To Check-in or To Hand-carry?

I’m used to carrying a backpack with a small trolley, every time I go back to my hometown for 1-2 weeks of vacation. My recent homecoming was a bit challenging though, having to come from abroad (oh yes! Isa na’kong dakilang OFW! haha!), I am expected to bring home a lot of those pasalubongs! During my last homecoming, I was carrying with me my trolley, backpack and sling bag (for my camera and some chocs)!

And so the challenge was, my trolley and everything inside it, must not exceed 15kg (I didn’t have the time to extend my baggage allowance, so 15kg it is!) I dumped all those pasalubong inside, including the 5 celphones (yes, you read it right!), 5 cellular phones for my pamangkins (ang sspoiled lang!). Actually, ¾ of the space is occupied by those pasalubongs!

And my backpack/laptop bag? As expected, I brought my company laptop home (which I should have just left here in Jakarta! hehe!). And to maximize the space of my backpack, I dumped in some of those Christmas gifts I received from my former officemates, including this Redhorse bottle! (which I left at my previous apartment in Makati)

Hiyess! I’m bringing the bottle home, with all those well-wishes written in small papers that were placed inside the bottle! Ganun ko pinapahalagahan ang mga regalo! Haha!

So what happened? While I was getting my boarding pass, and checking in my trolley, I was asked if it (the trolley) has gadgets inside… Being honest that I am (ehem!), I said yes. And so the hassle began… I was asked to take out all the gadgets and handcarry them instead. Di naman daw ika-count sa 7kg-handcarry allowance! Hassle lang, maghalungkat ng maleta, while people queuing at my back were all eyes on me! haha! 5 celfons nasa loob ng maleta, 3 lang nilabas ko! bahala na yung dalawa sa loob! Haha pasaway! After a few sweat-inducing minutes, I got my boarding pass.

So I’m left with a full-packed backpack, a sling bag, and those little bags with gadgets inside! Hassle number 2: Before I got to pay for my boarding pass, naharang ako ng isang CebuPac lady personnel. Having seen me with a lot of handcarry bags, she asked if natimbang daw ba yung backpack ko. I said yes, and she asked if she could inspect my backpack. I said “sige, buksan mo!” (tinamad na kase ako na tanggalin sa balikat ko yung bag). “Ay ma’am, bawal po kame’ng magbukas..”, she said. Wala daw kasing tag ung backpack ko.. Okay fine! So I opened my backpack, she checked, and I was cleared.

Paid for my boarding pass and I’m getting my things inspected by the last x-ray before I could rest at my designated gate—when suddenly, hassle number 3 kicks in–the inspector asked me:

Inspector: Ma’am, may bote po ba dyan sa bag nyo?
Me: Wala! (Honestly, I totally forgot about the Redhorse bottle!)
Inspector: Empty bottle po?
Me: (Irritated) Wala nga po!
Inspector: Pa-open na lang po…
Me: (hassle na hassle na sa mga nangyayari… I don’t remember carrying an empty bottle with me)
Then after a few seconds of searching inside my bag, I saw the Redhorse bottle, and I felt my face turn red (or maroon/purple, dahil maitim ako, whatever).
Me: (kabado at humina ang loob) Ah eto po (referring to the Redhorse bottle), wala lang po ‘to… May laman na mga messages lang yan… (sabay pakita sa inspector), remembrance sa office.
Inspector: (pabulong) Papayagan ko yan ngaun, pero bawal talaga yan ma’am. Next time, hindi na yan pwede…
Me: (mahinahon) ah sige po… (sabay sibat agad!)

Hahaha! sh*t na malagkit! I still felt the hot blood flushing in my face while I hurriedly made my way to the designated gate, nakakahiya ako! hahaha! Oh well, we’ll all have our airport bloopers once in a while. Fine, charged to experience! :D

Now, that incident made me a little more aware of what to check-in and what to handcarry.
Refer to the following links for more relevant information:

http://travel-on-a-shoe-string.blogspot.com/2012/01/airport-prohibitionslist-of-prohibited.html
http://www.philippineairlines.com/products_and_services/all_about_baggage/restricted_items/restricted_items.jsp

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