Tag Archives: Manila

MANILA’S INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT INSTALLS HEATERS BY MISTAKE

imageManila, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – If you are planning to travel to the Philippines in the next  few months, be prepared for extreme hot temperatures when you land at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila.

NAIA’s reputation as one of the worst airports in the world has been exacerbated by airconditioning problems in its terminals, with incoming and outgoing passengers describing the terminal as a dry sauna. So it was a welcome relief when the airport administration finally received the shipment of 36 airconditioning units it had ordered from Japan. With much fanfare, Angel Hornado, general manager of the Manila International Airport Authority, announced last week that the installation of the new units would begin and will be completed in three working days.

Like with all projects in the Philippines, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was scheduled Saturday to mark the official switching on of the new airconditioning units. Presidential sister, actress and television host Kris Aquino was invited as honored guest to cut the ribbon. “It’s quite an emotional moment for me,” she said.  NAIA was, of course, named after her dad who was assassinated at the same airport upon his return from exile during the Marcos years.

Then Hornado flashed a thumbs up to signal the switching on of the cooling units.  In less than 15 minutes, all units were functioning and guests and passengers could hear the soft humming of the fans that started to blow air into the sprawling, albeit crowded terminal.

But something was obviously terribly wrong. The new units were blowing hot air and they added to the already warm and humid temperature inside the terminal.

Immediately, an aide came rushing towards Hornado and whispered, “Sir, the units that were installed were actually heaters!”

Apparently, something was lost in translation when the airconditioning units were ordered from Japan.

For now, NAIA remains the hottest airport in the world.

 

 

About these ads

TOP TEN THINGS YOU’LL NEED UPON LANDING AT NINOY AQUINO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

imageManila, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – The murdered Filipino opposition leader must be turning and twisting in his grave as the international airport named after him has gained the reputation as the worst in the world. Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has been the subject of ridicule in recent months not only for overcrowding, confusing signage or lack thereof, clueless airport personnel, and most of all, non-functioning airconditioning units.

As of press time, new airconditioning units  have reportedly arrived but it is no guarantee that incoming and outgoing passengers will keep their cool.

As a stop-gap measure, the Philippines’ Airports Authority issued a travel advisory recommending the top ten things traveling passengers will need upon disembarkation:

1. Anahaw (wicker) fans. They’re relatively inexpensive. Foreigners can easily borrow these from their Filipino friends and neighbors. They are also sold at NAIA concession stands.

2. If you want to go high tech, you can purchase battery-operated personal fans from almost every mall in America and elsewhere.

3. Cotton towel, to wipe your sweat and keep you dry at all times, especially while in line at the immigration, customs and baggage claim areas.

4. Plastic spray bottle. Make sure to fill it up with water before de-planing. You will need to squirt some mist on your face every minute or so.

5. Deodorant. Be courteous to your fellow incoming passengers.

6. Perfume. Make it a Prada. Filipinos love designer stuff

7. Face mask. It will not only protect you from airborne viruses, but from the stench of sweat all around you.

8. Bikini top for women. Think of it as entering a dry sauna.  And make it Victoria’s Secret. Filipinos love designer stuff.

9. Bikini bottom for men. Make it Calvin Klein. Filipinos love designer stuff.

10. Ice-cold bottled water. Not just any bottled water. Make it a Fiji. Did we already mention Filipinos love designer stuff?

Mabuhay! Welcome to Manila, you know, the place novelist Dan Brown calls “the gates of hell.”

OBAMA’S KINDER, GENTLER WORDS FOR MANILA

Obama inspecting the honor  guard in Manila
Obama inspecting the honor guard in Manila

Manila, Philippines – Author Dan Brown, in his latest novel ‘Inferno’ called Manila the ‘Gates of Hell,’ but visiting U.S. President Barack Obama has much kinder, gentler words for the Philippine capital.

“I would rather call it the ‘Gates of Purgatory,’ since I just have a couple of days  to endure the city’s sweltering heat,” Obama said, soon after he inspected the honor guard during arrival ceremonies at Malacañang, the Philippine presidential palace.  Obama reviewed the troops under 93- degree weather, considered mild by Philippine standards.

Catholics believe that purgatory is the half-way or temporary place their souls go to after they die while they wait for St. Peter to open the gates of Heaven. During this interim period, the souls can atone for their sins with the help of prayers by their living relatives.

It remains to be seen whether Obama will still have the same kind words for Manila after he experiences the enormous traffic gridlock that’s part of everyday life in the metropolis.

JAPAN OFFERS TO BUY METRO MANILA FOR $57 BILLION

imageTokyo, Japan –  Noting that Metro Manila’s traffic, infrastructure and housing problems can no longer be solved by the Philippines’ National Capital Region, Japan has offered to buy Metro Manila for $57 Billion.

