Cebu City, Cebu

Sunday, June 03, 2007


On Behalf Of antonio chong

Sent: Friday, May 11, 2007 11:11 PM

To: Rene B. Azurin;

Subject: [RotaryPlus] Fly Cebu Pacific at your own risk!

I used to like taking
the Cebu Pacific because their planes were usualy on time, if not ahead
of schedule. Not any more.

Delayed flights sometimes for more than two hours seems to be a common
thing now with CP. Example: last March 25 from Cebu where many of us
delegates to the Rotary PETs were coming home supposedly on an early
afternoon flight. We were caught unprepared by a 3-hour delay before our
scheduled flight finally managed to leave Cebu airport for Manila! That
day, many of us rotarians agreed that it looks like lately, CP has
wrested the "Plane Always Late" crown from PAL. Would I take CP again?
Not if I can help it!

Rene Azurin < wrote:

you may want to show this to robina so she can show it to her brother.
amazing! and to think lance got "entrepreneur of the year" award for this
airline, ugh! or did he rest on his laurels after that and let service go
to rot?

with this incident, plus the trouble i personally go thru re-booking or
getting a refund for unused tickets, i will NEVER fly cebu pacific again
if i can help it -- specially if the kids are with me!

buti na lang yung sumulat nito may sense of humor pa!)

Interesting post in a blog about the Philippines. Absolutely insane!

just last week i had to fly to hong kong on business so with philippine
airlines full on that day and cathay pacific having 1 flight full and
another cancelled (dont know why) i reluctantly choose cebu pacific..

here is how the story goes...

im booked on the 4.40pm flight ex manila to hong kong..

ok no problems so far..

i arrive at manila airport sunday april 29 at 2pm to check in only to be

sir we are sorry but our flight is 50% over booked and we are going to
have to divert the remaining passengers through cebu to hong kong..

ah.. ok not to bad i guess.. extra 2 hours flying.. i can live with

so at our own cost..(cebu pacific refused) we all made our way over to
the domestic terminal to board our rebooked flight to cebu at 5.40pm
which is due to arrive in cebu at 6.50pm and the flight to hongkong
departs cebu at 9.15pm.

plenty of time in a normal country with a normal airline.

well im checked in at the domestic terminal awaiting to board at 5pm when
it reaches 5.40pm and still no announcement to board..

its now 6pm and still not boarding and no announcement so i wandered over
to the control room where they make announcements and asked whats
happening with the cebu flight...

get this for a reply..

the girl said and i quote "my god i forgot to announce the delay... im in
trouble now.. i will do it now sir.. sorry for that"

ugh.. she FORGOT

announcement now being heard " we regret to inform u that the 5.40pm
flight to cebu will be delayed and boarding will commence at 6.20pm.."

ok so now our arrival in cebu is 7.30pm..

still no problems.. plenty of time to make the connection..

tick tick tick... well u guessed it 6.20pm passes and NOTHING WALA.. over
to the girl at the control room again and this time she is crying..

i ask her about the further delay with the cebu flight and she states
whimpering... "im too shy to announce a further delay sir.. im sorry"

between tears and sobbing i was able to get the information from her..
the scheduled 5.40pm flight to cebu will now depart a 7.40pm

ummm .. that only leaves 25 mins to transfer and connect to the hong kong
flight.. not enough time..

so i go in search of a supervisor...

now if any of u guys have ever attempted to locate an airline supervisor
in the philippines when there are flight delays u will know its virtually
impossible as they go underground or if they are actually a supervisor,
they will not admit it,, thats exactly what was happening here..

bingo.. i find one.. Mr JUHN AGRILLO.. airline ramp controller for cebu
pacific in manila...

i tell him my dilemma that i need to connect with the hong kong flight
from cebu following the overbooking of the manila - hong kong flight at
the directions of cebu pacific and after he views my new ticket issued
over at the international terminal he swings into action...

well at least i thought he did..

he was on his two way radio and then frantically on his cellphone for
about 20 minutes then he reaches for his ballpen and makes some notes on
my ticket..

he stated to me that there will be no problem with the connection as the
aircraft being used for the manila-cebu flight is the same aircraft to be
used for the cebu- hong kong flight and with that in addition he made
arrangements for my 2 bags to be re tagged to go direct transfer to
hongkong and gave me the luggage tags..

in addition he said a airline representative will meet 17 passengers in
cebu and escort them through immigration and back onto the flight in
cebu.. well im impressed and very professionally done i thought..


one thing i forget to remember was where i was.. PHILIPPINES

where telling lies are a past time... u will understand what i mean

ok we are now boarding the flight and arrive at cebu at 8.45pm and was
told the hong kong flight was to be delayed until 9.30pm as its required
for safety a 45 minute turn around for a aircraft is required by aviation

ah.. ok 45 minutes should still not be a problem as the international
terminal in cebu is right next door to the domestic with only a glass
door separating them..

ok out of the aircraft and u guessed it

nothing ..

