Saturday, January 16, 2010

My First Travel Abroad

It has been months ago when i came here in Riyadh with my husband. The trip was ok, everything was in place. We had our departure at Cebu-Mactan International Airport in the Philippines last August 25, 2009. Being anxious to be in time for the flight, we have arrived in the airport almost 4 hours before the departure time.We were even the first one to fall in line for the baggage check-in.

We had our stop over and connecting flight in Hongkong International Airport where i had my first actual experience on racial discrimination, we as the subjects. We were falling in line to the transfer desk with other nationalities, mostly chinese, american and middle east citizens, when we were stopped by a woman in uniform. I assumed she was an airport personnel. She then signaled those white people behind us to be at the line first, overtaking us. Naturally, we were taken aback, and we then realized that the airport personnel was just giving them the utmost priority. Well, what can we do? We just stayed behind, waited for our turn even though we are about to be left by our plane to Riyadh.

I observed that most people in the plane are Filipinos, which I believe are also OFW's as my husband. I was saddened by the fact that many families in the Philippines are left without a husband, a wife, a son or daughter who spend lonely and tiring hours abroad working to alleviate their lives.

Despite of our not-so-good experience, it was a good thing we were able to catch the flight to Riyadh just in time and reached our destination safely. I just have an important realization: racial discrimination especially for people of third world countries like the Philippines is an inevitable fact. Despite of this, it is important to do what is right and live with integrity so that others may know, that Filipinos are respectable, honest and family-loving creatures.

I just wish it won't happen again to our trip back to the Philippines this coming August. Though, I'm sure i can bear it again, i intend to avoid the delay and rush. It's just so tiring and jumpy.

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