At one point on the descent to Busuanga airport on Coron island, Palawan, it seemed like the jungle would swallow our plane up.

And over the thrum of the engines of the Chinese MA60, the unmistakable sound of a mobile phone receiving messages as it found a signal.

“What an asshole,” I said through gritted teeth, one hand near crushed by a panicked girlfriend who has developed a fear of flying cut-rate early morning flights.

We did not, praise God, get blown off course or sucked into a parallel dimension as the pre-flight briefing warned turning on mobile phones in flight would do.

We landed with a thump, and taxied down the runway to the concrete bungalow that was the airport’s main building.

As we got ready to get off, legs still shaky from the landing, I pulledĀ out my phone and found five unread messages waiting for me.

None of them were particularly important, mostly ads from Globe Telecom saying I had earned points for using their service and also for being an asshole.