Posted by: Leap of Faith | January 19, 2008

Jampacked with Adventure, our Philippine Trip (Part 7)

We arrived in Manila on the 29th, where we had a despedida dinner for our little sis who was flying back to Malibu the following day.  It was such a sad occasion especially since we were not sure when we would get to see Rina again.  She will be graduating from MBA this April and hopefully, after that, be able to look for a job in the US.  Life as an adult is so difficult especially when you have to be separated from the people you love.

Anyway, the next few days until our departure back to KSA on 10th of January were really hectic.  Pinky and I had so much things to do and people to meet that 10 days were just not enough.  Aside from our New Year celebration with family, we also had to meet up with some friends from HSBC, our previous employer, and attend several kiddie parties. 

Talk about kiddie parties, our son Luigi also turned 9 years old last Jan 3. Even though my wife and I psyched him already that there will be no more celebration, we had to change our minds at the last minute since my mother kept on saying that she will be the one to organize a dinner party for his apo if we do not do it ourselves.   Of course, out of embarrassment, we had to organize our own party at Dencio’s Brittany Bay.

Aside from the impromptu dinner, we also promised Luigi that they (Luigi, Rafael, our nephew, Matthew, and our niece, Alyssa) can get a spa treatment at the Little Lamb Spa in Libis.  Previously, Matthew also treated our children their last July, when he turned 7.  

Luigi and Rafael loved their first ever spa experience that they wanted a repeat performance again this January.  I must say that, despite it being quite costly, the whole treatment looked so professionally done –  as in with dimmed lights and mood music pa!  The kids also took a shower before their massage… OA to the max!  Anyway, if it were not our son’s birthday, ‘di na mauulit yon.  Their massage was even more expensive than ours!

In between all the partying, Pinky and I managed to renew our Drivers License and get an NBI clearance, secure copies of my school records, go to RedBox KTV Bar in Trinoma Mall in QC (note: we are from Paranaque), watch three movies (Shake, Rattle and Roll 9, Sakal, Sakali Saklolo and Sydney White), go to Timezone in SM Mall of Asia and visit some friends in Tagaytay. 

Yes, hectic is an understatement.  At one point, Pinky and I were actually ready to go back to Saudi Arabia (just to have a break from our vacation).  I hope you do not get me wrong.  We love the Philippines but every time we are there it is just like there are so many things that you have to do and so little time to do it.

We reserved one whole day to pack our stuff.  All those toys and gifts were almost impossible to fit in our luggage.  But, despite the seemingly impossible task, Pinky and I managed to do it.  We were all set to go.

Our children had one last chance to take advantage of their all-too-indulging grandmother, my mom, who bought them new shoes and clothes.  In addition, they were also able to convince her to further burn her pocket by going to Timezone Arcade in Alabang Town Center. 

Without a doubt, the kids had so much fun.  In fact, Luigi had such a great time that he ended up getting a 40 degree fever the night we were scheduled to leave.  Yes, sakit nanaman!  Pinky and I could not sleep that night.  What do we do? 

We were scheduled to fly out by noon time the following morning.  However, my mother-in-law said that Luigi’s fever was so bad that he even became delirious at one point (i.e. going down the stairs without him knowing it).  I was about to go delirious myself!  How do we leave now?!!!! 

We woke up at 5 am that morning seriously praying that the paracetamol would bring down the fever.  Unfortunately, it didn’t.  Pinky and I finally decided that we would all postpone our trip.  Since we were concerned that we might get penalized for not showing up, we still decided to go to NAIA and talk to Gulf Air.  We brought one piece of luggage and carry on just in case.  Things were all going crazy by this time.   

We were advised by the airline that the earliest possible flight back to the KSA was on the 29th, which is in three weeks time! Whaaat!  Flights were so full that we could try to leave earlier but on a chance basis only.  We decided that I should still leave as scheduled since a postponement would mean losing all my unused vacation leaves for 2008.  So, after much drama, Pinky and I said our goodbyes.  I tried calling the children to say that I was leaving. But only Luigi was awake.  In short, Rafael and Marga woke up fatherless that day.

I could not believe the recent turn of events.  Until the end, sobrang suspense lahat.  Fortunately, after passing immigrations, I met a family friend who knew someone from Gulf Air.  She was able to arrange for an upgrade to Business Class.  Wow, sobrang consuelo.  I know flying Business does not compensate for leaving my family behind but it sure is a good way of travelling.  I was instructed to just wait for Gulf Air to call me at the gate. Thank you so much.

