The Best Bullet Detector In the World

Passengers Be Aware at the X-ray Scanners

31 October 2015

After making top of the list for Worlds Worst Airport for sleeping, Manila International Airport has find its way to the top again, this time employing the world's best bullet detection system, powered by the best magicians in the world from Office of Transport Security.

The cost of inconvenience cost passenger caught between measly 500 pesos to 30,000 pesos.

An American missionary, Michael White, learned it the hard way when he was scammed by airport security personnel with a .22-caliber bullet. He was brought to a private room and was asked to shell out P30,000 for his liberty. His refusal to pay earned him a cancelled holiday to Coron, Palawan, six days in jail and indictment for illegal possession of ammunition before Pasay City Judge Pedro Gutierrez. He got out only on Tuesday after posting a P40,000 bail.

A Filipino worker and Japanese tourist were the latest passengers to be detained by airport police in the swindle scheme.

An Overseas Filipino worker, Gloria Ortinez, who was returning to work was stopped from flying to Hong Kong after a bullet was found in her hand luggage at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Ortinez denied the bullet was hers and charges absurd as she would never carry one because Hong Kong has stricter security laws.

Office of Transportation Security (OTS) personnel released her after several days in police detention after media outcry.

Japanese tourist Kazunobu Sakamoto was also found with two bullets in his luggage and arrested after failing to show documents authorising him to carry ammunition.

Advice to Passengers

According to an OTS insider who doesn't want to be identified because they are closely investigating the people involved, the scam usually begins at the security check at the gate, with terminal 3 given as example, where a conniving non-uniformed OTS personnel dummy plants bullet to an unsuspecting passenger target.

As a safety precaution, seal all your belongings before entering airport premises, he said, saying that most of the victims had slightly opened bags. He further said that passenger must watch their bag before and after the security screen and make sure that nobody touches it, otherwise record the name of the OTS personnel involved as they have nameplate on their chest. And most especially watch your back if your carrying a back pack in tightly congested spaces. It could save you the hassle and discourage the person trailing you to even attempt to try.

Better yet, wrap your bags so that you won't have excuse if found one. And don't use the airport facility for that, a bullet may already be smuggled inside your bag without you knowing it.  

Philippines Air Asia is Born

30 October 2015

The marriage of AirAsia Philippines (Air Asia, Incorporated), and AirAsia Zest (Zest Airways, Incorporated) has officially produced a baby named Philippines Air Asia Inc.,(PAA) as Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) approved its petition to operate as a single company with just a single certificate.

"We’re operating now as a wholly owned entity. The merger is important because it is costly for us to operate as two separate entities. I don't want a division between AirAsia Philippines and AirAsia Zest, so we made Philippines AirAsia," Chief Executive Officer Joy Caneba said in a press briefing yesterday.

Water salute for PAA as it expands to Tagbilaran Airport in Bohol
The new airline will be bigger than its Philippine parents with capitalization increase from P2 billion to P5 billion, that will be used to fund acquisition of five additional Airbus A320s scheduled for delivery next year.

PAA will boast a fleet back to 17 brand new A320-200 fleet by 2016 enabling it to compete better with domestic rivals Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air.

It earlier retired 3 A320's powered V2500 engines belonging to ZestAir that was let from other aircraft lessors to align local affiliates fleet with that of its Malaysian parent, AirAsia Berhad that operates the CFM56s engines.

The airline earlier operated a combined fleet of 20 aircraft before huge losses prompted it to reduce fleet to the current 12.

According to Caneba they are expecting to hit about four million passengers this year, or the same figure posted in 2014, due to the reduction of its fleet size.

PAA has been cutting unprofitable routes and redeploying capacity into more promising international markets, particularly China.

PAA's new strategy posted a better than expected recovery performance after the turnaround plans were initiated in July 2014 and is expected by its parent company AirAsia Berhad to break even by the end of the year.

The company said it will delay public listing for two years but will proceed with a $200-million initial public offering by 2018.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) earlier issued a certificate approving the name Philippines AirAsia, with "doing business under the name and style of the AirAsia Berhad" when
AirAsia Philippines secured consent to acquire the remaining 51% stake in AirAsia Zest held by AMY Holdings of Alfredo M. Yao in February this year. The complete buyout marks exit of Yao from the airline business, and allowing AirAsia Philippines to own the entire carrier.

Caneba said route expansion is destined towards China, Korea and Taiwan as it also aims to strengthen its foothold in Kalibo where it is the biggest international airline.

PAA flies daily to Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Kota Kinabalu, Macau, Busan, Shanghai, Beijing, and Hangzhou, and serves domestic points in Cebu, Davao, Kalibo, Puerto Princesa, and Tacloban. It recently expanded operation to Tagbilaran.

How is it to be Jaime J. Bautista?

29 October 2015

By Lorenz S. Marasigan

THE halls of Colegio de San Juan de Letran were witnesses to how a terror professor once prophesied Jaime J. Bautista’s ascension to presidency of a company, adding fuel to his hope of being—at the very most—a firm’s vice president for finance.

