On my way to Kuala Lumpur, I was flying from Dumaguete to Cebu, where my flight to Kuala Lumpur departed from the New Terminal at Mactan International Airport, which is officially called Terminal 2. It opened just a few weeks ago. All international flights departing now from the new terminal while domestic flights arrive and depart from the old terminal at the airport in Cebu. Terminal 2 is just next to it and maybe a 5-minute walk. However, first things first, I am still in Dumaguete.

Dumaguete to Cebu with Cebu Pacific

I prefer flying from Cebu, as I simply can’t stand Manila Airport and the chaos there. Just getting from one terminal to another is such a pain in the back-end, that it truly deserves to be the titleholder of “The world’s worst airport”… and that for a few years in a row. So Cebu it is!. There is an early morning flight departing from Dumaguete to Cebu around 6:15 in the morning. It is a scenic 25-minute hop in a propeller machine along the coastline. Actually, Cebu Pacific claims it as a 50-minute flight. That way they calculate their delays partially into their flights and claim to be in time. Anyway, Mama Dive-Monster brought me to the Dumaguete airport around 5 to check in. Of course, all was closed outside, and we could not have a cup of coffee after checking in. The flight was on time and not fully booked. Cebu Pacific just recently announced the strict implementation of their hand-carry luggage. My luggage was small enough, however, it was heavier than 7 kilos, so I checked it in. Ahead of me were a few backpackers and I had my camera strapped on, so let’s make a reality check about the strict implementation of the cabin policy of Cebu Pacific:

After that is clarified, let’s arrive in Cebu. The small propeller machines park a bit off-side and a bus brings you to the old terminal of Cebu Airport on a 35 and a half second ride. It was amazing how long it took for the luggage to make the same distance to finally appear on the belt. Maybe next time I am not that rule-abiding and also take my luggage into the cabin as a carry-on. That safe me another 45 minutes. I could actually care less this time, as my flight was to Kuala Lumpur was departing at 1:30 pm, so I was glad to waste some time. My plan was any way to get across the road and treat myself.

Breakfast at Waterfront Hotel Mactan Cebu International Airport

One reason I love this connection is Breakfast at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu. It is just across the road from the old Cebu Airport Terminal. The buffet is almost on the international standard. I say almost, as the cold-cuts are not really up to par. Anyway, everything else is really fine and the unlimited bacon in 2 different ways (super crispy and semi-fried) makes it simply easy to dig in for 888 Peso, which is around 16 US$. Trust me, if one lives in the culinary 4th world of Dumaguete, that is a feast and perfect to start a short vacation to KL, or long trip, if you rely on airline-food for the next 24 hours or more, like I had to, on my last trip to Germany. Anyway, see for yourself: and judge the breakfast at Waterfront Hotel Mactan Cebu.

Cebu International Airport – New Terminal

After another great breakfast, I was ready to move on to the other, the new terminal of the Cebu Airport. It is just 5 minutes walking and the weather was beautiful in the morning. There was a little bit a social media upset about the new terminal, as it should reflect some local culture, but all the wood came from Austria. And there is a lot of wood. I guess there are no forests left in Austria, as it is a pretty tiny country… Maybe their trees just grow faster, I mean all Austrians in Dumaguete that I know also grew pretty big in the last few years… in all directions, mainly side and front, though. It is probably the same with Austrian trees.

The new Terminal looks indeed good. Of course, there is still a lot of construction going on around is, but the building looks great. With all ranting, here I need to make a compliment. The outside area is very spacious and after looking a bit around, I also found a designated smokers area. When entering the airport, you just have to show your tickets, but no beeping machines where you need to take of your slippers, belt and balls of steel, to avoid turning them into a beeping and blinking disco-effect. Also the interior looks pretty good and is spacious. One thing I may complain is, that there are not enough sitting areas. I had a few hours time and my check-in was not open, yet. But of course, nowhere to sit. The few spots where occupied the local way. Sleeping across 3 seats and boxes piled up on the other two. Well, I can’t disturb the sleeping beauties and just wandered around to make another video of the new terminal at the Cebu International Airport before the immigration.

Cebu International Airport – Immigration and Gates

After checking in my luggage, it was time to pay the Airport Fee of 850Php and get through the immigration. I needed to pay 500 Peso for exit-clearance. That is a law if one stays longer than 6 months. In my case, it was 6 month and 2 weeks. If one stays between 6 and 12 months, that can be done at the airport. If longer than 2 months, the exit clearance has to be processed at an immigration office, either in Cebu or Manila somewhen within 30 days prior departure. That means from Dumaguete it would be an extra trip to Cebu or Manila. If one stays less than 6 months, that is not needed at all.

The Immigration at the International Airport in Cebu was the friendliest I experienced in a long while. Maybe it was early and they were still fresh, or it is just the policy there. Of course, they had that “official” look, but the typical questions were asked in a friendly manner. I have nothing to hide anyway, and as I am one of the friendliest and politest fellas under gods sun, I guess they were just happy to see a friendly elderly man like me with an uplifting smile.

Finally, I also had to take my slipper and belt off to go through the beeping machine. It still beeped and flashed in all direction. Maybe it is a kind of reverse machine, and it is silent if you wear metal, or whatever it is supposed to detect. Or it is just for the show, as I still had accidentally 2 lighters in my pocket. Again, the ladies and gentlemen there were friendly and even had something like a smile on their face. Guess that smile came from my sliding jeans, as my belt was still scanned in the other death-ray machine.


Anyway, I got the stamp and made my way through the duty-free area, where you can buy overpriced stuff, if you forgot to buy your loved ones anything from your travel. I had quite some time and roamed the gates multiple times, watching people, having a smoke, some coffee, another smoke and watching some more people. The new Cebu Terminal is indeed well done. There are enough seats, shops and restaurants of different kinds, that one can spend a few hours waiting, if the flight out is delayed or rescheduled, like it was the case with my flight. The only which one can hope is, that they can keep the maintenance up. It would not be the first time that new constructed places look initially promising and just fall apart due to the bad maintenance. Let’s hope that will not happen for the New Terminal at the Mactan Cebu International Airport. At the end it is the first as well as the last thing millions of international visitors will see in the Philippines.

I’m in KL!!! Read my Batu Caves Experience here!