Saturday 28 April 2012

Dubai and Philippines - part 2

Next stop on our trip was the island of Boracay, to attend our friend's (Carol and Giles) wedding, our journey required a short flight to Cebu (the capital of the Visayan region). The national language of the Philippines is Tagalog, but the various regions have their own distinct dialects. In the area Jade comes from they speak Visayan.

Our flight from Ozamiz to Cebu was via an airbus and the journey to Boracay by an ATR72 (turbo prop). The runway at Caticlan airport is so short that they must ensure the trim of the aircraft is evenly balanced, weighing all passengers / handcarry and seating you accordingly. The hold luggage is limited to 10kg (they will more than this at £3 per kg).

We arrived early in Cebu and had 4+ hours to spare, we checked in our luggage to a storage facility and hit the bar at the nearby hotel. Go hard or go home was the motto, with us guzzling bacardi and whisky like they were about to announce prohibition. We then noticed the time and realised if we didnt rush, we wouln't make our flight. It was only then that we discovered we had no way of getting our luggage back without going on this really long circutious route and being mis-directed by security on a number of occasions, prompting me to shout at one of the guards "that he was going to make me miss my f**king flight". This caused Jade to get slightly annoyed as he thought I might get arrested / shot.

Anyway, we eventually got our luggage, checked in and were relieved of a heavy excess baggage fee (£60) and a terminal fee / departure tax of £4.

In the departure lounger we met another of the wedding guests Ledee and her daughter Gracie. We hadn't long to wait before we boarded our flight, not long after we got on the plane, the stewardess announced we had to "Get Down"...this was pretty much meaningless but we soon discovered it meant "get off" or the annoying "de-plane". The fuel tender had collided with the wing, rendering the aircraft unserviceable.

A 2 hour delay and we're soon on our way to Caticlan. A 45 min flight then a firm landing and quickly through the baggage re-claim. Our hotel met us at the airport and had arranged our pump boat (complete with life jackets in case it sunk) transfer to Boracay.