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“My Happy Trip"

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As I was growing up from a family not too well-off but who have always remained God-seeking, Icouldn't help but notice my parents' dire inclination to deviate to the more practical side of the pasture.

As a nonchalant minor who had childish whims then, I did not quite understand that a lot of newgadgets have not been bought and too many vacation trips put off for the simple reason that my hard-working parents were strategically prioritizing the schooling needs for myself and my three othersiblings.

Considering that my father had been in the Middle East since I was ten years old for financialsupport, family time had never really felt as complete. This was the reason why, in my growing upyears, our family has never gone out to any vacation trip together.

A fact that I have long regretted forlack of knowledge of any underlying meaning. Fast forward to 2011, a lot of things have changed. I am now 26, working as a marketing enthusiastfrom a real estate industry. One of my sisters, a graduate of architecture, is bound to take her boardexam this mid-year while my brother and youngest sister are also set to finish their college courses pretty soon.

Since March 1st, my father has been here in the Philippines enjoying a well-deservedvacation. True enough, these simple changes have made quite a better adjustment to our priorities. With a slightly wiser perspective in life, my siblings and I have slowly come to realize that a lot ofsacrifices had been backed up by sufficient reasons.

And that in the end, there's always a respectivegratification. Although we still find the family a little easy on the budget, we have also come to realizethat due to today's increasing lifestyle demands at work and in school, taking a breather is deserving ofa space in our top-priority list.

Out of our wishful thinking, it was almost incidental that my mother's side of the family announced its7thannual reunion at mom's province, Davao City. Because of my mother's determination to have usjoin the gathering, I took the initiative in finding good flights for all of us – four adults and an infant.

Lucky enough, I felt happy beyond relief to find practical round-trip deals via Cebu Pacific Air'swebsite – whose online booking was such an ease to navigate. Within minutes, I was able to book our flight bound to Davao on April 14th 2011 at 4:55 PM with a return date on April 17th 2011 atroughly about 12:00 noon.

Excited at the thought of the flight and the reunion altogether, we got ourselves ready. Even from theairport up until we have seated comfortably on-board, we have continuously taken snapshots of everypossible scenes and poses we could think of.

I remembered finding myself in awe for the perfect take-off and smooth touch-down exhibited by the flight captain that time. It was not shaky at all during theflight, evident in how my baby niece still found the bearing to stand up and dance around – touching the head lights and throwing her cutest antics on-board. She didn't even seem to realize that she washundreds of feet above ground.

The inflight game “Bring me” immediately made me feel delighted that even for only a few minutes, Ihad enough reason to enjoy our one and a half hour flight to Davao. Above all, I would like to claimthat it was only through Cebu Pacific's light meal menu that I was able to taste the yummiest cheeserolls I have been craving for since.

And, even my father, who had boarded too many internationalflights all his life had also something to say; “Maganda yung Cebu Pacific anak ah, may games pa atparang pang-international.”And I thought, “It IS an international airline, dad”. But I am glad he liked my choice. Our Cebu Pacific flight has set the standard for the best family-flight we've had, to date.

Finally, we touched down Davao City, the largest city in the island of Mindanao. Famous for itsattractions like Mt. Apo, the Philippine eagle and its pungent Durian. It is where a lot of our relativesare residing and it is dramatically one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to.

At the reunion on April 15 that a modest resort in Talomo, it was our first time to meet with most of ourrelatives. A lot of whom, we do not even know anymore because of a very extensive lineage.

But what's important is that we got to meet them finally and for the first time, our family vacation-outing tookplace.It was an honor for me to have been appointed as the host for the evening.

Although it was hard work toget all 200 people participate in the activities, I happened to enjoy the experience and am proud to have been part our family's history of events. It was one event that made me understand that our practicalityis probably running through our bloodline for I just learned that the whole reunion was made possiblewith only a tight budget – but it didn't show at all.

Our rest of the stay in Davao involved going to the mall for a little shopping and refreshment. And what would a vacation be without a trip to the beach? In our case, we ventured into Paradise IslandResort in Samal Island whose white sand beach, clear waters, fun activities and scrumptious cuisinehave got us enjoying even more.

Four days is truly not enough in discovering more of the beauty of the island but we did make the bestout of our stay. We almost didn't want to leave Davao yet, but upon realizing that we were up foranother Cebu Pacific flight back to Manila, returning home had been an easier decision.

Besides, we can always fly back to Davao any time.I'd like to believe that my family and I are very blessed to have made that trip happen. As a matter offact, we're happy to have understood that being practical doesn't necessarily mean having to cut out allthe fun.

More so, having fun doesn't mean having to spend much at all! With good planning and withan eye for very favorable packages, one's dream vacation can go a long way. I personally, am glad thatCebu Pacific is very active in coping with every Filipino travelers' needs through its frequent promodeals.

This is why, beyond bias, I have always been vocal about considering Cebu Pacific as mypersonal favorite airline whose marketing strategy I have long admired. It has not failed to present itselfas a complete “fun” package down from its happy yellow hues up to both its online and on-groundservice and deals.

Our family has learned enough lesson through a travel buddy such as Cebu-Pacific and we are looking forward to having more fun flights that are way beyond the usual. (Jacinth Camille M. Gacula)

By Jacinth Camille M. Gacula




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