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Tagbilaran – Panglao Airport Departure

With the recent popularity of my post on the Tagbilaran-Panglao Airport, I was encouraged to write this second part about the airport. Following are photos taken during our departure from Panglao. I took photos from the driveway, the check-in area and the pre-departure area and lounges. I hope this helps my readers including and especially travelers and tourists.

Curbside at the new airport – the area is very spacious and should be able to handle the steadily increasing number of passengers and well-wishers at the airport.

Passengers alight from their vehicles near the Philippine Airlines office at the terminal.

Air Asia ticket office near the terminal curbside

Spacious check-in area – I was just discussing the requirements and standards for check-in counters and frontage to my students this last semester.

Check-in counters for PAL

The check-in counters for Cebu Pacific were crowded when we arrived at the terminal.

Stickers on the floor mark where passengers are supposed to position themselves to comply with health protocols (i.e., social distance).

CebPac has their self check-out portals at the airport for those who have not done their online check-in and to facilitate and expedite check-in procedures.

There’s a separate section for international departures. The airport used to service international flight (before the pandemic). I assume this is where immigration (i.e., passport and visa control) and customs would have been located for International travel.

After checking-in, travelers are greeted by very spacious lounges

This is the ground floor. Visible is the elevator and escalators to the second level pre-departure area for domestic flights. I assume this is a mirror image of the international departures wing.

Unfortunately, there are only two kiosks at the terminal when we were there. One is this stall that sells snacks, sandwiches, instant noodles, and soft drinks and water. There are no souvenir shops or stores for last minute pasalubong shopping.

A view of the tarmac from the lounge

The elevator to the second level lounges and boarding gates.

Stairs and escalators to the second level

One of the boarding gates at the second level

The second level pre-departure area

A look at the ground floor

The other kiosk is by The Bellevue Resort. Their coffee is good but they ran out of food at the time we were there. We thought this was not good considering there were other flights scheduled for the rest of the day and passengers will end up with very limited or no options for meals before their flights.

Another look at the boarding gate and kiosk at the ground level

Another look at the other kiosk at the pre-departure area that sells snacks, light meals and drinks.

Passengers walk towards the tube connecting to aircraft

Bridge connecting the terminal to the aircraft

A PAL plan taking off 

The airport control tower

Baggage being transport for loading unto the aircraft

A family walks to board the awaiting aircraft bound for Manila.

A view of an Air Asia plane that had just arrived and with its passengers just starting to deplane.

This airport is probably one of the better airports in the country now. There is a new airport in Bicol (replacing the old Legazpi Airport) that just started operations recently, which I have yet to visit but is likely better than Panglao in terms of shops and stores. Facilities-wise, this is a modern gateway that should serve the projected number of passengers for Bohol for the next so many years including the expected international operations for the terminal. We are still in the midst of the pandemic but the number of travelers is steadily increasing. And so I wonder how the airport will be once the ‘old normal’ number of visitors return.

They definitely need more shops and stores than the current two kiosks at the airport. They also would need to improve on the ventilation and air-conditioning (it was quite humid inside the airport when we were there – the aircon was not functioning). As a tourist, I am already looking forward to the next trip to Panglao. Hopefully, the airport will be even better on that next trip.

Tagbilaran – Panglao Airport Arrival

The last time we were in Bohol, the airport was still in Tagbilaran City. One had to travel about 45+ minutes if you were staying at a resort in nearby Panglao Island that is part of the province. The old airport was closed (the runway though served as a venue for ) and replaced by a new airport. This one is located in Panglao Island and close to the resorts that are the main attraction of the province.

We deplaned via tube/bridge at the new airport terminal

A photo of the control tower from the bridge

Did the airport terminal architecture take inspiration from Bohol’s famous Chocolate Hills?

The corridors were well lighted, again thanks to the building design.

Our plane at the tarmac or apron unloading luggage and cargo

We arrived at the baggage claim area ahead of most people. The carts were already placed across the conveyor belt by airport staff.

Belt 2 on the other side is for international arrivals. The airport already served international flights before the pandemic. These have yet to resume.

Passengers file unto the baggage claim area to pick up their luggage.

The hallway towards the terminal exit. The toilets are on the left side of the hallway.

The sign indicates international arrivals. The airport currently does not serve international flights but these will likely resume once the pandemic threat is clearly contained. Other airports like Iloilo and Bacolod have also suspended international flights.

The international arrival area at Tagbilaran-Panglao Airport

Airport driveway

Exit towards our destination

A view of the control tower as we headed towards the airport exit gate

The new road connecting to the national road circling Panglao Island, which connects to the local roads leading to the resorts and towns in the island.

It now only takes something like 10 to 15 minutes to many of the resorts in Panglao Island. This is a convenience to tourists. However, the distance from the main island of Bohol (the rest and most of the province) means a longer travel time for Boholanons or Bol-anons to/from their hometowns from/to the airport. This looks to be a non-issue considering the pros of the new airport outweighs its cons.

More on this airport soon!

Disaster preparedness and resilience for the Philippines

The earthquakes that affected mainly the provinces of Bohol and Cebu in central Philippines this morning reminds us of the need to be more prepared for such natural occurring calamities that are practically unpredictable. I like what the Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum stated about the need to check design, materials and construction workmanship for structures in order to have these built in compliance with structural engineering guidelines covering seismic design. These apply also to transport infrastructure like roads, bridges, airports and ports. These are important for relief operations as accessibility is critical to mitigate impacts of disasters.

I post the photos of some of the heritage churches we were able to visit during travels to Bohol in 2008 and 2012 as a reminder of sorts of what we probably have lost in terms of cultural heritage assuming we are unable to restore these structures to their old forms. Perhaps the local (and national) chapters of architects (UAP) and civil engineers (PICE) should pitch in to make sure restoration work will be undertaken with care and of the highest quality.

IMG_2348Bell tower of the Loboc Church in Bohol, which crumbled due to the earthquake

IMG_2352Loboc Church, which was also destroyed by the earthquake

IMG_2379Baclayon Church, also in Bohol, whose watchtower was destroyed by the earthquake

IMG_2374Interior of Baclayon Church

IMG_8003Facade of Dauis Church in Bohol that was also destroyed in the earthquake

IMG_8008Another view of Dauis Church

IMG_8220Interior of Dauis Church

.There are many heritage structures around the country and in the nearby islands of Panay and Negros alone, there are many examples of these that need to be assessed and perhaps fortified in the likely occurrence of a powerful quake in the future. In addition, the damaged roads and bridges and the landslides that have blocked many roads reminds us of the need for more disaster resilient transport infrastructure. Resilience may also mean the provision of redundant infrastructure to ensure alternate routes for relief operations.