Silay Spanking Brand New Airport

they finally retired the old bacolod city airport and recently opened the Silay Domestic Airport to service northern negros occidental. narrow and short are perfect adjectives for the old airport, with the take off end literally ending a few meters from a gorge that plunges down to a river.

many times i have recited prayers with increasing speed and fervor as we approached that point. many times i have practiced my aaaaieeeee as i imagined the plane overshooting the end. at least that would have been a dramatic ending hmmm?

you can say i was curious as to how the new Silay Airport looked like when we flew in over the weekend (June 27-29). curiosity turned into pleasant surprise as i spied a sleek looking complex that can accommodate four 747s in its landing bay. (click on read.more)

surprise surprise, the baggage claim area had working conveyor lines with digital signboards indicating flight numbers. that made me nostalgic remembering how the old porter boys used to throw the luggage over metal rails. really great when you want your carefully wrapped porcelain 16-in-1 set delivered to you 1000-in-1 instead.

It was only when we flew back that i got to check out the interiors and it was a comfortable airconditioned lounge that awaited passengers - again, i miss the cooling feel of sweat trickling down my forehead in the old airport.

a number of coffee stalls lined the back selling sandwiches and pastries, that sorta reminded me of the old carinderia just outside the old airport complex that served hot fish tinola soup, longganisa, fried egg garnished with flies errr... garlic bits. that perhaps, is the only redeeming part of the old airport.

on the other hand Silay is not necessarily "accessible". which means that you have to spend extra to board the shuttle service (Php 100 / head) or get robbed by taxi drivers charging Php 400 for the 15 kilometer ride to Bacolod City. if you're a hacienda owner with a fleet of carabaos to pick you up from the airport, then well and fine - but not if you're an average joe. like the rest of us.

Yes, if you've ever traveled to Bacolod previously via the old airport, you can take a good whiff of the smog the moment you land and step out the airport right smack in the middle of the city. that convenience is gone, i guess that's the price we pay for a better airport that can potentially service more flights and lure investors in.

on a bright note, if ever the airplane overshoots the runway, you end up in sugar cane fields. which means i probably have to practice another line aside from aaaaaaiiiieeeeeee.


jj said…
good one... my sentiments exactly... in the old airport, it's either you die in the beach or in the river.... at least now, we have sugacane to slow down the crash and with extra caramel aroma from the burnt sugar to boot.

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