Chinese New Year, February 16, happened to be a Friday. As one of the non-working holidays in the Philippines, it meant having a long weekend to enjoy. My sister invited me to spend it with her in Hong Kong.
I booked my flight a little less than a month before. By this time, however, flights were already very expensive considering that I wanted to leave on the day of the holiday. Fortunately, I had 8,416 GetGo points from all of my out-of-town audit assignments in my previous job that I accumulated from flying with Cebu Pacific Air most of the time. So, instead of paying around Php 30,000 for a round trip ticket, I paid only Php 9,329.17 with 15kg baggage allowance for both flights! Not only that, I did not have to pay to move my seats because for both flights, I was assigned window seats. Yay!
On the day of my flight, I opted to pay my travel tax (Php 1,620) first before dropping my check-in baggage at the counters. During my previous flight to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific, we checked in our bags first before paying the travel tax so we had to go back for our boarding passes afterwards.
One of the perks of an early morning flight (before 6 am) is that the queue for every thing you have to fall in line for is still very short. Total time spent from travel tax payment queue to bag drop was only 30 minutes, 20 of which was because of the number of bags for checking in at the bag drop counters. Thankfully, I already checked in online since Cebu Pacific allows it seven days before the flight for international flights.
The queue at the immigration counters took around 10 minutes since there were not much officers yet at that time. I was asked where I worked and had my company ID ready in case it will be required from me.
I was all set 2 hours before my flight. The plane was already parked and waiting so I was not worried anymore about changes in boarding gates. Thankfully, the flight was not delayed.
It was my first time to fly just close to sunrise so I was able to see its beauty from high up in the sky. It was more beautiful than I imagined it to be! This is why I love window seats. No matter how much I have flown from one place to another over the years, I have not gotten sick of the sky, the clouds, and every thing else that I could see from up high.
There was no turbulence at all during this flight (thank God!) and at some point, I did fall asleep. I arrived in Hong Kong and was able to get out of the aircraft at around 7:55 am. Since I made sure to fill out the information card that tourists are required to present at the immigration counter during the flight, I could go straight to the immigration before the queue became longer!
For some reason, the immigration people were not as uptight as I remembered them during my past two trips to Hong Kong. I heard them say hello and reply “you’re welcome” after we thanked them. I never heard them speak in the past. Maybe it was because of the new year. Still, thank you Hong Kong immigration peeps!
I hurried to the baggage reclaim carousel because I was afraid that someone else will get my suitcase by mistake. Upon getting there though, bags were delayed. At least, they had a sign telling you when your baggage is arriving already.
I met my sister at Arrival Hall A and we took a taxi to get to her apartment in Wan Chai. Afterwards, we went to Jollibee near her place to have our breakfast. Typical Pinoy. Ha-ha!
After breakfast, we both slept in her apartment. My work starts at 3PM and ends at 12AM. From work, I just went home to freshen up and check my stuff again before making sure to get to the airport by 2:30AM. I have not slept since 10 AM of the previous day so I was feeling very sleepy already. We slept until around 2PM before deciding to just watch Black Panther at Times Square. My sister bought the tickets online.
I was very glad to be back in Hong Kong because I missed my sister very much already. The trip was not one that has been planned for a long time but it was a nice birthday gift to myself (my birthday was last February 11). While it was not my first time to fly alone, it was my first time to fly outside the Philippines by myself and it was such a fun experience.
Thank you, Cebu Pacific for the safe, very smooth, and timely flight!
Read the rest of my adventures in Hong Kong: