One of the most rewarding things of being an overseas worker is to go back home for a vacation with all the pasalubongs for family and loved ones. I guess that's one of the trait of us Filipinos na wala sa ibang nationalities is being thoughtful in giving presence not only to our biological family but even to our extended ones, not only to our friends, former colleagues but sometimes even to our neighbors. Some of us even allot portion of our salary in order to buy for the stuffs that are loved ones wants, kaya naman halos lahat ng SALE sa mga malls ang makikita mostly are "kabayans"
I was in the airport last June 5, Wednesday to drop one of my friend from the church. It was only my second time for my whole 7 years in Qatar in Terminal B, the first one when I went to Dubai last 2011 for a short vacation, that trip was considered as a local flight only.
Doha International Airport - Departure has two terminals, Terminal A that is exclusively for Qatar Airways flights only and Terminal B for any other airlines. I was used to board on Qatar Airways so honestly I don't even know that much how's their policy in terminal B.
I used to enter until baggage check in in Terminal A kahit maghahatid lang, I mean not necessarily to be a passenger pero sa Terminal B, only passengers are allowed to go inside, well that's according to the guard which is a Filipino. And since we respect him and their policy we stayed outside and let Jhoan go inside alone. After few minutes, we called her and she told us that her baggage was excess of 2 kilos. According to her the Filipina who are in the check-in counter doesn't want to allow her even she told her that her visa was cancelled. Honestly I'm used to fly with an excess baggage, sometimes more than 5 kilos and the last time almost 10 kilos but never even a single riyal I paid. I asked Jhoan to asked the lady on the check-in counter how much to pay for the excess, as far as I know its only 40 QR per kilo but to my surprise its 150QR per kilo.I just told maybe its airlines policy, if you'll be flying to Qatar Airways here is their excess baggage rates : CLICK HERE
No point of comparison, different airlines have their own policies. While we are patiently waiting outside, the "manong" guard told us just to get the excess baggage or else it will just be thrown. Gusto kong ipaulit ang sinabi ni manong na itatapon lang ang mga excess. He allowed Hazel to come in, and still we're outside. After few minutes manong guard told us to come inside while pointing to the direction of another kabayan "pasok kayo nakikita nyo ba yong si kabayan, over baggage yon itatapon lang yong mga excess na yon kuhanin nyo na lang sa kanya" we're just starring to the direction. After few minutes, may lumapit na isa ring kabayan sa lalakeng na-over baggage, mukhang galing pa rin sa opisina, wearing a white long sleeve na mukhang may logo pa ng company ang bulsa, black slacks and leather shoes, wearing eye glasses, ang naisip ko siguro sya yung naghatid kay kabayan at nung malaman na over baggage kinuha na ulit at iuuwi para siguro ipacargo or what. But to our surprise manong guard told us "sayang naunahan na kayo, sayang yon ang dami pa naman mga kape at coffee mate pa". Honestly, gusto kong sagutin si manong guard na hindi po namin kailangan na magbantay dito para lang makabili ng mga bagay na gusto or kailangan namin pero instead sinundan ko ng tingin ang taong kumuha, direcho sa parking at sumakay sa kotse. I'm not sure and I don't have proof to judge that person kung talaga ngang kinuha nya ang mga excess baggage ni kabayan.
Manong guard keep on talking and saying to us "sayang yon dito kasi kanya-kanyang bata, kapag may nakitang may mga excess baggage at hindi willing magbayad kasi nga mahal itatapon lang yan jan sa basurahan kaya yung ibang mga narito may mga contact na yan na sila ang papakuhanin"
I asked manong guard "Hindi po ba pwedeng i-hand carry na lang kasi don po sa kabila (referring to Terminal A) ina-allowed nila kahit gaano kadami hand carry mo basta kaya mong dalhin" Manong guard told na hindi daw, and as we experienced with Jhoan, even the laptop are considered as "extra" hand carry meaning it will also be subjected for the kilos.
After an hour staying outside, si Manong guard na naman "ayun na naman ang dami pasok na kayo sa loob lapitan nyo yung si kabayan na naka blue, ang dami oh" while starring at the man that the guard is pointing sobrang napaawa ako sa kanya halos wala na sigurong natira don sa isang box na dala nya and when his about to throw it to what manong guard is referring "basurahan" narinig ko si manong guard na may kausap sa mobile phone nya "punta ka dito, bilisan mo baka maunahan ka, tiba-tiba ito ang dami" in just few minutes may kabayan ng lumapit kay kabayang over baggage at ialng minuto pa lumabas ito na ilang plastic na puno ng sabo at kung ano-ano pa.
