Tuesday, August 9, 2011

At The Tacloban Airport

Nothing new really. I just need to tell you some thoughts that came to mind. Like? Like there’s nothing new hahaha! And, THAT is becoming a problem. What’s THAT? That there is nothing new aahehehe. Am I confusing you? Well, I wanted to, and at least I succeeded hehe! I have got nothing to do now, sitting at a turo-turo some 50 meters away from Tacloban’s DZR airport, so am jotting things to while time away…

Remember that pic of the Grand Tours driver I showed in the previous story? Yeah, I took that picture at 2:44PM. And behind me was already the check-in area of Tacloban’s airport. So I was a bit early checking-in for my 5:10PM flight to Cebu since counters would open at 3:10PM, right?! Thanks to Mr. Speedy of a driver hehe! I went in anyway and oi-oi-oi, the counter was already open. Whoa! So I checked-in

They (Airphil Express) have a new check-in counter. But oh pity them, their new counter is no bigger than a streetside hamburger joint or a sari-sari store! At least its new! Look at the picture here, yep, behind the guard. The girl at the edge of Airphil’s counter (near the weighing scale) will only need to pull her elbow backwards and she’d be banging that white wall. And to think, that space behind her is their passage way towards their baggage staging area (if we can call it that). Now look at the guy in white t-shirt (still at the same counter). Yep, him who is below the letters “L” and “E” on that AirphilExpress signage. Its wider behind him just a bit. But if he steps back, just 1 step back, he’d be leaning on that wall! Kairo ano? At least, they were just processing passengers for my 5:10PM flight to Cebu. A small aircraft, therefore fewer passengers.

To the right edge of that picture is already the terminal fee counter and entry to the pre-departure area or passenger holding area. Oh, same picture above, and let’s talk about Cebu Pacific Air. There are more people there as passengers were checking in for their 4:30PM flight to Manila and 4:40PM flight to Cebu. Most passengers were even already checked-in. Ah as for Zest Air, their counters are already empty since flight left at 1:40PM.

Good for Philippine airlines, it has the whole half of this small check-in area. And its not crowded (yet) since they have many counters for their last flight that is 5:50PM to Manila. That is the beautiful picture in this paragraph hehe. Come to think of it, they have such a big space when they only have 3 daily flights to Manila while Cebu Pacific has 5. Plus 1 flight to Cebu also on a daily basis too. The planes they use are about the same size and capacity anyway. But, PAL was first (in fact solo in the past) at this airport, right?! So, they probably have the right to claim the big space. Hmm, ikaw na ang mauna hehe! I would have thought it kind and reasonable if PAL instead shared a part of their space with Airphil. They're sisters anyway. Proof of that? All of them PAL check-in agents will be using the system that Airphil now use. See? they could even share the same computers if need be. Happy pa kapitan Lucio kasi tipid!

Anyway, after check-in, I went to the airconditioned pre-departure area. Yep, the holding area, waiting area, boarding area, whatever it is called. After I passed my bag through the x-ray machine, ayiyiiiiiiii, the place teemed with a lot of people. I walked towards the area near the comfort rooms, all seats virtually taken – by either people or bags or laptops. Well yes, mostly people. Some were standing by the airconditiong boxes for a cooler wait while their bags occupied the seats. Others were seated up front near the gates on rows of seats facing most of the passengers. Hehehe kalain.

It was still early at 2:57PM, way too early for my 5:10PM flight for me to be sitting in that crowded waiting lounge where there was a constant din of passengers talking, that the public address was not easy to hear. So I decided to get out of the airport, to find a saner place for me to wait for my flight – where I could also smoke hehe! I went to a turo-turo named “sunrising canteen" just across the building. Argh, no coke! So I had mountain dew and siopao, bantering sporadically with a talkative mynah bird and playing with a cute young dog that doesn’t seem to have a voice hehe. The doggy liked eating the outer dough of my siopao! Yes, the dough, not the paper lining! Kayo talaga, sama ng isip nyo! But soon, the place got too crowded too – even with two separate customers being asked by the waiter to sit with me on my table.

Ah, I walked over towards this row of turo-turo near the airport’s tower. I chose ‘Jet Setter Canteen’ and that’s where am writing things now – in front of a bottle of water and amidst the midafternoon heat, argh! Anyway, what happened ever to that planned new airport in this place? I remember many years ago, there was a replica, a scale-model of what was supposed to become the new terminal building. I even mused that it looked like DVO, ILO and BCD. I wonder, is it ever going to materialize? I wonder when?! I think I remember that that new building was supposed to be part of 7 in the country. If I count the 3 above, plus the ongoing Laguindingan airport for CGY that would be 4 out of 7. will Tacloban’s be 5th, 6th, 7th or nth? Anyone knows, please?

As for now. My designated waiting area when arriving early at the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport of Tacloban is decidedly, any of these turo-turos. I hope it does not rain now, for how can I cross to the terminal huhuhu! I believe in the old saying that when it is too uncomfortably hot and humid, its about to rain. Later please?! When my flight is already boarded? Please? Ah, the skies seem to be listening hehe!

Oh well, and I will be in the same situation again, come end of month :(

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