NAIA news



A couple of weeks ago I was surprised to receive this tweet from Kenneth Cobonpue, asking for my opinion about their proposal for the NAIA 1 rehabilitation.


NAIA Cobonpue


Kenneth and his group were asking for my thoughts? Ok, I know. Disclosure. We are friends. I’m no expert.

If you haven’t seen the video proposal yet, here it is. Note that Kenneth Cobonpue, Budji Layug and Royal Pineda did the design and plans pro bono. I asked Kenneth why they did this for free. His answer was, “If we don’t do anything, who will?” Kenneth is one of the millions of Filipinos who see the need for upgraded facilities.



I didn’t have the chance to actually share my opinion because Kenneth’s Facebook page and Twitter were flooded with reviews from all sides. But in a nutshell, based on the video presentation (and not having seen the total plan), I think this is a good start. I like how they thought of the flow people and function of spaces and didn’t just come up with a pretty design. They considered cultural nuances – like the busloads of people who send off and pick up their relatives. Nice touch on the food outlets in the waiting area, though I don’t think it should really be that nice because then perhaps people will linger. Hee hee. I like the non-stop roundabout because as it is now, whenever we have to pick up my parents and their flight is delayed we have to turn all the way in Nayong Pilipino (because that parking lot is small and gets filled so fast).

While we are at it, I think a “new” airport would only be successful if the management and systems are overhauled. I think the airport authority could look into getting people with professional background in property management to run the show. Give the contract to a separate group – like an Ayala or even the property management of Power Plant Mall because that place is impeccable. This way the head of the airport authority can focus on security issues. Because I don’t think retired generals make good property managers anyway. Look at how all the bathrooms have turned out. But of course this is just my opinion. Now on to the news…


Oh, wait. We need good art. Preferably of the same calibre as the public art in Bonifacio High Street and St Lukes’ Hospital at the Fort. None of this. What is this anyway? No offense to the winners of this NAIA 3 art competition. I will save my comments for later, if and when the rumoured controversies surface.


Okay, so here is why I’m writing this story now. Today’s news…

naia renovs

This report came out today in the Business Mirror and was carried by ABS-CBN News. Full story here.


According to the report by Recto Mercene, MIAA GM Honrado said, “the firm of Leandro V. Locsin and Associates, the original architect of NAIA-1, is helping conceptualize ideas about how the newly rebuilt structure would look.” But also “part of the project” are Cobonpue, Pineda and Layug.

My thoughts – this is the first I heard that Andy Locsin is part of the rehabilitation bid. Though I know it makes sense as his father built it (and I am probably one of the few that still loves the original structure and would like it to be saved). I am waiting for confirmation of from the Locsin group regarding his involvement. I would love to see his proposal too, wouldn’t you?

The report was a bit vague as Honrado didn’t really say who was awarded the contract. I assume that has to go through some public bidding process. But the design – is it Locsin? Or the Cobonpue/Pineda/Layug group? The report went on to cite basically everything that the trio proposed in their plan. He even quoted Royal Pineda from previous interviews. Confusing. Misleading.

As soon as I read it, I congratulated Kenneth by text.  He replied. This was news to them. As of 8:30pm this evening – neither Kenneth, Royal nor Budji has been officially informed that their design got adopted by NAIA management.

So who’s getting the NAIA1 contract? Very exciting.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. And what do you think of the Cobonpue/Pineda/Layug proposal?





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