Jimmy, as he is known in the airline industry, was not much of a career-driven person, when he was 25. His only goal back then is to settle with a family and enjoy what life has to offer. He never really imagined of leading a company, much more the flag carrier of the country.

The vision was only casted to him by his professor in Finance 101. He was then taking up accountancy at Letran, when a professor once mentioned to him that he can be a manager if Bautista passes his subject.

“He was a terror professor who once told me ‘You can be a manager in five years if you pass my subject. But when the grades came out, I got a 95 for his subject, which was above the average grade of 85,” he recalled. “Then he told me: ‘You exceeded my expectation, you can be a president of a company in the future.’”

The professor who said this to Bautista, however, did not live to see his prophecy come to fruition.

“His name is Nick Limjoco. I can never forget his name,” he said. “The highest position that an accountant like me can attain, according to my other professors, is to be a vice president for finance. It was fine by me back then.”

Today, Bautista sits as the president and COO of Philippine Airlines (PAL), the first commercial carrier in Asia. He just celebrated his first comeback anniversary as the aviation company’s chief honcho this month.

The 58-year-old executive was personally asked by no less than Lucio C. Tan to return to the flag carrier after the exit of San Miguel Corp. in the company. The diversified conglomerate divested its 49-percent shareholding in October 2014, leaving the presidential post open for Bautista to take.

Love at first sight

Before joining El Kapitan in his quest for success in business, Bautista joined Sycip Gorres Velayo & Co. (SGV), the largest multidisciplinary professional services company in the Philippines, as an accountant.

“I joined SGV & Co. when I was 20 years old, right after taking the board for certified public accountants. I got involved in auditing mining companies, logging companies, manufacturing service companies, among others,” he said.

Bautista, at that time, looked up to the renowned auditor Washington C. Sycip, who, he describes as a jack of all trades.

“When I was in my 20s, my idol was Washington Sycip, because I saw how he handled his profession. He is one of the best accountants there is, and I told myself I want to be like him someday. Mr. Sycip is a jack of all trades, which I think, is an important qualification of a leader of a good company,” he said.

At Sycip’s company, he met his wife, Joji, who—as cliché as it may sound—he immediately thought of to be his future wife.

“She was my classmate in training. I got attracted to her even before our training, when I saw her in a van. Then one time, we were in the stockroom, as newbies, we need to line up to get our supply papers. I was ahead of her in the queue, so, I let her take the go first, so I would see on the paper what her name is,” Bautista recalled, chuckling.

Then he told himself: “She’s a fine woman. Maybe she’ll be my wife some day.”

Joji, a Cavitena, did become his wife, and they were married at the time when Bautista, who hailed from Nueva Ecija, was 25, two years before he left the accounting firm.

“We lost communication when I left SGV, and when I joined the Lucio Tan Group, I saw her one time, and we greeted each other. I was able to get her telephone number, and I frequently called her. She became my girlfriend for two-and-a-half years, then we decided to get married. I was 25, and she was 24,” he said, with eyes gleaming, as if they were crystals.

They exchanged their vows on January 9, 1982, at the San Agustin Church in Intramuros.

“I still remember that whenever I visit her at their home in Cavite, her father will always clean his 45-caliber gun in front of me,” he said, laughing at the distant thought.

Bautista joined the tycoon when he turned 23, and eventually he became an assistant to the vice president of the corporate planning of the Lucio Tan Group of Cos.

“One of our managers in SGV is a batchmate of one of the officers in Lucio Tan Group, and that person was the vice president of the corporate planning division of the group. That was the time when Lucio Tan was expanding its business interest, from cigarettes to bank to brewery to agriculture to piggery to construction to hotel,” he recalled.

Close to the captain

Thanks to his dedication for the craft, and his outspoken, yet subtle manner of voicing out his thoughts, El Kapitan saw a potential in him, and eventually had him lead the diversification efforts of the company.

“So, I got involved in all these new ventures in the Lucio Tan Group, particularly in the acquisition of new companies, where I normally handle the finance role. After setting up the finance, I will leave the company and go back to the parent, and get involve again in new ventures,” Bautista said.

He then got involved in the flag carrier in 1992, after being the launchpad for so many projects, like the acquisition of spirits maker Tanduay, the expansion of Asia Brewery, the inauguration of a new farm in Teresa, Rizal.

“In 1992 Mr. Tan made a decision to invest in PAL. The year after, we went out in the open that we are the majority shareholder, and they asked me to head the accounting division to see if the records were properly accounted for, and that the financial reports were correct,” he said.

Two years later, he got promoted as the chief finance officer of the carrier. He then served as the company’s president for eight years from 2004.

“The secret to this might be my transparency in work, and my dedication and love for the company. My personal interests were far beyond my interest for the company. I think Mr. Tan trusted me because of that and gave me a good package,” he said.

The captain and his copilot are bonded with a brotherly kind of tie, although most of the time, their phone conversations were mainly about business.

“There was a time before when he used to call me every day. We got close through work, when he saw how I worked with the project of his company,” Bautista said. “I live by the principles of honesty, integrity and efficiency.”

Bautista is one of Tan’s most trusted allies, and it is reflective of the former’s reinstatement as the president of the legacy carrier.

