I had to fetch visitors coming from Europe via Manila on April 29, the day of the visit of the American president Obama. The result of this was seen on the flight board. More or less all flight have been delayed courtesy of Obama.
Anyway, it gave me a lot of time to have a good look at the pride of Laguindingan International Airport, what it is called.
Come along with me. The flight had been delayed again.
I began searching for a decent restaurant. The only thing what came close to it was three mobile kiosks with tents and some tables and seats. For guests more like camping style.
When you recognize the airport tower in the back, don’t mind, it’s for decoration only. Flights are still handled by the old Lumbia airport in Cagayan de Oro. This tower here is not fitted yet with all the technical features needed. So better not to come when the forecast is rain for the day. Your flight will be canceled or return to your origin.
Not finding any place in the makeshift restaurants I decided to have a look from the observation deck. Yes, you guessed right, it was closed as usual.
So I had to visit the men’s room or c. r. as it is called here, meaning ‘comfort room’. Much comfort I didn’t feel, the place looked filthy. From the faucets and in the urinal the water was flowing all the time. The utensils of the janitor and the floor didn’t look inviting.
There is a new metered taxi available with plenty of cars. The taxis can be hired to bring passengers from the airport to their destinations. From the city they can be taken from designated places like hotels and malls, but only to go to the airport no destinations in town or elsewhere.
After two planes have landed, no one has taken one of those taxi cabs.
I saw this group of flight attendants coming a long way by walking from somewhere behind the parked taxis. They had to walk all the way in the heat of the summer sun.
Departing passengers are lucky when there is a day when the x-ray machines at the departure area are working. Otherwise they will be delayed in long lines to wait to have their lagguage inspected by hand.
This airport was build with the help of the Korean Government. This marker is a reminder of it. The marker has been vandalized the same as the plot with the flowers. Broken and uprooted and unwatered flowers all over the place with a decorative plastic bag with garbage.
One of the attractions are the various transport vendors. When the first passenges of a plane coming out of the arriving hall, they start jumping up and down and shouting to get the attention of the passangers to book their transport. They are not allowed to leave their place and come forward. To enforce and dicipline them, is a what looks here like a conductor of orchestra. He has to shout back and threaten them to stay in their place and at the same time trying to direct traffic. It’s quite funny to watch. It’s like a game.
For the passangers with a trolley and if they don’t pass the exit with the mark for the disabled has to face the curb. Like on the picture, she smiles of embarrasment, coz when she tried to get her trolly to the road, the lagguge fell off. She cannot use the one meter away exit, because it is blocked by a railing.
People have to wait for planes to arrive. The only sitting capacity for the whole airport who are not passengers are these three benches on the island between to roads. Not to mention, that it is one of unsafest places for kids.
For the rest, please wander around and find your own place where you can squatt.
Mothers with small children have a really hard time here. There is no place for them to breastfeed or change diapers than the ladies room or the open space in public.
My guess is, that at least the half of the passengers and visitors to the airport who will welcome or bid farewell to relatives, business accociates or others are Moslems.
There is no prayer room for them, too. They will have to do their prayers in the open.
OUT OF ORDER says the sign of the seat and that’s what I think about this airport.
Now, I need a few suggestions what I’m supposed to tell my arriving and departing guests when they arrive or leave the Gateway to Northern Mindanao.
I need also some suggestion what I can tell them about the long lasting brown outs every day in the city.
The only positve thing I can think of this airport are the new trolleys for lagguage. They are brandnew and for free to use.