IT WAS a quick drive to Quezon City from La Union. Sans the traffic. I reached my destination in three hours. I had to monitor the driver with the instruction that he send me a text message once he is back in San Fernando City. After another three hours, he reported that he was already back home.

My original flight to GenSan was cancelled the night before. The flight was moved to June 12 which meant that my travel documents would no longer be valid by then. We had to scramble to get things organized as I had already secured my travel documents for June 8.

Good thing we were able to book another flight on the same Monday morning, three hours later than the original time, but now going through Davao City. Well, it looks like my trip back to Mindanao wasn’t going to be a hassle. So I thought.

I had to crash early as our scheduled departure for the airport was at 5 am. Sleep wasn’t that bad but perhaps my excitement kept me going to the toilet to relieve myself several times during the night.

The trip to the airport didn’t take long and we reached the terminal around half an hour later. The gate security checked our tickets and step 1 done.

Step 2 was waiting in line outside the building. There was already a long single line forming. My trip was at 10:15 am so I had to fall in line just like everyone did and follow social distancing.

After about an hour and a half, another line formed at the first entry point. To our dismay, the guard there started to allow people from the new line to go through. After complaints were hurled, airport personnel came out to fix the problem. Guess what? The single original line was restored and those in the second line were asked to go at the back end of the first.

The problem continued because the queue after the first entry already became thee lines. Again order had to be restored. What was really bad was some people were in the line for almost two hours now and the announcement comes that their flight was cancelled.

I really felt bad for them. The cancellation was allegedly announced the day before but it was unfortunate that those who lined up were unable to check the status of their flight.

Then came the second blow. Airport personnel was now calling GenSan passengers to enter ahead. I said, “What?” They told me that the original flight was cancelled and moved to June 12 however, a later decision was made that a GenSan flight would now push through. Anyakanudaytanga! That was 2.5 hours after I lined up.

Around 10 am, I finally made it to the queue inside the building. Step 2 done. Again social distancing was implemented at the check-in counters. Big red circles on the floor served as “bases” for people to step in and follow the flow. It took around another hour before I finally got my boarding pass. Step 3 done.

Through security, thermal scanning, and the x-ray machine, I limped to the boarding gate to wait for the boarding announcement and finally sat in the plane almost six hours after I stepped in line outside. Step 4 done. After another hour of waiting for the other passengers, off we went.

Landing in Davao airport was a relief. Congratulations to Davao City LGU because it was very very organized and social distancing in the airport was strictly implemented. I finally got my baggage and joined my sundo outside. Step 5 done. 5:30 am from Quezon City to Koronadal City, Palawan at 6:15 pm on June 8, 2020.

Time to report to the Commander-in-Chief, the “apo” and sleep again. 14 days home quarantine starts in 5 hours.

“If we could look into each other’s hearts and understand the unique challenges each of us faces, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care.” - Marvin J. Ashton.

“Have patience with all things, But, first of all with yourself.” - Saint Francis de Sales.

“The highest result of education is tolerance.” ~ Helen Keller

“All men commend patience, although few are willing to practice it.” - Thomas a Kempis.