Homecoming 2017

Emirates Airlines at Mactan International Airport
Emirates Airlines at Mactan International Airport

After more than two years of surviving in the UAE, I finally got the chance to come back home to Philippines. In my previous post, I wrote a little guide in preparing a trip from UAE to Philippines (Cebu).

There was not enough time for me to prepare, that is how i felt about my gifts and baggage. I was very grateful that I am with friends who were so kind enough to stuff the chocolates and goodies into a box and a trolley bag. I'm supposed to bring a total of 40kgs for check in. I had a 30kgs of excess and I had to actually fly it by cargo ahead of my trip through LBC. I paid 320dhs for that aircargo.

The extra baggage that I sent to Gingoog, Philippines, actually arrived 4days after dispatch and 4days ahead of my arrival, so good job for LBC on that.

This will also be my first time to fly with Emirates. I was dreaming of actually being on an A380, and even dreamt of being upgraded for free. LOL

Coming home, I was not very excited but I knew I needed to take a break from work. I have to stay in Dubai in the morning so it would be easy for me to take a cab from Karama to Emirates Terminal (T3).

I thought I had enough time to purchase some things that my friends were asking, but time was so fast and didn't make it.

FIRST EMIRATES AIRLINE EXPERIENCE



Emirates Terminal in Dubai
Emirates Terminal in Dubai
In my previous post, I mentioned that I was choosing airlines base on price and flight stops. Fortunately, i chose the best, and will want to fly again with Emirates.

Emirates Airlines Terminal at Dubai

The Emirates Terminal (T3) was outstanding, I have been to Hongkong International Airport too, but this one is a work of art, an embrace to UAE's culture.

Me at Emirates Terminal
I found a new friend who is fine with taking a photo for me.
The terminal is lavish and modern, with a train system for proceeding to boarding gates, seats for waiting passengers, restaurants, duty free, and so much  more.

Newly found friends at Dubai Emirates Terminal
Newly found friends at Dubai Emirates Terminal

For an economy class, the ride is far better than that of Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airline's economy ride. The touch screen panel and gaming control in front of the seat is a dream for any traveler on a budget.

Although, maybe, I have high expectations on the services, but there was one female attendant that looked like she was in a hurry but just couldn't go because her face looked like she's about to "go", like diarrhea. But everyone else were very nice.

I was seated near to the front row, so babies were there. I tried to avoid this row on my early check-in because I don't want to be woken up by crying loveys. But it was a lovely experience to be seated near those babies, the cry were more like amused. I think the babies enjoyed the plane ride and the complimentary toys from Emirates.

I liked the cheesy sandwhich provided for us, but I didn't like most of the servings that came after mostly because I may have fallen asleep all through out the journey.

The landing was memorable, Mactan International Airport has a short runway I guess, because the landing was shaky with a swift halt.

WELCOME TO CEBU



I prefer being picked-up by a family or friend from the Airport to our place in Guadalupe than ride a regular taxi, I still don't trust them that's why I prefer Uber or Grab Car lifts.

Cebu's traffic has become slow and close to being congested, I have already been warned about this on shares from Facebook. Or it could be because I stayed long enough in UAE that the differences in traffic flow and facilities are enormous, anyhow the traffic in Cebu has not improved in any way.


Since I land at around 5pm, I already anticipated that we will eat somewhere for dinner. I suggested IT Park so we can visit Yakski BBQ. I saw the Sugbu Mercado and I miss the Larsians scene, but because of the traffic situation, I have no plans yet to go to Larsians.

@ Yaksi BBQ in IT Park, CEBU
@ Yaksi BBQ in IT Park, CEBU

Finally, arrived in Guadalupe. I have to disguise as a garbage man collecting garbage. As I called-out my Aunt, she was hesitant to open the gate for me, and I intentionally hid my whole face. When she was not yet convinced to open the door for me, I tried to call harder. Until she realized it was me and burst in laughter.

They enjoyed my gifts and souvenirs. I thought I brought so little, I wish I could have packed more or did a Balikbayan box. I guess I have to afford them of what I only have.

I also made sure I can visit Basilica del Sto. NiƱo de Cebu.











