Saturday, December 17, 2011

Chronicle of My First Flight Experience

The day has finally come, 12th of December 2011. It was the most awaited day of the year, the day that I will finally experience flying (oh yeah, I will fly for the first time in my 19 years of existence). I really don't know what I am feeling that time, a feeling of excitement and nervousness combined. Exactly the same feeling I felt when I tried doing my very first solo travel last April. 

My plan was to spend my whole night at SM Mall of Asia, wait there 'til it closes at around 11 PM then commute to NAIA Terminal 3 by jeep (thanks to Lloyd for the advice). Then at the airport, I'll wait for my travel buddy and plane ride mentor, Brenna of

In fact, I formulated a Mission-First-Plane-Ride:
1.) Get into the airport with less than P100.00
2.) Eat and Sleep at Terminal 3
3.) Flight Check in
4.) Board the plane
5.) Window seat

The Night Before the Flight

Ten hours prior to the scheduled flight, I was already on my way to Mall of Asia, with me is my 5kg backpack, 2kg snorkeling equipment (yup, tinimbang ko talaga muna bago ako umalis ng bahay), a body bag that contains all my very important travel stuff like camera, ID and cash, and of course my beloved wide-brimmed straw hat.

my baggage waiting at Mall of Asia
watching at these screens is a great way to kill the waiting time
I did people-watching and window shopping around Mall of Asia just to kill the time until the mall closes. I also seated beside a Christmas tree with flat screen decors where I enjoyed watching a bunch of awesome trailers of the upcoming movies of 2012. I was there from 8:30 until 11:00 PM. When everyone seemed to be going out of the mall already, I prepared myself for my journey to the airport.  

The Cheap Way to the Airport
(Mission#1: Get into the airport with less than P100.00)

From MOA, I rode a jeep bound for MRT/Pasay Rotonda, the fare is only P8.00. I reached Pasay Rotonda after a fast 10-minute ride, the place still looked so busy even at the late hours of Sunday. When I got there, I did not see any Nichols-bound jeep so I thought there were no more jeeps that ply that route at that time. I asked a security guard if there will still be jeeps bound for the airport but he nodded with uncertainty. He told me to cross the street and ride a bus instead.

I was about to cross the street when I saw a jeep with Nichols/NAIA Terminal 3 displayed on its headboard. Oh yeah, I quickly hopped into the jeep and prayed for a safe trip to the airport. I was nervous the entire time I was inside that jeep, I kept on looking at other passengers' faces, observing their movements and hoping that none of them will declare hold-up (ako na ang paranoid). I paid another P8.00 for that 10 minute ride from Pasay Rotonda to Terminal 3. It felt good when I reached Terminal 3 in one piece, and felt even better knowing that I only spent P54.00 (P38.00 spent on commute to MOA) on my way to the airport. (Mission#1 - accomplished)

Inside the Terminal 3
(Mission#2: Eat and Sleep at Terminal 3)   

When the jeep reached the rotunda with a huge bulb-like monument, I alighted the jeep. I found myself standing in the middle of the busy road, still unsure where to go next. So I just kept on walking until I saw the car park and the building with "Ninoy Aquino International Airport" signage. 

trapped in the middle of the road
there it is, now how will I get inside?
I walked towards the car park, alone along a well-lighted road. But for like 10 minutes, I was still searching for the entrance to the car park. I continued walking despite the fact that my heart was pounding very fast everytime I see people along the way (thinking that they will suddenly grab my bags). It took me 3 more minutes before I managed to get inside the car park.

so I walked alone on this road
By 11:45 pm, I was standing at the vicinity of Terminal 3's arrival area. I was not sure where to go next so I messaged Brenna that I was already at the arrival area. She then told me to go to the departure area and wait 'til she arrives at around 3AM.