“For you to be able to lead the big organization like PAL, you can’t just be an accountant. You also have to be a marketing person, a human-resource person, an operations person, a tourism person—basically, you have to be a jack of all trades,” he said.

Keeping the company afloat for eight years, Bautista now knows the ropes of the airline industry. He was instrumental in finally allowing the company to snap back from the red into the black last semester.

“All these learning that I gained over the years helped me in gaining Mr. Tan’s trust. He trusted me, and that’s one of the reasons I can’t say no to Mr. Tan when he asked me to be reinstated as president of PAL,” Bautista said.

Family first

Despite all these achievements, Bautista looked back and remember that his primary goal in life was not to be a good businessman, but be a good family man.

“I thought to myself that I wanted to be a successful, still my goal back then was to have a good family. Career was not my top priority, it only comes next to family,” he said. “If you ask me, family will always be family.”

Now, more than ever, he can enjoy the company of his family, especially since he now has more guns in his wallet to do anything that his “good package” of a salary can afford.

“Now that I have reached the top, now that I have nothing to race for, I could enjoy my family even more. It’s a different kind of enjoyment when you are with your family, and so I will always choose family over career,” he said. “What will you do with money from success if your family is a failure?”

He has two grandkids, gifts from God that came through his only daughter Jaymee.

“My grandson and granddaughter sometimes go to the office,” he said, adding that moments with these little ones, Joseph and Maria Elena, are precious ones that he will cherish forever.

The family-centric value is just one of Bautista’s wisdom that he wants to pass on to the millennials.

“To become successful you have to aim high. Don’t just be satisfied with mediocrity, because this hampers success. This generation should never settle for something that is ‘just fine,’ they should always aspire for the best, and they have to work hard to meet their dreams,” he said.

Bautista added that today’s generation should also consider that each one has his own story, that each one deserves respect, and none deserve it more than another.

“Be fair with everybody. It is not good that you are power tripping because you are at the top,” he said. “A leader must strive to strike a balance, which as an accountant is very important to me. A single ounce—or a centavo, for an accountant—of irregularity will always be a setback.”

This also applies to one’s personal life.

“You have to learn how to relax. It’s not okay to always think about work. I sometimes watch ‘AlDub,’ he said, referring to the segment of noontime show Eat Bulaga that features the split-screen romance of Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza, commonly known as Yaya Dub. “There should be a balance.”

Soon, after he officially retires from PAL, Bautista plans to travel the world with the love of his life.

“When I retire, I will travel. In fact, I have a bucket list of the trips that I want to go. I want to go to Antartica, Machu Pichu, Galapagos,[and see the] Aurora Borealis and many more,” he said.

He also wants to play golf with his wife in famous golf courses in the different parts of the globe.

“I’m really in love with my wife. Until now, we play golf together; we travel together; we take care of our grandchildren together,” he said. “The secrets to a successful family are for both of you to give and take, have the a wide understanding, for you to trust each other.”

Bautista has investments in different businesses, but his greatest investment is in his wife.

“You have to be generous to your spouse, not only in terms of material things, but be generous of your time,” he said. “If you’re financially stable, the more important requirement of marriage is for you to invest in time.”

Japan To Fund Sangley Airport

28 October 2015

Manila's new international gateway will be build in Sangley airport in Cavite, with subway line component terminating in Roxas boulevard, leaked data disclosed. The project is keep under wraps by the Transport Department (DOTC) pending official announcement in November.

The $10 billion mega airport project and the subway commuter line will be funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and slated to be announce during the Asia Pacific Economic Conference meeting from November 16-20. Ground works are expected to start in 2017 and project completed in 2025.

The airport funding will come from Official Development Assistance (ODA) and is part of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s commitment to President Benigno Aquino III made in June when he visited Tokyo for official visit.

The subway linking the airport spans 40 to 70 kilometer line with possible extensions to Bulacan, according to JICA project brief. It also stated that the final route and possible stations “still needs to be fleshed out.”

Japan also pledged to provide P89 billion in concessional loan for the North-South Commuter Railway Project, its biggest official development assistance (ODA) to the Philippines to date.

National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) confirmed the project proposal during a media briefing in Pasig City yesterday during the “Cooperation Roadmap” meeting.

“It is a collaborative undertakings by the Government of the Philippines and Japan,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said.

Transport Undersecretary for Planning Rene K. Limcaoco said the project will still need to be signed by Mr. Abe when he visits the Philippines for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation next month.

"It's not cast in stone yet," says Limcaoco whose sentiment was echoed by Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhide Ishikawa.

The Ambassador said that Japan will “decide project by project what kind of financing we will make.”

The first APEC Steering Committee Meeting pushes forward the “Cooperation Roadmap” signed by Mr. Abe and Mr. Aquino in Tokyo, and reviews the progress of infrastructure projects funded by Japan. The Cooperation Roadmap envisions a “modern and efficient” transportation network in the Metropolitan Manila by 2030.

JICA already submitted the Feasibility Studies for the two projects to DOTC and NEDA for approval and is set to finalize the details of the airport project by April next year.

