Of Flying and Airports

I’m afraid to fly and I don’t know why.

Yeah, I borrowed the lyrics from a song. I have fear of flying. Traveling by plane, to be precise.  My first plane ride was in college. I wanted to go home one semestral break and my friends weren’t going home so I have to travel alone. My father does not want me to travel alone by boat which was our usual means of transportation. Fetching me was not option. It would time consuming for it was 32-hour trip on a ship (one-way). Plane tickets cost a lot then but it was the more practical choice for such situation. It was only a 1.5-hour trip.  I had to get a ‘Flying Student’ card from PAL to get discounted tickets.

My fear of flying did not start on my first plane ride. It was on a flight to Manila in 2008. I developed vertigo two years prior to that. For some reason, the condition showed up when the plane lifted off. My world began to spin. Literally. Vertigo is caused by some unbalanced particles in the inner ear.  Our ears are responsible for balance. The ears are quite sensitive to air pressure inside the airplane cabin.  Thus, poor me. I was traveling alone. With no one to hold on to, I mustered strength to keep it together the entire 1.5-hour flight. Unfortunately,  I threw up in a friend’s car. She came to fetch me at the airport.  Lucky for her, I am an experienced ‘vomitter’. Years of motion-sickness during bus rides have prepared me for this kind of incident. I can anticipate puking and holding it in until I can grab a plastic bag. Zero-mess in her car.

Despite the fear, I’ve been to 14 flights this year. Three of which, I traveled alone.  Since that 2008 incident, I’ve never chosen the window seat again.  Upon checking in, I usually pick an aisle seat when asked.  I figured the plane is more balanced in the middle and I won’t feel the plane tilt nor see the horizon inclined. But, on my recent flight home, I picked the aisle seat. I wanted to take pictures from above. I took precautionary measures like covering my ears during take off , closing my eyes when the plane tilts a little and praying. Lots of praying.

Here is Butuan City from above:

Butuan is my security blanket. It is where I feel at home. The best part of traveling is coming home.

I still have that fear of flying. My love of travel helps me ease the fear.

Airport woes

Uhm. I don’t have one. I, the budget traveler, have never been to the worst airport in the world, NAIA Terminal 1. It is ironic that the budget traveler like me have the NAIA Terminal 3 for an airport. A great equalizer, I must say. I may not travel business class but my airport is not the worst in the world. Lucky me!

These photos were taken in 2008.

As a bonus, there is a live plant in the rest room. Not that it matters but I like it.


I saw pictures of the embarrassing state of NAIA 1. I feel so sorry for people who had no choice but to use that airport.  Think about those foreign tourists lured by the beauty of this archipelago who have high expectations of the pearl of the orient only to be welcomed by sight of NAIA 1. I believe it should be renovated. The government seemed to agree.

On his Facebook page, internationally-acclaimed designer Kenneth Cobonpue shared this video.

It looks promising. I am hopeful.

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