woot, into the building
I entered the building, dropped my bags at the scanning machine and vwalla, I am inside NAIA Terminal 3. I looked around until saw the word "DEPARTURE", so I headed there. I was wondering why I was the only person walking around the departure area, so I went back to the arrival and I saw that I entered the "International Departures" pala. The "Domestic Departures" was on the other side of the terminal. I saw a group of Koreans running towards the "Domestic Departures" so I followed them. They led me to a place filled with food stalls and shops so I guess I was already on the right place. I was a little hungry by the time I arrived at the departure area. Jollibee, Yellowcab and Ministop, Mister Doughnut are among the the food stops around. But since I'm a kid loyal to Jollibee, I went to their counter and ordered 1 Piece Burger Steak.

my baggage inside Terminal 3's arrival area
I'm a kid loyal to Jollibee
After the midnight meal, it was only 12:45 AM. I still have three hours before Brenna arrives. I strolled around and noticed that a lot of waiting passengers were sleeping on the floor and waiting chairs. I decided to try sleeping along with these waiting passengers since it's part of my Mission-First-Plane-Ride. I stayed on one corner and fell into slumber. (Mission#2 - accomplished)

Check In Time
(Mission#3 - Flight Check in) 

It was already 2:50 AM when I woke up. I checked my phone and read a message from Brenna that she's already at the departure area. By 3:00 AM, I was with Brenna already. We're still too early for our flight, so we stayed at the waiting area and chatted to kill the time.

Photo by Brenna. Me at the waiting area
By 4:30 AM, we went down to check if our flight was already on the list but it wasn't there yet. We sat on the floor for like 20 more minutes until our flight was ready for check in.

Brenna and me waiting for check-in
Brenna and I fall in line on Cebu Pacific's Domestic Flight Check in. Grr, it took us almost an hour before we reached the check-in counter. By 5:30, we're done checking in our flight and I had to say goodby to my baggage for the mean time (thank you Doi for the pre-paid baggage check-in). Brenna also asked for a window seat so this first flight would be special. 

Bye bye, see again in Cebu
we got our boarding pass
We got our boarding pass and we can now enter the pre-departure gates where better seats are located. (Mission#3 - accomplished)

Ready for Boarding Cebu Pacific Flight 5J 561
(Mission#4 - Board the plane)
We bought Jolly Hotdogs before we entered the pre-departure area, Brenna told me that prices inside are ridiculously higher. After paying the P200 terminal fee, we again fall in line for the final inspection. I again dropped by body bag into the scanning machine, removed my sandals and put it into the scanning machine as well, I was also asked to remove all the metals (camera, phone, coins) in my body and place it inside my bag. After passing through the final inspection, I am ready to boar my first plane. The next thing we have to do is to wait for our plane to be ready for boarding. 

people waiting at Gate 18
In less than 15 minutes, we heard the call for boarding. We showed our boarding ticket and made my final walks on Manila soil. We walked in the bridge but our seats (29E and 29D) are located at the back row. We went down to the tarmac and used the stairs located at the plane's tail.

hello Cebu Pacific
now boarding the plane
By 6:15 AM, we're already inside our plane. (Mission#4 - accomplished)

Get a Window Seat
(Mission#5 - Window Seat)

I was really excited to sit on my assigned window seat (29E and 29D), but as we approached row 29, an old woman was sitting on my chair. We told her that we were supposed to be on her seat, a flight attendant approached her and told her that her seat was at row 30. Oh yeah, I was about to sit on my throne when the woman behind us told me the the window seat was hers. Oh well, the window seat is 29F, ours was 29E and 29D. She won the throne, I stayed in the middle seat and Brenna on the aisle seat.
The check in person fooled us, I thought she gave us a window seat but found out that it was the middle seat and the aisle seat that she assigned to us. I was saddened by this event of losing the window seat on my first flight. Brenna saw my dismay so she asked the flight attendant if there are other available window seat. The flight attendant told us that the right side of row 12 is vacant and we can transfer after taking-off.

