Okay, this is me ranting away.

My family was one of the many affected by the runway problem here in Kalibo yesterday. They said the airport was closed at 2 PM. We checked in at the Caticlan airport (SeztAir flight) at 2 but left at past 3 but were not even advised that there's a problem in Kalibo. We got to Kalibo at 5 PM and saw hundreds of stranded passengers who were clueless because no airport representative was making any official announcement. Understandably, foreigners were upset because they were going to miss their flights back home.

They said they were hoping they could fix the problem which was why there wasn't an earlier advisory made. But, since it was a runway problem and security is foremost in airport operations, I should think that they should still have made the advisory and closed the airport to really investigate and fix the problem. Surely, a runway problem that was big enough to cancel flights for will not be resolved in an hour or two. Turned out, there were 16 PAL, Cebu Pacific and ZestAir flights that were cancelled yesterday. So that's between 400-600 passengers easily affected.

And Kalibo being an international airport, one would think that they'd at least have a ready directory of inns, pension houses and hotels in the area that they could hand out to the stranded passengers. And how about footing the bill for meals and accommodations? Or just transport fare at least (tricycles charge between P50-80 just to transport people from the airport to the nearest budget inn)? And really, how about showing your face to the people, after all, you collect terminal fees?

ZestAir personnel got numbers of their passengers (those who were proactive enough to do something) but they also didn't really run down their list to make calls.

But really, tourism has just suffered majorly with the way they've handled this situation. And I really want to harangue someone, anyone, over this!


  1. I just want to say that Filipinos are arguably the most creative, if not the most intelligent people on the planet (I know this is a broad, perhaps stereotypical observation, and while I firmly believe "people are people" no matter their nationality, it's a positive comment so I'll let it stand).

    Given that, what continues to amaze is the ability to shoot oneself in the foot on home soil. As a tourist, I have flown PAL. Once in the air, it's a great airline. The problem is getting in the air. Delays, cancellations, etc. For some reason, once in the Philippines, it is assumed that "filipino time" is ok. Well, for the rest of us, it is not. Where I come from 2:00pm means 2:00pm!

    Anyway, sorry to vent... I just hate to see so much potential squandered. I am even aware that that comment may offend the sensitivities of some. I just feel like saying it. I'm just one person, and most likely "wrong", but for what it's worth, there you go!

    Anyway, I've always enjoyed your blog, even if I have only visited sporadically. BTW, no "White Bird" stories lately? Are you getting out?

    Chan Thai Long

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