Monday, September 21, 2009

Cebu Pacific Seat Selector Boo-Boo

This is my email to Cebu Pacific's feedback (complaints) department. Let's see how will they act on this:

Making my reservation online, I tried to avail of the seat selector feature for my outgoing and incoming flight BCD-MLA and MLA-BCD for flight numbers 5J 478 & 5J 477 on 09/18/2009 & 09/26/2009.

I entered the necessary details and was charged P448 all in all according to my chosen seats 14A & 14B for both flights for me and my daughter.

Unfortunately, when I checked in, the ground attendant realized that my daughter was a minor and is not allowed to be seated near the exit door and asked us to be moved to another seat. Under protestations we were given seats 10E and 10F.

I am still here in Manila but I expect to be moved out of my paid seats again. This defeats the purpose of paying for it when the system accepted me and my daughter knowing from the details entered that she is a minor.

I thus would like to request a refund for the seats that I did not avail of as this is not my fault? Hoping for your attention and prompt positive action on this matter.

System-generated reply:

Thank you for your feedback. Your Reference Number for this transaction is GSAS0000402351-09. This will automatically be sent to our system. Please allow us at least seven (7) days to investigate your concern. Rest assured that our representative will get back to you.

Bacolod-Silay International Airport a Misnomer

According to retired Bacolod Air Transportation Office top honcho Greg Vallejera, the name Bacolod-Silay International Airport is a misnomer.

It is not an international airport per se because it does not cater to international flights. Thus some corrected it to mean an airport of international standards.

But then again, as "Mang Greg" points out, all airports anywhere in the world, whether it's a small airstrip or an ultra-modern airport, are of international standards.

By way of illustration, he compares it to a basketball court, whether it is just made of makeshift hoops fastened to poles buried to the ground or the ones used by PBA pros, as long as they conform to the international standard of size, height and other requirements, it is already an airport following the international standards for its particular purpose.

Thus the more accurate name is the New Bacolod-Silay Airport. The name "Bacolod" had to be there because it is more well-known internationally than all the other cities in the province being the capital city of Negros Occidental. And every Negrense would just simply tell the non-locals that they are from Bacolod regardless of what city in Negros Occidental they actually come from.

Silay City

The second city up north of Bacolod City, it is also known as the Paris of Negros because of its unique old world charm. Its well-preserved centuries old ancestral homes and antiquated buildings are reminiscent of the opulence of the hacienderos of long ago.

Famous also for its yummy delicacies, it is about 30 minutes from Bacolod by public transport and about 15 minutes' drive by private vehicle.

Air Travel From Bacolod

Here is my ordinary traveler's observations as I traveled by air from Bacolod to Manila.

The airport is no longer situated in Bacolod City. It has been moved to Silay City, two cities up north. That's after Talisay City. Thus it is now named the New Bacolod-Silay Airport. You can get there by car, taxi, shuttle service or jeepney-to-Silay-City-proper-and-shuttle-to-airport link.

If you get there by car, parking spaces right in front of the departure and arrival areas cost PhP40.00 so if you want to save up on that, park a few hundred feet away near Bong-Bong's Pasalubong Center after dropping all your luggage in the lobby entrance of the pre-departure area.

Show your e-ticket to the guard after bidding goodbye to all your loved ones at the entrance. Shove everything you carry into the x-ray machine and proceed to the check-in counter. If you fly Cebu Pacific, make sure your check-in baggage is only up to 15kg (I pre-weighed all my luggage using a bathroom scale and they still matched the airport scales at a total of 28kg for me and my daughter). Although the hand carry limit is 7kg, they can allow a little more than that as they don't bother to weigh them anymore, a quick look and they can already estimate what 7kg looks like on you.

Then take the escalator up to the second floor pre-departure area where you can find pasalubong stands for that last-minute purchases of Bacolod delicacies. After paying the PhP200 terminal fee, go through another x-ray door again, this time taking your shoes off. The paging system will then announce the proper boarding sequence starting from infants, small children, senior citizens and lastly middle aged adults.

You will be led to your seat as pre-selected (if purchased online with the seat selector option {not recommended; click here to know why}) or as assigned at the check-in counter.

During the flight, the only freebies now available are prizes for three give-me-what-i-want games (have your passport, sim card, and turned off cell phone ready). If you did not win and want to have exclusive airline merchandise, you can buy them from the friendly cabin crew. There are no more free snacks on board as everything is now being offered for sale.

After about an hour, you have already arrived in Manila either at the Centennial Airport or at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Mabuhay!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Conversational Ilonggo: Gender

(Click here for pronunciation guide.)

Because of the Spanish influence in our culture, the Ilonggo or Hiligaynon dialect have adopted some words with Spanish origin and gender, the female ending in “A”, and the male ending in “o”.

For example: salesperson or vendor

tindera (tin-DE-ra) – saleslady

tindero (tin-DE-ro) – salesman

Conversational Ilonggo: Tenses

(Click here for pronunciation guide.)

For Ilonggo or Hiligaynon tenses, just add the following prefixes before a verb or action word.