After fastening my seatbelt or in Tagalog "sintorong-pangakaligtasan" (I love saying that word - sinturong-pangkaligtasan), the plane ran at full speed and vwalla, I experienced my first lift.

sunrise at the airport
Brenna asked again the flight attendant if the window seat of row 12 was still available. But when she came back, she told that row 6 have vacant window seat. We immediately transferred to row 6 but unfortunately again someone was sitting on the window seat. Brenna was determined to give me the window seat so she again asked the flight attendant (na medyo nakukulitan na ata sa amin) for a window seat. Finally, row 8 is available. We hurriedly transferred to the left side of Row 8 (wiiiihhh), at last, I am seated on a window seat.
Thanks to Brenna, I really appreciate your effort of giving me a window seat. (Mission#5 - accomplished)

The time was 7:04 in the morning, Brenna soon fell into sleep while I was enjoying my window seat. My eyes are widely opened, staring the clouds around us and recognizing the islands below us.

I love my window seat
look at that, Mayon Volcano seen from my window seat
clouds galore!
By 7:45 AM, the pilot announces that we were approaching Cebu.
hello Cebu!
We landed Mactan-Cebu International Airport by 7:50 AM, exactly the same time displayed on our printed itinerary ticket. I am glad that we landed safe.
touch-down Cebu
We proceeded next to MCIA's arrival area, and waited for our baggage to come out of the belt. 

my baggage at MCIA, safe and sound,
but oops, I lost my umbrella!
Daghang Salamat Cebu Pacific Air, my fist flight experience was a memorable one.


 This is my entry to this month's PTB Blog carnival hosted by Kara Santos of Traveling Up with the topic: "The Journey is the Destination"
Click here to read other entries for this month's blog carnival.

Click on the logo to view the previous PTB Blog Carnivals.




  1. congrats Ivan on your maiden flight! hehehe buti nalang makulit si Brenna nakakuha kayo ng window seat.... =)

  2. di ko na gets bakit 54 nabayaran mo but congrats at na accomplish mo missions mo! ^_^ hahaha, ikaw na ang paranoid sa jeep pero nagpipicture pa sa kalsada in the middle of the night! LOL. laughtrip sa international departure. hahaha. i can just imagine those big eyes staring at the clouds in your window seat ivan! :D CONGRATULATIONS!

  3. Kumusta daw ag trip sabi ni mam sabe at mam ventura?

  4. I can sense how excited you were when you narrated your story on your first flight experience. Congrats Ivan, salamat din kay Brenna for understanding how important this is for you. Naka engrave na talaga si Brenna sa utak mo as part of your memory. naks. lumalab team! hehe.

    congrats uli Ivan! more flights for you! :D

  5. Nakakatuwa naman. This reminds me of my first flight experience. :)

    Talagang determined kayo to get a window seat. :)

  6. @ian, haha.. tama.. malaki ang utang na loob ko kay brenna. hehehe

    @Doi, aaah, kasi nag LRT pa ako papuntang MOA naka gastos pa ako ng P38.. haha.. oo nga, nagpipicture ako sa kalsada.. tapos naligaw pa ako sa international departure.. thanks tlga doi. I wanna meet you again soon.

    @anonymous.. hoy vincent alam ko ikaw yan. haha. epal ka!

    @Ed, salamat! part na tlga si brenna ng history ng buhay ko.. naks.

  7. You are better informed about your first flight than me. LOL!

  8. it's better to be careful than sorry. on being paranoid.
    jollibee kid lolz.
    you two look cute together!
    you should've worn your lifejacket! hahahaha
    ang sweet naman for brenna to look for window seats for you!

    (commenting as i go by the post hehehe)

  9. Eh,di hindi ka na "flight virgin" ngayon LOL. That's an amusing narrative. Btw, how did you lose your umbrella?

  10. wow! congrats on your first flight... mission accomplished talaga... buti nalang at may nakuhang window seat... :)

  11. congrats!
    i just wanna ask kasi ito madalas marinig ko nagayon eh.. like sa sinabi mo na almost an hour before you reached the check-in counter.. marami din kasi ng complain,like naiwan daw sila dahil pumila sila almost 2 hrs then yung iba muntik maiwan.. may changes ba sa pag check in?

  12. well-documented... parang 1st baby na may scrap book. :) way to go ivan!

  13. congrats ivan.. love the sequence of the narration. nafi-feel ko ang excitement yay! Poor me, never tried to fly.

  14. Ang first plane ride ko is to Cebu din and hindi ko pa pangalan, ginamit ko lang ticket nung friend ng friend ko! Lol.