no one to meet us and no one knew anything about 17 passengers connecting
to hong kong and being diverted by the airline itself due to the
overbooking of the manila - hong kong flight...

no one contacted no one..

it seems our little supervisor in manila was talking to himself on his
cellphone when he was supposably arranging the connecting passengers to
be escorted to the hong kong flight out of cebu and nothing had been
arranged and no one contacted in cebu about this. frantically we had
cebu pacific staff running in all directions until finally at 9.15 all 17
passengers had been issued boarding passes and all luggage (as i said
before) was in transit transferring direct to hong kong so there was no
delays in all of us to be whisked away to immigration.. RIGHT?


remember that glass door i mentioned that separates domestic from
international well its only allowed to be used by airline staff so we all
being escorted out or domestic and a walk up the ramp and in through to
international terminal..

we reach the front door to the international terminal to find no one at
the xray screening... seems they went to eat.. so more time was wasted
until an xray guy was finally located.. asleep in the room beside the
xray machine..

ok we are all through the xray and up to immigration..

everybody is relieved a little..

but wait... whats this...

immigration is closed and it being the last international flight out all
the immigration staff had gone home..

well now its total chaos with all cebu pacific staff including the head
supervisor yelling and screaming at everyone until finally at immigration
officer appeared from a room dressed in street clothes... luckily for us
he was getting changed and ready to go home...

ok we are very quickly through immigration when all of a sudden some
dickhead filipino passenger yells out..Hey we havent paid our filipino
travel tax and there is no none at the counter.. all stop

now this is the philippines... right

and we all know that money is paramount here so it was decided that the
head supervisor would collect the 1620p from the filipino passengers and
pay it tomorrow..

now this should not have affected the 4 foreign passengers as we are not
required to pay that tax and when i mentioned this to the supervisor so

could allow us to go straight to the plane..

he abruptly.. said NO.. everybody stays until the money is paid..

ok its 9.35pm..5 mins past departure time and we are finally being
escorted to the airbridge where the plane SHOULD BE only to find the
airbridge operator and a official of cebu pacific walking towards us with
a surprised look on their faces..

yes guys... u guessed it...

the plane had already left and was taxiing out onto the runway..

a heated argument started between the 2 head airline staff to a point of
almost a fight..

meanwhile there are 17 passengers all standing here watching the greatest
debacle of this century unfold.. apparently the head supervisor who was
with us through the entire check in and immigration process FORGOT (there
is that magic filipino word again) to inform the airbridge controller and
the other head supervisor of the connecting 17 passengers so he cleared
the plane to leave..

can u believe this so far..

im sitting here pissing myself laughing about all this now but wait...
its not finished yet,,

the saga continues..

after everything calmed down i asked the supervisor who cleared the plane
for departure...."did u not notice 17 passenger names on the flight
manifest where not on board when u had the captain and the head flight
attendant sign off on the passenger manifest...

of course.... just a blank stare and no comment

i further asked..."are u aware that there is unaccompanied luggage on
board that aircraft"

now his eyes light up and he immediately contacted the control tower and
the tower contacted the captain who at this point was still waiting to
take off when all of a sudden the two way radio lights up and the guy in

the control tower relays the captains response..

this is unbelievable..

the captains response was..

"thats bad luck for them passengers... this flight is already delayed
and im not coming back to the terminal as i want to be on time for the
return flight from hong kong.. i will notify ground staff at hong kong
and have the luggage held there.."

now the captains name was obtained by me for follow up legal matters
along with a detailed complaint to the airline..


ok plane gone... nothing could be done and we have two supervisors
tearing each other apart..

what a nightmare..

ok it continues..

so now its calmed down a little but many problems now exist

walking back towards immigration i realize that we all have already been
stamped out of the country and as i was right that immigration officer
had left already..

so the cellphones of both supervisors go into overtime trying to find out
what to do about all this...

and while we where waiting for a immigration answer the funniest thing i
have seen for a long time was 13 filipinos trying to get their 1620p
travel tax back from one of the supervisors... no filipino wants to part
with money already in his pocket and i was certain that money was never
destined for the travel tax department...

eventually he gave in and handed back all the money when along comes a
well dressed filipino in a suit and takes the two supervisors aside for a
little heart to heart chat... yeah right..

the supervisors under the instruction from this guy left and not seen
again that night..

ok this guy seems to from the top of the cebu pacific food chain and
starts apoligising and says we have all been re booked on tomorrow nights
flight and told us to all go and come back tomorrow night...

so ok .... i ask who will pay for our accommodation tonight as all of us
had flown from manila on request from cebu pacific,,

he answer and no surprise was..
thats ur problem sir.. we are not responsible... now everyone must leave
the terminal or security will be called...

ok fine with me i say but... now ur instructing people to enter the
philippines illegally as we have not been processed by immigration to re
enter the philippines..

his answer... again..
not our responsibility sir... now will u all please leave and come back
tomorrow night.... with that he left

now picture this..

