(***Important things you want to know when travelling in the Philippines)
DAY 2 - KOREA
My flight from Vancouver to Korea was the longest one. It was 13 hours. I knew I had chosen a seat near the washroom but I forgot to mention, on the aisle. I sat by the window. I could hardly see fellow Filipinos. It’s mostly Koreans. They were nice. I had always difficulty reaching the cabin because of my height, but no worries, there’s always someone helping you. It was a nice flight except I frequently urinate, making the other 2 besides me wake up and stand as I passed by. I finished 3 movies and was able to sleep for a few hours.
After the long flight, I felt so stinky. I had second thoughts of going to the free South Korean tour. It’s only 2 hours out of my 5 hours lay over. Even though the instructions of where to go for the tour was in details. I still have difficulty applying it on actual. The airport was big and asking question was a bit difficult because of the language barrier. Most Koreans don’t speak English. Going into a tour means going out of the airport so doing the same process as passing through the customs, filling up forms and declaring your hand carry stuff. It’s a lot of work after 2 plane ride of 15 hrs. I thought I could not make it to the tour because I think I’m a minute late. Glad that the tour guide was still there and she then brought me to the tour bus. I was asked to leave my hand carry just in the booth, without a claim stub. I worried that it may get lost , but everyone did the same so I just took a picture of my hand carry and laptop and bring only my hand bag. It’s only a 2-hour tour, but it’s nice to see a glimpse of the country. It was about 7C and I saw some cherry blossom in the central mall. I felt safe walking down alone. It was a quick tour.
I returned to the airport, this time to pass by the departure area, the custom and X-ray prior to the boarding gate. I don’t know if I was just exhausted, but I always seem to get lost in the big airport. Fortunately, most people I talked to in Korea were trustworthy, although the language barrier was predominant.
In my lay over, I only bought a mineral water for 3 US dollars.
My flight from Korea to the Philippines will be shorter. My PAL flight was about 40 minutes late due to some technical issue. Glad there was wifi but it was hard to find a spot to charge inside the gate of Incheon airport.
As expected, most Filipinos made up the flight. I think I was more excited than tired. My mind seemed to be active but my body was exhausted. I tried to relax, it was nearly 12 midnight, but my thoughts were active on what to expect? What to do? What was awaiting for me after 6 years? Flight seemed to be fast. I just knew we were close when the stewards gave up custom forms and declaration. That’s the only time when my seat mate talked and asked me how to fill up some of the questions. He was a Filipino, almost my age. I had to wait till he was done because I'm borrowing his pen. That’s when our conversation started. He told me he couldn’t go back to South Korea because he had overstayed there. He had to go home because his mother fell while going into the washroom and was in critical condition. I was speechless. I felt the sadness . It was heartbreaking amidst the joy I felt of going back to the Philippines. I’ve heard the guy in front asking him about commuting or taking a cab once we landed. He was then advised not to commute as it’s midnight and just wait for the day as it may be unsafe. I felt fortunate that my family will be meeting and picking me up from the airport. But I felt that in my flight back home, not everyone was bringing joys. And this is the reality of our OFW. It was sad but true. It would be nice if a transportation back to their home once landed can be provided by the government. Not everyone who will come back has the luxury of money to rent or buy a car.