All I saw were hills, greens, healthy cows munching grasses, and the blue sky with the cottony clouds. I was young and innocent, seated at the back of a utility van together with my parents and siblings. The travel was eternal traversing a long and winding road. But I was happy because the scenery was very refreshing. Until we arrived in a place that captured my deepest senses. Who would have thought that on that day, I would see an airplane with my naked eyes that appeared to me like a jumbo jet. That was my first step of Lumbia Airport, on a sunny day of 1989….
Since then, I have been going back and forth to that airport. There were sad days as we said bye-bye to Mom when she had to leave us for awhile to attend seminars. Standing on my favorite spot near the airport fence while seeing my mom waiving to us and heading towards Philippine Airlines was heartbreaking. But, there were happy moments too! After weeks of being out of town, we had to go back to the airport to fetch mom. And I was so eager and hyperexcited to finally see and hug my beloved mother (yes, I’m a mama’s boy) and those blue bags of my toys and goodies from SM and Goldilocks , the ultimate pasalubongs from Manila back then.
Yes, those were my childhood days with Lumbia Airport. Those bitter sweet moments have left a mark in my heart. I never thought that this day, June 14 of 2013, I would say goodbye not just to an airport but to the place where I had tears of kissing goodbye to my mom. The place that made me feel that sincere excitement of seeing someone who is so dear to me finally come back after being away for weeks that felt like 48 years.
The Laguindingan Airport may be new and much prettier than you but no airport could ever replace my memories of you. Every time I think of you, I instantly remember my mom who is 71 years old now. I instantly remember that very thin boy who is now 29 years old with a big tummy.
Farewell to you my dear Lumbia Airport. Thank you for those wonderful years. I know one day, I will be just be sitting on my rocking chair with my gray hair, taking a fast track down memory lane and remember that airport up on the hill….
Photos by Mike Sivintin