On the Air Niugini flight from Manila to Port Moresby, I sat across from Sister Avelia Aboy Lunio from Balingasag, Misamis Oriental, who was en route to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea. A member of the Missionary Sisters of Mary in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, she is a missionary to the Diocese of Bougainville.
At the Koki Fish Market in Port Moresby, I “Pinoyheard” Modesto Oloya (Polomolok, South Cotabato) and Rick Getigan (Davao City) bargaining with a vendor. Modesto is a purchasing manager, whereas Rick is an accountant.
Alfredo Alarcos (Pila, Laguna) came to Papua New Guinea in 1976 as an office-equipment technician. Little did he know that he would someday own Freddie’s Roast Pork, where Filipinos and locals get their best lechon (roast pig) in Port Moresby.
My nephew Daniel Constantino (Santiago City, Isabela), who is a chief mechanic at an auto-repair shop, showed me around Port Moresby. It was our first time to meet in person after several years of bonding on Facebook.
When Filipinos in Port Moresby crave for authentic Pinoy cuisine, they turn to caterer Richard Martus Rebuya (Pili, Camarines Sur). Started as a hobby, his business keeps him busy in the kitchen all day long.
Ronald Barredo (Mlang, North Cotabato) is a successful entrepreneur in Port Moresby. He owns Phil Pap International, a construction company, and F6 Services Ltd., an auto-repair shop.
Regino Manangan (Urdaneta, Pangasinan) is a resident minister of Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) in Port Moresby. Not only does the church have Filipino members, but it also has a growing number of Papuans in the congregation. A new church will open soon.
After Port Moresby, I flew to Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
I got high when Qantas Airlines Captain Alex announced on the intercom: “Flight attendants, prepare for landing!” On every trip, I look forward to this announcement. It signifies an end—arrival—-oh, what a sigh of relief!
Rey E. de la Cruz, Ed.D., Positively Filipino correspondent, writes from Chicagoland when he is not loving the arts and traveling in seven continents. He is the author of the children’s book, Ballesteros on My Mind: My Hometown in the Philippines, which also has Ilocano, Spanish, and Tagalog editions. His baby book and fourth-grade Tagalog diary are in the collection of The Newberry, an independent research library for the humanities in Chicago.
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