The significant others (and other things)

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By Nina S. Custodio


Saturday, August 16, 2014

THIS week really did not start out great. Actually it didn’t even start out good. I had a very unfortunate incident with Cebu Pacific, the kind that just proves to me that their Customer Service sucks. I was supposed to accompany my Mom to Cebu on the last minute and decided to buy tickets at the airport. We got the ticket to Cebu on full prize and the return flight at promo price which was good enough for us. However when we were about to pay, we were told they only accepted cash payments. We were paying with a credit card. The Cebu Pacific rep then suggested that we go to the CebuPac counter in the pre-departure area because they have a credit card terminal. So hurriedly we went. We even asked the people in the queue as well as the airport personnel to let us through because we had to buy tickets. Everyone was gracious enough to let us go. Happy right?Shortlived.

Why? By the time we had gotten to the counter, the price of the tickets had already gone up FOUR THOUSAND pesos!! Apparently they had some rule about buying tickets an hour before the flight. Granted that it is a rule, I do not understand why there was no proper endorsement from the ticket office outside the airport which was less than 50 meters away from the counter, to the CebuPac counter inside the airport? Why?? We were asked to come inside to pay for the tickets so why did they not facilitate the sale? How can an airline company not have a credit card terminal in one office IN the airport and have one INSIDE the airport? Is this a rule too?? please someone enlighten me! Has anyone ever had this experience before?

Suffice it to say, I begged off from accompanying my Mom to Cebu. I just found it ridiculous to succumb to their crazy rules. We had the sale reversed. What irks me more is the fact that there was not a morsel of remorse from the staff who attended to us. In fact they even asked: “Sigurado kayo na di na kayo matuloy?” (Are you sure you’re not going?) They were non-apologetic that we had been inconvenienced. In fact, they made us feel that it had been our fault and that we should have apologized to them that we had inconvenienced them! Terrible, terrible customer service! (I hope that they do something about it really.)


Then, Robin Williams died.

Apparent suicide.

Later reports said that he hanged himself. He was suffering from Severe Depression.

I didn’t cry. But I was very, very sad. It was one of those things when you feel that you were having an out of body experience in a bad sort of way. I felt that someone had suddenly put a glass over my head making me feel I disconnected from everything else that I can see around me. As the day wore on, I saw picture after picture of the great comedian as well as countless tributes to him. I grew even more sad, feeling that I had a kinship with him although I have never seen him in person (as I have Robert Downey, Jr who, thank God is still alive). But I did grow up watching him as a child. I remember watching Robin Williams as the alien Mork in the popular Sunday sitcom Mork and Mindy in the late 70s to the early 80s. He made me laugh and made my Sunday evenings a lot of fun! As an adult, I have come to love and enjoy a lot of his movies, too, It is no secret that he was a brilliant actor no matter what genre he chooses. He was that good. His ability to make me laugh and cry as well as inspire and think just proves his effectivity as an actor worth admiring. Nevertheless, I was still quite surprised of how took his death. I was weepy and melancholic, even heartbroken by his passing. It seemed like I had lost a loved one--a family member or a dear friend; and I could not help but really mourn for him.

There are people in our lives who we grow up with without really knowing personally.

I cried for four people I have never met.

1. I cried when Mel Blanc died. Yes, the Man with a Thousand Voices. He did the voices of Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig and Daffy Duck, cartoon characters whom I watched over and over as a child. When he died, my fave characters lost their voices and for the kid in me, that was a big loss.

2. I cried when Pope John Paul II died because he was MY Pope. I knew about him since I was 10 years old. And although I never got to see him in person, we breathed the same air once, in 1981 when he visited Davao City and celebrated mass at the old Bangoy airport. When he died the world lost a kind hearted person and the Catholic world lost an excellent example of what a Catholic should be. I felt that I had lost a grandfather.

3. Cory Aquino made me cry for days. And I was doubly heartbroken because she succumbed from the disease that we shared, Colon Cancer. I don’t care what other people say about her but to me, she was the closest personification of “Ina ng Bayan.”

4. Dolphy. Yep, I cried when he died. His movie “AngTatay Kong Nanay” was one of the first Filipino films that my father (who loved Pinoy films) took me too. He was brilliant.

Then, Robin Williams. Sigh.

I guess what it means is that there are people in our lives who we don’t have to know personally to actually have an effect on us. We cherish these people because they have been “around” since we were young. They may have taught us valuable lessons, set good examples worth emulating or, made us laugh till we cry. They affected us in ways our family and friends affect us on a daily basis. We often take them for granted, thinking they will always be around, until they are faced with human mortality. Then we realize that at some point of knowing about them, they actually started to mean something to us. These significant “others” made life more fun and meaningful when they were around. We will move on but they will be missed.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 17, 2014.


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