Backpost: Three & a half days in Manila

Quality Sunday - Oct 1

We didn't want to waste any time without nothing to do in Cebu. So right after our last Saturday night show, we did some last minute packing and headed to the airport. We caught the earliest flight possible via PAL at 5AM. I've been missing my princessette and I wanted to spend some time with her. We arrived at 6AM and was fetched by my mom and my aunt. I know there will be some funny antics with my mom & my aunt's tandem. And I wasn't wrong. I asked them to rent a van or a jeep because we brought lots of baggage. It turned funny because when I saw the jeepney, I wanted to cover my face & pretended that it's not our service. Not that old, quite spacious but it makes a funny sound that makes people look at it. It's really a head-turner!!! But we were able to load our luggages into the jeep and I never looked back at the airport.

Alas we arrived home in Paco safely, unloaded the luggages and paid 600 pesos for the jeepney service. I haven't seen my stepfather since April. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in June and been doing chemotherapy since then. It was my first time to see him since April and I was shocked and disturbed when I saw him in his fragile and weak state. But eventhough he's fleshless and pale, he's still determined to fight over it.

My princessette woke up as we were noisily chatting in the living room. She was so thrilled to see us and I was really glad that we made the right decision to have the earliest flight because it's a Sunday and we can spend the whole day with her. We took a rest for a few hours until lunchtime and decided to go to SM Mall of Asia in the late afternoon with Selena, Marl, Jan and my 2 handsome brothers, Christopher and Andrew.

I promised Selena that I will take her to try ice skating, something that I want to do with her to celebrate our birthdays together. So we queued to pay and rented some skating boots with everyone except Marl. It was the first time for everybody to step into the ice skating rink and so funny things were expected to unfold. My brothers knew that I could skate with either rollerskates & rollerblades and knowing I've tried ice skating before, I was quite confident. As we already have put on our skating boots, I reminded them of the few basic things to remember. Then I got into the rink first and holy $%^&!!! I already forgot how to skate! So funny because my brothers thought I'd go straight to the center and do some figure skating moves but there I was on the side of the rink, trying to hold on to whatever and whoever! Hahaha! And we all looked funny as we queued up to the side of the rink. I've been shouting at my brothers and threatening them not to go near me nor to grab me when they fall. Not only shouted, but I threatened them. We stayed on the rink side for 30 minutes before we finally let go and enjoyed the rink itself. Tried to find a coach for Selena but one of guys working there was charmed by me (lolz) and offered to teach Selena for a while - for free! We skated for 3 hours before we all got hungry and hit McDonalds for dinner.

Hectic Monday, Oct 2

Woke up at 7AM to have an early breakfast and be prepared for a very busy day. By 8AM, we went to SM Lazo Medical Center to have our medical examination. It is required by Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). I have done this several times before. From blood extraction, submitting stool & urine samples, x-ray, dental, optical, physical and psychological exams. The funniest part for me was getting undressed during the physical exams wherein one bends over and exposes his/her anus to a doctor so she can check if you've got anal hemorrhoids. Yucky but very funny. LOL.

Another funny part was the psychological examination wherein you will be asked to draw a full body drawing of a man, a woman and yourself, aside from the complex phrases you have to complete which were actually just the same questions that are rephrased to confused you. If you look at the ones taking this exams, you will see our smiling faces coupled with giggles and silent laughters if you're seated with your colleagues. Marl was beside me and his drawings were so funny. We kept giggling until I almost peed in my pants. His drawing of a man was acceptable. When asked to draw a woman, he told me "I'd better have the woman wear a Filipiniana costume (from olden times) so it would be easy", and so he did - because the woman would be covered from head to toe. But the outcome was so funny. It looked like a white lady with uncombed hair and no feet. He even wrote on top of it "SUKOB", the title of the famous thriller movie in the Philippines. We kept giggling like highschool students until we were asked to keep quiet by the examiners. Jan's drawings were nice, she has artistic hands. Mine was funny, too, but since I am fond of sketching and designing clothes, my drawings of a woman and myself weren't that hard. But my drawing of a man is very funny. The head was small with large ears. As usual, all of my drawings had the hands hidden in the pockets or behind because I don't know how to draw fingers! Hahaha! And the shoes/feet... arghhh! Can't describe lah!

After the exams, I dropped by Medical Center Manila to see my surgeon to get my medical certificate from the hernia surgery I had last April. Had a chat with him, but didn't have my followup checkup. I went back home to get my previous x-ray roentgenograms (wow, what a
term - and you thought I'm not clever, huh! Don't you dare ask me to spell it again! LOL). We then went to our agency in Caloocan to sign some documents. Went back home, was a bit tired, but took Selena out to Robinson's Manila to buy her birthday gifts from Nanay Susana. Nanay asked me to take Selena out for belated birthday shopping, she said she'd pay me when we go back to KL, hehehe!

Tuesday Delirium - Oct 3

We woke up very early again to attend Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) which is needed by all overseas workers, no matter how many times you've already travelled abroad like us. They will issue a certificate of your attendance which you will then show to Overseas

Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) at the airport upon departure. Marl and I didn't have to attend the seminar because our PDOS certificate, which we got March last year, is still valid for another 2 years. We just went there to ask for reissuing of the certificate because we lost ours. The said seminar is a 2-day seminar but if you're in a rush, your agency can request you to have it in just 1 day provided you show them your plane ticket. And that's what Jan did, she took the whole day seminar.

While she was in the seminar, I went with my Aunty Susan for costume hunting. Bought some cheap but classy stuff. Afterwards, we went back home to pack our stuff because we were confirmed to leave the next day. Also spent time with Selena at home.

Wednesday Blues - Oct 4

After sending off Selena to school, Marl woke me up to do our last minute packing. We rushed to Robinsons Place Ermita to get some stuff we need, then went back home to prepare. By lunch, we've already prepared everything, waited for Selena to come. I felt so sorry for her because we thought she'd be going with us to the airport to send us off so I asked her to dress up. But my mom couldn't leave the house because my stepdad is sick. And my heart was just torn apart when we left Selena in her best dress, just bidding us goodbye outside our house. It didn't have to be that way. I didn't want it to be that way. Had I known my mom wouldn't be able to go with us to the airport, I shouldn't have let my princessette dress up. It's a very important "moment" that I wish did not happen at all. I still feel bad right now thinking how excited she was when she knew she'd be sending us off.

But luckily, she didn't go with us and at that time, I firmly believe that everything happens for a purpose. We were instructed by our agency to go to the new Centennial Airport because we thought we were flying via Philippine Airlines. We waited for Troy, a representative from our agency, who had our tickets and passports for almost an hour. So when he finally came, we were just about in time to check-in. But wait! We were stopped by the guards when they checked our tickets. We were at the wrong airport!!! Turned out that we were actually flying Malaysia Airlines which only has codesharing with Philippine Airlines, and not the latter. So Troy ran to the parking lot, got his spacious vehicle, loaded all our stuff, about 140 kgs., in like less than a minute then sped off to the nearby Manila International Airport Authority. It was very stressful for us because we have lots of stuff and we had a plane to catch. But luck was on our way through all the obstacles we've been through that day. We were able to check-in as last persons but when we reached the boarding gate, everyone was still there waiting for boarding. Switched on the roaming on my phone and closed my eyes as a sign of relief as the Malaysian Airlines plane took off at 4:30PM.

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