Thursday, January 31, 2013



This incident happened last January 22, 2013. But during my recent trip last September and November 2013, arriving passengers are now allowed to get regular metered taxis at the Departure area.  Thanks for a petition on after some passengers managed to "film" their experience with their smartphones and posted the incident on Youtube.   

Long line as passengers wait for a yellow airport taxi.  The regular white taxis are
no longer allowed to take passengers at the Departure Area. 

I arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 at half past 1 in the afternoon.  That day, I was looking forward to go home to have a decent sleep.  I've been working for more than 12-hours per day during the Sinulog Festival in Cebu and a good rest was what my body really longed for.  

I'm not new to airports in Manila.  If you don't want to take the Yellow Airport Taxis, you may take a bus that will bring you to the MRT station in EDSA for only 20 pesos, or you may take the regular white taxis at the Departure area on the 3rd level.  

I opted to take the regular white taxis and I was glad to see them lined up outside!  No need to wait, I told myself.  But, the moment I got in, the airport guards suddenly asked me to get out and told the taxi driver to leave.  I asked why and they told me that these regular taxis are no longer allowed to take passengers.  It was the new order from the airport management that took effect that morning.  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

CLARK IS IT! Trinoma-Clark Airport Lounge

The first time I flew from Clark Airport/DMIA, I had to go to Cubao and catch a bus going to Pampanga (Dau Terminal).  From there, a tricycle ride will bring me to another terminal at the entrance of Clark Freeport Zone where I need to ride a fully-packed jeepney (you can rent the entire jeep if you have extra budget or in a hurry) that will bring me to the airport.  If you're traveling light and have plenty of time to spare, this may not be an issue.  But, holidays are meant to have a convenient experience and this should start from your point of origin, right?

Thankfully, the Trinoma Mall and Clark Airport have come up with a solution to give the increasing number of passengers flying from Clark more convenience and money-saving opportunity.  An all-new Trinoma-Clark Airport Lounge has been formally launched last January 15, 2013 attended by various representatives from major airlines operating in Clark, the Trinoma mall and Tourism officials.  

This is a very good news for budget travellers like most of us!  The Lounge will be open 24/7, with airconditioned and some wi-fi equipped buses that will regularly bring the passengers to and from the airport, for an approximately 1.5 hour trip.  The fare is only 200 Pesos. (Now, if you live in Quezon City, the taxi fare going to NAIA is around 250-300 pesos!).  

The Lounge is also equipped with two large monitors flashing real-time flight status updates. If you find out that your flight is delayed for several hours, you can still have time go around the mall for some last minute shopping (sunblocks, extra bag, flipflops, skincare products, etc.) or even watch a movie if you like!  Don't worry, there's no need to bring along your luggages inside the mall as the Lounge provides a secured luggage counter. 

So, folks, next time you fly, don't be limited by flying through NAIA! Because now, we've got an equally better alternative flying through Clark!  Bon voyage!  

Clark International Airport (Diosdado Macapagal International Airport) caters to a number of local and foreign-owned airlines flying to key tourism hotspots in the Philippines (Kalibo, Puerto Princesa, Cebu, etc.) and in Asia (Singapore, Bangkok, Hongkong, Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Seoul, Taipei, etc.)  

The Lounge is located at the Trinoma Mall, in front of Mindanao Avenue / McDonald's, beside Mercury Drug, Medical City and CD-R King. 

You may contact the Lounge Hotline at 621-3673 for the bus schedules.  

Spacious lobby and monitors give passengers convenience as they wait for their bus ride. 
Bus services courtesy of Genesis, Philtranco and Victory Liner Group. 

Air Asia, one of the active players in regional travel!  Now, everyone can fly! 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Oh My... I'm in SIPALAY!

Very few Filipinos have probably heard of this gorgeous and idyllic beach tucked somewhere south of Negros Occidental.  But, for a number of foreign adventurers and divers (mostly Europeans), they have long discovered this paradise and some have even called this home.  

Sipalay is a quiet seaside town in the southernmost part of Negros Occidental in the Visayas region. It boasts of unspoilt beaches and spectacular diving site where one can see a number of World War II sunken vessels and rich marine life. Only a number of Filipino tourists go here (most of them are from Negros province) but Westerners (mostly divers) are a common presence.  

Monday, January 7, 2013

To Be Young and Free in DINAGYANG FESTIVAL!

Take a Break! 

January marks the start of the year and it also catapults the festive season in the entire Philippine archipelago! 

The Feast of the Black Nazarene opens it all, followed by the Sinulog Festival in Cebu held in honour of the Sto. NiƱo. Smaller celebrations also take place in different cities as a tribute for the Child Saint.  But in the city of Iloilo, a joyous and spirited celebration is also held, filling major streets with loud music as the marauding revellers come in droves with their colourful costumes and props! 

I was still a young boy when I first witnessed Dinagyang Festival.  We used to live in Iloilo that time.  Since then, I never had the chance to go there to be part of this annual Ilonggo merry-making! 

But on my 3_th birthday, I decided to go to be young and free again, just like my childhood days.  And it was a great decision! 


The Novena Mass ends in Baclaran and I rush to get a ride along Roxas Blvd. to reach the CCP Complex before the glorious glaring ball call it a day.  

I was not alone.  Some tourists and locals were also there to marvel at the beauty of the sun slowly disappearing in the horizon.  No doubt a beauty for everyone to see! And the best thing is, it is for free!  

The Sunset at Manila Bay is an enduring image of Manila's identity and natural charm. Some even claim that it's the most beautiful sunset in the world.  Sadly, I heard some news that the bay in this area is being planned to be reclaimed to give way for more development and infrastructure. 

As Filipinos who love our capital city, we should not allow this to happen.  Manila will entirely lose its identity if its magnificent view of the sunset will be obstructed by tall buildings and other infrastructure. 

Let us preserve the beauty of our city.  What we need is to revitalise its historic quarters,   keep it clean and crime-free and improve/preserve the existing infrastructures.  Tourism is the key for this city to be on its feet again.  And it is not impossible if the city's officials will only have a world-class vision of this city who was once the envy of its neighbouring sisters in Asia.  

Please support the petition to preserve Manila Bay...