Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) of Manila’s Terminal 4 is better known to locals as “Domestic Airport” or “Domestic Terminal.” It is located at the end of Runway 13.
Back in the 1990s, it served majority of Philippine Airlines’ domestic flights. Then after the deregulation came, Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines, and others that called it home. When PAL moved out, it became NAIA’s main domestic terminal for non-PAL flights. When the budget carrier trend went on full force, the terminal wasn’t able to cope up with the increasing passengers. Then when NAIA Terminal 3 opened, Cebu Pacific and AirPhil moved out. Today, Zest Air (formerly Asian Spirit), SeAir-Tiger Airways, and other airlines make this their home. Terminal 4 is better known to be the hub for island getaway flights such as Boracay, El Nido, and even Batanes.
Di na ako makikisabay sa trending topic about the recent “Thrilla in NAIA” by Mon Tulfo and Claudine and Raymart Santiago which I guess a lot of blogs, forums, and in social media, are talking about. Anyway, the airport is a place where stress levels may go up. I have one experience, but at least managed to control myself and didn’t go barbaric. But I was a bit tense, since it was my first time.
I always show up at the airport, either 2 hours before the departing time (or even way earlier) or an hour before the flight if I’m done web check-in. It’s a contest of getting the best seat on the plane (always on window please, Alpha or Fox Trot). It was just recent when I started using seat selector, but not on all flights. But the morning of April 20th in Manila’s NAIA Terminal 3, something came in. It was my first time…and it wasn’t a pleasant one. My first late check-in. The first time I was left by my flight!
Today’s Labour Day in the Philippines. A public holiday celebrating or commemorating the importance of the workers and the day wherein freedom to express opinions about wages, working conditions, economy, society and the like are most tackled about. Yet there is one road in Manila that has been synonymous to Labour Day, activism, civic rights groups, protests and even the phrase “struggle for freedom and justice”—that is Mendiola. Headlines parati yan (that street is always on headlines).
I was supposed to write about my personal Visita Iglesia last Holy Thursday, but I couldn’t help but notice the journey that we took, the characters and faces that the streets of Manila shows that Thursday. In this blogpost, I would like to go back to two streets which are two streets that are contrasting with each other, yet a mirror of Manila’s character: Escolta and Carriedo.
Manila has been the capital of the islands since the Spanish colonial era, and it has been a hub of political power and of commerce. From the northern banks of Pasig River, just across the walled city now called Intramuros, this became Manila’s economic hub because it’s near the docks. Between the districts of Binondo and Santa Cruz, Escolta’s prominence rose. On another side, connecting Quiapo to Santa Cruz is the busy street market of Carriedo.
San Beda Abbey Chapel (of Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat) was our last stop last Holy Thursday, probably an unexpected one since we thought that there are no other churches beyond Mendiola. Then we followed the crowd entering San Beda College, at the heart of the Benedictine Monks’ hub of education. The San Beda Abbey Chapel as locally called, is located in Mendiola Street, right within its campus. Its façade is covered with trees, which its architectural design is predominantly neo-Gothic, with two belfries that remind me of those old universities in UK.
It was 2008 when I was still a part-time researcher for the inventory of old homes and buildings in Manila for Ateneo’s project, together with HCS member Jeffery Yap. One of the homes on our Sampaloc inventory was a green two-storey house located in Lepanto Street (now S. Loyola). Amidst the colossal buildings that surround it, the petite home still maintains its suburban feel. When we knocked the gates and asked for an interview, it wasn’t just an ordinary person who welcomed us. It was former senator Eva Estrada-Kalaw–unexpectedly.
Wouldn’t it be grander if we conclude the Philippine arts month in a festive mood? Pasinaya was all about that last 26th of February, 2012 in its seventh season. It brings Philippine artists all over the country in a celebration of music, dance, theater, visual, film, literary, workshops and a lot more—organized by none other than the Cultural Center of the Philippines. This year, with more than 100 activities related to arts and culture, thousands of students, families, individuals, local and even foreign tourists flocked the CCP Main Theatre (National Theater or Tanghalang Pambansa)—currently the largest arts gathering in the country (and I tell you, there were a lot of people…a lot!)
The US Embassy Manila is the office of the United States of America government in Philippine soil, located just besides the old Dewey Boulevard, now Roxas Boulevard. The Ambassador of the United States to the Philippines makes this as his office, and at the same time this is the first gateway for Filipinos who like to see, study, work, or even live in the US. The US Embassy in Manila is more than just a diplomatic office and a visa entry; it has history to share in the formation of what is now the Philippine Republic.
I got invited by the US Embassy to join Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. for an event celebrating Internet Freedom last March of 2009. It was my second time entering US territory…in the Philippines. My first time was when I was a kid when my dad has an engineering project. The US Embassy in Manila has one of the toughest security measures in the country, given the United States’ prominence in world affairs—no photos are allowed within the premises, nor even take photos outside the compound (reason why I have limited photos here)—except on special permission or areas that are allowed to take photos. Cellphones are also not allowed inside, except with permission coming from the upper management of the embassy.
It was Saturday morning, 7th of May 2011, at Manila’s busiest thoroughfare, EDSA. Southbound lane at the loading and unloading area just across our office at EDSA Central. It was one heck of a humid morning. My office-mates/colleagues have already alighted a Ayala Ibabaw-bound bus. I am waiting for my bus bound for Dasmarinas, Cavite. I have kept away my important belongings in my bag: wallet, my cellphone, and my ID. My headphone was inside my shirt. I do this everytime I’m on that area–just for safety. For numerous times my important belongings have been stolen, I need to be vigilant. Yet the following unfortunate scenario happened… …continue reading