March 17, 2010, Wednesday. It was already 12:30 am and I should already be past asleep. I got so excited perhaps that I could not sleep. Later in the day, I would be out of the country. Destination: Singapore.
This will be first time that I would be out of the country. I am nervous, so nervous that I could not help but think about what might happen before, during and after the flight. Would I be able to get past through the immigration’s scrutiny, in the first place? Ahh… God help me.
I had to be at SM Megamall terminal around 5:30am to catch the first trip going to Clark, to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) . I already had my shower as early as 3am since I couldn’t sleep. Went online, reprinted the itinerary, and did final check on the documents that I might need. My mom perhaps felt uneasy about the Singapore trip as she also stayed awake the whole night and we were exchanging sms. You know, mom-and-daughter stuff.
4:30 am. We hailed a cab that took us to megamall. I was with my aunt. She wanted to take me to the airport. She said aside from making sure that I would be okay, she also wanted to see what DMIA looks like.
There were two ladies talking, sitting side by side at the departure area. I thought they were mom-and-daughter. But I was wrong. The elderly is a retired teacher and the other is a nurse. They just met at the airport. They talked to me, asking me where I was going and I answered every question cautiously as I was advised by James not to be very friendly with fellow Filipinos. Well, we all know the saying ‘Filipino tago, Fiipino turo’. But both of them seemed very accommodating. I eventually trust them. We talked. And what a small world! I learned that the old lady is actually from Gubat, Sorsogon. Her name is Wilma Espidido. Her daughter is married to the son of a teacher that I know of. And one her house helper is actually someone I know very well.
I told them it is my first time to be ever out of the country. I also told them my fears. And they assured me that I should not fear. I just followed whatever they told me to do. And I passed through the immigration no hassles at all.
Now, while we were waiting for the boarding time, there came a lady who talked as if she knows everything about Singapore’s immigration rules, etc. The know-it-all lady even told me that I should have enough show money, that I should have supporting documents like bank certificate that would attest that I have the capability to live in SG as a tourist. But Mama Wil (as she preferred to be called) told me not to mind her.
Based on the story of the know-it-all lady, she is a domestic helper. I don’t underestimate housemaids, laborers and their likes. But based on what I have just experienced, it only shows that some of them think just the way they are. No greater horizons, no brighter side. I am sorry but what I just witnessed saddened me.
12:10pm. We boarded Tiger Airways flight TR 795. Mama Wil never left me behind. We were sitting side by side. She told me to just relax, calm down. Perhaps she thought that it was my first time for me to board a plane. At exactly 12:40, the plane took off.
Anyway, Tiger is an economy airline. There was no snack served. Should one wants anything, he has to purchase it. I wanted a coke just to be surprised that it costs 3USD. That would be around 135PHP. No way!
At around 4:15pm, we landed at Changgi Airport. I was still with Mama Wil. At around 4:30, I got cleared from the immigration and was already out of the airport.
I saw my friend standing nearby, smiling, and welcoming me to Singapore. We hailed a cab. And we headed somewhere in Little India. And my home in Singapore is The Hive, located at the corner of Lavender St and Serangoon Rd.
The Hive is a nice place. They have bed and breakfast, recreation area, internet connection 24/7. Not bad.