The Japanese government, acting on a report by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), made the offer to Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay. By purchasing Metro Manila, Japan hopes to implement JICA’s “Dream Plan” to solve once and for all Metro Manila’s decades-old woes.

The dream plan seeks to achieve by 2030, the five “No’s” considered to be the ultimate key to the revival of the dying metropolis : no traffic congestion, no excessive transport cost burden for low-income groups, no households living in high hazard risk areas, no barriers for seamless mobility of people and no air pollution.

Under the purchase proposal, Metro Manila will become a Prefecture of Japan and both the local and national governments  of the Philippines will totally give up ownership and control of Metro Manila which consists of 17 cities and towns.

The only remaining obstacle to the proposed purchase is to determine how the $57 Billion will be divided among Philippine President Noynoy Aquino, Estrada, Binay and the rest of the mayors of the cities and towns of the metropolis.

 

 

MANILA’S MASS RAPID TRANSIT (MRT) WINS PRESTIGIOUS ‘MOST POPULAR’ SYSTEM AWARD

The queue at an MRT station in Manila
The queue at an MRT station in Manila

Manila, Philippines – The embattled general manager of Manila’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) may have the last laugh despite calls for his resignation for the problems that have been plaguing the light railway system in the populous metropolis.

Activist groups have demanded that Alan Vitangcol III step down from his post for mismanagement of the transport system that millions of residents depend on for their daily commute to and from their work places. Vitangcol is also accused of  allegedly extorting $30 million from a Czech train car  builder in exchange for being awarded an MRT expansion project contract.

Today, the International Association of Light Railway Systems (IALRS) announced that Manila’s MRT has been unanimously chosen to receive the prestigious 2014 Most Popular Transport System Award. The annual award is given to the railway system that has the largest patronage.

The international body said Manila’s MRT won the judges’ nod hands down, after they saw photos of the long lines of commuters waiting to board the commuter trains. “We haven’t seen such massive popularity among MRT systems anywhere in the world,” one of the judges commented.

This prestigious award adds to the long long list of international recognitions recently awarded to the Philippines. Last month, the Philippine cities of Makati and Pasig were named the selfie capital of the world.

METRO MANILA WILL BE SPLIT INTO TWO MAJOR CITIES

imageManila, Philippines – Metro Manila in the Philippines is probably the most congested metropolis in the entire world. It comprises of several big cities and towns with their respective local government units but that in itself makes the delivery of government services truly inefficient and ineffective.  That is about to end.

Manila Mayor and former Philippine President Joseph Estrada is proposing to split Metro Manila into just two major cities: Northern Manila and Southern Manila.  Estrada’s plan is quite simple. The division line will be the Pasig River which runs from Manila Bay to Laguna Bay. All cities and towns north of the Pasig River will comprise Northern Manila and everything else south of the river will comprise Southern Manila.

There is one big problem.

Most of Manila and Makati are south of the Pasig River, which begs the question, who will be the mayor of Southern Manila? Joseph Estrada or Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, son of incumbent Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay who is running for president in 2016?

A poll conducted by The Adobo Chronicles shows a 50-50 split in support for Estrada and Binay.

MANILA AIMS TO BECOME THE FERRY CAPITAL OF THE WORLD

imageManila, Philippines - From Chicago to San Francisco, from Hong Kong to Venice, water ferries are a popular mode of transportation for both business and pleasure. Manila wants to be known as the ferry capital of the world and is working very hard to earn that distinction.

This week, the Manila Metropolitan Development Authority (MMDA) unveiled a prototype ferry that would transport passengers from one end of the polluted Pasig River to the other, and it is living up to the Philippine tourism meme of “It’s More Fun In the Philippines.”

The prototype ferry consists of a steel barge lined with used rubber tires and on it sits a yellow dilapidated mini-bus that once traversed the traffic-ridden streets of the Philippine metropolis.  “The Pasig River ferry boat will be like no other in the world,” and MMDA official said. “It is not only a ferry boat, it is also a bus,” he added.

The new ferry boats will start operating sometime in April this year and passengers will be charged 80 Pesos (roughly $2) each way.

Instead of life jackets, passengers will be handed disposable face masks in order to protect them from the stench of the polluted river.

Responding to media questions, MMDA said that the new ferry system will not contribute to further polluting the river since the boats will not be using regular gasoline to operate.  Instead, the boats will run on lambanog, a popular local wine made from coconut.  Because of its potency, the lambanog “fuel” has the potential to kill bacteria and viruses that may be clinging to debris floating in the river. “Quite ingenious,” commented one Manila commuter who says he is so sick of the daily traffic gridlock.

