Public Bus from EDSA LRT Station to NAIA

If you heed the existence of taxis, then leaving Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to downtown isn’t an easy matter. On the other hand, returning to NAIA from downtown turned out to be the same. I hope that the airport train at NAIA is immediately built.

I asked a young man at a 7-Eleven minimarket, there was no bus and a Jeepney to NAIA, “Will be better if you use a taxi to the airport, Sir”, was his short answer. Likewise bus timers, “No…No…No”, he briefly answered without looking at my face at all, maybe they didn’t understand English or I didn’t know myself because I didn’t understand Tagalog.

I saw two police officers in blue uniforms controlling traffic under the LRT line, not far from EDSA LRT Station. I hurried across Epifano de los Santos Avenue to facing the two of them.

“Can you help me, Sir? I want to go to airport. Which bus should I take?” I asked as politely as possible, I didn’t want to cause any trouble at the end of my trip back home.

“Use that bus, it will stop at that pole”, he pointed to a bus which a second ago drove in front of three of us. Then pointed to a pole near 7-Eleven minimarket where I had lunch earlier.

“Thank you, Sir,” I happily said because I had just found my way home.

15 minutes later, the bus came and without hesitation I boarded it after the conductor confirmed that he could drop me off at NAIA Terminal 1. A coincidence that made me happy, because I had to take my backpack first at Terminal 1 before leaving for Jakarta from Terminal 2.

Getting in through its front door and out from back door.

Paying the fare with 30 Peso, I headed to NAIA via streets of Manila. Didn’t imagine about how like to driving in Manila. Never mind, just likes Jakarta. Manila, which is the busiest city in Asia, had made the bus I was riding choked up along the road towards airport. “Luckily for me, I didn’t insist on going to Manila Baywalk. I can’t imagine, I might arrive when it’s dark at NAIA”, I thought with relief.

Choking in a straight road, fulfilling the road, being stuck at every intersection, stopping at every red light made that afternoon so boring and exciting at the same time. Boring because of often experienced like it in Jakarta, exciting because I was getting the same thing in other country.

Kept closer…..
Honda Click, Yamaha Aerox, Suzuki Raider….Several motorcycle brands on the streets of Manila.

The all-red bus which I was riding then replaced the boredom I experienced along the way by parking itself at a giant bus terminal. Titled as PITX, it acts as a transportation hub for every bus, jeepney and any public transportation which will go to south of Manila. This transportation integration building looks dashing and still looks new. Understandably, just two years i operation.

Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).
Getting closer to NAIA….Almost arrived.

The clock almost pointed to number fifteen, I arrived at NAIA Terminal 1, bus conductor dropped me off right at a small bus stop where I left NAIA that morning. My face couldn’t hide the joy because Jakarta seemed to be in my eyes. Twenty-one days wasn’t a short time to leaving home to foreign places which separated by wide ocean.

I took a backpack and went home.

Wrong Date at Ninoy Aquino International Airport

Serving 47 million passengers every year.

Philippine Airlines flight number PR 685 smoothly landed on one of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)’s runways. This large-bodied aircraft gallantly taxied to the apron at Terminal 1. This plane should have landed at Terminal 2, because it was in the process of being renovated, the terminal was diverted. Terminal 1 itself is the mainhub of Cebu Pacific airline, while the mainhub of Philippine Airlines is in Terminal 2.

This wasn’t my first landing in Philippines because I had visited this country four years ago. Now I have landed at NAIA again, not for a visitation but only for transit before actually arriving in Jakarta. And this is Donny who didn’t want his transit only used to staying at the airport….Yes, I would go to downtown within 7 hours of the transit time.

The name Ninoy Aquino International Airport itself is dedicated to Ninoy Aquino Jr who was killed in Terminal 1 after returning from exile in United States on 1983.

The atmosphere of Christmas celebrations still felt at conveyor belt area.
Tourist Information Center.
Arrival Hall.

PR 685 slowly passed through the hangar belonging to Lufthansa Technik Philippines, Inc. which is an aircraft maintenance service company at this airport, then passed a row of yellow airlines “Cebu Pacific” which is the Low Cost Carrier (LCC) of the pride of Duterte’s country, through Terminal 2 Domestic Departure and finally stopped at Terminal 1.

The beautiful Philippine Airlines staff carried a small sign that said “transfer” and stood in the middle of corridor to collect passengers who would continue their flight to their next destination. They would be taken by Airport Shuttle Transfer Service to Terminal 2. I who stated that I wanted to go to downtown during transit was given a piece of paper which must be filled out and would be attached with a ticket to Jakarta to be submitted to immigration counter.

Immigration Staff : “Where will you go in transit time?”.

Me : “Manila Baywalk, S”

Immigration Staff : “What for?”

Me : “Just sightseeing, Sir”.

