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Another look at the Zamboanga Airport – departure

This is another one of those late posts. I was in Zamboanga City three months ago. I had wanted to see for myself what the airport now looks like and if they were able to complete the renovations on the airport. Here are the photos I took of the departure area of the airport where most of the renovations were being done the last time we were in Zamboanga just weeks before the lockdown in March 2020.

The driveways are still the same and so is the main concourse, which is limited to VIPs. Most passengers would have to cross this area from where they alighted to get to the terminal.

Entrance to the terminal’s departure area

What used to be a crowded, hot and humid check-in area is now spacious, orderly and better-ventilated.

A general view of the check-in area of the airport

It can now accommodate more passengers and travelers will be more comfortable here compared to how it was before.

Cebu Pacific posted this for guidance of passengers in the number of baggage they are allowed to bring according to what they paid for when they bought their tickets.

Cebu Pacific’s check-in counters

PAL’s check-in counters

Entrance to the lounges – airport personnel check the passengers’ boarding passes and mark the seats on the plane to probably see who are already in the lounge and waiting for the boarding call.

Air Asia check-in counters

The shops and eateries that was in the mezzanine are no more. Like the airport in Panglao there are now fewer and limited food options at the departure lounge. Fortunately, there is a stall operated by the popular restaurant-cafe Chinito’s. They have good coffee, snacks and light meals there.

The lounge area remained the same. I did not see any additional seats or areas for departing passengers. The lighting has improved though.

There’s a separate Heroes’ Lounge for those who are from the armed forces. Zamboanga is an important post for the military and you can see drones either flying or on the ground at the air force base in Zamboanga. Andrews Air Base is just across the airport and they share the same runway.

Gate assigned to Air Asia

Gates assigned to Cebu Pacific 

PAL’s gates are just beside the one assigned to Air Asia

A PAL jet preparing to load luggage and freight

Our Cebu Pacific plane uses the more passenger-friendly ramps for the forward door.

I will post more photos of airports once I am able to visit other cities once again. I am already looking forward to traveling to Cagayan De Oro via Laguindingan Airport. And perhaps my first overseas trip since December 2019. Meanwhile, I still have to post photos of Mactan’s newer terminal.

Another look at the Zamboanga Airport – arrival

We traveled to Zamboanga earlier last month and it was our first trip to the city since the first lockdowns in 2020. We were supposed to travel in March 2020 to conduct data collection for a full week but then there was the nationwide lockdown implemented to control the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. If we were already there when the lockdowns were implemented, we could have been stranded at our hotel and perhaps spent a few weeks to perhaps a month before we could return to Manila.

We disembarked from the plan using the more sophisticated and senior citizen- and PWD-friendly ramps.

It took longer to get down both in terms of distance and disembarking time.

Other stairs and ramps are shown in the background. I recall only Cebu Pacific had these for their aircraft.

Our first look at the renovated Zamboanga International Airport (Aeropuerto International de Zamboanga in the local language – Chavacano) since February 2020. At the time the roof was already falling apart at different locations.

A look back at the ramp

Passengers walk towards the arrival area of the airport

The baggage claim area is practically the same as in 2020. The only notables are the signs encouraging physical distancing as well as the stickers on the floor that designated where passengers were to position themselves.

As you one can see, people no longer really observe social distancing but all are wearing face masks.

A closer and clearer look at the sign and the floor sticker asking people to practice social distancing

The main driveway of the airport remains closed to general traffic. This is used only for special occasions and VIPs.

A look back to the terminal’s arrival area as we walked to meet up with the driver of our service vehicle while in the city.

Photos from the departure/return leg of our trip in the next post.

Aerial photo: Zamboanga City’s fish canning and bottling factories

As we approached Zamboanga City’s airport last week, my colleague and I surveyed the landscape trying to identify landmarks. He was quite good at this being a geographer/transport planner. We took a few photos from the plane and one is this shot of the fish port and factories in Barangay Recodo along the national highway.

Canning and bottling factories lined along the Zamboanga City coast with are mostly fishing vessels anchored off-shore.

There is still an abundance of aquatic resources in the Sulu Sea where these vessels go for fishing. These should be more than enough for domestic as well as typical international demand. Unfortunately, there are alleged foreign trawlers or vessels poaching our resources. These should be seriously looked into by our coast guard and navy.

Zamboanga City Integrated Bus Terminal

I open the year by sharing photos of the Zamboanga City Bus Terminal. It is a ‘central’ terminal as most most buses terminate here and cannot proceed to the city center. At the terminal, passengers may transfer between buses, jeepneys and vans.

View of the terminal from the national highway. There are driveways leading to and from the terminal from the highway and one can appreciate the expanse between the facility and the main access road.

There are covered walks connecting the terminal to the national road.

Provincial buses and long-distance vans at the terminal

Provincial bus arriving at the terminal

Jeepneys at the terminal

Motorcycles parked along a shaded area. The lamp’s vintage design seems to be a good accent to the terminal.

Close-up showing the spacious parking area shared by cars, jeepneys, motorcycles and even tricycles

Another look at the covered walkways leading to the national highway. Not all public transport go to the terminal because of the fees and the distance for the diversion from the highway. 

Jeepneys waiting to be filled with passengers prior to departure

A look at the front of the terminal shows a wide driveway and the connection of the covered walkway to the main entrance

Another look at the integrated terminal from the highway

We will be evaluating the terminal soon as part of a study we are doing for the city. More photos and some assessments about its features soon!

A Blessed Christmas to all!

I just wanted to greet everyone a Merry Christmas!

[Photo is of Christmas tree at Plaza Pershing, Zamboanga City]

Snapshots on a Zamboanga trike

I like taking photos from the vehicle when I’m traveling. It doesn’t matter whether I am on a car, on a bus or even a motorcycle as long as it is safe and there’s no danger of dropping my camera or my phone. Here are a few photos taken as we were on a tricycle in Zamboanga.

Old building on a corner of a street in Zamboanga showed how buildings in the downtown area were built. The ground floor is likely a shop, store or office while the upper one is likely to be a home. From the photo, it becomes obvious that pedestrians were protected against the elements (sun or rain) for this arcade type of development.

Inside the tricycle, the fare rates are printed on the side car. That includes the discounts that are supposed to be given for senior citizens and students.

At the transport terminal of a major mall in the city, the lines are long for taxis. However, there are few taxis serving the city and the usual mode of transport that are basically 3-wheeler taxis (the tricycles) wait for passengers.

Sign warning against abusive tricycle drivers who overcharge their passengers. There are penalties including a fine of 4,000 pesos (about 80 USD).

I will post more photos of Zamboanga scenes next month when we head to Zamboanga for some field work. That will give me the opportunity to take a lot of photos as we make an initial assessment of road safety around selected schools in the city.

Back in Zamboanga – arrival

I was back in Zamboanga last week for a short workshop. We were supposed to arrive just before 6AM as we took the first flight from Manila. Our flight was delayed, however, and we arrived around 7:30AM instead. I will write about this in another post. Meanwhile, here are some photos upon our arrival in Zamboanga International Airport.

We deplaned from the rear door of the aircraft and that afforded me this shot of the plane and the terminal.

I admire the architecture of the airport terminal. It is an example of architecture appropriate for the city/locale with its rich cultural heritage.

Luggage of arriving passengers are unloaded from the aircraft while a tanker refuels the plane. You can see the fuel hose attached to the wing of the aircraft.

Passengers enter the arrival area of the terminal

Passengers and stevedores crowd around the single baggage conveyor at the claim area.

We found this interesting tarp as we exited the airport terminal showing some statistics on Zamboanga’s population.

Zamboanga airport departure

Returning to Manila after our business in Zamboanga was completed, we rented a van to take us to the airport. I also took the opportunity to take more photos of the airport.

I think the sign should state “departing” instead of “departure”

The check-in counters have windows, which I found to be unusual as similar counters in other airports like Cebu, Davao and Iloilo are open.

Spacious check-in lobby of the terminal

Posted on the windows at the check-in counters are information on items to be declared and those prohibited or not allowed on carry-on (hand carried) luggage.

Here’s another sign pertaining to valuable, fragile and prohibited items for checked-in and carry on luggage

Ground floor pre-departure area

The airport has a relatively spacious pre-departure area considering the terminal is older than the likes of Iloilo, Bacolod/Silay, Puerto Princesa and Laguindingan.

At the back are wood and steel benches typical of what you might find in parks rather than in an airport terminal. Perhaps these were placed here to provide more seats to waiting passengers?

At the Second Floor are concessionaires selling food, drinks and souvenir items.

A view of our turnaround aircraft

Approaching to board our aircraft bound for Manila

A look back at the Zamboanga airport terminal

Zamboanga airport arrival

We traveled to Zamboanga City last August for a project there. It was my first time in Zamboanga so I made sure to take lots of photos as we went around. Of course, I took a lot of photos of the airport upon arrival and as we departed the city after a quick 3-day stay. Here are photos taken when we arrived at the airport.

The airport terminal has a unique architectural design

View of the control tower from our taxiing aircraft

There was light rain when we arrived so the tarmac was wet

Airline staff provided an umbrella for each passenger as we walked from the aircraft to the terminal

A look back at our aircraft as our baggage was starting to be off-loaded

Greetings in the local dialect, which is a mix of Visayan and Spanish

The baggage claim area greets arriving passengers

View of the terminal exit from the arrival/baggage claim area – the space reminded me of GenSan airport, which has practically the same layout

Baggage claim area

Pier type tracks

Arriving passengers cross the driveway to meet up with relatives, friends or whoever’s picking them up. Some proceed to get a tricycle to the city.

A lookback at the airport terminal exit

Airport terminal driveway – view of the departure wing from the arrival wing

View of the arrival area from the parking area for CAAP employees

Egress road from the airport

There are no taxis in Zamboanga and tricycles provide the main mode of public transport for arriving or departing passengers.
Airport entrance and security check