For example: KA-on – eat

Past tense

Past Continuous: was eating

(add prefix naga-) na-ga-KA-on

Past Simple: ate

(add prefix nag-) nag-KA-on

Past Perfect Simple: had eaten

(add phrase na-ka-TA-pos na) na-ka-TA-pos na KA-on

Past Perfect Continuous: had been eating

(add phrase sige nga) SI-ge nga nag-KA-on

Present tense

Present Continuous: is eating

(add prefix naga-) na-ga-KA-on

Present Simple: eats


Present Perfect Simple: has eaten

(add prefix naka-) na-ka-KA-on

Present Perfect Continuous: has been eating

(add phrase sige nga) SI-ge nga na-ga-KA-on

Future tense

Future Continuous: is eating dinner (tomorrow)

(add prefix ma-): ma-KA-on bu-WAS*

Future Simple: will eat

(add prefix ma-): ma-KA-on

Future Perfect Simple: will have eaten

(add prefix maka- and word na after) ma-ka-KA-on na

Future Perfect Continuous: will have been eating

(add phrase ma-ka-TA-pos na) ma-ka-TA-pos na KA-on


*bu-WAS (tomorrow) - the u is slurred, thus is pronounced in one syllable BWAS

Conversational Ilonggo: Plural Form

(Click here for pronunciation guide.)

The Ilonggo or Hiligaynon word becomes plural by just adding the word “mga” (ma-NGA) before the noun.

For example:

Mga sa-LAK-yan: cars; vehicles; transportation

Mga BA-ta^: children

Conversational Ilonggo: Pronunciation

The Ilonggo or Hiligaynon dialect has a simple pronunciation. Its consonants are never aspirated, and all vowels don’t have a long or schwa sound. The proper way to speak is through the mouth as there is no nasal sound to it. Another tip is to speak in the melodious carinosa or loving tone the dialect is famous for.

a – AH

e – EH

i – IH

o – O

u – OO

Vowels with the ^ symbol on top are pronounced with a sudden stop (due to character limitations, the ^ symbol is typed right after the vowel with a sudden-stop sound).

Conversational Ilonggo: Body Conditions / Emotions

(Click here for pronunciation guide.)

Here are some words for certain body conditions and emotions expressed in the Ilonggo or Hiligaynon dialect:

Angry: a-KIG

Cold: tug-NAW / gi-na-TUG-na-wan

Exasperated: ga-UG-tas / ga-la-LA-in

Happy: na-LI-pay / na-SAD-ya-han

Hot: na-i-NI-tan

Hungry: gu-TOM

Itchy: ka-TOL

Longing: na-HID-law

Nervous: gi-na-KUL-ba-an

Rested: na-ka-pa-HU-way

Sad: su-BO^

Sweating: gi-na-BAL-has / gi-na-pa-ma-HU-lay

Thankful: na-ga-pa-sa-LA-mat

Tired: ka-POY / KA-poy

Conversational Ilonggo: Unique Words and Their Loose Translations

(Click here for pronunciation guide.)

BU-raw: woke up late

ta-li-AM-bong: art

tu-YAW: enchanted / bewitched

i-KA*: (prefix) the equivalent of -th as in i-ka-pi-TO, or seventh

*However, you can't properly translate the question, "Ika-pila ka nga bata?"

i-ka-pi-LA: refers to an ordinal number, thus, ika-pila the question is asking for the ordinal number of the child (ba-TA^) in relation to his or her siblings.

More suggestions are encouraged. Please post them as your comment.

Bacolod Chicken Inasal: The Secret Ingredient

Chicken barbecue or chicken inasal may sound and look the same anywhere you go. But why do you keep hearing that Bacolod’s chicken inasal is simply the best tasting chicken barbecue ever?

I had to go all the way to Manila to discover the secret of Bacolod chicken inasal from a chicken house owner operating at Makati Cinema Square.

Toto Tarrosa explains that Aida’s Chicken House uses only vinegar coming from Bacolod. For his chicken inasal, he orders his vinegar by bulk from a trusted source as the secret also lies with the mananggete himself, the coconut harvester and tuba^ (coconut wine) producer.

He reveals that unlike the other vinegars commonly available in the local market, vinegar from Bacolod or from other areas in the province of Negros Occidental follows a more intricate process. While other vinegar producers get the vinegar straight from the coconut tree, Bacolod vinegar is produced by first fermenting coconut wine and then turning it into vinegar. Thus, Bacolod vinegar has a wine-sweet taste that permeates into the chicken marinade.

Plus, everybody knows that the secret of good food is that you sprinkle it with l-o-v-e. As the Ilonggos love to cook and serve for their guests, their love goes out to the food they serve.

So why don’t you try a chicken inasal for yourself today? Don’t be fooled by some outlets that use the name “Bacolod” to brand their chicken barbecue. It’s not just the name. And you already know the secret.

Kaon ta anay*! (Let’s eat in the meantime!)


*anay – termite, thus the joke that Ilonggos eat termites. But in this context, anay loosely means “in the meantime” or “in the interim that you are waiting for something”.

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