Monday, August 31, 2009

Monochrome Monday: "ANTI-"PELLER

(Re-posting from my main blog, with slight modifications)

We have a joke here in the Philippines about a certain airline whose former trade name- Asian Spirit- mocked its flying prowess: You leave as an Asian, you arrive as a Spirit.

I had no choice- even our head honcho was flying to Catarman (a city in central Philippines) via this carrier. It would be conduct unbecoming a minion if I were to stomp and throw a tantrum given the dire circumstance we were in. Either way, it seemed suicide.

The air conditioning of the plane did not work.

The flight attendants had no carts to place their wares on. They resembled little match girls- what with the makeshift handle of the carton of food they were dispensing slung daintily around their necks, semi-wet with perspiration. I’d rather be a street sweeper than be a flight attendant for this airline.

Oh- the inhumanity.

There were no overhead compartments to stow our stuff in.

Even the cockpit seemed to suffer from lack of storage space: I swear, I saw plastic bags hanging just above the captains head reminiscent of local neighborhood stores which had buntings were foodstuff or what-nots were kept, when the curtain separating the cockpit from the passenger cabin was drawn aside.

We were seated beside the giant propellers that I imagined would become unhinged anytime and slice through the plane a la Las Vegas magic show- only this time there would be no happy ending. The two halves put asunder no one can put back together ever.

For the most part of the almost two-hour trip, it was relatively peaceful. I think I even dozed off for at least 15 minutes. However, there would be instances when the plane’s engines would ‘choke’, the constant whirring and drilling sound emanating from the wing area would fall silent. Quite naturally, the absence of the constant droning would slap me into a state of absolute wakefulness. And quite naturally, like anyone facing impending death, I can’t help but… Pray? No.

Chuckle. During those moments I would chuckle to myself, like a madman, just imagining my great fortune of having enjoyed what could have very well been my last meal- Oheya Multigrain Snacks, a Crossini-brand pastry with choco-hazelnut filling, and Refresh mineral water- inside a 36+-year old aircraft that resembled and sounded and felt like a washing machine. What a way to go! One for the blogs, I might say. Why stop there. Worthy of a movie deal even. I can see it already up a marquee: Death By Flying Washing Machine. That ought to catapult me to fame, albeit posthumously.

Guess what- I lived to tell the tale.

aboard an aircraft en route to Calbayog City, Samar, August 2006, using a digicam.


  1. Nice shot Ian. Thanks for the flag.

  2. Perhaps they were saving fuel by feathering the prop. Anyway you survived, sense of humour unimpared.


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