The New Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) Terminal 2 which was recently inaugurated last June 7, 2018 has began its commercial operations on July 1, 2018. I am pleasured to be one of its departing passengers on its second day, July 2, 2018.
From my almost 1 week holiday in Manila, I had a quick unexpected trip in Cebu to visit my family. Yes, I am a true-bloom Cebuana by the way.
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Upon my departure from Cebu back to Singapore, my mom and Michael sent me to Mactan Airport Terminal 1, as usual. It was to our surprise when one of the staff told us that if we are off for an international flight, there is a shuttle bus to terminal 2. She then gave us directions. Instead of looking exhausted and sleepy from our holiday, we were wide awake hoping that the shuttle bus will take us to the new terminal. And yes, it did!
Home to a number of natural, historic, and cultural tourist draws, Cebu City is a top destination for both local and foreign visitors. The resort-themed Terminal 2 is for international flights, while the older Terminal 1 is for domestic flights. The new terminal 2 has a floor area of 65,000 square meters. Below is one of Michael’s stunning photos which he shared in his Instagram while we were waiting for my flight.
It was said that they have chosen a wood theme because wood is something synonymous to Cebu. Wooden Furniture is a big business in the province. The roof has timber arches that look like an inverted boat hull, and a wave-like roof that evokes a tropical and resort-like feel.
So far, the experience was really great! There were lots of surprises. But I must say that the entire process is yet not perfect, though. Here are some few points that you need to take note if you are taking off from the new terminal 2:
- No Food Shops Outside The Terminal 2
While we were on our way to Terminal 2, I realized that I was so hungry and was hoping to have some great food with my loved ones before I fly off. Unfortunately, you can only find food shops inside the terminal 2. And only those who are with flight tickets can go inside. It was 4: 00 PM and my flight was still at 7:55 PM. I still have almost 2 hours to spent with my loved ones and I just cant let it pass. So, we went to catch the shuttle bus again back to terminal 1 just to hunt for food.
- No Weighing Machine Outside Terminal
You can only weight your luggage/s at the check-in counter. In the event that you have excess luggage weight, you need to fix your stuff right there at the counter. Quite a hassle not just for yourself but also for everyone else in the queue. It’s always better to have a weighting scale outside (just like Singapore’s Changi Airport).
Regardless of the above mentioned hiccups, I am very impressed and very proud of the preparations at the departure area. It’s really of international standards! I am sure the arrival is just as fantastic too! Here are some impressive points from our new terminal 2:
- Free Shuttle Bus
It is very convenient moving from one airport to another. I’m not sure how many seaters or how is the capacity but it is quite big. I also hope the cleanliness will be maintained in the long run.
- High-Tech X-ray Machine
The terminal is highly innovative featuring modern aesthetics. One of it is the technology called Automated Tray Retrieval System. Something new in the Philippines. There is an automatic conveyor that brings the tray below. Some areas need further improvement especially the unfamiliarity of passengers. Some were not able to properly use it. It’s a learning experience, though.
- Great & Wide Selection of Shops!
I may have been pulling my hair when I learned that there is no food shop outside the Terminal 2. But when I checked in and as I searching for my Gate No., I was in awe with all the mouth-watering cuisines inside. They got Ritazza, Bonchon, Asian Kitchen, Ramen, and Burger King. There’s even Coffee bean too!
I also enjoyed walking through all the fancy shops like Victoria’s Secret, Plug + PLay, WHSmith, Momento and of course this cant be missing, Duty Freeee!
- Warm and Friendly Staffs
With its unique design of undulating wooden roofs, Terminal 2 was envisioned to demonstrate the “warmth and friendliness” of local culture, place and people. Having these lovely ladies all dressed-up with Cebu’s Iconic Sinulog Festival costume is just so smart and captivating! All the staffs were very polite; from the cleaners, securities, counter staffs and all. They will really take time to greet you with their sweetest smiles even when they are doing something. Something I did not experience from other terminals. They were also very helpful in giving directions. I hope they are doing this for both international and domestic flights.
I am always fascinated with gifts (that’s why I have started a gift shop). Upon departure at the New Terminal 2, the ladies dressed-up with a Sinulog Costume gave each passengers a gift as they bid farewell when boarding on the plane. Not sure how long they will be doing this but here’s what I got. Cebu’s famous delicacy, Dried Magoes!
The entire terminal is not yet 100 percent finished. Some areas have yet to be furnished. Passengers should expect more improvements, especially aesthetically, in the coming weeks and months. According to my research, it was designed by Hong-Kong based architectural firm Integrated Design Associates Ltd. with Filipino designers.
Considered the central gateway to the Visayas and Mindanao, the MCIA is the second largest airport facility in the country. No doubt. It is indeed the best airport in the country, by far!
Enjoy more photos below! 🙂