspection, the following documents shall be required from a traveler:
b) Visa when required
c) Roundtrip Ticket
2. Secondary Inspection
2.1 The Bureau of Immigration shall conduct a secondary inspection of a traveler, when deemed necessary, for the purpose of protecting vulnerable victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment and other related offenses, through the assessment of the following circumstances:
b) Educational attainment
c) Financial capability to travel
i. If not financially capable to travel, an authenticated affidavit of support, indicating therein the relationship within the 4th civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, together with the supporting documents, may be entertained; and
ii. An affidavit of undertaking/ guaranty may likewise be entertained.
2.2 Any passenger/traveler who will be subjected for secondary inspection shall be required to accomplish the Bureau of Immigration Border Control Questionnaire (BCQ) to be furnished by the Immigration Officer.
2.3 However, the following shall automatically be subjected to secondary inspection:
a) Travelers without financial capacity to travel escorted/accompanied by a foreigner who is not related;
b) Minor traveling alone or unaccompanied by either parent or legal guardian without the required travel clearance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD);
c) Repatriated irregular workers, in which case, travel may not be allowed without the clearance from the IACAT (generate data);
d) Partners and spouses of foreign nationals intending to depart to meet and/or marry his/her fiancé without the CFO Guidance and Counseling Certificate;
e) Passengers traveling to counties with existing deployment bans, alert levels and travel advisories and those in possession of a visas to the said countries; and
f) Passengers who stayed abroad for more than one (1) year during a previous departure from the country as a tourist/temporary visitor, intending to depart for the second and/or subsequent time.
2.4 Clarificatory questions may be propounded relating to the above-mentioned documents/purpose by the Bureau of Immigration.
2.5 A traveler found to be misrepresenting the purpose of his/her travel as tourist shall not be cleared for departure.