Aquino Denies Cause For NAIA Delay For His Travel

Airport Closure is Only 10 Minutes

24 October 2015

Attention passengers! Don't believe what airline says about delays on your flight.

"We are not the cause of delay," says President Aquino.

President Benigno Aquino III said Friday that he was the "most convenient" excuse by some airline companies, particularly Cebu Pacific, whenever there were delays in the flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) because every time he was embarking on a trip abroad or in other parts of the country, the airspace around the airport turns to a complete stop aggravating traffic congestion.

"You know, often I'm told that the reason daw of all of the is announced on planes that I am either landing or taking off. I'm the most convenient excuse 'cause nobody can ask me if that really happened but the records are present," he said.

The President denied the airline allegations as false and clarified that it takes maximum of 15 minutes only from the time he enters the plane and the door is closed until the aircraft leaves the area for departure.

"It is no longer the one-hour requirement that existed previously and we strive to make that even less. We want to disrupt as little as possible. So 15 (minutes) is the average, but I think we’ve managed 10 (minutes) and below from different times, when I go around the country or I have to leave the country," he said.

CAAP Executive Director William Hotchkiss III confirmed the President's statement saying that although the President is entitled to the one hour window for security reason following internationally accepted VIP protocols, he himself directed the least disturbance to air traffic movements in and around NAIA and its airspace.

Hotchkiss said that those accommodation request by President Aquino may not be applicable to other head of states visiting the country particularly during the APEC meeting in November.

NAIA-based airlines has already cancelled flights that will be affected by the arrival and departure of foreign head of states attending the APEC meeting.

Pilot Error

CAAP  Releases Final Report of Davao Incident 

24 October 2015

By David Kaminski-Morrow
Pilots of a Cebu Pacific Airbus A320 should have executed a go-around rather than pursue an unstable approach into Davao, which resulted in a runway excursion that damaged the jet.

The aircraft passed through a burst of intense rain as it neared touchdown and the captain “misconstrued” runway edge lights as centreline lights, states the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

It says the weather conditions “severely affected the judgement and decision-making” of the captain, who was flying, and that the rain “obscured” visibility of the runway.

The aircraft “failed to maintain” a stabilised profile during the VOR/DME approach and was still left of the runway 23 centreline moments before touchdown.

Investigators point out that the first officer was calling for the aircraft’s course to be shifted more to the right. But the subsequent correction took the aircraft too far to the right of the centreline, aligning it with the right-hand edge lights.

It landed about 30m before the touchdown point, some 190m from the threshold, close to the right-hand runway edge and crabbing about 3° to the right.

All three landing-gear assemblies had left the runway by the time the aircraft had rolled some 500m, and the jet travelled another 330m on soft ground. There were no injuries among the 165 passengers and six crew.

The jet had been landing at Davao in darkness on 2 June 2013.

Investigators found evidence of “lapses, omissions and contradictory words” by the crew, adding that the captain was probably apprehensive about landing in poor weather, at night, using a non-precision approach.

While a go-around was “necessary”, it was not carried out, possibly because the pilot’s attention was “narrowed” by his focus on the difficult conditions, says the inquiry.

Missed-approach procedures in such conditions were “seldom practised” during recurrent training, the inquiry adds, and the “over-use” of airports with centreline lights “deprived” crews of the chance to improve flight skills at airports without such systems.

Disaster Relief Casiguran

Ground Zero

23 October 2015

By: Voltaire Topaz

GROUND ZERO. Local residents watch as boxes of relief goods are downloaded from the first C-130 that landed in Casiguran, Aurora, following the landfall on October 18 of severe Typhoon Lando. Photo by Voltaire Tupaz/
Local residents watch as boxes of relief goods are downloaded from the first C-130 that landed in Casiguran, Aurora, following the landfall on October 18 of severe Typhoon Lando. 
Photo by Voltaire Tupaz/ 

On October 21, the first C-130 of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) carrying cabinet officials and relief goods from the national government reached Casiguran, Aurora. The aircraft almost did not make it to ground zero of Severe Typhoon Lando (international name Kuppo).

When the national officials landed in Baler for their first stop, local authorities dissuaded them from flying to Casiguran because the weather was bad and the town’s runway was not ready to receive the C-130.

Air authorities recommended travel by land, a 4-hour trip on bumpy road. This disappointed Interior Secretary Mel Sarmiento, who was with Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman and national disaster management chief Alexander Pama.

“Our order yesterday (Tuesday) was clear. Prepare the runway,” the new interior secretary reminded air authorities in a mix of English and Filipino.

LET'S GO TO GROUND ZERO. DILG Sec Mel Sarmiento, DSWD Sec Dinky Soliman, and NDRRMC executive director Alexander Pama decide to fly to Casiguran, Aurora to hand over relief goods despite bad weather on October 21. Photo by Voltaire Tupaz
LET'S GO TO GROUND ZERO. DILG Sec Mel Sarmiento, DSWD Sec Dinky Soliman, and NDRRMC executive director Alexander Pama decide to fly to Casiguran, Aurora to hand over relief goods despite bad weather on October 21.
 Photo by Voltaire Tupaz

The national officials were determined to reach Casiguran because the stakes there were high. Their first attempt to reach the devastated town was aborted on Tuesday, October 20, 72 hours after Lando made landfall – a critical time for the national government to augment local relief goods in times of disaster.

