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Honoring my Mother | When manners fly south

The pre-departure area of any airport is often times the best place to really observe people and their ways. Time and again, I have noticed that whenever the announcement to board the aircraft is heard over the speakers, the very first ones out the gates are, almost always, their manners.

As sure as the chances of delayed flights, this phenomenon never skips a beat. On my last flights to and from Davao, I must have witnessed at least ten flight announcements, and the mad rush to the boarding gates have all been eerily familiar, like a silent movie fast-forwarded replay looping continuously.

What is perhaps disturbing, and this has been going on for so long, is that people have actually begun to believe that the practice was synonymous with air travel.

With priority being given to people with children, pregnant women and senior citizens, the rest of the able-bodied passengers rush towards the gates and totally disregard these few. In my experience here at our local airports though, they had at least a bit of courtesy left, because they formed a line getting there.

Oh sure, with the pregnant women, those with babies and little children, and the oldies having to squeeze through the crowd just so they could hand in their tickets and boarding passes.

It is always a sad and pathetic sight and “Survival of the fittest” comes to mind, but does it really apply here? However first or last you are in the line, you are all headed towards ONE airplane, and eventually arriving at the same time. Decency dictates that respect and a sense of order should be followed, because we are civilized social animals, or are we?

At first, one may wonder, is it only here in the Philippines? A seasoned traveler that I know begged to disagree. All over the planet, this “culture” persists, and full-scale survey to determine where it is worst would be useless, because it happens everywhere. I have even watched on YouTube a scene inside Singapore’s Changi International Airport where a horde of Chinese tourists broke through a queue of passengers patiently waiting for their turn at the check-in counter, as if it was the common thing to do, and engulfing the line as a rampaging army in a war movie would.

I totally get it, we have all got places to go, appointments to fulfill and loved ones to visit. Whatever. That much I respect and understand. But rushing like wild bulls, at the expense of others? That is and will always be the shameful mark of self-importance and entitlement, whoever you may be.

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