    Anyways, congrats on your first plane ride!

  15. @Ding, wow sir.. ano po nangyare sa first flight nyo?

    @Lakbay, salamat lakbay for making our cebu trip a great one!

    @Bert, tama.. na-devirginize na ako sa flying.. :)ewan ko din kung paano, bsta bumalik na lang yung bag ko na wala na yung umbrella sa side pocket..

    @Mervz, talagang mission accomplished..

    @Charmaigne, yuh.. matagal nga yung pila sa check-in, but i think inuuna naman nila yung mga may "last call for check in"..

    @Blissful, haha.. pinaghandaan ko tlga e.

    @edmar, nako, kelangan mo na din lumipad.. masarap!

    @marx, lol.. bloggable experience yan ah.. haha.

  16. what kind of cam are you using?

  17. congats Ivan, I saw myself in you a year ago. hihih! Pero kahit ilang beses na ko nakasakay, I'm still as excited as before. Parang laging first flight. Grabe maaadik ka na nga. Yung young brother ko ganyan din. Well documented ang unang sakay. And yep "sinturong pangkaligtasan" talaga. nakakahingal na tagalog translation. hahahah!

  18. Lahat kami excited for you hehe congrats Ivan! I have a feeling malalagpasan mo na kami sa number of flights by next yr! Hehe keep on traveling dear :D

  19. I can totally relate! My first flight happened last year during our Bacolod trip. I was anxious and excited at the same time. I also wanted to take the window seat but when I experienced the aisle seat, I realized that I felt somehow safe when I'm away from the window.

    Congrats and more flights to come. ;p

  20. May Jollibee pala sa NAIA?!?! Saan? And may mga jeep pala going there?!?! Kaso hindi ata dumederecho sa Gates eh, ayoko na maglakad. Huhuhu.

    Anyhoo... CONGRATS NAK! I could imagine how excited and happy you are for your first flight! Naunahan mo pa presidente natin sa Cebu! Hehehe.

  21. @anonymous, pipichuging point and shoot lang..

    @maricar, haha salamat.. mukhang maadik nga ako lumipad. budget lang ang wala..

    @mica, lol.. sana nga marami akong ma-book next year..

    @Mach, thanks dude.. hndi ako natakot sa window seat.. in fact gusto ko lagi doon hehe..

    @Robi, yup meron dun maliit na food stall, sa 3rd floor.

  22. Congrats on your first plane ride Ivan. Glad nahabol mo yung entry na ito :) I think my first plane ride was from Naga to Manila with my sister and Lolo, though I've forgotten the details. PAL pa nun, and they actually gave people giveaways like playing cards and toys (this was probably way before your time). Glad that you got a window seat! :D

  23. I'm sure this will be the first of many plane rides...I remember mine, and on the night before all I could think of was fiery inferno of plane crashing. That was only in 2007 at Clark, you experienced your first time of flying a bit younger than me hehe

  24. i love this post. congratulations sa first plane ride mo.. hihihihi..

  25. NakakatUwa And Exciting Nmn Ng BLog Mo BOut Ur FirSt flight!
    ConGrats U Did A Great Job .!!

  26. Magkano ginastos mo sa flight mo? All in all expenses? Gusto ko rin magtravel mag-isa kaso nagagawa ko lang within Cavite and Metro Manila. :D

    1. yung akin umabot ng 700+ lang.. kasi merong seat sale nung binili ko yung ticket. hndi ko na matandaan yung buong gastos ko sa Cebu.

      travel na.. masarap yan na experience.

  27. I've been reading your blog for some time now, and i must say, you're a good storyteller! enjoy talaga ako sa posts mo, pero teka, asan na yung cebu story??? :D kukuha kasi ako ng idea for my iti, hehehe :)

    happy traveling!

    1. guess what, I haven't blogged about my Cebu Trip yet. haha. natabunan na.

  28. I agree, you tell stories well! Thanks for the very informative post about your experience! :)

  29. Congrats Sir. Hay kinakabahan at naeexcite ako sa magiging first flight ko.



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