A brief conversation at immigration counter which got me through with Philippines immigration stamp on my green passport. I had to ask an Aviation Security officer to find a luggage storage location to put my backpack to make my steps easier to get to downtown. I handed over 20 Peso to Baggage Assistance Counter and they put my backpack on its shelf.

Hunting Peso in money changer.
Baggage Assistance Counter.
Luggage storage racks belonging to Orbit Air Systems (The ground handling company at NAIA).

Passing the exit gate, I headed to a counter belonging to PLTD Enterprise which offered free SIM cards with “Smart 5G” brand for travelers. I politely declined the data package they offered because I only needed GPS service from this prepaid SIM card.


After finishing a short tour of the city, I was dropped off by city bus driver at Terminal 1. Saving time, I headed to luggage storage area and grabbed my backpack. Then go to Airport Shuttle Transfer Service waiting room to moving to Terminal 2, the terminal where I would fly to Jakarta.

Terminal 2 itself was completed in 1998 and was nicknamed Centennial Terminal because its completion coincided with the centennial anniversary of Philippines’ declaration of independence from Spanish colonial rule. This terminal was originally designed by Aéroports de Paris.

In front of Terminal 2, I was dropped off. Many location points were covered by project boards, indicating that this terminal was being renovated. The remaining pesos which failed to be exchanged at Terminal 1 money changer on reason that money which I exchanged was in small denominations, was finally able to be exchanged at a money changer outside Terminal 2 building. Now Peso has turned into US Dollars.

A little incident happened at immigration counter, an immigration officer of Spanish descent was a little confused and asked other immigration staff. It turned out that the date stamped on my passport when I entered Manila this morning was still tomorrow’s date.

ArDirections to Airport Shuttle Transfer Service Terminal 1.
Airport Shuttle Transfer Service @Terminal 1.
Drop off zone in Terminal 2.

Immigration Staff : “When do you entering Manila? “.

Me: “Last morning, Sir”.

Immigration Staff : “Why don’t you check the date?”

Me: “What’s wrong, Sir”.

Immigration Staff : “The date in your free visa is tomorrow”.

Me: “Oh I’m sorry, I don’t aware about it”

Immigration Staff : “Can you show your arrival and departure boarding pass?”

Me: “These are, sir”

Immigration Staff : “Okay, It’s no problem. You can go”.

Finally I was allowed to leaving Manila and preparing to return to my hometown. I felt very calm, having arrived three hours before boarding time. But for hours sitting in the waiting room, I didn’t immediately find my flight number PR 535 on the LCD information screen. I ventured into the Mabuhay Lounge to inquire about the official schedule of my flight to a Philippine Airlines staff on duty at reception lounge. She said that my flight had a delay which couldn’t be announced until when, but I was shown the gate number where I had to wait which was Gate 11.

I just sat at Gate 11 for a while, when I heard an announcement that the flight was postponed until 23:00 hours due to flight traffic disruptions as a effect of the eruption of Mount Taal in Tagaytay area.

Check-in counter.
Departure Hall.
Laptop station.
Mabuhay Lounge.
Waiting room in front of Gate 11.

Exactly at 23:00 hours, I started boarding and left many impressions at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Thank you NAIA, see you later.

Bus Umum dari Stasiun LRT EDSA ke NAIA

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Jika kamu mengindahkan keberadaan taksi, maka meninggalkan Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) menuju ke pusat kota bukan perkara yang mudah. Sebaliknya, kembali ke NAIA dari pusat kota ternyata pun demikian. Akan begitu seterusnya jika airport train di NAIA tak segera dibangun.

Aku bertanya kepada pemuda si sebuah gerai 7-Eleven, tak ada bus dan Jeepney menuju NAIA, “Will be better if you use taxi to airport, Sir”, begitu solusi singkat darinya. Begitupun para timer bus, “No…No…No”, jawabnya singkat tanpa melihat mukaku sama sekali, mungkin mereka tak mengerti bahasa Inggris atau aku yang tak tahu diri karena tak faham Tagalog.

Kulihat dua opsir polisi berseragam biru, sedang mengatur lalu lintas di sebuah kolong jalur LRT, tak jauh dari Stasiun LRT EDSA. Aku tergopoh menyeberangi Epifano de los Santos Avenue untuk menghadap ke mereka berdua.

Can you help me, Sir?. I want go to airport. Which bus should I take?”, pertanyaan kulempar sesopan mungkin, aku tak mau membuat masalah di ujung perjalanan balik rumah.

Use that bus, it will stop at that pole”, dia menunjuk sebuah bus yang sedetik lalu melaju di depan kami bertiga. Kemudian menunjuk sebuah tiang di dekat 7-Eleven tempatku bersantap siang tadi.