LITE SHIPPING FERRIES TO CAGAYAN DE ORO

My parents didn't know that I already arrived, me and my aunt were about to leave Cebu on that evening for Cagayan de Oro. I already asked her to book ahead of time the ferry ride to Cagayan de Oro so we'd be ready.

No other ferry lines were available for that evening and I was glad we booked early. And yes I swear I don't like Cebu's traffic situation, we almost didn't make it to the trip.




 Pier 1 as we call it, had a heavy passenger flow, the traffic is bad as expected. I wish there was an effective barackade for better management, specially the line for the terminal fee.

The porter is very helpful for a reasonable price for 2 heavy luggages, 150 pesos is a small price to pay.

"The ferry was a surprise, It was a small. It's like ferries used to cross Cebu to Bohol. It is even a little smaller compared to a Gothong ferry that I have boarded before.


Bring your own food when you can if you are to board this cute sea craft. Although they have enough supply of Cup Noodles it still are not enough. Essentially, bring water too, trust me. If you can buy from the ferry the price has already skyrocketed.

Tissues and wet tissues, add them to the list of "Essentials When Boarding Lite Shipping Lines", the carrier doesn't have a good supply of clean water for washing. The wash areas are DIRTY. Toilet flush doesn't work. And don't mind that there is only one communal wash room for each gender regardless of your passenger class/accomodation.

But can't complain when they offer you a free* return ride back to Cebu.

MARTIAL LAW EFFECT

In the advent of the rebel crisis in Marawe and the whole Mindanao, martial law is still in effect. After docking at the pier of Cagayan De Oro, I saw a large military ship docked also along side. Scanner machines are utilized in every entry points. Even private vehicles for pick up and drop off are not allowed to enter. I felt like it should always be this way as far as security goes.

Since I planned to surprise my parents about this arrrival, I have coordinated with my brother who are on the way to pick up the "package" that I ask my mom and dad to attend to in Cagayan de Oro. Gladly, my friend Tara had a helping hand and let us stay at her place while waiting for the pickers".

Cagayan de Oro, although had missed a lot on City Planning 101 (My cities skyline grid is even better.), has improved its commercial industry as evidenced by growing malls in the city center.

Finally, along with my brother were my parents who didn't have any idea why the layover at Tara's place. When they came in, my auntie appeared from hiding, my mom's eyes enlarged to the confusion why she was there, then I came out, she was speechless and shocked. We were amused and laughed all through out then my father came out who had a little surprise face.

My brother had two made-up story as orchestrated by me. He has to convince them he has to go to Capitol University for some school requirements, and I sent a package to my dad's name so he will be tagged along otherwise he will not come with them. All these were drama, so what's left for us is to eat lunch and check out something for my dad's side trip.

The day was a surprise for everyone since I already started posting pictures on social media. I can't meet everyone because I have prioritized my family on this short vacation.

I have a lot of plans to go somewhere, but I'll see where my budget and energy permits.

Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing! Maybe I`ll go to the philippines myself one day :)

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  2. There's no place like home indeed. How's Philipines today? It's been a while since we visit there.

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  3. This looked like an awesome trip! ill have work more time to travel into my schedule

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  4. Wow! seems like a beautiful place to visit. I wish one day to be able to make it out that way. Love the photos!

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  5. I really would love to fly Emirates someday. Preferably for a long flight! I miss traveling so much because of you! Haha! :D

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  6. Wow, I can't believe you guys managed to surprise your mom! That's so neat, and I'm sure she was beyond speechless :) So glad you got to return there for a short visit; hope your next travel adventure is great!

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  7. You're safe and sound in your homecoming. Your travel experience especially in choosing what airlines to avail of has given us the idea when we travel too. Thanks.

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  8. I'm happy for you. It's great to be with loved ones. And being away for two years, you must have been surprised by the changes in your place as well as with your family.

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  9. So adorable of you to disguise as a garbage man and surprise our loved ones! I agree Emirates airlines is one wonderful thing!

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  10. You really made the most of your homecoming. It was nice for you to use emirates and take advantage of shipping instead of carrying too much.

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  11. Nice stories about the Emirates terminal. Looks so grand. Hope to be able to ride Emirates too in the future. Have a great time with your folks.

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