Adventures in Asia 2008

my travels through India, Nepal, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Taiwan.

(Nearly) Avoiding a Storm

Posted by maudholma on 26 June 2008

Our peaceful stay on Camiguin had a less than peaceful ending when 2 days of rain and wind turned out to be the work of Typhoon Frank rather than just “regular” bad weather. The night before we were due to leave for the mainland all the ferries had been cancelled and the part of the beach that wasn’t already under water was constantly beaten by frothing waves. Amazingly, the wind had eased by morning and we felt lucky that we wouldn’t be missing any of our upcoming flights. At the airport, on our way from Cagayan to Manila, I made the mistake of thinking that we had a good chance of experiencing our first on-time departure with Cebu Pacific Air. 7 hours later, freezing from the powerful A/C and braindead from watching the same five horrible commercials on loop in the departure hall (literally a big room with nothing but chairs and said crappy TV) the loudspeaker announced that all passengers should go through security and get ready to board. As if we hadn’t already been ready and waiting for half the day!

The Manila that we landed in was completely different from the sunny place we had left about a month earlier. Palmtrees looked like they would snap in half from the gale force winds and it was difficult to find shelter from the downpour. During the cab ride to our hostel we were in the midst of scenes I’ve only seen on the news before – people wading in knee-deep water surrounded by cars that should have been rowed rather than driven down the street. The disappointment of our flight to Taiwan having been moved forward by a day so as to avoid Frank, who was supposed to have been wreaking havoc in Taipei around the time we were due to land, was tempered by our discovery of Manila’s shopping malls. We were luckier than many people in that the main damage caused by Frank was to our bank accounts!

The irony of our flight to Taiwan being the only flight to/in/from the Philippines without a delay (not counting 24 hours) wasn’t lost on us as we stood in a check-in queue for two hours, followed by an immigration queue, and then a security queue, leaving us with barely enough time to run across the airport (now there would have been plenty to do, of course) to our gate. Although Frank decided to skip Taiwan for Hong Kong, 95 % humidity, sunshine, and temperatures of over 30 °C means we’re almost as wet here as we were in the Philippines…

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2 Responses to “(Nearly) Avoiding a Storm”

  1. Hello there, I read all your entries and specially those you have written about the Philippines. I’m very happy that you enjoyed your stay and have positive views about my country. Hope you will back soon 🙂 Happy traveling!

  2. […] from a foreign tourist, in Adventures in Asia 2008, tracing their journey from Camiguin to Manila to […]

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