Friday, March 21, 2008

Looking for a spine

Whenever you see a Filipino missing this vital
part of the human anatomy,(I am referring to the
spinal column ) don’t you feel pained and anguished?
That was how I felt some days ago,15 Marchtobe exact,
while I was lining up at Cebu Pacific counter 21
(which had an “Open” sign)at the domestic airport.
As instructed,I arrived two hours before boarding
time, was armed with the proper IDs and had braced
myself to go through rigorous security measures,which
turned out to be disappointingly lax.

There were two ladies before me , one was
already checking in when I arrived.Surely, she was
an OFW as she had several cardboard boxes securely
tied and properly labeled.It took some time for the
Cebu Pacific agents,( there were two of them, a
young lady and young man), to weight all that
stuff and the queue was getting longer.Suddenly,
from the end of the line, a Korean-looking man
with a bunch of passports went directly to the
counter to check-in and before addressing the
male agent he half turned and said a blanket,
“Sorry..” to all those patiently waiting in line;
four other Korean-looking males joined him as soon
as they saw that the Cebu Pacific agent had
ignored all the Filipinos quietly and patiently
waiting in line.

What was going on? Isn’t anyone going to call
the attention of the Cebu Pacificagent and complain
about such arbitrary goings- on? I approached the
counter to politely ask , “ Bakit nauuna sila (the
Koreans)? Di ba, kanina pa kami nakapila rito?Bakit
inuna mo sila?” I did not even rate an answer.
The Cebu Pacific agent completely ignored me even
as I told him ( very calmly ) that I would have
to report his behavior to the airline head office.
Couldn’t he have told those Koreans to wait in
line just like every body else?

Do you think a group of Filipino travelers
could have pulled that stunt at any airportin Korea?
They would probably be shoved back to the end of the
line and reprimanded publicly with ugly words. How
could this young Filipino ticket agent be so
spineless? It was depressing, to say the least.

I went back behind the yellow line and suggested
to the lady passenger who was ahead of me to check
in as it was rightfully her turn. At this point,the
female Cebu Pacific agent motioned to me (rather
feverishly) to approach the counter so she could
check me in, ignoring the passenger who had come
before me. Obviously she had missed the point;why
should she attend to me first just because I was
upset at her wimpy co-worker who all but groveled
at the sight of those aggressive foreigners? I
had to remind her:“Nauna siya [the lady passenger]
sa akin, dapat siya ang asikasuhin mo.” By this
time, the wimp had whisked his impatient Koreans
to counter 20 then to 26,safely out of the
firing line.

When it was my turn, I asked the female Cebu
Pacific agent for the name of her coworker who had
treated Filipinos so shabbily but, she said she
barely knew him. However, she did not realize that
I was booked for Laoag the counter of which had
opened in the meantime. It was precisely number
26, from where the spineless one had dispatched
his dear Koreans. I had to check in there because
passengers going to Laoag had to be weighed with
their luggage. So, I caught up with the wimp after
all and could ask for his name-- Jewish Romulo C.
Batiduan. Yes, his first name is Jewish.I hope the
Easter bunny brings him a set of sturdy vertebrae
which he badly needs.

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