Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Gown, The Barong… and the Flight

Have you ever encountered this kind of situation? Dilemma, right? What really is best to do?!

Answer: ITIGIL ANG KASAL!!! Hehehe

Seriously, many people I know have gotten tangled in this kind of situation. Which, I believe, is really a non-issue anyway. You just need to know the aircraft being used to your destination! Tedious? Well, probably for some who do not know where to look! But where there’s a will…

Let’s get on with the easier one, that expensive Barong Tagalog!
Ah yeah, same story with that expensive suit (Americana). Did you know this is more commonly a problem of the entourage than the groom? Yes, it is! Why? Because, as principal sponsors (ninong) or secondary sponsors, escorts, etc. (abay) we usually fly to the venue on the very day of the wedding, right?! Even if we did so a day before, we usually don’t have the time or confidence to find someone who can iron that expensive garment for us – even if we say we’re staying at a respectable hotel, right?! Yeah, mahirap na!

Yes, we can hand carry that barong as it is, in its hanger and plastic wrap! Once inside the plane, you just hang it at that backrest in front of you. Most airlines are not strict on this, but technically, it is not allowed. Passengers are not supposed to have anything in or around their seats that may hamper or harm them and other passengers during emergencies. How can that happen? Well, the hanger has hard pointed portions that could accidentally poke anyone during fight turbulence or the barong itself might get in the way during emergency evacuations. And most hanger materials easily break where the broken portions could hurt anyone – or even used by any idiot to hostage another person!

But don’t fret just yet, there is a way around this! Note that whatever you do, smile and be friendly. The last thing you want to do is antagonize airline staff. Because if one of them says that won’t be allowed, all her colleagues will stand on that to defend her. Call it “nag-iinarte” but unfortunately for you, they will be ‘technically’ correct. So be sweet, and you will be allowed to hang that barong in front of you when it should not be!

What if you yourself do not want having to be too careful and uneasy with that barong in front of you? Hmm?!

Well, where is that wedding gonna be anyway? Bantayan? Calicoan? Punta Bulata? Station 3? Pearl Farm? Dakak? Lagen? You better know which airline you are taking and which aircraft they are using so you’ll know better how to transport the thing in stride!

Let’s say the wedding is in Marabut and you are taking PAL’s flights to Tacloban. That will surely be on an Airbus A320 for morning flights and the A319 for afternoon flights! Not a big difference there. But for the A320 (layout above), cabin crew can hang your barong inside that blue-colored space just in front of seat 1A and 1C. Yes, that is a closet. Otherwise, you can hang it just behind any of the seats on row 3! On the A319 (layout below), there is no such closet, so your only choice is behind row 2.

What if it was a flight from Cebu to Tacloban where the airplanes are even smaller? Well, on Cebu Pacific yes, since it uses an ATR plane. They can hang it for you at the hooks and nets up front, which is actually a baggage compartment, just across the lavatory! Now if Airphil Express reverts back to their smaller planes on this route, it’s the same thing, up front! Same thing for Seair’s and ZestAir’s small aircraft.

Now the gown. Argh!
For the gowns of the entourage, there is usually no problem since most of these use soft, not easily creased, fluffy fabrics that are fine inside paper bags or even the normal luggage, right?! But for the bridal gown, it takes some kind of a bizarre twist. Some of these gowns sometimes need to be placed in three separate boxes, right? One for the bodice, one for the trail and one for the whatever cloth else it is. Well, they could actually be lumped in one box but that would be too big a box that your couturier may not even know where to procure, right?! Many of these gowns are just too huge in terms of “square meters”! In fact, some can only be carried via hangers instead of boxes – as per strict instructions of the tita who customized it for you, right?! Haay naku! But still, there is a way…

Most of the boxes used for these kinds of gown can easily fit inside any aircraft overhead bin. So that is the most proper place to stow them at. You will just have to make sure you board early to secure that much of a space if you were bringing like 2 or 3 boxes! Plus, you would need to stay on guard as other passengers board so you can tell them not to place anything above it or stow other luggage beside it that might crumple the gown while the aircraft moves! A better technique is, if your gown-maker packed it in boxes, that means you can transfer the thing to a hard or shell-type luggage that can be hand-carried. Just make sure you retain its form in the suitcase as if it were still in the box.

Some wedding gowns cannot be boxed and/or can only be folded once! For bigger aircraft from the A320 up, there is no problem as the closets are a perfect place for them. But for the smaller planes going to Caticlan, you’re dead hehe! The hanging areas mentioned above for the barong would actually still do the trick. But if that damn dress is so expensive, as is usually the case, you better call the airline and ask for the best assistance they can offer! Otherwise, wear a mini-skirt or bikini on your wedding – if the priest or pastor will allow it hahaha!

Trivia – did you know that the best way to ensure a garment has no unsightly creases is to wear it instead of stowing it inside any kind of container?! The idea given by experts is that if ever said garment may get creased, it will be a natural crease due to the wearer’s movements – e.g., no distracting fold lines. Ayan… got the idea?! Wear that wedding gown hehe, at least even during the flight you will already surely walk down the aisle!

But if everything else fails… cancel the wedding whaaahehehe! Best wishes!