Be an Independent Teen

by Chinggay Labrador   |  Feb 25, 2010
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Parents ready to send you off by yourself on a mini-vacay to your tita in Cebu, or your cousin in Hong Kong? Don't let the intimidating chaos of the airport scare you. Here's a step-by-step guide to flying.

  • Always carry ID with you—your passport and driver's license should be with you at all times. Store these with your tickets in a fanny pack or in a compartment that's easily accessible. You'll have to show your documents several times so make sure they're easy to pull out.
  • Bring extra cash. Sure, you've got your airline tickets paid for, but that doesn't mean you're scot-free. Airports charge a terminal fee that ranges from P750 (for international flights) to P200 (for domestic flights). Values change depending on where you're going so be prepared.
  • It's always good to call up your airline to confirm your flight. You never know, your flight might get cancelled. You don't want the hassle of being stranded at the airport in case this happens.
  • Be at the airport one hour before your domestic flight at the latest. If you arrive later than this, your reservation may be waived and your seat may be given to someone else. Arriving early also ups your chances of getting a good seat on the plane.
  • Airports are designed in such a way that travelers just follow one route-from check-in (where you show them your ID, ticket, and get a boarding pass with a plane seat number, and where you also give any baggage you want them to store), to the actual lounge by your flight's gate. Just follow the logical paths, and you won't get lost. Stations with helpful guards and attendants are placed everywhere, so just approach these people if you're nervous about anything.
  • If you're checking in your luggage, make sure you keep the tags (little stickers that identify your luggage). That way, when you've reached your destination and are waiting to pick up your luggage, you're sure you'll be claiming the right piece and not someone else's bag!


For indie gals, piggy banks just don't cut it. Setting up your very own bank account is a great way to enforce independence. Check out banks that are accessible-one in your immediate neighborhood, or one with enough ATM machines in the places you frequent.

  • The simplest account to set up is a savings account. You can start an account with an initial deposit of as low as P500.
  • Check what the bank's average daily balance is. Just because you start out with P500, doesn't mean you can maintain your account with just P500 in it. For example, banks may require you to have at least P1000 deposited at any time. You get fined if you go below this designated amount, so you shouldn't be careless with it.
  • Your money should ideally be earning interest while it's stored in the bank. For this to happen, you have to meet a minimum amount (different from the average monthly balance).
  • Banks have special accounts set up for teens—make sure to ask about these because they usually come with discounts and promos!
  • Be a responsible ATM-user. As much as possible, withdraw cash from machines that bear your bank's name. Withdrawing from other banks usually comes with a fee (that's definitely an expenditure you can do without).
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  • Deposit regularly. Ten-percent of your allowance each month should be a good starting point.

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About the author
Chinggay Labrador
Contributing Writer
Chinggay Labrador is a freelance writer for several publications in Manila and overseas. An architect by profession, she loves to travel, dabble in design, bake brownies, bike, surf, practice yoga, and contribute to her family's blog, She has released three novels, and her latest fictional short story will be published this month under Buqo Bookstore. She is currently working on a collaborative novel. Chinggay is also a yoga instructor teaching vinyasa yoga, foundations and restoratives. 
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