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IN FRATERNAM MEAM
Saturday, December 13, 2003
A DESPERATE CALL FROM A DESPERATE KABABAYAN
====================================



It was already 0115hrs 13 dec., i was already about to prepare to leave my station in about 45 mins---i was so tired with so many calls of complaints and arguments on the fon from all the pax of my airline. i still have to go to my other job next morning and give a CROSS CULTURAL LECTURE to a group of expats leaving for the Asian places of work for three years. i have to prepare all the lecture materials and all the other stuff.

i got a call from this kababayan from San Diego, Bakersfield. as soon i answered the fon he immediately demanded for an interpreter--so i got into the line. this old man sent his wife and his two sisters for a long time awaited vacation to the Phils. they have checked in one suitcase and of course four balikbayan boxes---filled with goodies and all the pasalubong for the coming holiday in pinas. the family left on the 6th of december and when they arrived in manila, the boxes and suitcase did not showed up. this babayan was heartbroken. the routing was SAN DIEGO/LAX via my airlines then MNL via PAL. i have to pull up the WORLD TRACING file for this pax and to my surprise they are from Batac, Ilocos . they are now in their home province without the Pasalubongs for the entire clan.

i called Phil. Airlines in LAX and to my surprise---- the computer generated response was that of a male with a very heavy chinese accent on the VRU saying:MABUHAY, and welcome to....... very chinese . i was so surprised. when finally i got a live person on the line....again the person on the other line who answered me is also chinese. for awhile, i thought i was talking to china airlines---but these are employees of PAL the official carrier of the Phils. they cannot locate the bag and the boxes. my heart is already falling for this caller----Apo Lakay is really worried and i cannot blame him.

then i called Ninoy Acquino International Airport to be connected with PAL office. i forgot that PAL is separated from Ninoy Acquino Airport. when the switchboard operator of Ninoy Acquino answered and i introduced myself and where i am calling from---- of course i have to speak in English first---- would you believe the operator asked me :"IS THIS A COLLECT CALL?" i don't know if i am going to laugh on the other line or not. so i explained to her that this cannot be a collect call cuz i am already talking directly to her. i asked to be connected to the PAL baggage / cargo office. the operator said she will check what extension. i was not put on hold, the line was still live, i could hear from the background that she was asking another person inside the booth. talking---talking---talking in the background. i even heard one of the person inside the booth saying to another person: "NAKU ISANG GIVES NA LANG TAPOS NA AKO FOR THIS YEAR". then the operator came back and siad: "SORRY, THEY ARE NOT IN THIS BLDG AND I DONT KNOW THEIR FON NOS". then she hang up the fon. finally got the fon nos. for PAL office in Manila, when i have introduced myself in english---as protocol requires-- i started talking in Tagalog, but the agent on the other side will always answer me in English contineously. never in the 15mins of our conversation did this agent talked and responded to me in Tagalog. i cannot say he does not know how to speak in Tagalog, cuz his english has a very Pilipino accented english. so i continued on in Tagalog--and he continued on in English.NO BAG --NO BALIKBAYAN BOX. before i hang up the fon, the PAL agent on the other side told me he dreams of coming over to the States and will try to get a passport and visa and asked me, this time in Tagalog: " puwede nyo ho ba akong tulungan kung makarating ako diyan....eh ano nga pala ang address nyo sa states"? i just smiled silently and politely told him--if he is already in the states to just call the 800 nos of my airline and i gave him my dept/ext nos.

NO SUITCASE.....NO BALIK BAYAN BOXES.

as soon as i get to work this afternoon-- i will again pull up the file of APO LAKAY. i have to help this Kababayan. i don't want their christmas to be spoiled without this Pasalubong. i only have saturday and sunday to help him cuz i am leaving this monday for a short vacation.
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:29 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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