17 passengers inside a international terminal with no sign of any form of
staff anywhere...

i just had to laugh as i left the terminal and headed for a bar to get
drunk...what everyone else did...


anyhow to finish off.... yes i got to hong kong the next night but
wait...where is my luggage.. > hehe... u guessed it..

they sent it back to cebu on that same return flight... and yes it was
there when i returned...

now i ask u could anyone dream up such a story.. the complaint was issued
to management of cebu pacific yesterday morning and the return email
response i got was just as i expected..

it was a copy of the terms of carriage of the airline..


Posted by :: 9:53 PM :: 1 Comments:

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Public Urinating in Cebu

I have never in my travels seen so much public urinating.
It is very distubing to me, Am I missing something ?

Al Gator

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Monday, October 02, 2006


We are looking for Angelina Abasing. She was supposedly hit by a car and rushed to the Sacred Heart Hospital. She may need some help. We have no way of contacting her,
so if anyone one knows of her from Cebu, we'd really appreciate any information.

She is a volunteer teacher, very honest and helpful to people. She is half English and half Filipino. She is just 28, long brown hair and pretty and slim. This is her picture.

PLEASE HELP - This is a request from a gentleman from England

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Midtown Hotel in Cebu

Welcome to the Midtown Hotel in the heart of Cebu City.
It is nice to enjoy this place and watch the Cebuano life pumping out of the city.
One can have a great view from the highest room in the building and enjoy music and cocktails. During the Sinulog, the biggest annual festival in Cebu, we normally reserve a table in the lounge and can watch the parade in comfort.

The fountain below is Fuente Osmena. It is named after an ex-president of the Philppippes Serging Osmena Sr. He was the president right after the commonwealth period, when the americans occupied our country. His family still rules Cebu.

Photos submitted by Al E Gator

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Cebu-Mactan Bridge

Marcelo B. Fernan Bridge in Mactan, Cebu.

Marcelo Fernan Bridge is an extradosed cable-stayed bridge located in Metro Cebu, Cebu in the Philippines. It spans across Mactan Channel connecting Cebu Island to Mactan Island.

Marcelo Fernan Bridge was opened in August 1999 to decongest the traffic from the older Mactan-Mandaue bridge. The bridge has a total length of 1237 metres (4058.40 feet) with a center span of 185 metres (606.96 feet). The bridge is one of the widest and longest bridge in the Philippines. It was named after Senator Marcelo Fernan, a political figure from Cebu City.

It is a new modern earthquake proof bridge that was financed by the Japanese government as a reparation gesture from the damage done from the second world war. I used to remember before the bridges, we used to ride ferries to the island. Now the bridges has turned Mactan Island into a bustling busy tourist spot. The international airport is located here as well as the Export Processing Zone. Mactan Island is also famous for it's white sand beaches, and numerous plush resorts (high end and low end), and shell and guitar making industry.

Mactan Island is also known as the spot where Ferdinand Magellan died. Ferdinand Magellan was the explorer who discovered the Philippine Islands in the 1500's. He died in the hands of Lapu-Lapu, who was the tribal chief of Mactan Island, and who happens to be the Philippines first national hero.

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Monday, June 05, 2006

cell phones

A friend of mine, Rommel was born in Cebu but his family migrated to the US when he was very young. He hasn't been home for a long time so he was really looking forward to his visit back home because he don't remember too many things. His mom just warned him, that the people there are very poor.

When he got home, he asked his mom, "What do you mean that the people are poor? It looks like everyone got a cell phone."

Yes, it is true, almost everyone I know in Cebu got a cell phone. The people are constantly looking at their phone for text messages but hardly use the phone to call. One time I called a cousin of mine because I thought it was quicker, and she responded that was the first time she got so many calls.

Even our driver in Cebu has a cell phone.

In the streets you will see signs such as "Don't text while driving" or better still, "Don't text while crossing the street!"

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Monday, May 29, 2006

Taxis in Cebu

There are lost of air-conditioned taxis in Cebu. Rates are very reasonable. Normally, you can go around town for a rate of $1.00-$2.00 per trip. It depends where you want to go. If you pay more, than maybe the driver took a lot of unnecessary detours to your destination. Please make sure when you ride a taxi, that the drivers put down the meters. Generally , the taxi drivers in Cebu are honest. But some drivers will try to raise a buck or two, if they have a chance. They want to haggle a rate with you and not use a meter. Some will pretend to forget to put down the meter. When you ask them,"How much?" They'll say,"It's up to you." Up to your conscience, maybe. If you give them too little, they'll start crying... Some hotels are kind enough to note down the license plates of your taxi to insure your security. They do this service at the airport too. Generally, it is safe to take a taxi in this town.To avoid all this hassles, just ask the drivers kindly to put down the meter and you can pay them accordingly.

You may also rent a taxi for a whole day. When you want to do a private excursion, and the rental cars are charging horrendous rates, try a taxi. As soon as you get in a cab, just ask the driver how much he will rent the cab for a whole day after you tell him your destination. Normally, the cabs have more reasonable rates than rental or private cars.

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