The officials wanted to personally see the situation on the ground and to hear concerns needing their attention, according to Pama. They were also setting up a task force that would assist the local government units in Aurora in their recovery efforts. 

The officials decided to proceed despite the risks. In the cockpit, Sarmiento and Pama closely watched as the aircraft approached the runway. A tree blocked the landing view.

But after the pilot, Philippine Air Force’s Maj Ramil Daet, successfully maneuvered through the obstacle for a safe and smooth landing, the officials broke into applause and shared a high five.

“Now we know we can deliver relief goods,” a relieved Pama blurted out.

Waiting for relief
An old woman, her grandchild and a few other typhoon survivors were at the peripheries of the runway waiting for relief goods when the first aircraft landed in Casiguran Wednesday morning.
It carried 500 boxes of relief goods that can feed hundreds of families for three days. Another C-130 brought in at least 1,500 boxes of blankets, hygiene kits, mats and clothes. More goods are on the way, according to Soliman.

More stories at

Disaster Relief Baler

23 October 2015

Two C-130's of the Philippine Air Force arrived at Baler Airport yesterday, one after the other. The first one (4704) arrived around 8:00AM, bringing 840 family food packs. 4704 then proceeded to Casiguran Airport at exactly 9:25AM to continue the delivery of relief goods. 

The 2nd C-130 (4726) arrived at the Baler Airport at exactly 9:50AM with 660 family food packs, 1,680 pieces of blankets, 1,968 sack mosquito nets, 270 pairs of malong and other necessities. 

Baler airport was inaccessible two days earlier due to bad weather preventing the PAF to mount rapid relief operations.

Poor Visibility Causes Mindanao Airport Shutdown

22 October 2015
Haze still limits visibility to Pagadian Airport at 5 miles causing flight cancellation .Image courtesy, Stephen Rene Soriano
Airports of Pagadian and Cotabato were closed some days last week after both airports suffered poor visibility problems arising from bad weather brought by Typhoon Lando and haze results from forest fires which were blown northwards by the tropical storm, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAAP) reported Thursday.

Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific flights between Manila to Cotabato and Pagadian Cities have been disrupted numerous times since October 17, even if Mindanao was far from the typhoon epicenter and path.

CAAP spokesman said that airport in these cities doesn't have Instrument Landing System which can guide the aircraft to the airport in cases of poor to zero visibility unlike other airports in Mindanao like Zamboanga, Cagayan, General Santos, Davao and Butuan.

PAL Celebrates 50 at Oz

Commence Kangaroo Network in October 25

21 October 2015

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is celebrating its 50th year in Australia by boosting flight services between Sydney and Manila.

PAL first flew to Sydney in October 6, 1965 on state-of-the-art DC-8 aircraft twice a week. The route has since grown covering Melbourne, Brisbane, Darwin, and in December soon Cairns which flight services will be extending to Auckland in New Zealand.

“A daily frequency with a choice of departure and arrival times provides our passengers the flexibility to seamlessly connect to many cities on our domestic and international network,” explained PAL President & Chief Operating Officer Jaime J. Bautista.

“Upon arrival in Manila, Australian business and leisure travelers can enjoy a Manila stopover for several days or make a same-day connection on PAL flights to the many travel spots within the Philippine archipelago and international points,” he added.

The morning flight from Sydney will connect flights towards London, re-activating the once Kangaroo network it once flew.

From October 25, flights depart Manila at 10:05 p.m. via PR 211 every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, arriving Sydney at 9:30 a.m. (AUS time) the following day. London will be connected to this flight via PR 721 which depart London Heathrow at 10:50 p.m. arriving Manila at 7:30 p.m. equivalent to three hours lay over time.

PR 213 departs Manila at 11 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Sunday, arriving Sydney at 10:25 p.m. (AUS time).

Flights from Sydney depart at 6:10 a.m. (AUS time) every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday via PR 214 arriving in Manila at 11:25 a.m. This flight connects to London via PR 720 departing at 01:00 p.m. arriving the British capital at 8:55 p.m.

Something 5J Can Be Proud Off

19 October 2015
In a fitting tribute to the bird to which icon the airline symbol is known for, Cebu Pacific has officially adopted a raptor named "Mindanao," the Philippine Eagle ambassador for education on October 15.

Mindanao along with 17 other Philippine eagles, has been under the care of the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) through a captive breeding program—a system that breeds and re-introduces raptors to their natural habitat in the efforts to augment the dwindling wild population.

Under the adoption agreement, Cebu Pacific will provide food and necessary veterinary care for five (5) years that will help flourish and sustain the well-being of "Mindanao" as one of the country's prominent national symbols.

Economy Class Syndrome

DVT can Kill You!

14 October 2015

by Henrylito D. Tacio

Former American Vice President Dan Quayle never knew what hit him. He was promoting his memoir, Standing Firm, when he experienced severe shortness of breath and had trouble finishing his speeches.

