As a devout Catholic under normal circumstances, the last thing that I would do is find myself flying on Good Friday. It is one of the more important days of the Catholic calendar. However, I did just that last Good Friday. With an unplanned trip to the Philippines, I couldn’t be chosy. As I instructed our travel agent, she booked our trip with the airline that was able to accommodate us on the first flight back home.
It felt weird, but with the body of my Mom lying in state and waiting for me, I had to do it.
With a husband who will never take a chance of being tardy, we were at John F. Kennedy International Airport three and a half hours before the scheduled departure. I didn’t expect to see the check-in desk to be open. It was a big surprise to find out that yes, that early, we were able to check-in but that did not go without a glitch.
Being fully aware that my husband’s passport is expiring this August, I took the chance. I’m aware of the rule in the Philippines that visas of foreign nationals should be valid for at least six months. I was not willing to deal with the expedited US visa renewal. It was a big chance that I took, and although my husband’s face turned as red as tomato when he was told that he may be denied entry in the Philippines, it dissipated when the check-in supervisor made a few phone calls and someone gave her a go.
As soon as we were done with the check-in counter, it was not for long, and I found myself talking on the phone to former colleagues from Procter & Gamble. I ran into a former colleague who was on his way home after visiting his daughter who is attending Medical School here in NY at the Columbia University. We had to re-acquaint ourselves as it’s been more than a decade since we last saw each other (you can imagine how somehow our faces must have changed a lot). B started calling former colleagues in the Philippines through his cell phone. I had a ball talking with them despite the fact that they made me cry. They knew my Mom. Although we planned to meet up and get together, it did not materialize because I didn’t have enough time. With many loose ends to tie up, I actually left the Philippines with pending documents and legalities to sort through.
With the idea of being in the Philippines again during my Mom’s first death anniversary next year, aside from the many legal tasks that my siblings and I will attend to by then, I’m looking forward to reconnecting with my P & G buddies. After more than a decade, I’m sure that we will have a lot of catching up to do.