I need to write this so bear with me pls. I’ll be as brief as possible. I just want this said.

This president is far from perfect. He says things that make me cringe. But I find, after I cringe, that I can let it go because he has done good things for us.

Today, when my plane landed in NAIA 4 (the old Domestic airport), change was palpable.

The place no longer reeked of ‘den of thieves’. No one was making parinig about lagay nor did I feel that I was prey in a lion’s lair about to be eaten up alive.

Everything felt so light. The way I feel when I am in an airport of a country that I envied. Hindi buwis buhay.

As soon as my plane landed, we were directed to the luggage carousel.

But I had to first go to the restroom. Make that ‘sparkling clean’, airconditioned restroom. With toilet paper. Hand soap. Paper towels to dry my hands after washing. (Not the muddied floors with toilet bowls that don’t flush. Hot, humid cubicles reeking of urine. And of course, no toilet paper. And hand soap? You must be kidding me. Third world na third world.)

Also, not one luggage wrapped in plastic. Laglag bala, now a thing of the past.

And dig this: free wi-fi. Fast too.

I purposely asked not to be fetched because I wanted to see for myself if stuff that a good friend wrote concerning our airports were true. And indeed they were.

I step out and I was asked if I wanted to use the airport taxis–at a clear and unequivocal 750 pesos (reasonable IMO because I live in the Katipunan area and it was rush hour) or Grab. I wasn’t subjected to any bidding wars. Imagine that.

I’ve always wanted to try Grab so I chose Grab. I was then given clear directions to their desk. Got into the taxi assigned to me– an Avanza that looked and smelled brand new and a driver that makes me think Grab taxi must have ‘PhD’ as one of their requirements for their drivers. 😀

Charming, courteous, kind–words I had never used when describing Manila’s taxi drivers.

From deplaning to getting into my taxi, I would say the whole thing took something like 20 minutes.

(From airport to my house, was another story though. Argh. For me though, at least we’re hitting targets one at a time. We are getting there.)

I remember well the moment I decided to vote for Rodrigo Duterte. It was when he was asked why he was seeking the presidency. And he said, “I want the abuse of the Filipino people to stop.”

That was how I felt each and every time I was in our airports: that I had entered the Twilight Zone of Abuse and I had no recourse against those who abused me because those abusers were themselves airport authorities.

And now I see Rodrigo Duterte has made good his promise.

Thank you, Mr. President.

That 91% is no mystery to me. You are deserving.


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