He thought it was just a bad cold and didn’t bother to see a doctor. It was a bad decision. On November 27, 1994, he was brought to the emergency room at the Indiana University Medical Center. The doctor’s diagnosis: “walking pneumonia.”

The 47-year-old Quayle was sent home and thought it was over. The following day, however, his breathing difficulty worsened and was admitted to the emergency room again. After further tests, doctors rediagnosed his condition as a “pulmonary embolism” or having a blood clot in his lung.

“You’d be surprised how often a pulmonary embolism is missed, even with most skilled physicians,” Quayle said in a statement following his release. “Misdiagnosis is common. I was lucky…very lucky.”

He was, indeed very, lucky. According to the National Institute of Health, more than 600,000 people in the United States have a pulmonary embolism each year, and more than 60,000 of them die. Experts say that most of those who die do so within 30 to 60 minutes after symptoms start.

In most cases, pulmonary embolism is a complication of a medical condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), in which a blood clot forms inside the deep veins of the lower legs, thighs, or pelvis. Although there is no single, simple cause, a DVT may be due to injury to the lining of the vein, changes in the pattern of blood flow (like compression, turbulence and stagnation), and increased tendency for blood to clot and for that clot not to naturally dissolve again.

“One out of three causes usually does not trigger a DVT and three out of three is fortunately uncommon,” says Dr. Rene de Jongh, South Asia medical director of the assistance services of International SOS in Singapore.


While DVT has given much attention in the United States and Europe, such is not the case in Asia. “Authorities in Asia, especially governmental organizations, tend to be very conservative and overly cautious about going public regarding health issues like DVT,” says Dr. Walter Fister, whose special interest is on public health and works with the Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre in Singapore.

As such, “information about DVT leaves a lot to be desired in this part of the world,” adds Dr Haizal bin Haron Kamar, associate professor in medicine and cardiology at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur. “In fact, the public is not aware of the potential health risk of blood clots.”

Clotting the blood is “nature’s way of trying to prevent bleeding,” says Dr. Rafael Castillo, a cardiologist and chairman of the Department of Medicine of the Manila Sanitarium and Hospital. But when nature’s protective mechanism goes awry, there is a danger of blood clots resulting in a DVT.

Health authorities claim DVT is instigated by prolonged periods of physical immobility. “If a person is just sitting around and not moving, say, during a very long flight, he may risk himself of developing a DVT,” says Dr. Gary Raskob, dean of the college of public health at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

How does DVT happen? It starts with blood clots forming in the veins of the legs during hours of immobility (that is, long-haul flights). When mobility resumes (for instance, once a passenger deplanes) the clots can break free of the vein, and travel to the lungs causing a pulmonary embolism that may result to death.

Caused by long travel

In a study published in Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine, 87 percent of DVT cases identified occurred following either a return trip or after an outward journey involving long trips made up of sequential flights. In France researchers from the Hospital Pasteur claim that air travelers who sit for more than five hours on planes are more likely to develop blood clots in their leg than nontravelers.

At Narita hospital near Tokyo’s International Airport, records show an average of 100 to 150 passengers are treated for DVT immediately upon arrival each year; 3 to 5 percent of those die.

“Only 1 percent of air passengers suffer from DVT,” assured Dr. Farrol Kahn, head of the United Kingdom-based Aviation Health Institute. “Other passengers who have predisposing factors have a higher risk of between 5 percent to 6 percent. About 10 to 15 passengers on a jumbo jet [Boeing 747] could develop a DVT.”

In the popular press, DVT is sometimes called “economy class syndrome.” Thomas Lamb, 68, had been sitting in his economy class seat for almost a day from London to Australia in 2000. When he arrived in Melbourne, he had breathing difficulties and was taken to the hospital where he fell into a coma and later died.

The term “economy-class syndrome,” in use since 1977, is slightly misleading. For instance, American President Richard Nixon, who suffered DVT after visiting China in 1972, was not flying economy; he was on his presidential jet. “It’s wrong to assume that it is limited to economy class passengers,” argued Kahn, who has authored several books on aviation health and medicine.

Although DVT is mostly associated with elderly travelers, younger ones are not spared. Briton Emma Christofferson was only 28 when she succumbed to DVT. She was traveling home to London from a three-week trip to Australia, on a flight via Singapore in 2000. After disembarking at Heathrow, in London, she made her way to the arrival hall with the other passengers. Suddenly, unable to breathe, she collapsed and died before reaching a hospital.

Risk factors

There are multiple risk factors for developing blood clots in the leg, health authorities claim. There are genetic risk factors and then superimposed on that are risk factors such as having surgery or a trauma. “It is likely that most individuals who develop a DVT during or after a long plane flight also have additional risk factors,” Raskob maintains.

This has been confirmed in a study, which appeared in British Journal of Hematology. It concluded that the risk of DVT was only increased in long-haul travelers if one or more additional risk factors were present.

According to Fister, the risk of DVT is greater in the following people: older persons (over 40 years of age); have had previous blood clots; with a family history of blood clots or an inherited clotting tendency; suffering from or who have had treatment for cancer; with certain blood diseases; being treated for heart failure and circulation problems; have had recent surgery especially on the hips or knees; and pregnant.

