Cebu Adventure Part Two
Michael Taylor wins a round-trip ticket on Cebu Pacific Air at a press conference. His journey begins on a Red Eye flight from Hong Kong to Cebu on Cebu Pacific Air.
Although I’ve spent about 27 years – spread over four decades – living or studying in Asia, this is my first trip to the Philippines. And I get the idea – even before I leave the ground – that I am about to experience a very different culture to the other cultures I have experienced in the region.
As I await the announcement to board my flight for Cebu at Gate 20, I observe an extended Filipino family. The mother walks her son – a toddler – over to his grandmother, who looks at him, smiles endearingly, and says, “Gimme me five!”
The high five is followed by giggles on both sides.
“I think I’m going to like this place,” I think to myself.
I wait until everyone else boards before boarding the aircraft – I hate waiting in line. I get the same greeting I would expect upon entering any other aircraft – except that there seems to be genuine warmth behind the smiles.
As I sit down in seat A-1, I can’t help but think that Betty Tung, wife of Hong Kong’s first post-handover Chief Executive, would be furious if she knew that I had taken her seat.
Except that this is a budget carrier, and I’m sure that Betty wouldn’t be caught dead in an airplane that didn’t have First Class.
I decide to try taking a photo of myself with my mobile phone. A flight attendant rushes over. I assume she’s going to tell me to turn it off. She doesn’t. Instead, she smiles and asks if I’d like her to take the picture for me.
“I think I can get a better shot than you can,” she explains.
Oh, the accents … those wonderful American accents! I’m starting to feel more and more at home as I settle into my seat.
The filght attendant displays genuine enthusiasm – and a few cool moves – during the safety procedure demonstration. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.
As airplanes taxi to the runway, flight attendants are required to explain the safety procedures to passengers. This exercise is usually done in a very perfunctory way.
Not so on Cebu Pacific! The flight attendant seems genuinely enthusiastic as she goes through her moves. Maybe I should say, “As she DANCES through her moves”!
Because I’m seated in the coveted A-1, I get the chance to chat with the flight attendants when they take their seats during turbulence. The one that demonstrated the safety procedures explains that on some flights she sings songs karaoke style, and the passengers have to try and guess what famous singer recorded them.
“We can’t do it on this flight because of the late departure,” she says.
“It’s so much fun! You should try and catch an earlier flight next time!”
And so I shall! This is my first trip on Cebu Pacific to the Philippines. I have a feeling it won’t be my last.