Filipino Time – Filipinos have long been reputed to run on an extremely late clock. It could be 20 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour (or more, I hate to admit). Filipinos say that someone is running on “Filipino Time,” or “Pinoy Time,” when that person is late. When that person is on time, it then becomes the more punctual stereotype of “American Time.”
Thank God for Pinoy Time.
Today’s destination is Macau. As luck would have it, I’m in a party of 6…5 of whom are somehow booked on a flight for this date (December 26, 2013) in 2014. Yup, their flight should be today and is booked instead for a year from today.
We’re at a new airport, Clark Air Base, which has limited flights. So it looks like my party has to drive to Manila to catch a different flight. As my ticket is only eligible for this flight or significant loss of money for a forfeited ticket + rebooking, I must go on alone.
With less than 20 minutes to spare, I dash off to catch my flight solo. It’s thankfully a very small airport with minimal lines and limited boarding gates. Of course, such a small airport also has no jetways and a mess of people walking leisurely to their respective airplanes. Unfamiliar with this process and the unfamiliar planes (small regional carriers not always clearly identified), I purposefully march toward the wrong plane. Fortunately, one of the agents from the ticketing desk is now out on the tarmac and recognizes me. After being pointed toward the right vessel, I laugh at myself as I speedwalk across the airfield. I pause to pose behind a man getting his picture taken in front of the plane. I laugh some more as his photographer catches me and laughs even louder.
My flight was scheduled to depart at 7:05 am. It is now 7:09 am and the exit door is still wide open. Safely ensconced in my seat, I look out my window and watch the straggling passengers amble toward the plane.
I’ve caught my flight. Thank you, Pinoy Time.
What happens next? Read Meandering in Macau.