Skip to main content

Third world realities in a first world airport!

Iloilo City - I am in Iloilo for the 9th National meeting of the Philippine Association of Marine Science. So much has changed in this friendly city since the last time I was here about ten years ago. There are more buildings, malls and roadworks are everywhere and of course the traffic jams but the Ilonggo charm is still there.

The province boasts of the first world class Iloilo International Airport in Santa Barbara town about 1.5 hours from the city center. The Iloilo airport is probably the most efficient airport in the whole Philippines. One can be out of the plane and onto ground transport in 15 minutes or less. It puts the Manila airport to shame! I felt that I landed in Cairns International in Australia. The Iloilo airport looks like the Australian one.

But it seems that the infrastructure that should support airport business and functions are not yet there. In most airports in the world, if you plan to make changes to your flight plans you can easily change your bookings at the airport ticket office. Since I have to make a last minute change in order to accomodate a meeting with the Governor of Guimaras province, I immediately sought out the PAL ticket office only to find out I can't change my booking there since they can't get in touch with the Manila main ticket office. Then they asked me to go to their ticket office at the now abandoned Mandurriao airport to make a booking change!

It seems not to make sense that one has to make a booking at an office in an abandoned airport!

At the Mandurriao ticket office, the reservations computer system was down. It wasn't the fault of the staff or the local computers but that the Manila computers were kaput! Several customers who needed to fly to Manila on quick notice were there and they can't be accomodated.

It is likely that they moved their business to the rival airline with planes with a yellow fuselage!

But I have to commend PAL's reservation staff in Iloilo who were gracious enough to extend all possible assistance to me since I have to fly out to the US.

So I got my booking change after a few hours. So I wasted a day that I should have been at meetings.

I'm sure Iloilo will do its best even if Manila screws up!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

President Manuel Luis Quezon's Code of Ethics

Being a denizen of Kyusi, in honour of the man who gave my city its name and for being the most colourful prez the Philippines ever had, I have the pleasure to post Manuel L Quezon's Code of Ethics on his birthday. Let us profit from the wisdom of the Kastila.

1. Have Faith in the Divine Providence that guides the destinies of men and nations.

2. Love your country for it is the home of your people, the seat of your affection and the source of your happiness and well-being. It's defense is your primary duty. Be ready to sacrifice and die for it if necessary.

3. Respect the Constitution which is the expression of your sovereign will. The government is your government. It has been established for your safety and welfare. Obey the laws and see that they are observed by all and that public officials comply with their duties.

4. Pay your taxes willingly and promptly. Citizenship implies not only rights but obligations.

5. Safeguard the purity of suffrage and abide by the decisions of the…

Simoun's lamp has been lit, finally.. not by one but by the many!

"So often have we been haunted by the spectre of subversion which, with some fostering, has come to be a positive and real being, whose very name steals our serenity and makes us commit the greatest blunders... If before the reality, instead of changing the fear of one is increased, and the confusion of the other is exacerbated, then they must be left in the hands of time..."
Dr Jose Rizal "To the Filipino People and their Government"
Jose Rizal dominates the Luneta, which is sacred to the Philippine nation as a place of martyrdom. And many perhaps all of those executed in the Luneta, with the exception of the three Filipino secular priests martyred in 1872, have read Rizal's El Filibusterismo. Dr Rizal's second novel is a darker and more sinister one that its prequel but has much significance across the century and more after it was published for it preaches the need for revolution with caveats,  which are when the time is right and who will instigate it.

Flame trees in bloom

The hottest summer courtesy of El Nino in at least 10 years gave runners and walkers in the University of the Philippines Diliman campus a visual treat. This year the flame trees Delonix regia are in full bloom!
In past summers it wasn't as hot and dry so the trees did not shed their leaves and few blooms were produced.
It is the tropical version of the Japanese Hanami or the Cherry blossom viewing season. While Hanami tells us the fragile impermanence of beauty, the flame tree hanami tells us that summer burns but soon it will all be over.