Obese, smokers and tall people are also at risk. “Women who take birth-control pills or undergoing hormone replacement therapy are also likely to suffer from a DVT because estrogen is a risk factor for clotting,” informs Raskob.

Not just by air travel

Contrary to common belief, DVT is not just caused by air travel. In 2003, American television anchorman David Bloom, 39, died from DVT after riding hours upon hours, day after day in a cramped tank while covering the war in Iraq.

Since reported DVT cases around the world are sketchy despite well publicized by media, airline officials are rejecting the idea of any link between flying and DVT. “DVTs have been reported in medical journals as early as the 1950s but we still don’t have a clear idea on the actual incidence of DVT in travelers and it’s associated morbidity or mortality,” says Fister, who has been advising travelers about the hazards of DVT. “Further study is needed to clarify.”

In 2001 the Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO) convened a symposium of medical experts and 16 airline officials. In a statement issued after the meeting, the airline industry representatives conceded that there “probably exists an association between venous thrombosis and travel in general,” and that more research is needed into DVT triggered by travel.

So be it, Kahn argues. “There is a greater likelihood of a DVT occurring in flight than on ground transport because the three factors that can cause it to develop are found in the cabin environment: prolonged sitting, dry air, and lower oxygen levels that trigger blood clots,” he says.

Without warning

Almost half the time, DVT strikes without warning. “Up to 50 percent of all DVT cases are unknown—most likely even higher—since most people may not experience any symptoms at all,” Fister says. “Most likely lots of people get DVT without any knowledge and where the clot forms and dissolves all on its own and they are none the wiser.”

In most instances, doctors misdiagnose DVT. “The symptoms and signs are very ‘nonspecific,’ meaning they may be caused by many different medical conditions,” Raskob explains. “DVT is frequently mistaken for other conditions such as muscle strains, skin infections, heart failure, dependent edema and ruptured Baker’s cyst,” informs Kamar.

In some occasions, symptoms may be apparent which include: deep muscle pain, muscular tenderness, swelling or tightness, discoloration of the affected area, and skin that feels unusually warm. “More often than not, these classical symptoms are found in only a minority of cases,” says Jongh.

Like DVT, pulmonary embolism is also hard to diagnose. Just as the symptoms and signs of a DVT are not clear, so is pulmonary embolism. Many or none of the following may be evident: sweating, fainting, feeling short of breath, feeling pain or tightness in the chest, having a fast pulse, and coughing up blood-stained phlegm, among others.

“DVT does not occur during the flight but after the flight hours or days later,” Kahn reminds. “Even two to three weeks later, anyone who experienced some symptoms should consult their doctors. They should tell them that they have been on a flight and ask to check them for possible DVT.”


Symptoms alone are not the only basis for a person to be diagnosed of suffering from a DVT. Dr Mark Ebell, associate medical professor of the Michigan State University, says the most commonly used diagnostic tests for DVT include ultrasound (test blood flow through the veins), constant venography (monitoring the progress of dye injected into the bloodstream); chest x-ray/scan (for people with breathing difficulties); arterial blood gas (to measure the amount of oxygen and other gases in the blood); and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

“When this disorder is suspected, color Doppler ultrasonography can confirm the diagnosis,” The Merck Manual of Medical Information notes. “If the person has symptoms of pulmonary embolism, chest scanning using a radioactive marker is performed to confirm the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism, and color Doppler ultrasonography is performed to check the legs for clots. These procedures are performed except when a person collapses. Collapse suggests massive pulmonary embolism and requires immediate treatment.”


Drugs that thin the blood and allow it to flow more easily are the primary treatment for DVT or similar problems with clotting of the blood. On diagnosis of a DVT, this usually initially involves giving high doses of the drug heparin by injection. Patients are also prescribed a similar drug, warfarin, in tablet form, which they may take for several months.

When taking these blood-thinning drugs, patients usually have regular blood tests to make sure they are getting the right dose and are not at risk of a hemorrhage. “The use of heparin should be stopped once the dose of warfarin has stabilized,” Kamar says.

Doctors say a simple aspirin tablet taken a few hours before take off thins the blood during long periods of inactivity. The number of victims would fall significantly if more air passengers followed this advice.

On its web site, Singapore Air Lines recommends to air travelers to exercise during flights. “The safety of our passengers is always of paramount importance, and we refer to the possible effects of flying in our in-flight magazine.”

Japan Airlines, the biggest user of Narita airport, advised its passengers to stretch their legs. “If you can’t walk during the flight, flex your ankle up and down, as if you are stepping on the accelerator in the car,” Fister says. “Do this exercise about 20 times every two to four hours you are in flight.”

Another problem: Plane air is dry, and fliers can easily become dehydrated. “When you are dehydrated, your blood becomes thicker, increasing risk of clots,” Kamar says. “To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol and coffee, if possible.”

