So today, I have decided that it would be a good one for planespotting after last doing it for more than three months. Time to titillate myself again by seeing such fascinating invention of mankind.
Start of the day.
Today is the UPCAT for next year's freshmen of the University of the Philippines system therefore, traffic is heavier within the UPLB Campus.
The perks of having a diplomatic plate -park anywhere! Yep, diplomatic plates in the Philippines virtually can park in any public road. They are alsmo most exempt from most traffic rules such as number coding. Plate 24275 is IRRI's while I dunno to whom 27581 is assigned/if it belongs to IRRI.
Woah. There are many students who are also waiting at the Olivarez Plaza for a ride to their home for the weekend. And so it's true, the bus company GreenStar Express is now owned by JAC Liner. It can be seen on the bus' livery and color of seats - red, which were formerly green-based. Oh. I wonder, maybe the take-over from the previous owner (which I heard was quite bloody) did not succeed well in terms of finances?
At SkyWay elevated section after Sucat entry. The closest thing I can come to taking off (on a plane)so far this year. Looks to me, my finances won't allow for a plane trip this year. #HampaslupaProblems
A view of the skyline of the Makati Central Business district from Skyway. Most jobs available for people like me in the Computer Sciences/IT are here.
But I loathe to be living in Imperial Metro Manila.
Now, time to get off for some of the passengers, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HIGHWAY! Yep, this is near the intersection of Gil Puyat Avenue (Buendia) and South Superhighway. Welcome to the Philippines!
These "cash-crop" condominiums line up Makati CBD. Of course, why bother improving public transportation throughout the Metro? We can just build housing right next to the workplace right? They can afford to buy them right? Oh wait, what is that? Is that a railroad? So you mean, trains ply there? So it's that noisy there? So it like killed someon over the years? ( Duh, if you haven't still sensed it, I'm being sarcastic throughout).
While we are stopped, this young lady (on the aisle) got on the bus. And she's gonna sell us her wares, as support for her studies. Commendable. It's a ptiy, we have to have instances like this. #FIGHTFORHIGHERSTATESUBSIDY! Anyway, she says she is a first-year Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT) student. Forgot to ask what school but I guess that's irrelevant. Wished her good luck upon she getting off after I bought from her.
I first went to SM Mall of Asia's Global Pinoy Center to freshen up and check the Philippine Planespotters Group (PPSG) for any updates, if they are still there. Before crossing the pedestrian lane near the northern part of the mall, I have seen an IRRI Toyota Coaster (T-101) hahaha. Looks like some other IRRI peepz are out on a Saturday gimmick. I was not able to identify who the passengers were. I have seen that it stopped by the main entrance of the main mall but I did not bother to go near it and examine its occupants. Haha.
As I was going to leave Global Pinoy Center, I accidentally struck the empty glass on the table - broken of course. I've heard some elderly lady who is apparently in charge of the Foreign Exchange section irritatingly say "Patay kang bata ka!" ("Kid, you're dead!") which I just brushed off while saying in my head ('Duh! I'm feeling annoyed with you b!tch! I can pay it!' ) (Sorry but not sorry.:P) . So gentleman attendant says I have to pay for it, but let me wait for him by the counter. So I proceeded there while he cleaned up the mess. So I was being impatient and went to their service room to ask if he can please make it faster but he came out already. Now, we have to converse and he says I should pay PHP 90 for that effin glass. Goodness, though I can pay that amount I was surprised it is that expensive for such a piece of glass! I told him to just revoke my membership since such glass is so ridiculously expensive. He offered that we go instead to the Department Store for me to just buy the replacement but I told him I am in a hurry and asked if can we do it this afternoon instead which he replied in the affirmative. Now, I was not able to go back in the afternoon or evening because I am so tired already of being in Imperial Metro Manila that time (more on that later) and decided to go straight back to LB. I hope that the guy does not lose his job or suffer any backlash because of I not returning - goodness SM, I already bought a lot from you, consider that! Tsss.
