Last May 2, 2010, we took our annual family vacation and our destination this year was Dumaguete in the Visayas. We took the Cebu Pacific flight 5J627 to Dumaguete which takes a little over an hour.

We left from the NAIA 3 airport and so far, it appears that they are able to maintain the airport quite well. The bathrooms are still clean and not run-down, with toilet paper to boot. Given the usual state of public buildings and toilets in the country, we are happy for little joys.

This year, all our flights were on time but check-in on our way out to Dumaguete took quite long. We took more than an hour waiting in line as there was something wrong with the printer so the boarding passes took so long to prepare. Oh well.

As we proceeded after check-in, just before we paid our terminal fee, a male airport personnel who was in charge of ensuring that all people who went through to the next area were passengers, showed me how tourist-related government personnel shouldn’t behave if they want to paint a good picture of the Philippines to travelers.

“Sino si Angelica?” Gruffly, he asked. “Apat kayo?” He continued, without a hint of a “po” or any sign of respect. I actually felt like some sort of criminal. I couldn’t help but contrast his behavior with a lady staff who was stationed near the inspection or metal detectors area. She said: “Apat po sila? Puwede na pong mauna yung apat. Salamat.” That’s how things should be in an airport.

The flight to Dumaguete City takes more than one hour. The ride going there was a bit bumpy but my daughter enjoyed it. From time to time, she would say: “Whee! Now I know what the seatbelt is for…” She enjoys bumpy rides as she feels she’s on a roller coaster.

As we were about to land and since we were seated near a window, I took the opportunity to show my child how the landscape and skyscape of the province looked like. My daughter, all of eight years old, and who was taking painting lessons that summer, took one look at the scenery and said: “If only I could paint that well…The clouds are so nice, so white. How come I never get to touch the clouds and the birds do?” She stopped for a moment and then continued: “My painting does not look anything like the grass…” I tell you, these are the times a parent lives for…

We landed on time, even a bit early I think, and upon getting out of the plane, we saw a small but simple airport which was clean and orderly. We had no trouble finding the van and the driver who would bring us to Antulang Resort.

Since it was near election time, we took the opportunity to look around and see who had the most posters in the area. There were a lot of Manny Villar posters. Some Gibo Teodoro and Gordon-Bayani. There were hardly any Noy posters but according to the driver, “malakas sa Negros ang Liberal Party.”

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