Other experts advise passengers to dress comfortably and in loose clothing. “Avoid tight garments and shoes. For a long flight, pack slippers or an extra pair of warm socks. These not only keep your feet warm but also allow the blood in your feet to circulate more freely,” Castillo says.

“Wear approved compression stockings to cover the length of the whole leg to give support to the veins and reduce swelling,” Jongh recommends. Studies have shown that flight socks are effective in controlling edema and in reducing the incidence of DVT among low-medium-risk people in long-haul flights (seven to 11 hours).

The problem of DVT is expected to be more prevalent, as air travel is becoming increasingly more accessible to people both through the availability of cheap flights and because the airlines are now able to cater for individuals of all ages and disabilities.

Airport Expenditures For 2016

14 October 2015

Major Airport Investments
  • 2.093B - Panglao International Airport
  • 2.093B - Clark International Airport 
  • 1.002B - Naga Airport Reconstruction Project.
Other Airport Investments



₱10 million
Antique Runway Ext & shoulder grade correction

₱11.8 million
Bagabag Data 2

₱33.2 million
Basco Data 3

₱747.4 million
Bicol International PTB, Runway Completion

₱2 million
Butuan Data 5

₱203.6 million
Calbayog PTB, runway ext & exp

₱198.0 million
Cauayan Data 7

₱51.5 million
Cotabato Data 8

₱25.4 million
Dipolog Runway Asphalt overlay, marking and access road

₱13.5 million
Laoag International Shoulder Grade Correction & Runway Rehab

₱20.0 million
Ozamiz Data 11

₱68.1 million
Puerto Princesa International Landside acquisition

₱185.7 million
San Jose Data 13

₱34.0 million
San Vicente Data 14

₱577.7 million
Sanga-Sanga Runway ext.& exp. with new PTB

₱264.1 million
Siargao Data 16

₱40.8 million
Siquijor PTB, Parking Area, Power house

₱8.8 million
Taytay Data 18

₱194.6 million
Tuguegarao Data 19

₱32.6 million
Virac Data 20

₱160.1 million
Zamboanga International PTB imp

PAL Plane Stalls At TAG Runway

5 October 2015

A Philippine Airlines Airbus 320-200 plane (RP-C8609) with 100 passengers and 6 crew members on board stalled on the runway of Tagbilaran Airport forcing the airport's closure Saturday.

The PAL plane flying under flight PR2777 managed to land at around 4:01 p.m. on Saturday, but the right engine malfunctioned after employing reversed thrust causing it to stop at the runway. Its return flight to Manila was canceled at around 5 p.m. after airport authorities failed to removed the aircraft obstruction on the runway.  The aircraft has since been moved to the tarmac Sunday to facilitate landing of other aircraft.                                                                                CNN Philippines

PAL Upgrades JFK Service

5 October 2015

Philippine Airlines (PAL) is upgrading equipment to New York as it up-gauge passenger capacity beginning October 26.

The airline will shift to 370-seater (42 business/328 economy) Boeing 777-300ERs from the 254-seater Airbus A340s to operate between the two cities due to increase demand from the route.

“Using the B777 to the US Mainland enables us to operate our long haul flights efficiently and economically,” according to PAL President & Chief Operating Officer Jaime J. Bautista.

The upgrade is part of the eventual direct flight to New York to be introduce next year when new triple seven arrives.

Philippine Airlines is taking delivery of two additional units, slated to arrive in October and December 2016, respectively, says Bautista.

Jeddah and Kuwait, Finally For PR

5 October 2015

Philippine Airlines has announced that it will start flying Jeddah and Kuwait effective December 1, 2015. The airline will fly the route via its new hub in Dubai. The flight will depart Manila at 10:00 p.m. instead of the current midday departure arriving Dubai early morning. Connecting flight will arrive Jeddah every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and Kuwait every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday at 8:25 a.m. and 6:55 a.m., respectively. Return flight is at 2:15 p.m. from Jeddah, and 4:05 p.m. from Kuwait arriving Manila at 8:20 a.m. the following day.

Seair's Jet To Turboprop Operations

CEBGO To Operate ATR's

5 October 2015

The current iteration of Southeast Asia Airlines, Cebgo (DG, Manila) has ceased jet operations with the return of its sole remaining A320-200 - RP-C3270 (cn 5320) - to parent airline Cebu Pacific Air.

Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific will likewise cease turboprop operations with its last ATR72-500 flight scheduled for today, October 5. Eight of the type are scheduled to be transferred to Cebgo tomorrow which intend to grow the fleet to 15 starting next year.

Cebu Pacific started transferring its turboprop route network to its subsidiary subsidiary last September 25 with the shift expected to be complete by the end of October.

Cebu Pacific and Tiger Air of Singapore earlier secured Singaporean anti-trust regulatory approval for their enhanced joint venture on flights between the Philippines and Singapore.

Under their original agreement filed in September of last year, the two carriers proposed jointly operating common routes between the two countries (Singapore to Manila, Clark, and Cebu in particular) and other markets that may emerge, on a metal-neutral basis. In addition, they intended to jointly sell and market common and non-common routes while cooperating in the area of sales and marketing, distribution, airport operations and ground handling, scheduling, procurement, and pricing among other areas.