Now, from SM MOA I jumped on to a bus heading for the Uniwide Coastal Mall. Though it's quite near, who would want to walk to that place under the scorching mid-afternoon heat of the sun?
And my goodness, I immediately felt empathy (for the Nth time) for most Metro Manila commuters - bus driver's driving like the bus is a Ferrari! Swerve here, swerve there, beep beep even if unnecessary - oh my goodness, I'm thankful I don't have to experience these things in LB! The traffic jam in this area is just stressful and made me ponder - what the hell causes it during this time at a effin Saturday?!!! Oh there ...
So I finally reached this decrepit Uniwide Coastal Mall again. Agh, the memories .. when I was young, Uniwide is quite a sizable supermarket chain. When we were still living in Novaliches, Quezon City, we used to always shop in its branch there, now owned by Super8.
I was again thinking a lot of annoyances in Metro Manila (the transport/pedestrian infrastructure unsuitable for the hot weather) and Philippines in general when I saw this sign:
Uh-hmmm, I must say, great, somewhat. Undecided.
Then proceeded to take the overpass to go to the other side of the road, boarded a jeep bound for Sucat and got-off at Puregold Parañaque. I was feeling hungry already so to hell with the currently departing Boeing 777s and 747s at that time so here am I again at Jollbee Sucat Branch.
Chickenjoy with Spaghetti + Extra Rice is my favorite Jollibee meal. And uhm, wait, there's was #ChickenSad right? So what's this, to make up for that, Chicken portions are larger than normal?
After dining in, proceeded to PPSG HQ.
Oh noes, looks like they went away now by this time. I bought two bottles of mid-sized mineral water from the store and also asked them if the PPSG (the
crazy obsessive guys with cameras and like to take pictures of airplanes like fools ) went there today. Somebody answered they just passed by and went home already. Aww. Boo. But of course that won't stop me. I'm a loner for most of my life and what is today. Rawr, really, I was planning to just not sleep anymore after waking up at around 0230H so I can leave the house early and arrive at the place early but no, the bodily need prevailed. And therefore, I'm late. Awww. So I proceed to go to their so-called "PPSG Mountain". I really did not where and what exactly it is but as I can remember from the pictures of them in the group, it's a mountain of soil or sand that is technically located in Mooonwalk subdivision, just beside the NAIA compound, almost facing the Terminal 1. Now I walked almost half a kilometer in the scorching heat of the sun while thinking to myself something like "What the f*** are you doing? Why do I still don't have a car so I don't to suffer? Oh wait, I could have had already - could have bought the car of my aunt who emigrated to Canada last year if I am not supporting the studies of my sister. Wait, why do I have to support her? What are my parents doing? Wait, they can't work now - no one would accept them in their companies anymore. Also, they made many many mistakes/gambles that incurred a lot of money loss. Oh wait, whargarrrrbblllllllll!". Oh wait, I just have to just endure some of these and be thankful for every other good thing. Oh goodness, luckily I saw a tricycle with no passengers going toward the subdivision's direction. So I got on and told him, let's just trace this road as long as it shows the NAIA Complex fencing. So he did it and yep, I was able to see this road construction that so far ends with a heap of soil. Fare PHP8, kind driver, did not take advantage of me. God/Goodness bless you.
So apparently, this is the C-5 Extension Project. I did not proceed to the mountain immediately. I tried to first examine which planes are still there. First, I've climbed up into the earth compactor (we call in Filipino pison) to take a few pictures...
Then, Mr. Operator showed up of nowhere and says he's now going to operate it so I have to go. Now, off to one of those conrete objects used for a sewerage system (forgot what they are called in English, ughh)..
I was just settling down (or up, since I was standing? :D ), an EVA Air Boeing 747-400 took off. My slow camera phone was not able to respond in time so therefore, only this shot:
Minutes later, I went on to the "mountain". The security guard, manning to construction site did not prevent me so I just went on. Maybe's he used to us planespotters.
NAIA Terminal 2 and PAL fleet.
A Royal Brunei (Boeing 737?) aircraft arrivng.
