Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Road to Tacloban: Day Zero

After months of waiting, I am finally here! Tacloban Tower/Approach Control is my first facility assignment and honestly, I really don't know what's in store for me in the next couple of weeks. I am sure that the lecture will start soon and I have to review the local aerodrome procedures, the standard phraseologies and strip markings, and all the essential things I have learned during my ATC training last year.

Right now, I am staying at the quarters of the control tower. Life here is simpler than Manila, and I am loving every bit of it.

A day before my flight, PAL Express informed me that my flight will be moved to an earlier time slot - from 3:15PM to 2:25PM. Not bad. Good thing the traffic wasn't terrible in EDSA. I thought I'd had a mad dash to the check-in counter. You know what? I had mixed emotions while waiting for my flight. I was feeling sad because I'm not going to see my close friends/colleagues for a long time but at the same I was feeling excited and determined because it's a new beginning. It was a great way to start my year. New place, new people to meet and mingle, and new lessons to learn and digest.

I was fortunate enough to have a window seat assignment. These are some of the photos I took during the final approach phase of the flight. Take note that I only used my iPhone 4 for some obvious reasons.

Green scenery.

Tents and debris.

Four months after super typhoon Yolanda wreaked unimaginable havoc to Tacloban, yet the wrath of the typhoon can still be seen from the air. The trunks of the fallen coconut trees lay scattered on barren lands like toothpicks, tents have also sprouted like mushrooms in places that used to be a village or a commercial center.

Upon disembarkation, the process of claiming the bags was primitive. The conveyor belt was not functioning, making it more challenging to search for your check-in luggage. The terminal itself was severely damaged. It's really hard to imagine on how it got destroyed by a raging wall of water... a wall of water that is two-storey high! But there it is, still standing despite the structural damage, and still providing air transport services to the public.

At the end of the runway.


I was prohibited to roam the city after dark. It's still dangerous as of this writing. I was advised to just stay within the airport. Well, good thing the internet service is fast and reliable. The internet will surely save me from boredom! Although, it's perfectly safe to do some basic errands in broad daylight - aka grocery at Robinsons, laundry, and banking services.

Well, I think I have to learn some tips and tricks here in the city.

I can't wait to document and blog my Tacloban experience!

View from the control tower.

Inside the control tower.


  1. Good luck in your Tacloban Sojourn Renzy. Stay safe and don't forget to learn and have fun!

    God bless you!

  2. Nice. tacloban city is my hometown. If ever i'll visit the city again and you're still there i would be willing to tour you around even for a "nightlife". Enjoy your stay! - lakwatserong tsinelas

  3. @Mommy Rovie: Enjoy naman ako rito! Masaya naman! :D

    @Mark: Hehe, will explore downtown Tacloban pag may time :)

  4. I love to see the green on your photo but sad to see na makita pa rin ang effects ni aling yoling. :(

    Anyway, enjoy your new place, Renz! I wish sa Manila ka pa rin. Kasi every time I flew in before u moved to Plaridel, feel ko safe kami on the ground and in the air kasi andun ka sa tower.

    1. Hehehe, don't worry, you're still safe even if I'm not in Manila na. Magagaling din kaya nandon, yung iba nga 15-20 years in service nga eh :D

  5. gawa na ng Tacloban blog! lol. hehe

    Always a relief to find fast and reliable internet wherever we are. Keep up the good work, renz!


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