MMDA said there will be 5 ferries operating, each with a capacity of 40 passengers. This means a potential of 200 less commuters on Manila’s overcrowded buses and jeepneys each time the ferries run.

KERRY COURTS MANILA GOVERNMENT: PHILIPPINES TO BECOME THE 51ST U.S. STATE?

imageManila, Philippines – It’s all about oil. U.S. interest seems to be shifting from the Middle East to Asia, particularly the oil-rich waters surrounding the Philippines, China, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. Tension has been rising among and between the governments of these countries over territorial claims in around South China Sea and the Spratly Islands.

Overtly, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in the Philippines to try to ease tensions between the Manila and Beijing governments, urging China to go easy on imposing no-fly and no-sail zones over the disputed territories between the two countries.

Covertly, as confirmed by latest tweets from suspected American security secrets leaker Edward Snowden, Kerry is in Manila talking up the Aquino government to seriously consider becoming the 51st state of the U.S.  Kerry said that becoming a U.S. state would be in the best interest of the Philippines because it would essentially  put the American military at its disposal in its dispute with China. Of course, what Kerry is not saying is that it would grant the U.S. full access to the area’s rich oil resources.

The Filipino sentiment against American colonialism has significantly changed since the U.S. military bases were practically  driven out of the Philippines in the early 1990’s. There is a growing  displeasure with the Manila government. Filipinos are fed up with political dynasties, incompetence, corruption and all that kind of stuff.

Is it time to add another star to the stars and stripes?

MANILA MAYOR WON’T LET GO OF CAPTIVE ELEPHANT

imageManila, Philippines - Meet Mali, the elephant that was a gift from the government of Sri Lanka to former Philippine First Lady and Metro Manila Governor Imelda Marcos. That was 35  years ago. Since then, Mali has been held in captivity at the Manila Zoo, alone and uncared for in terms of her medical needs.

Animal rights activists worldwide have been calling on the Philippine government to release her and have her transferred to an elephant sanctuary in Thailand where she could be with other elephants in a natural habitat.  Former Beatle Paul McCarthy was among the latest celebrities to advocate for Mali’s release, writing a letter to Philippine President Aquino.

But the fight for Mali’s release seems to hinge on Manila’s local government, not the presidential palace.

imageManila Mayor Joseph Estrada has refused to release Mali to the sanctuary. Estrada is a movie actor and former Philippine president who was impeached and convicted for corruption, only to be pardoned  and released from prison by another Philippine President, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who herself faces corruption charges.

“Since I am now the mayor of Manila which has jurisdiction over the Manila Zoo, I am technically the owner of Mali,” Estrada told a group of international reporters at Manila’s Press Club.

Asked by The Adobo Chronicles  during a Skype call last night about his reason for not wanting to release Mali, Estrada said “Mali is the perfect symbol of my career as a politician. My career is a show, a circus.  And what better represents my career than an elephant?”

“Besides,” Estrada added, “I believe my politics is more aligned with the Republican Party in the U.S.  and I know the elephant is their mascot and symbol.”

******

Editor’s note: Well, for once, Estrada got something correct.

TWO- FOR-ONE VEHICLE LICENSE PLATES UNVEILED

imageManila, Philippines — It is definitely more fun in the Philippines – exactly as the Department of Tourism advertising mantra says – not only because Filipinos think up of the smartest and sometimes stupid things, but get away with it.

In a surprise move, the country’s Department of Motor Vehicles has actually adopted what was once a smart yet illegal activity, as an official policy.  Effective July 15, 2013, the Department will be issuing two-for-one vehicle licenses whereby citizens or businesses owning two or more vehicles can purchase identical license plates for the price of one. This new policy is expected to solve the problem of many vehicle owners not obtaining the proper license plates because the cost and fees are too expensive.

The new policy is expected to put the Department of Motor Vehicles at odds with the Metro Manila Development Authority, particularly with the latter’s “coding” program.  Under this coding system, motor vehicles whose license plates ending with an odd or even number are prohibited from the streets and highways of Metro Manila on specified days and times of the week. For example, vehicles wth license plates ending in 1 are prohibited on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  Vehicles with license plates ending in 2 are prohibited on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  The system has been in effect for many years as a way to solve the traffic gridlock that’s been the hallmark of Metro Manila’s roadways.

Asked for his reaction to the two-for-once license plates, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, who as president of the Philippines was impeached and convicted for corruption, said “I don’t care either way. I am exempted from the coding rules and I always have police car escorts wherever I go so traffic is not a problem for  me.”

Already, some enterprising Filipinos are planning to buy the two-for-one license plates and sell the other for half the price.