A few minutes later, the children who were playing at this area, and who were shooed off by the guard earlier, are here again! Now, I made sure all of my valuables are inside my backpack and I had it placed in front of my body. This is because a few weeks ago, one of fellow spotters lost his mobile phone in this area, and presumably .... you get the point.
So Security Guard went here and shooed off the lads again.
We conversed for a while, asked who we are, what are we doing, what for, and is it not that NAIA prohibits our activity? I answered, that we are the PPSG, we just wanted to take airplane pictures, marvel at those fascinating big machines and maybe channel our energies into it while we cannot still realize our dreams to be a (commercial) airline pilot. About NAIA, well, their General Manager responded to a letter written by one of us, saying, they (should not/) don't care about us as long as we don't attempt to climb the fencing. Then later on, we were joined by an elderly lady (can be seen in the picture above, by the door of the almost incomplete house). We talked about how these kids ruining their day for the most part, how unsafe the area is in general because there are (some? a lot of? dunno) thieves and even <oh no, I'm not gonna put it here I might just risk my life> at that area. Later guard left the mountain and it's only I and elederly lady in the mountain.
I got to talk to her about the construction, the impending demolition of their house to make way for the C-5 Extension Project. She says, they are still not yet paid for the land acquisition, and also, relocated to some place at Cavite. However, livehood for them there is next to non-existent, so we shared the sentiments and observations of the likes of them just making their way back to Metro Manila because, the jobs are there! And goodness, spending PHP160 for a daily round-trip transportation plus stress from the traffic jam is not an option for most of them being salaried on minimum wage. I also learned that she hails from Bicol, Camarines Sur province to be exact. Forgot which town, but I can remember her say it is a coastal one. I asked her how's the economy back in their province. It's mostly agriculture and fisheries still, though the capital Naga City somewhat imitates Metro Manila, she replies. And I remarked, what a pity, there's a railroad to their place and their economy still revolves around those industries. What I mean is, if such infrastructure exists, it could have spurred development of other industries. Rawr. Philippine History time, regrets, what-could-have-beens again.
Then she has to leave and go back to manning their house.
Kids playing again, destructing boulders as their past time.
Finally, JAL plane taxied for take-off.
Later, a Philippine Airlines Airbus A340 takes off.
Then, THE QUEEEN HOMAYGASSSSSSSSSSSSS WOAHHHH .. a Saudi Arabian (Saudia) Boeing 747 arrives. Gee, if they are not really gas guzzlers would like to see them in continued service. Also, while formerly I feel that their livery is just 'meh', I am liking it now. Good mix of light brown with a grayish one on the underside contrasting with the dominant blue of the vertical stabilizer.
Manong Guard came back again moments earlier and woosh, welcome to the club! Haha! His phone is a Samsung Galaxy S3, while mine is a lowly Nokia Lumia 620.
Sayonara again! Geez, almost no sound really! HAIL BOEING 787 DREAMLINER!
As the Dreamliner was taking off, yehey, fellow spotters are arriving!!!
Some of them had a difficulty in climbing up the "mountain".
And yey! It feels to be with people of the same wavelength. Wooohoo.
A MASkargo aircraft arrives.
Now these guys' cameras and lenses make me envious, good Lord...
And due to fellow spotters' arrival, they (or maybe their apparently expensive gadgets) attracted the attention of the children who started coming again.
Now after some time, these two guys have to leave...
Oh, another spotter arrived. This time, he has a radio transceiver with him so we can hear the cockpit-tower and V/V conversations!
Oh, another Singapore Airlines aircraft arrived? Speaks volumes about the OFWs we have there and the local job market. Do Singaporeans love to visit here? Or do they have significant investments to warrrant such flight frequency?
Now, this kid always goes close by to us and even touches (no malicious, err, not the one you're thinking of) the newly arrived spotter from time to time. He is also being buillied by the other kids around.
Cathay Pacific - most prolly they don't carry many OFWs. Since there are many flights to Hong Kong, by almost all local airlines and CX is quite expensive, you know...