“Passenger Keith Sy please proceed to the gate.”  Shiiiets, that’s me. Tadan. Tadan. My heart pounded with excitement. A good friend who was travelling with me also waited excitedly.  A man approached me and handed me something. “Alam mo na daw ito,” he said.  “Oo,” I replied blindly.  I was so touched by this nice gesture.  Aside from being upgraded to Business, Gulf Air was also giving me a special gift.  I really felt that I deserved it, though, especially after they harassed us when they delayed the arrival of our luggage.

After a few minutes and a careful inspection of my gift, I realized that I was wrong.  The bag was something that I had to deliver to someone in Bahrain in exchange for the luxury of flying Business.  Whaaat!  I was hesitant and told the man that I wanted to talk to our family friend, who did not mention anything about a package.  A few minutes later, a head of the NAIA Airport security came to me and told me that I should not worry about the package since it only contained some “make-up.”  In addition, he also used his cellphone to call and coordinate with someone.  I could not entirely decipher what he was saying but it seemed to me that he was trying to convince me by saying that he might be able to arrange a further upgrade to First Class.

I thought, BS! Do I look stupid, Mister!  Make-up… for all I know that is Shabu na ginawang press powder! Hay,  I know I may have looked so desperate at that moment but why… why did I get such a weird offer.  I really felt like there was a capital “L” (for Loser) written all over my forehead. Obviously, despite the tempting offer to fly Business or First Class, I had to decline and settle for Coach seating.

So there, as scheduled, I finally arrived safely in Dammam on the 10th, but without my whole family.  

The day after I left, Luigi was well – as if nothing happened.  Pinky was able to arrange for an earlier flight on the 17th (a week after our orignal schedule).  She managed to do it since my whole family ended up flying Business Class (whaaaat!).  The capital “L” was really throbbing on my forehead now, the pain far exceeding that of Harry Potter when he was confronted by He Who Must Not Be Named.  Despite all that, I could not care less anymore.  What is important is that my whole family is here with me now.

Our recent vacation was definitely tops in all aspects. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, though, that there will not be anything like it for a long, long time.

The saga ends.



  1. Loved the blow-by-blow account, hon! 🙂 Di bale, all’s well that ends well! Thank God we’re all back together again after our recent “holiday to remember” (for a very long time, I’m sure) 😉 in Manila.

    I share your sentiments…sana wala nang repeat ng lahat ng stress!

    I’m sure glad that you are all here with me now. At least no more cold nights for me… if you know what I mean.

    Now the pressure is on you, Hon. Pictures please 🙂

  2. Now the You who wasn’t named has now a name.. hahaha, Keith. I know you now.

    And what happened to the “make-up?” was it really make it or a maked-up narcotics?

    KK, Hirap to write and not mention real names… buking!

    The “make-up?” I did not want to know what was in the bag… baka isipin pa nila na ako yung may dala noon. Medyo feeling ko something illegal yon since the person who was handing it to me said na pinuslit pa nila yon sa NAIA security… yikes! All the more na ayoko ma involve… baka makulong pa ako sa Bahrain.

  3. you made the right call by not handling the “make-up”. josko, mas malaking stress yun pag nagkataon!

    anyway, i just wanted to say na i enjoyed each and every part of this saga. 🙂 you wrote about it so well, feel na feel ko all the details as well as all the emotions (ie stress) while reading it. thanks for sharing this with us. 🙂

    Oo nga Meeya I’m really glad I did not get tempted to fly Business or First class in exchange for an economy jail cell in Bahrain. Siguro naman our experience in the Philippines during our last trip was enough to tell me na medyo may malas-streak kami during that time and accepting a package from someone unknown to me could have been the straw that broke the camel’s back!

    Thanks also for being patient and reading through that saga of mine. I enjoyed writing it kasi ang dami talagang nangyari 🙂

  4. Keith, naiyak ako sa kakatawa! Well, not that I enjoyed all the hardship, stress & sweat you experienced, but the way you told the story e sadyang kakatawa! hehehe.

    The good thing is you are all there in one piece and pakunswelo, we got to meet Pinky and the kids and spent sometime with them while we were in manila.

    Take Care

    Hi Carrie! Thanks for dropping by. Actually, nakakatuwa nga siya – looking back. But nakaka high blood when you are living the moment!

    Sayang nga I did not see you guys. I visited Millie’s Multiply site and saw all your pictures. Ang ganda.

    Hey, they are evetnually closing down Yahoo 360. You may want to transfer your files to Multiply para naman hindi mawala yung mga blogs mo. Only problem with that is hindi mo ma-transfer yung mga comments ng mga visitors mo. Anyway, I think that is still far better than losing all that you have written.

    Daan ka ulit ha. Tell me also your new blogsite. WP is great!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: