Sunday, September 11, 2011

Confessions of an Aviation Geek

I am one of those people who dreams of flying and touring around the world. Despite the exorbitant tuition fee of flying school (yes, I’m talking millions here), it didn’t make me to stop dreaming about it.

Besides, when you dream, you have to dream BIG.


I always fancy airplanes, Boeing-made airplanes to be precise. My fascination started when I was little. My grandmother gave me a souvenir from Saudia Airlines, a 1:500 model scale of Saudia’s A330-300 plane.

Since then, I’ve started to appreciate those big birds, majestically flying in the sky.

My fascination with planes grew after moving in to our new home located just a few hundred meters from the runway of Davao International Airport. I always remember that every afternoon, mom and I together with some of our neighbors would spend some quality time at the green meadows near the runway. There were no perimeter fences back then and people were allowed to cross the runway, except if there’s air traffic (of course).

Every time a plane lands and departs, I always go out and check it. I will never forget how loud the engines of the vintage planes of Cebu Pacific Air’s DC-9 and Air Philippines’ Boeing 737-200 were.

One day, my uncle who works as an Air Traffic Controller invited me to spend some quality time with him at the control tower. I was still a freshman high school student back then. I have learned more about the principles of aviation since some of his officemates eagerly shared their experiences and stories about the nature of their job! And from that moment, I’d always spent my Saturday with my tito at the control tower where I can see planes departing and arriving more closely and listen as the air traffic controllers communicate with the pilots.

I was so lucky that I have lots of connections at Davao International Airport but I got luckier and happier when I met people who share the same passion.

(From L-R) That’s Jonathan, yours truly and Ryan – one of my fellow aviation geeks.

Jump shot at our favorite spot near RWY 05. Photo by Ryan Ong.

Just this week, Ryan requested to planespot before he leaves for New Jersey next Thursday. I contacted my tito and agreed to meet him at the control tower after our early morning planespotting activity. These are some of my shots from yesterday’s activity:

Woke up at around 5:07 AM and captured this beautiful photo. I know that my day would be a promising one.

Taken from our favorite spot near the end of RWY 05 of the airport.

Final Approach. ATR-72 and Airbus A319-100 of Cebu Pacific Air and Airbus A320-200 of Zest Air

At around 8AM, we went to the control tower to meet up with my uncle. They even offered us to climb at the roof top of the control tower to have a better picture of the planes and the airport.

Davao International Airport. View from the rooftop of the control tower.

And yes, the Boeing 747-400 of Philippine Airlines flies twice a day here in Davao!

Big Bird!

After invading the control tower, we went to the passenger terminal building to meet up with Tito Oliver who works at the IT Department of Philippine Airlines.

We were briefed on how airline companies work with their passenger’s cargo and luggage every day. He even shared his experience about the transfer of all airline operations from the old terminal of the airport to the new one last December 2003.

IMG_2643Facade of Davao International Airport
Airline operations in the afternoon.

Back at the office, we played Flight Simulator X and talked for hours until 9PM. Here are some my shots during the night operations of the airport:

Davao International Airport looks lovely at night!

And I even had the chance to meet and had a picture with Maja Salvador! Maja’s such a simple, beautiful and down-to-earth person! Kilig!

Me and Maja Salvador!

I had fun yesterday with my fellow aviation geeks. I know that some people wouldn’t still understand why I am so obsessed with everything that is related with aviation. But one thing’s for sure: it’s the reason why I always get excited whenever I ride an airplane, as if it’s my first time.

I am looking forward to meet people who share the same passion. Cheers!


  1. Wow Renz! Na-meet mo pala in person yung celebrity look-alike kez! <3 Hahaha.

    Very nice post! Halatang halata yung love mo for aviation. And the first photo is really nice. =)

    I guess we're the complete opposites. I'm always almost paralyzed everytime I ride the airplane. Wahaha.

  2. Mas maganda si Maja sa picture na to kesa sa telenovela nya. :))

  3. hi Robbie! Haha was so happy when I saw Maja in person! :) Oy, bakit ayaw mong sumakay ng eroplano? Also, I love turbulent flights IDKWHY HAHAHAHA!

    AJ! She's pretty in person!

  4. Sa nayong Pilipino, yung old one sa tabi ng NAIA ok din .

  5. wow! congrats renz, kaya pala dami mo alam about planes the last time na nagkwentuhan tayo. pwede rin bang pumasok sa control towers next time? hehe

    ikaw na ang nakapag pa picture kay maja...baka masapak ka lang ni matteo lol

  6. WTF! You're weird! I would die if I experience any kind of turbulence! Hahaha.

  7. @Jerome! Buti nalang at di ako sinapak ni Matteo. :))

  8. Hmmp! Naisingit pa yung ke Maja dito
    Kaingget. . as in! >.<

    Anyway, ewan ko't takot na takot akong sumakay ng eroplano! :\

    Maja <3

  9. Really, Mark? I love plane rides! :D

  10. I also love aviation... and I love planespotting too... Airplanes are fascinating work of man. What's your favorite airplane type? I like Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus 330-300. I like Boeing 747-400 too.

  11. Hey Ian! I love B777-300ER, A340-600 and B747-8 Intercontinental :)

  12. very nice blog.. I'm a big fan of airplanes also. and I agree with what you said about how much it cost flying a plane..

    well, someday I know we can make it. Especially if we put our heart into it..

    nice one bro. keep it up!

  13. wow.. never thought i'd find a davaoeno who'd share the same passion for aviation and travel like me.. cheers!
    do you also collect model aircrafts?

    i'm Leonard btw.. :)

  14. Nice. I like airplanes too and I get this excitement whenever I fly so I made a sort of a covenant that I should travel at least twice per year so I can fly. It is also good that I now work in the airline industry, giving me more knowledge about Aviation. :)

  15. Hey! you have a very nice blog.detailed and loads of pics! Same here, also fascinated with airplanes.


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