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A first-time flyer on a Cebu mini-adventure

After years and years of thinking, weighing and waiting for the right opportunity, I was finally able to experience it—to fly, that is. It wasn't exactly how I wished it to be, i.e. leisurely, for vacation and all. I was sent on a business trip to Cebu. Nonetheless, it was still fun. It was my first flight and I was flying by my lonesome. To say that I was nervous is an understatement. I was terrified, not with flying itself but with the thought of looking stupid and lost at the airport. And, of course, the thought of being left behind by my plane. Good thing it was all just in my imagination.

I arrived at NAIA Terminal 2 about two hours before my flight. After paying the terminal fee, I still had around 1 hour and 45 minutes to kill before boarding. I decided to have a hot cafe mocha at the airport coffee shop while writing the invocation for the program. My excitement was building up.

Finally, boarding time came and I was almost running to the boarding gate. While I was inside the plane, it still felt like I was dreaming. I thought, "So this is what the interior of a plane looks like."

Minutes after settling down, I couldn't wait for the plane to take off. I took an evening flight, by the way, so I guess it added more to the "adventure."

As the plane taxied down the runway, my heart was racing like crazy. It was really happening! And then, suddenly, we were up. I was finally flying! I could see the bright city lights that looked like sprinkled sparkles on the ground. The feeling was all so surreal.

My flight to Mactan International Airport was two hours long. I thought of sleeping but decided not to as I wanted to relish the experience.

When the announcement finally came that we were already in Mactan, I felt jolted once more. It was my first time to travel out of Luzon and I was fortunate that it was to the beautiful province of Cebu.

I immediately headed for the airport's exit and took a cab. I went straight to Waterfront Hotel in Lahug, rested a bit and got down to work. Waterfront Hotel was amazing and beautiful with its high ceilings and big function rooms. Likewise, we were awed by the big coliseum inside. As for the food, we loved the buffet breakfast. As always, bacon was a big hit with us. Also, for the first time, we had a taste of the famous Cebu lechon which was indeed very good. The meat was tasty while the skin was crunchy and well-seasoned. The skin was almost like chicharon.

We didn't have much time to go out as we were there for only two days and two nights. On our last night in Cebu, we went to Asiatown and just had coffee.

For our pasalubong, we bought otap and piaya. The flight back to Manila was nothing unusual. We just slept for the entire duration of the return flight. That evening, we were at a colleague's house for a despedida dinner and videoke. — BM, GMA News

I am Ivan Jose, 33, currently working as a marketing communications officer for EastWest Bank. I consider myself an introvert but I desire to go out and explore the world together with my wife. I believe this is not contradicting—traveling allows one to be incognito.

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Tags: firsts, flying