Gone fishing… or should I say diving.

Written by admin on January 5, 2009 – 8:52 am -

My number of posts have gone down significantly during the past few months primarily due to work related reasons and on the 21st of December I left Seoul on a cold Sunday morning to head for the Philippines to spend the holidays there. The highlight of my trip was spent with my family in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan Philippines. 

Links :

Marina De Bay

Island Divers


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Posted in Philippines, Travel | No Comments »

Qantas Boeing 747-400 emergency landing

Written by admin on July 25, 2008 – 9:55 pm -

A Qantas Boeing 747-400 bound for Melbourne, Australia from Hongkong diverted to Manila for an emergency landing at Ninoy Aquino International Airport after a rupture in its fusalage occurred somewhere over the South China sea. 

All passengers are reported to be ok. Here’s a video from the BBC.

 

 


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NAIA T3 Open for business

Written by admin on July 23, 2008 – 3:44 pm -

Mothballed since 2002 due to legal and structural reasons, NAIA’s (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) Terminal 3 is finally operational albeit partially and initially for domestic flights. First to use the terminal was Cebu Pacific’s ATR 72 turboprop bound for Caticlan. PAL Express will also be using the new terminal  next week. 

Soft launching the new terminal for domestic operations is probably a good move since it will give airport authorities a chance to iron out the bugs associated with most new airport openings without having to worry about the more complicated nature of international operations.

Unlike other new airports in the asian region, NAIA’s Terminal 3 seems to be yet just another stand-alone structure, not much thought has been given into how it fits into the rest of the existing airport. For starters how do passengers with connecting flights get to the other terminals? The only way is to physically exit the terminal and commute through the traffic clogged streets to get to another terminal. What about transiting passengers? Do they have to clear immigrations and customs too to get to another terminal?

From an architectural stand point, the terminal doesn’t look too shabby but compared to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi or South Korea’s Incheon International Airport, T3 looks somewhat like a domestic terminal, I’m aware that the structure was designed in 2000 but even during those days, most modern structures were constructed with steel and glass and were more of cylindrical designs rather than the boxy form of T3.

Lastly from an operational perspective, how much traffic can NAIA’s two runway’s handle. The most utilized runway is called runway 06 and runway 24 which span over 6000 ft from SLEX to the Multinational access road in Sucat Paranaque because it can handle large aircraft such as 777 and 747′s, the second runway is much shorter and is used mostly by smaller aircraft. In contrast, Incheon International Airport just opened up a third runway in additional to its existing two parallel 6000ft runways.  So can we expect more delays in departures and arrivals due to airport traffic?

In the long term I do hope that they maintain all of these structures properly and no let it derriorate into the pathetic state that NAIA Terminal 1 has become.


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Posted in Philippines | 1 Comment »

Irresponsible driver…

Written by admin on May 28, 2008 – 11:06 am -

I was just surfing YouTube trying to find videos of Pinoys living in Seoul when I chanced upon this video of a Pinoy wannabe streetracer recklessly driving on the westbound 88 (Olympic Expressway). Fortunately the driver did not get into any accident. I just feel that we should be a little bit more responsible when we are overseas as our actions affect how we are seen as a nation by our host country.

If an accident did happen then I’m sure the local newspapers would probably read ‘Filipino driver driving recklessly injures family on the Olympic Expressway’, that would probably result in future Filipino expats having a more difficult time in obtaining a drivers license in South Korea. The vehicle may not have been traveling fast but weaving in and out of the lanes is still a reckless thing to do if you ask me.

Filipino’s have some pretty good traits such as being hard workers, generous and loyal, lets try not to add more some of the bad stereotypes we already have.


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Posted in Philippines, Seoul | No Comments »

O.E.C. woes

Written by admin on May 22, 2008 – 7:03 pm -

For some reason I really hate the term OFW, maybe it’s because of all the hassles associated with it. When my family was living with me, we seldom went back to visit the Philippines. More often that not, we’d go someplace else to spend our vacation such as Singapore, Japan or the United States. Why? Because I always found it so troublesome for me to get the paperwork or clearance to leave Manila as an OFW.

I’m sure pretty sure not one single OFW looks forward to spending almost half a day at the POEA office in Ortigas just to get a piece of paper called an Overseas Employment Certificate (O.E.C) that will allow he or she to leave the country. Personally I don’t know why you need to get an O.E.C, isn’t a valid work visa enough? I get it, it’s a revenue source for the government. So why not have an OFW Card, that has the same validity as your current work visa? That way you only renew once a year. Oh wait! We do have that card, the one with the useless magnetic stripe and all. While in line at the POEA office last year, someone told me that for a brief moment that magnetic stripe did work and the holder did not have to fill out endless forms since once swipe of the card yielded all the personal information of the card holder. Well that was for a brief moment, now it’s back to all the paperwork that has to filled up.

I really envy the OFW’s from Singapore, they can just go to Lucky Plaza (a place where most Filipino’s hang out) and buy their OEC’s from most shops there. A few years back the Philippine Embassy in Seoul issued OEC’s but for some reason they don’t do it anymore. I just don’t get it. OEC from a store at Lucky Plaza but not from the Philippine Embassy, go figure??? After calling the Filipino Workers Resource Center at the Embassy here in Seoul I was told that I can go straight to the POEA office at the airport an apply for the OEC there. A bit scary if you ask me, especially if you’re leaving that day and they tell you that you can’t get your OEC at the airport, that leaves you where?

I know that there are improvements such as fast track delivery, presenting the OEC at airline counter instead of getting a stamp at the airport etc…, but for me spending the better part of a short vacation at the POEA just to get a piece of paper that says I’m allow to leave the country is not cool.

There is a silverlining in the clouds, the POEA in conjuction with Globe and SMART (I have no idea why Globe or SMART but I’ll leave that for a seperate post) are developing a card that will replace the current OEC system. This one is what I call B.W.I.S.I.T, Believe It When I See It.

Anybody out there who’s got a better way please chime in…


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Posted in Philippines, Travel | 2 Comments »