I planned to go to Zamboanga right after my Kadayawan experience. Quite a packed week it was, with my 4-day Davao escapade and I didn’t want to brush off the travel bug yet as I already booked Manila-Zamboanga roundtrip tickets care of Airphil’s 100-peso seat sale six months prior to scheduled trip. I would still want to use the return flight so after booking a Manila-Davao ticket, I went for Davao-Zamboanga. Hayok kumbaga.
It was the 21st of August, the day of the flower parade or Pamulak (another highlight of the Kadayawan Festival 2011). As much as it pains me to miss out on the festivities, I carried on and checked out from the hotel early for my 8am Davao-Zamboanga flight. I saw a lot of celebrities at the Davao International airport, some of which I have photographed diligently to make my sisters jealous.
Already at the pre-departure area, the passengers of flight 5J 393 were informed that the flight has been cancelled. Zamboanga-bound passengers were enraged by the short voice-over and I saw an angry mob brewing and going towards the nearest cebupac crew. I pitied the lady in that yellow polo shirt who was assigned to the angry crowd because no matter how many times she explained the situation and the options available, the passengers (mostly composed of senior citizens) still shot the same questions at her, with the same intense fury as the ones who berated 2 seconds before. Kaloka!
The options presented were:
- Davao-Zambo next day flight
- Davao-Manila same day flight, Manila-Zambo next day flight (5am)
- Davao-Cebu same day flight, Cebu-Zambo next day flight (early morning)
I took option number two, lined up for my boarding passes and my complimentary one-way domestic flight (valid for 6months from date of cancelled flight) and went back to the downtown area to witness Pamulak with several travel bloggers! Yehey, something good came out after all! And yeah, we hit the beach too! (The Passig Islet adventure deserves a separate post so watch out for it!)
I was dead tired and I do know that I won’t enjoy Zamboanga anymore because of a wasted day out of my short 3-day supposed itinerary. I also wanted to catch up on my sleep debt so I chose the Davao-Manila, Manila-Zambo option with intention to avail only the first flight. My original Davao-Zamboanga flight only cost me 900pesos and now it will fly me to Manila. Kill me now for being an opportunist.
The supposed 9:40pm Davao-Manila flight was an hour delayed! Talk about overkill. To make up for the all-too-unbelievable damage inflicted on the passengers’ schedule, free dinner was served (a beef dish in tomato sauce which I liked). Upon touchdown in Naia 3, a shuttle service was arranged that would take us to Palm Plaza Hotel (which is neat and cozy despite its ancient feel). The 3-hour hotel accommodation came with a complimentary meal (another beef dish!) and I thank CebuPac for that. Wake-up call came at 3am shortly after I turned on the television and had a hearty laugh with an Eddie Murphy (arrogant-boxer-who-became -accomplice-to-CIA-agent-Owen-Wilson) movie. All I did at the airport was sip a cup of coffee and kill time waiting for the airport-loop shuttle (first trip was at 6am). At that moment all I wanted and needed was an 8-hr sleep.
At the end of the whole fiasco, I realized that the odds were in my favor. I just needed to play my cards right.