Then a few minutes later, they were wondering why air traffic controller instructs someone and the aircraft is not appearing on Flightradar24. They sounded American so we had a hunch it was a military aircraft and yes it is, we heard a somewhat louder than usual thump-like sound upon its landing and we were so titillated to see that it is a ....
(C) 2014. Miguel Araquel. Screenshot of his picture on Facebook.
... BOEING GLOBEMASTER C-17 OF THE US AIR FORCE!!!! WAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!! This afternoon is worth it! Been standing here for like 3 hours already! :D :D :D
Then after him, another OFW carrier arrived. Enchangted Kingdom!!!! Nope, EK - IATA code for Emirates Airlines.
Well to our disappointment, it has to exit at a taxiway soon because it now moved to NAIA 3 from the "Worst Airport in the World" Terminal 1. It was not able to cross Runway 13/31 for sometime, tower did not readily gave clearance to do so of course presumably because of heavy traffic.
Later on, there's another SQ arrival and the weather turned to be akin to that of a doomsday.
Yo dawg, I am spotting a plane spotter spotting a plane!
Well with such a weather, and there was even a tornado that formed by the Manila Bay that dissipated later, we decided it's time to go.
But no before these kids, requested a picture of them, so here, lads.
Then as we were leaving, finally, the Delta Boeing 747 aircraft took off but in a manner that seems it's gonna really crash! After rotating, it veered off the runway immediately. At that moment the winds from the north west direction were strong and it's starting to rain hard, so pilot had that maneouver I guess. In conclusion, that's amazing and fearful at the same time. I don't what to feel if I am a passenger.
We found a taxi and hopped on it to go outside of Multinational village. Mr. Fillarca opted to stay back at HQ while the rest of us got off Sucat Road. And rawr rawr rawr, it rained heavily heavily heavily. Was able to immediately ride a jeep going to Baclaran to ride the LRT but I spent the next one and a half hour sleeping, where else, in the jeepney because of the traffic jam! Imagine how short the route is! Gahhh! Funny enough, the jeep still hasn't reached its final destination for that route and commuters outside were repeatedly asking if driver's bound for Sucat (the return trip). He keeps on saying no but people oftentimes still get on to realize what he said earlier on. I got off when he finally did a U-turn then many commuters boarded while he kept on saying he's not taking in passengers for a commercial trip. Great, it's more fun in the Philippines!
First dined in at this Chowking branch. The rainy weather calls for this kind of food. I prefer the Beef Wanton Noodle Soup but they say it's out of stock so therefore have to be content with this Wanton Mami.
Then walked to LRT Baclaran station. The street is almost flooded. I was planning to buy shorts and additional shirts here because prices are usually cheaper here (well, to be fair, most stalls's legal status are in question) but only managed to buy two because of the difficult situation around resulting from the heavy downpour. There was a section of the street that is underwater so I had no recourse but to ride a padyak/traysikab - and driver just said "Thank you!" after receiving my PHP 10 coin as fare! Okay,
give alms to the poor be more considerate of less-fortunate people.
The LRT is not that crowded by the ticket section but come concourse section, yikes! At that time, most people are going home thus the melee. It was even worse in the next station, EDSA as an apparently to-young-to-be mother kept on shouting around "May bata! May bata!" ("There's a child! <Repeat>" ) just to ward off undisciplined riders, to no avail - almost crushing them in the process. Lucky for me, I'm getting off after two stations but make you realize how crappy it is to be a commuter in Imperial Metro Manila and how fortunate am I in this aspect of living.
Arrived back in LB at around 2230H. While dining again at a Jollibee store (in Junction, oh it's my first time here after its renovation), I have seen those marathoners making their way from UPLB. AND THIS IS THE F*CKING 80-KM MAD, CRAZY DASH TO UP DILIMAN! YES, 80 KILOMETERS, YOU READ IT RIGHT! T_T Good luck people! So far, the farthest I have ran in a single session was 7KM! T_T