Welcome back to another installment in my series, A Life of Love.
When we left off last time, Feyma and I had been married and had our reception at the family home. It was a great day in my life, and I think Feyma would say the same. After the wedding, we went to Cebu City for our honeymoon. We enjoyed that time very much as well.
After spending some time in Cebu relaxing and getting to know each other better, it was off to Manila. Sometimes when you travel you are excited about a good time at your destination, but that was not the case for this trip. No, we were both very much not looking forward to going to Manila. Why? Well, that will come a bit later in the story, but you can probably figure it out.
When we went to Manila, we stayed at the Hyatt Hotel on Roxas Blvd. It was a very nice place, and I don’t remember what floor we were on, but we were way up near the top of the high rise.
Feyma had a brother living in Manila at the time. He had been unable to attend our wedding. It was a relatively quick wedding, and there was not enough time for him to travel to General Santos. So, we figured that since we were in Manila, we better see Chito, the brother.
We arrived in Manila in the afternoon, and we would be there for only one day, so time was short. Right away, Feyma contacted her brother, as I recall she was able to call him at work. Chito worked for Philippine Airlines, in the maintenance department.
When Chito found out we were in Manila, he made arrangements to meet us for dinner. As I recall, he had to work late, or for some reason, we were not able to meet up until like 10 PM or so. We went to Max’s Chicken house and had dinner with Chito and his family. The Chicken House was only a block or so from the Hyatt, so it was easy for us to get there. After eating, we had a long talk with Chito and his family. After all, I had just married his sister. I wanted to get to know my brother-in-law, and he wanted to know his brother-in-law as well.
Around Midnight or so, we headed back to the hotel to get whatever sleep we could before the big bad day ahead.
Early in the morning the next day, it was time for the inevitable bad event. What was so bad that was pending? Time for me to head back to the USA.
Of course, Feyma could not go to the States with me. Most American’s don’t realize this, but a foreign national must get a visa in order to go to the USA. For a Filipina, getting a visa is nearly impossible if she is single. Since Feyma and I were married, it is close to 100% certain she could get a visa, but at that time it took 4 to 6 months to obtain the visa. Now, it takes more like a year or a year and a half to get the visa.
So, due to visa issues, Feyma and I were going to have to be separated for a while. We were both very upset about this, we had just met for the first time in person, and were married… now we were going to be apart for about 6 months or so! It certainly was not ideal.
We caught an early morning taxi from the Hyatt Hotel to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). It is not that long of a ride. Along the whole route we were comforting each other, and feeling the pending doom of our pending separation that was soon to be upon us.
When we arrived at the airport, the traffic was heavy. As we approached the terminal, and traffic was even heavier, I decided to just exit the taxi and walk the rest of the way. Feyma said only a short goodbye to me. She did not want to even get out of the taxi. That is how Feyma is, or at least how she used to be, she is actually better now. She does not like goodbyes and keeps them as short as possible.
It was a very emotional day for both of us. It has been so many years ago that I no longer recall if Feyma went back to Cebu the same day, or maybe she went and stayed with her brother in Manila for a while. Thinking about it, it is most likely she went back to Cebu rather quickly, because she was attending college in Cebu at the time. She had already been absent from school for a few weeks during our wedding and honeymoon, so I doubt she would have been absent more than another day.
For me, I had some waiting time in the airport and then a long, long flight back to the USA. The flight between the Philippines and the USA is a long flight, it is normal to have a 16 to 20-hour trip when flying to the States from here, sometimes, even more, depending on the lay over time along the way, etc. This trip felt even longer, due to the bad feeling that I had from the big goodbye. Also, I had so much on my mind. A mixture of being happy about having a new wife and thinking of our future together. Sad about the time we had to be apart. Mostly sad, but a ray of happiness shining through. It made for a very long travel.