Thank you, Sir”, ucapku girang karena baru saja menemukan cara pulang.

15 menit kemudian, bus datang dan tanpa ragu aku menaikinya setelah sang kondektur mengkonfirmasi bahwa dia bisa menurunkanku di Terminal 1 NAIA. Suatu kebetulan yang membuatku bahagia, karena aku harus mengambil backpack terlebih dahulu di Terminal 1 sebelum berangkat ke Jakarta dari Terminal 2.

Menaikinya dari pintu depan dan keluar dari pintu tengah.

Membayar ongkos Rp. 9.000 aku menuju NAIA melalui jalanan Manila. Janganlah dibayangkan seperti apa berkendara di Manila. Sudahlah, mirip saja Jakarta. Manila sang penyandang kota termacet di Asia telah membuat bus yang kunaiki saling berimpit merangsek di sepanjang jalan menuju bandara.  “Beruntungnya diriku, tak jadi berkukuh diri menuju Manila Baywalk. Tak terbayang, bisa-bisa aku tiba saat gelap di NAIA”, batinku lega.

Merayap di jalur lurus, merapat memenuhi badan jalan, tertahan di setiap persimpangan, terhenti di setiap lampu merah membuat sore itu begitu membosankan sekaligus mengasyikkan. Bosan karena terbiasa dengan hal seperti itu di Jakarta, Asyik karena apa yang sedang kualami terjadi di negeri orang.

Nempel terusss…..
Honda Click, Yamaha Aerox, Suzuki Raider….Beberapa brand sepeda motor di jalanan Manila.

Bus serba merah yang kunaiki kemudian menukar kejenuhan yang kualami sepanjang jalan dengan memarkirkan diri di sebuah terminal bus raksasa. Bertajuk PITX, berperan sebagai transportation hub untuk setiap bus, jeepney dan transportasi publik apapun yang akan menuju ke selatan Manila. Bangunan pengintegrasi transportasi ini terlihat gagah dan masih tampak baru. Maklum, baru berusia operasional dua tahun.

Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).
Merapat ke NAIA….Hampir sampai.

Jam hampir menunjuk bilangan lima belas, aku tiba di Terminal 1 NAIA, kondektur menurunkanku tepat di sebuah halte kecil tempatku beranjak meninggalkan NAIA pagi tadi. Mukaku tak bisa menyembunyikan rasa senang karena Jakarta seolah sudah di pelupuk mata. Dua puluh satu hari bukan waktu yang pendek untuk meninggalkan rumah menuju tempat-tempat asing yang terpisahkan samudera.

Kita ambil backpack dan pulaaaaanggggg.

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Salah Tanggal di Ninoy Aquino International Airport

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Melayani 47 juta penumpang setiap tahun.

Philippine Airlines bernomor terbang PR 685 mendarat dengan mulus di salah satu runway Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Pesawat berbadan besar itu dengan gagahnya melakukan taxiing menuju apron di Terminal 1. Seharusnya pesawat ini mendarat di Terminal 2, karena sedang proses renovasi maka terminal pun dialihkan. Terminal 1 sendiri adalah mainhub dari maskapai Cebu Pacific, sedangkan mainhub Philippine Airlines berada di Terminal 2.

Ini bukan pendaratan pertamaku di Philippines karena aku telah menjajah negeri itu empat tahun silam. Kini aku kembali mendarat di NAIA, bukan untuk berkunjung tetapi hanya untuk transit saja sebelum benar-benar tiba di Jakarta. Bukan Donny namanya kalau transit hanya digunakan untuk berdiam diri di bandara….Yes, aku akan menuju pusat kota dalam rentang waktu 7 jam masa transit.

Pemberian nama Ninoy Aquino International Airport sendiri didedikasikan untul Almarhum Ninoy Aquino Jr yang terbunuh di Terminal 1 selepas pulang dari pengasingannya di Amerika Serikat pada tahun 1983.

Aroma perayaan natal masih terasa @conveyor belt.
Tourist Information Center.
Arrival Hall.

PR 685 perlahan melewati hanggar milik Lufthansa Technik Philippines, Inc. yang merupakan perusahaan jasa maintenance pesawat di bandara itu, berpapasan dengan deretan maskapai kuning “Cebu Pacific” yang merupakan Low Cost Carrier (LCC) kebanggaan Negeri Duterte, melalui Terminal 2 Domestic Departure dan akhirnya berhenti di Terminal 1.

Staff cantik Philippine Airlines membawa papan kecil bertulis “transfer” dan berdiri di tengah koridor untuk mengumpulkan para penumpang yang akan meneruskan penerbangan ke destinasi berikutnya. Mereka akan dibawa oleh Airport Shuttle Transfer Service menuju ke Terminal 2. Aku yang menyatakan hendak menuju ke pusat kota semasa transit diberikan secarik kertas yang harus diisi dan akan dilampirkan bersama tiket menuju Jakarta untuk diserahkan ke konter imigrasi.

