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Our 2015 Journey 7

Our 2015 Journey 7

 

Here is a quick little background of what’s going on.  Lita and I are at Kadena AB in Okinawa and we are trying to get back to the Philippines via Space A.  Last year we were stuck at Kadena for 9 days and we were hoping that it would not be the same this time around.  We spent the night at Navy Lodging and this is our first day of attempting to get back.  We have already missed out on 1 flight because they decided that they would not be taking any passengers.

So although this next flight, a C12, was late coming in, at least it was still taking passengers to Manila.  We would rather be going to Clark, but with Space A it’s a good idea to take what you can get, when you can get it.  A C12 takes a maximum of 6 passengers and there were only 5 of us that wanted to go, so we all got to go.  As it turned out, everyone there was in the lowest Category (Cat 6) and Lita and I were the first 2 names at the top of that list.  We were on day 56 of the 60 day limit, so it would be hard for someone to get ahead of us in that category.

 

Andy's Diner at Kadena terminal upstairs

In a strange development, there was a guy that was getting on the plane with us that had way too much luggage.  The limit is 30 lbs per person and he had at least double that.  He told Lita that he could have his other suitcase and everything in it, otherwise he would just have to leave it there.  There was 2 of us and we only had 1 small bag weighing about 15-20 pounds. So Lita looked through the bag, liked the stuff and agreed.  I’m nervous because I don’t like taking bags from people that I don’t know, especially when we might have to go through a security check.  Personally, if it were totally up to me, we could have taken his bag through for him and just given it back to him when we go there, but Lita was excited about the new clothes in the suitcase and the guy did say we could have it.  The clothes were all too small for me, but he said that we could just give them away to someone that needed them.  Well we do have Filipino relatives that sure could use some more clothes.  Anyway, as it turns out, we never had to go through another security check.  I’ll explain a little further down.

Lita on the C12 Kadena to Manila

Here are some important things to know if you ever do travel the route that we took.  We were told by customer service at Kadena that when we get to Manila they would be collecting $20 per person for a security fee.  Well they told me $20, but another guy they told $15.  As it turns out it was only $10 per person.  They said the charge was for stamping your passport.  Only in the Philippines I guess because I’ve never heard of anyone else ever doing that.  If you are in balikbayan status be sure to mention more than once to the person taking your passport and ID to get your stamp about that.  Also check it when they bring it back.  It doesn’t take too long, but there is no sense in wasting time when traveling.  There was no place for them to do a security check for luggage there and no one bothered to check them at all.  I don’t know if that is the normal procedure, but that’s how it was that day.

Me and Lita's thumb on the C12 Kadena to Manila - Being so heavy I was told to sit up front

They also have a shuttle bus to take you from the flight line to a place to get a taxi to go where ever it is you want to go.  At Kadena they told us that it would be $40 for everyone, so $8 per person in our case.  Well it turns out that the bus was only $10 ($2 per person).  They prefer that you have dollars for these transactions, but will take pesos if you don’t have it.  One of the other passengers was feeling generous and he paid for my and Lita’s share of the shuttle bus. There are no vending machines or restaurants at this location.  It is by the AGES area of the Manila airport, in case you know where that is.

In the next post I will let you know about shuttle bus ride, our bus ride and our eventual arrival at our hotel.  The guy that gave us the suitcase is still there with us.

Salamat Y’all

 

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4 Comments

  1. Hi UJ- I am glad you and Lita are back in PH; and that your website is working again.

    • Thank you Leona. Me too. I still need to do something about that spam though. I guess nothing works 100%.

  2. UJ,

    I can’t imagine being stuck in a C-12 from Kadena to Manila, as I flew that route for what seemed like a million times when I stationed at Naval Air Station Cubi Point back in the day. Luckly we rarely stayed in Manila, just dropped a few pax and continued on the Cubi Pt. Your trips back home to Belton and back sound like an adventure I would also enjoy doing if I were single. Your wife is a brave soul to do such, let alone end up in Belton…hahaha. But then again, having also grown up around Belton, Temple and killeen/Harker Heights area I remember wanting to go home there a lot after wanting to leave so badly while growing up. I hope you next trip home is easier and more expeditious one with few delays or layovers. Hell I live just up the road from (Belton/Killeen) there, 6 hour drive and I haven’t been back since my folks passed away 4 years ago. But I did make 2 trips back to Cavite and had a few beers, well ok maybe more than few. I guess living there so long while in the military kinda grew on me, plus understanding and speaking tagalog makes life a lot easier as well.

    • I didn’t mind the C-12. I had plenty of leg room and the flight was smooth. We will be heading back to Belton next year and I also hope it’s a smooth trip with no extended delays. It could be tougher next time because Travis and Hickam are both not open 24/7 anymore. Maybe with a little planning I’ll be able to get a room in billeting before departing, just in case we need it I know that the billeting offices on base understand Space A, but I would cancel with them just as soon as I was sure I’d be getting on a flight or after I arrive at the next location, if it’s still during check in hours.
      I still do not speak Tagalog, despite being married to a Filipina for 35+ years, but I can help you drink some beers. My wife likes traveling Space A because she doesn’t like spending money for the flights. If I can get a commercial flight with a big sale, she’d be okay with that, but otherwise, she’d take Space A.