A while back I wrote an article about some of the problems in the area of Tourism in the Philippines, and how I thought they could be addressed. Last week, another problem was brought to my attention, and I think that it is a fairly serious problem with Philippine Tourism.
As anybody who follows this blog probably realizes, my Mother is currently visiting from the United States. She arrived in the Country late on Thursday night, August 16. Her flight touched down in Manila around 11pm on Thursday night. She had a connecting flight to come to Davao at 4:00 am on Friday morning, about 5 hours after her arrival on Philippine soil. By the time she got off the plane, went through customs and took a tram to Terminal 2 at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, it was around 12:30am on Friday morning, so she had about 3 1/2 hours until her flight to Davao.
The tram dropped her off at Terminal 2, and left. There was only one problem – the terminal was closed. She had to sit outside on the sidewalk for nearly 3 hours! And to top it off, it rained for about 2 of those hours. Luckily, the area was covered, but during windy times, her and some other passengers there still got wet. My Mom had 4 pieces of luggage. At one point she needed to use the bathroom, and she simply could not manage lugging around all that luggage. She took a chance, leaving it in the care of some other passengers on the sidewalk while she searched for an open restroom. Thankfully, those people were nice folks and took care of her luggage, but what if they had been dishonest people?
Funny thing is that my Mom said that there were employees inside the terminal who were working, but they would not allow passengers inside the building until nearly time for the first flight of the day (her 4:00 am flight to Davao). Since employees manned the terminal, it’s sad that they could not take a little extra time to offer a place for the passengers outside to sit inside the building where it was safer and more comfortable.
I firmly believe that this kind of thing turns off travelers visiting the Philippines. It seems like the airport authority should do a little more to look after visitors to the Philippines. Based on what some airport employees told my Mom, this was nothing unusual, it was the typical operating procedure for the airport.