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Libotero Northern Mindanao Adventure
It took us several months to prepare for this trip and it started in November last year when we booked our PISO air tickets! For a total of P114, each of us already had a roundtrip ticket to/from Ozamiz. Yes, you read that right, ONE HUNDRED FOURTEEN PESOS ONLY! Thank you, Cebu Pacific!
Preparations before the flight. Here are some of the things I do before my flight:
- Place your valid identification card (I used my student ID) and air ticket in your hand-carry bag on the night before your flight so you won’t leave them behind.
- For carry-on baggage, liquids, aerosols and gels exceeding 100mL is a no-no so I bought small “made for air travel” containers so that I could include toiletries and other hygiene essentials in my carry-on baggage.
- Don’t forget your vitamins and first-aid needs, although you can opt to buy them when you arrive at your destination.
- Tripods cannot be carried on board so they need to be checked-in.
- For a comfortable travel experience, don’t bring a lot of stuff, especially if they’re totally unnecessary!
- The night before my flight, I fully charged my camera and flash batteries, cellphones and laptop so that I could ready the chargers in my bag and not leave them behind.
- For clothes, just bring enough and not too much. If your travel itinerary doesn’t involve a lot of “physical” activities, clothes could be recycled so as to reduce your baggage. Remember, carry-on luggage should not exceed 8 kilos!
- And yes, I did mention the word itinerary. Long before a scheduled trip, you should prepare your itinerary so that no time is wasted and your trip is maximized.
– If you’re travelling with a buddy, plan together.
– If you’re travelling alone, research, research, research and do not hesitate to seek help from friends who travel a lot and friends who live in the place you’re about to visit.
- Finalize your hotel bookings months or weeks before your trip.
- Buy maps (I recommend EZMaps) so it is easier for you to familiarize and navigate within a new place. Maps are really a big help as you could already visualize and cluster your target destinations even before your trip, it is another essential if you want to maximize your trip.
- Another thing you must not forget is CASH! Prepare some cash that would just be enough in case of a worst case scenario of having no ATMs available or ATMs bogging down at your destination. You may place your cash in an envelope in your bag. I don’t recommend placing big amounts of cash just in your wallet. My advice is to spread chunks of your cash, some in your wallet, some in your bag, some in some other places but do take note where you actually placed them as you might be scrambling around looking for your cash, that would be worse.
- And finally, the biggest preparation comes from WITHIN. Get enough sleep before your flight! That never happened to me as I always get too excited everytime I travel. The best thing I could get is two hours of sleep before a trip!
My first TURBO-PROP flight.
- My flight to Ozamiz was my first flight using a turbo-propeller aircraft and it was also my earliest flight ever, scheduled at 6am! At 4:15am, I was already awake. I took a shower, sipped on some hot milk and did a final check of my baggage. Mom brought me to the airport by 4:45am and I was finally able to check-in at 5am! While waiting for boarding, I bought a Ham and Cheese Bunwich from Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast.
- At 5:30am, we were already called for boarding through Gate #8. I followed the signs but I was scrambling around because all I could see beyond the sign was a dead end, not realizing that there was a staircase to my left. So I took the stairs going down and phew, I finally saw our boarding gate. Flights to Ozamiz use the ATR 72-500, a small turbo-prop aircraft that could carry 72 passengers and due to its size, we couldn’t use the aerobridges but instead, we had to walk through the tarmac to get to the plane… Exciting!
Our cute aircraft. This was my first time with a turbo-prop so I had to take a photo of it, heehee.
The Mactan-Cebu International Airport, busy as early as 5:30am
Mactan on an early morning
After taking some photos of the aircraft I climbed the stairs and entered the plane where I was welcomed by one of the two female flight attendants on the flight. I walked around halfway into the plane to get to my seat: 4D. Window seat! Yey!
The crew welcomed us over the intercom and soon started the safety briefing. Cebu Pacific’s safety demo is not prerecorded and is done LIVE!
Darling demonstrates how to fasten a seatbelt
It took five to ten minutes before we got pushed back from the parking position and the captain started those enormous propellers. It took us a few more minutes to taxi around the runway and then we were suddenly pushed back to our seats. TAKE OFF!
Hilton, Shangri-La and Bigfoot
Cebu City skyline
The Maribago Area with Imperial Palace and Maribago Bluewater, among others
The flight to Ozamiz takes just a little over 40 minutes so a few minutes after we’ve stabilized on the air, the aircraft started its initial descent.
Green Misamis Occidental.
Wiiiiide agricultural land.
Coconut trees by the sea.
Getting nearer and nearer.
An interesting bridge over the highway.
Just a few minutes before touchdown. Spot our airplane!
Touchdown! Welcome to the Ozamiz Airport!
Contrary to what I’ve been reading online, the flight with the turbo-prop was actually very smooth. I was actually expecting the worst but nah, the flight experience had little to no difference as compared to the larger Airbus aircraft. For that, places that can only be reached by turbo-props will see more of the Libotero soon… Heehee..
This travelogue will be a series of blog posts for the next few days and each new post will be indexed below.