“THIS is not of our doing,” the man said.
Everyone remained calm. It was about an hour or two past midnight already (about five hours delayed from the original estimated time of departure, actually).
Last Sunday, the rains fell hard on the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, and maybe a little bit harder on Terminal 4, as the captain explained from the cockpit that some of the flights from the competing airline have already been cancelled.
“This is not of our doing,” the captain reiterated with much empathy through the speakers. A “red lightning” alert had been issued, the people-in-charge said.
Call it whatever color you want, but if you think it’s safer to stay on the ground than to risk being skewered by electric bolts while flying, then by all means, take all the time you need.
“According to the Manila International Airport Authority, the red lightning alert is a safety measure to prevent any untoward incident from happening when lightning is prevalent in the immediate area and may endanger passenger, personnel and flight operations,” stated in a news report in the Philippine News Agency website.
Meanwhile, another storm was brewing at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, and mirrored in social media—a flurry of beauty queens and people’s unwarranted opinions. I had caught wind of this right before boarding the plane, as I was stuck with nothing else to do and the television right in front of me. When it was time to board, I was already monitoring the news from my phone since two Cebu queens made it to the Top 15. One named Gazini Ganados, dropped by the office a couple of months ago as our featured guest in our live talk show. I hosted the show with Nini Neri, one real cool cat I work with in the newsroom. Gazini was even cooler. Her fans with stories of random selfies in malls can attest to that.
The plane moved. The red lightning warning was lifted. I shut down my phone like any good citizen would.
When the plane landed safely, and obviously it did or I wouldn’t have been writing this article right now (thank God), I checked social media for updates on the Binibining Pilipinas pageant.
The results were in and there was no more room for doubt. The reason Gazini won was because she hung out with Nini and me in the studio weeks before the coronation. There was no other reason, really.
Gazini, if you happen to read this, drop by the SunStar newsroom for another interview right before Miss Universe. Together, we can make things golden.