75 Years of Philippine Airlines in a Coffee Table Book

Being Asia’s first airline, Philippine Airlines’ history is filled with a lot of ‘first’ in the airline industry and how it’s linked to our country’s history. The story of PAL is the story of the Filipino people’s desire to travel and explore our country and the rest of the world.

My 1st PAL Experience

As a young boy, I was fascinated with airplanes and airports. As with any other Filipino family, it’s always a special time when we pick-up relatives arriving from the airports. It was more special for me as this means I would get a chance to see these huge airplanes and hear the sound of their engines roaring down the runway while I’m dreaming of riding it one day.

The opportunity came when our family planned to visit my mother’s province – Samar. I was about 11 years old when I first rode an airplane. It was our parents treat for us so we could experience riding a plane. Of course, we flew with PAL which was the only domestic airline at that time.

Philippine Airlines 1994
In keeping with the theme of the coffee table book, I’m posting this throwback pic of my first time to ride an airplane

I can still remember how excited I was to see this big Airbus plane in the old Manila Domestic Airport waiting for us to come aboard. I also remember the excellent service provided to us by the flight stewardess, especially when they gave us candies when our ears started to hurt because of the air pressure.

No matter how many times I ride an airplane, I still feel the same excitement every time I fly with PAL (whether here or abroad) because I know I would experience the same hospitality that I remembered from my childhood.

Book Launch

When I was invited to attend the Philippine Airlines coffee table book launch, I just have to say yes. This is one of the brands I grew up with and inspired me to travel. It is an honor to be part of this significant event.

This coffee table book is just one part of the many celebrations lined by PAL for their Diamond Anniversary. The event was held on July 1, 2016 at the Century Park Hotel. It was attended by top executives of the Philippine Airlines and other key players in the aviation industry.

PAL Chairman/CEO Dr. Lucio Tan and PAL President/COO Jaime Bautista. Background: Flight Attendants wearing the different uniforms through the years.
PAL Chairman/CEO Dr. Lucio Tan and PAL President/COO Jaime Bautista. Background: Flight Attendants wearing the different uniforms through the years.
Philippine Airlines Employees
Philippine Airlines Employees
with the Philippine Airlines' Flight Attendants
with the Philippine Airlines’ Flight Attendants
Mr. Jonathan P. Gesmundo, Editor in Chief of PAL's coffee table book
Mr. Jonathan P. Gesmundo, Editor in Chief of PAL’s coffee table book

Part of the event is a gallery showcasing the milestones that the airline has achieved over the decades.

Philippine Airlines Coffee Table Book 3 Philippine Airlines Coffee Table Book 2 Philippine Airlines Coffee Table Book 4 Philippine Airlines Coffee Table Book 5 Philippine Airlines Coffee Table Book 7 Philippine Airlines Coffee Table Book 6

Here are some of the interesting facts I learned:


Philippine Airlines’ 1st ticket (ticket number 1). The first revenue flight is from Manila to Baguio

Philippine Airlines Coffee Table Book Trivia

Before, the flight time across the Pacific is 41 hours!

Philippine Airlines first female pilot

The Philippines’ 1st female pilot is also Asia’s first female pilot

All of these interesting facts are also in the coffee table book which I was able to get a copy signed by the PAL President himself.

PAL President signing my copy of PAL's coffee table book
PAL President signing my copy of PAL’s coffee table book

This experience has made me even more excited to fly with Philippine Airlines in the future. Meeting the people behind this great brand, made me appreciate the company even more. In fact, I have already booked a flight with them for Boracay in New Year’s Eve .

Cheers for more exciting years ahead for Philippine Airlines!

***You can buy the coffee table book from PAL Boutique. Follow them on your favorite social media accounts:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PhilippineAirlinesBoutique
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/palboutique/

Transportation in the Philippines – by Air

The major gateway to the Philippines is the Ninoy Aquino International Airport which is located in the capital – Manila. With the increasing number of tourist, the airports are being upgraded to handle more passengers and bigger planes. Here are some of the growing list of International Airports in the country which may be your ports of entry:

City/Municipality Province Airport Code Airport name
Silay Negros Occidental BCD Bacolod-Silay International Airport
Angeles Pampanga CRK Clark International Airport
Davao City Davao del Sur DVO Francisco Bangoy (Davao) International Airport
General Santos South Cotabato GES General Santos International (Tambler) Airport
Cabatuan Iloilo ILO Iloilo International Airport
Kalibo Aklan KLO Kalibo International Airport
Laoag Ilocos Norte LAO Laoag International Airport
Lapu-Lapu Cebu CEB Mactan-Cebu International Airport
Parañaque/Pasay Metro Manila MNL Ninoy Aquino (Manila) International Airport
Puerto Princesa Palawan PPS Puerto Princesa International Airport
Morong Bataan SFS Subic Bay International Airport
Zamboanga City Zamboanga del Sur ZAM Zamboanga International Airport

Aside from the international airports, there are also a number of domestic airports scattered all over the archipelago. You need to check-out which airport that you would use to a particular province and which airlines are servicing that route.

Most of the airlines operating in the Philippines are budget airlines. I think Philippine Airlines, the flag carrier, is the only full service airline.  Thanks to these budget airlines traveling across the different islands is now much more convenient. Here are 5 major airlines operating in the country:


Major Airlines in the Philippines Website URL:
Philippine Airlines http://www1.philippineairlines.com/
PAL Express http://www.flypalexpress.com/
Cebu Pacific http://www.cebupacificair.com
Air Asia http://www.airasia.com/ph/
Tiger Air http://www.tigerairways.com/ph/en/
Sky Jet Air http://www.skyjetair.com/

To make it easier to plan out your flights to the Philippines, you can use http://www.skyscanner.com.ph/

[box type=”info”]Guidelines[/box]

      • Do not make bomb jokes. Even just mere mention of bomb would get you in trouble. By trouble, I mean Prison!
      • Liquid, aerosol and gels in more than 100ml containers are not allowed in your hand carry luggage.
      • Arrive in the airport 3 hours in advance for international flights and 2 hours in advance for domestic flights.
      • Terminal fees are collected from passengers departing a particular airport. The fund is used for acquiring security equipments for the airport. The fee varies depending on the airport:
        • International departure: P200-750
        • Domestic departure on International airport: P200
        • Other Local Domestic Airports: P20-40

What’s your favorite airline in the Philippines? Tell me about your experience below.