Saturday, October 9, 2010

May Day! May Day! from the skies above Clark Field!

May Day! is venez m'aider in French, meaning 'come help me!' 

Exactly what happened inside my head when flight DG 0604 from Basco to Manila circled the skies above Clark International Airport in Pampanga countless times in 15 or so minutes! It happened a couple of minutes just after the pilot announced to fasten our seat-belts as we were in our final descent to Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

scared to fly. don't ask why!: saying my prayers.

The plane circled countless times I lost count. The stewardess got two calls from the cockpit but she just kept quiet the whole time after each call. My gauge was her eyes. If they looked nervous, then, that was a giveaway clue! And boy, in those deep black eyes, they only didn't look nervous, panic was written all over them! My imagination went wild! Could it be a landing gear malfunction? Or was I over-reading her eyes?

scared-to-death: plane to go crash landing!

After what was like forever in midair, the plane finally taxied the runway and parked beside dozens of airplanes big and small! The culprit? The smog all over Manila had made visibility a problem and the radar system had gone bananas, so all flights headed to NAIA that morning were diverted to Clark! Boy! It was the day I thought the plane would crash. And God-knows how I stormed the heavens. Na divert pala. The captain or the flight stewardess never had the courtesy to inform everyone on-board about the real situation. Inside my head, in my panic mode, I was thinking the plane kept on circling Clark to empty the fuel in preparation for crash landing. 

Anyhow, when the plane landed, shoooot! So many ewwwplen! I've never seen so many 747s and a-300s in my whole entire life! I was like a kid in a candy store! My fascination for airplanes was awakened! 

The Clark ground personnel were very efficient; the airport facilities were squeaky clean.  It seemed I was in a different country! 

After an hour of waiting behind customs counter (they had to put us in the international arrival area since all the other areas of the airport were bursting at the seams), we got back to the tarmac and boarded the bus that will bring us to the waiting plane. 

In no time, we landed at NAIA, brushed past the luggage carousel and off we blended in the early afternoon traffic.  

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