It was my first time to fly with Etihad on Tuesday from Manila to Heathrow and I must admit that I was impressed with their service. Malinis, bago at malaki yung plane namin. Masarap din yung food. It’s two notches behind Singapore Air and Cathay Pacific in terms of other amenities they offer but when you consider their air fare rates,  you’d know you got more than what you paid for! Etihad is a relatively new airline and it’s the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates.

It was an interesting flight experience because I’ve never flown with so many kids! Siguro mga 90 percent ng pasahero eh mga Pinoy and the rest are Middle Eastern or white passengers. Ang daming mga Pinoy mums with their kids and husbands! I even met Ana, a nurse in London, carrying her 6-month-old baby! According to her, they flew to Pinas three months ago, so 3 months old pa lang yung baby nya at that time.  But the kids were all quiet and well-behaved during our Manila-Abu Dhabi trip. It’s good to know that OFWs are now able to bring their families with them even for a visit in the Middle East, a big advantage for Pinoys here in the UK.

There were just about 20 of us Pinoys who took the connecting flight from Abu Dhabi to London. It was drizzling when we arrived in London at 1:15 in the afternoon. I walked to the arrival area with Ate Fe who was fetched by her niece and a kababayan.  Ate Fe is from Leyte who’s here to visit her older sister suffering from cancer. ‘Lahat ng 5 ate ko mga domestic helpers. Dinala ng amo nyang British yung ate ko dito,’ she said. Her sister was able to bring her family in the UK but it’s sad that she’s now cancer-stricken.

Hay…I recall what Ana said as we waited to board in Manila. ‘Tayong mga Pinoy kahit saan pwedeng magtrabaho samantalang yung mga puti di nila alam saan sila pupunta’. Eight years in London and now a British citizen, she and her family are moving to Canada once their application for immigration is approved.

I made my way to the bus station. It was time for me to get on with the next leg of my journey.