Staff Imigrasi : “Where will you go in transit time?”.

Aku : “Manila Baywalk, Sir

Staff Imigrasi : “What for?

Aku : “Just sightseeing, Sir”.

Percakapan singkat di konter imigrasi yang meloloskanku dengan stempel imigrasi Philippines di paspor hijauku. Aku harus bertanya kepada petugas Aviation Security demi menemukan lokasi penitipan bagasi untuk menaruh backpack supaya membuat langkahku menjadi lebih ringan menuju pusat kota. Aku menyerahkan Rp. 60.000 kepada petugas Baggage Assistance Counter dan dia menaruh backpackku pada sebuah rak.

Berburu Peso di money changer.
Baggage Assistance Counter.
Rak-rak penyimpanan bagasi milik Orbit Air Systems (Perusahaan ground handling di NAIA).

Melewari exit gate, aku menuju ke sebuah konter milik PLTD Enterprise yang menawarkan free SIM Card dengan brand “Smart 5G” untuk para traveler. Paket data yang mereka tawarkan kutolak dengan halus karena aku hanya membutuhkan layanan GPS saja dari prepaid SIM Card itu.


Setelah selesai dalam jelajah singkat kota, aku diturunkan sopir bus kota di Terminal 1. Menghemat waktu, aku menuju ke tempat penitipan bagasi dan mengambil backpack. Lalu menuju ruang tunggu Airport Shuttle Transfer Service untuk berpindah ke Terminal 2, terminal dimana aku akan terbang menuju Jakarta.

Terminal 2 sendiri selesai dibangun pada tahun 1998 dan dijuluki Terminal Centennial karena penyelesaiannya bertepatan dengan peringatan seratus tahun deklarasi kemerdekaan Philippines dari penjajahan Spanyol. Terminal ini awalnya dirancang oleh Aéroports de Paris.

Di depan Terminal 2, aku diturunkan. Banyak titik lokasi tertutup oleh papan proyek, menunjukkan bahwa terminal ini sedang direnovasi. Peso tersisa yang gagal tertukar di money changer Terminal 1 dengan alasan uang yang kutukar adalah adalah pecahan kecil, akhirnya bisa kutukarkan di sebuah money changer di luar bangunan Terminal 2. Kini Peso sudah berubah menjadi Dolar Amerika.

Sedikit insiden terjadi di konter imigrasi, seorang petugas imigrasi keturunan Spanyol sedikit bingung dan bertanya kepada staf imigrasi lainnya. Ternyata tanggal yang yang terstempel di pasporku saat memasuki Manila tadi pagi adalah masih tanggal esok hari.

Arah ke Airport Shuttle Transfer Service Terminal 1.
Airport Shuttle Transfer Service @Terminal 1.
Drop off zone Terminal 2.

Staff Imigrasi     :     “When do you entering Manila? “.

Aku                        :     “Last morning, Sir”.

Staff Imigrasi     :     “Why don’t you check  the date?

Aku                        :     “What’s wrong, Sir”.

Staff Imigrasi     :     “The date in your free visa is tomorrow”.

Aku                        :     “Oh I’m sorry, I don’t aware about it

Staff Imigrasi     :     “Can you show you arrival and departure boarding pass?

Aku                        :     “These are, Sir

Staff Imigrasi     :     “Okay, It’s no problem. You can go”.

Akhirnya aku diizinkan keluar Manila dan bersiap pulang ke tanah air. Aku merasa sangat tenang, karena telah tiba tiga jam sebelum boarding time. Tapi berjam-jam duduk di ruang tunggu, aku tak segera menenukan nomor penerbanganku PR 535 di layar informasi LCD. Aku memberanikan diri memasuki Mabuhay Lounge untuk menanyakan jadwal resmi penerbanganganku kepada staf Philippine Airlines yang bertugas di lounge reception. Dia mengatakan bahwa penerbangan mengalamai delay yang belum bisa diinformasikan hingga kapan, tetapi aku ditunjukkan nomor gate dimana aku harus menunggu yaitu Gate 11.

Baru sebentar aku duduk di Gate 11, terdengarlah pengumuman bahwa penerbangan ditunda hingga pukul 23:00 dikarenakan gangguan lalu lintas penerbangan sebagai dampak meletusnya gunung Taal di daerah Tagaytay.

Check-in counter.
Departure Hall.
Laptop station.
Mabuhay Lounge.
Waiting room di depan Gate 11.

Tepat pukul 23:00, aku mulai boarding dan meninggalkan banyak kesan di Ninoy Aquino International Airport.  Terimakasih NAIA, sampai jumpa lagi.

Kisah Selanjutnya—->