Manong guard keep on saying "tiba-tiba" mas marami pa kanina kaya lang may kumuha na. Well, sya pala ang tinawagan ni manong guard.
Manong Guard: ilagay mo na lang yung sa akin sa likod, wag mong itabi sa akin yung plastic baka mamaya masesante pa ako dito sa trabaho ko
Kabayan: (inilagay ang mga plastic sa tabi ko) ang dami nga
Manong Guard: yung pulang blanket yun din kuhanin mo sayang bago pa
Kabayan: ayaw ko na kasi may camera don baka mamaya mahuli pa ako.
While listening and looking at them napaawa naman ako sa kabayang naover baggage although its his fault kung bakit naman di nya alam kung ilang kilo ba ang allowed pero may halong inis ang naramdaman ko kay guard at isang kabayan na kumuha, may mga tao pala talagang garapalang nagsasamantala sa kapwa, instead na iadvice nila si kabayan ng mga maaring gawin sila pa ang nagsasabi na iwan na sa kanila ang iba pa.
After few minutes, lumapit si kabayan na naover baggage kay manong guard. Sobrang nakakaawa ang mukha nya, para ngang wala sya sa sarili kung siguro makakaiyak lang sya ginawa na nya.
Manong guard: ok na yon pwede mo nang i-hand carry yon, ilagay mo na lang sa plastic, lulusot na yan
While they are still talking hindi ko na kinaya kung ano man ang susunod pang sasabihin ni manong guard kaya we decided to moved away to their place, until I saw behind the glass ang sinasabing "basurahan"
Gusto kong balikan si manong guard at itanong sa kanya kung kailan pa naging basurahan ang donation box.
Qatar Charity Program boxes are project campaign to where you can put the stuffs that you want to give away to people through Qatar Charity. Most of the stuffs like clothes, shoes, soap, toothpaste, etc. are given to construction workers. No money donations are allowed to put in the box. Giving donations is not compulsory its up to you whether you want or not but if you will questions why construction workers then my answer will be "why not". If you are one of those people who are reading this post, I guess its already the answer - you have a good job that compensate higher than them, hindi naman na siguro masama if yung mga small things like that ibabahagi natin sa kanila.
While seeing those kabayans taking away their excess baggage out of their boxes, I can't help to be sad at maiyak for them. Naisip ko ilang days or months nila na inipon yon pero nawala lang ng ilang minuto, maaring yung iba nga mga ipinakisuyo lang sa kanila. Naisip ko tuloy I'd rather put all the stuffs on the charity box kesa mapunta sa mga kababayang naghihintay lang nang masisilo.
Nakakalungkot isipin na sa halip na mga kababayan pa natin ang tumulong sa atin sila pa ang magpapahina sa'yo ng loob instead na bigyan ka ng advice at tulungan sila pa ang manlalamang sa'yo.
I still believe in situation like that if we really want to help, there's still a way. We are blessed to have a decent job, may we use our job to be a blessing to other people din naman sana, even in the simplest way we can.
Until now naaalala ko pa ang mukha ni manong guard at ni "mangunguhang" kabayan, there might be next time na ma-e-encounter ko sila and if that next time come I will not really hesitate to do my part.
This is not about compassion on those kababayan na naeexcess baggage, for me its about being honest to your job like manong guard, instead of securing things of the people who are in the airport if we will analyze sya pa mismo ang nagaabang ng mga taong malilinlang at malalamangan.
Here are some of my personal advices to all the flyers:
For those passenger, please check the allotted kilos for you so nothing will be excess.
Be sure that the person who will drop you at the airport will wait for you until you're finished in your check-in.
Bring extra bags with you if you're not sure on the kilo of your baggage.
Come to the airport earlier than the usual timing that should be.
If you know where I can report that case kindly inform me. Its not about of being "kabayan" that we will tolerate such cases pero mas lalo silang mapapahamak sa ginagawa nila kapag nahuli sila ng proper authority sa ginagawa nila. I heard a lot of stories na marami na daw cases na ganito rin sa Pinas pero I never seen or encounter once, until here, sana naman matigil na kasi aside sa hindi talaga tama at maganda, mage-generalize na naman ang mga Filipino.