Cebu's Charm + The New Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 2
How many times have you been to Cebu? I cannot even count anymore!
I found myself back in Cebu last weekend, just for a night, to check out their newest airport. I said I wouldn't go out of town anymore so I can prepare for my one month trip, but I cannot resist joining Cebu Pacific as one of the firsts to see the operational Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal 2. Humirit pa, hehehe!
True enough, it was very impressive and world class! Nakaka proud that we have this here in the country, and I am hoping that our own NAIA here in Metro Manila will follow its standards.
Anyway, let me take you through that short Cebu trip, and why I keep on coming back in the sunny south.
Pretending to check the room service, my bad habit every after check-in! Haha!
Quick flight from Manila to Cebu via Cebu Pacific. I had the onboard meal, anticipated the games, went through the Smile Magazine, and after a while, our pilot announced to prepare for landing.
That's one thing why I love going back to Cebu, travel time is short--maybe even shorter than Friday rush hour in EDSA hahaha!
Our group of travel bloggers and media guests from different parts of the Philippines stayed in Waterfront Hotel just across the airport. I had a room to myself, and was hoping I have mommy or my sister with me! Hehe! I love that it is so spacious and comfortable. Breakfast buffet is also good, I always enjoy my mornings and meals in Cebu!
Second thing about Cebu, the food trip! I can go on and on with all their selections for every craving and food preference, but I will just link my Cebu food crawl blog post.
We then proceeded to Crimson Hotel Mactan, around 30 minutes away from our hotel, so we can have a good dinner for our first and only night in the city. I've been to Crimson Hotel Mactan before for a food crawl with Sun Cellular team, but it's my first time to see it during daytime, tour its beautiful villas (goal ko na to stay here next time), and even have dinner in the hotel's resto Enye.
Third reason why I love Cebu: They have the best of both worlds. Beach is so near the city, you can enjoy both in just one trip!
I still want to go back to Cebu next time, and finally visit the other vacation spots outside the city!
Thank you Ñ Crimson Hotel Mactan for my special vegetarian dinner! I love love everything! ❤
The next day, we finally went to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) Terminal 2 (T2) to tour the newest airport in the Philippines! Our main agenda!
I've seen it on pictures online and from afar when we arrived the other day, but when we went out of our vans in front of the actual structure, sobrang naamaze ako! It's as if I am in a different country, and my itchy feet just wants to travel stat!! Haha!
The second biggest airport in the country, MCIA T2 flies a total of 23 international destinations, 33 domestic destinations, and with 26 partner airline carriers. They are the main gateway of Visayas and Southern Philippines, connecting Cebu and the Philippines to the rest of the world!
Upon entering the airport, you will notice that there are no initial X-rays for the luggage:
Imagining this as their most "Instagramable" area! Hehe!
LG Electronics Philippines, the world's leading OLED TV manufacturer, has on display its ultra-slim, 55-inch C8 OLED TVs strategically placed at the apron areas, departure check-in and departure gates:
Warm Filipino smiles and accommodating vibe from the welcoming committee! ❤
Look Up, Look Down
Designed by Hong Kong-based architectural firm Integrated Design Associates LTD (IDA), the concept of the T2 is inspired by the natural landscape of the Philippines, the locality of Cebu, and the warmth and hospitality of its people. It has a tropical vibe, and they aptly dubbed the T2 as a "resort-style airport".
Looking up, the roof structure is made up of an array of glued-laminated (or gulam) timber wood arches from Austria. Undeniably the highlight of the airport, the sleek geometries of the wooden roof are reminiscent of the waves of the seas around Mactan Cebu Island. It also looks like an inverted boat to me!
In the center of the arches is the sky roof, transparent-glazed and soundproof glass facade that lets natural light in.
And when you look down, you'll notice the iridescent Terrazzo flooring with mother-of-pearls inlay! This detail represents Cebu's white sand beaches, and with the sky roof letting in natural light inside the airport during daytime, watch T2 sparkle like Cebu's islands!
It's in the Details!
When you look closely at the check-in counters, they are designed with environmental friendly fiber-synthetic mesh weaving rattan, with a touch of LED lights.
And in contrast with the usual high counters in airport, the ones in T2 are low enough so the passengers and the airline staff can easily communicate eye-to-eye.
Not in photos, but MCIA T2 also boasts of its high-speed baggage handling system, a first here in the Philippines, which has four levels of inline screening system. This technology quickly but accurately ensures that all checked-in baggage are free of security restricted items.
You will also find the self check-in machines here and there:
Need to go to the loo? Inside the washrooms they have lush moss walls sourced and manufactured from Italy! This innovative indoor gardening helps stabilize the humidity and improve the quality of air of the room.
Real mahogany wood for the cubicle and doors, bidet and tissue are both available:
Catch these beautiful resting places around the airport. Chair by world-reknown Cebu furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue:
Staying Long in the Airport?
T2's F&B is operated by British Company SSP Group, same operators of London's Heathrow, New York's John F Kennedy International Airport, and Thailand's Suvarnabhumi Airport. Some of the selections at T2 include Burger King, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Nippon Ramen, Bonchon, Asian Kitchen, etc.
They also have the Cabin Bar where you can have your drinks while waiting for your boarding time:
Familiar coffee and a small meal when you dine in CBTL:
Last-minute shopping? T2 has a Duty Free, Duty Paid walkthrough areas, WH Smith, and Plug and Play stores to name a few.
Luxury brand of skincare, makeup, and perfumes:
International brands like The Body Shop, L'Oreal, and MAC:
And Momento, for local goods and delicacies that you can bring home:
You will notice that even the plants in the shopping area are not real. This is to prevent any bugs and pests in the airport, a prime concern since it is built with lots of wood details.
They have The Spa At Cebu, a smoking room, a prayers room:
...And the Plaza Premium Lounge, my favorite, a space for their business class passengers. You can also pay a certain amount if you want to avail this, ideal for late flights or long layovers. I think entrance is about Php 1500+ only, and it already includes use of the shower rooms, food lounge, a playroom for kids, and an area where you can just rest and charge your gadgets.
Spacious resting area:
Charging stations in every nook and corner of the lounge:
Love the privacy of these chairs, plus each cubicle has its own outlet and small lamp:
At the Arrival Area, I noticed the parked trolleys near the rotating baggage claim:
I also saw several money changers before exiting the Arrival Area, super convenient!
Of course, we did not leave the airport without visiting Cebu Pacific's Flight Hub! You can entertain yourself here with their photo booths while you wait for your flight.
And while we're at it, here are some...
1) The will now offer cargo capacity that no other carrier in the Philippines can provide! And like their airfare, rates of this new service will definitely be competitive. You can read more about this HERE.
2) Cebupac now flies straight from Manila to Melbourne, Australia 3x weekly! This new international route is my new travel bucket list for this or next year!
And lastly, 3) Cebupac currently has 67 aircrafts, with average fleet age of 4.9 years -- one of the youngest aircraft fleets in the world!
Went back to Manila via Cebu Pacific, and we reached in the NAIA in just about an hour. While up in the sky, I was reading the Smile Magazine and saw the feature for the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal 2.
Indeed, aside from the aesthetics and technology, the new Mactan-Cebu International Airport also puts Cebu on the map. With all the Korean stars wanting to visit the country, specifically CEBU, it's nice to know that our guests from all-over the world will be welcomed in our country in the best way we possibly can. Airports should give good first impressions, and leave lasting memories for every travellers. Good job, GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation!
A big thank you to Cebu Pacific Air for having me in this trip and for taking care of me!
Fly to Cebu via Cebu Pacific, or book for your next adventures at http://www.cebupacificair.com. ❤
You can read more on my past Cebu travel blogs HERE.
Daghang salamat, Cebu, I'll be back!