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The New Pride Of Mactan: An Airport From The Minds Of Kenneth Cobonpue And Budji Layug

A new marvel has sprung up in Cebu that promises to welcome visitors to the Queen City of the South in style. It’s the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA), new and improved and looking fantastic—and its Terminal 2 will begin operations on the first day of July.

Conceptualized by Cebuano furniture titan Kenneth Cobonpue and design star Budji Layug, the new airport is designed to look like a boat’s hull turned upside down, with an undulating, wave-like roof between the different segments of the terminal. This lends the structure a resort-like vibe—which makes itself apparent as one approaches the terminal from outside.

 

The airport was designed to look like a boat’s hull turned upside down.

 

The design is easily impressive. The interiors look incredibly smart, a sleek blend of metals and varnished wood that seem to flow into and out of each other seamlessly. White tile floors and lights beneath the counters make it feel as if you’re in the lobby of a hotel. The MCIA might just be your entrance to the rest of Cebu but you may find that you’d want to linger here for a while.

The wonders of the MCIA don’t stop at aesthetics, however. Roam the 65,000-square meter floor space and you’ll find countless things to do, and buy. Three thousand square square meters of the space is allotted for commercial use. Come check-in time, worry not about queues and long lines. The airport offers 48 check-in counters, expandable to 72. Unless you’re late for a flight, you’ll find yourself breezing through the terminal.

 

The terminal's interior is a sleek blend of metals and varnished wood that seem to flow into and out of each other. 

 

The MCIA brings with it optimistic tidings for Cebu’s local economy. The MCIA will host 26 airlines that will be flying to 25 international destinations and 30 domestic ones, so while the scope might not be as large as that of Pasay’s NAIA’s, it can proudly hold its own. The facility has been designed to cater to 12.5 million passengers each year, almost thrice the amount of the current 4.5 million. This year alone, the terminal is expecting 11.2 million passengers, a sizeable leap from last years’ 10 million.

 

The new airport was designed to cater to 12.5 million passengers each year, almost thrice the amount of the current 4.5 million.

 

The tile floors and lights beneath the counters make it feel as if you’re in the lobby of a hotel and not an airport. 

 

Like we said, while the terminal has been completed and the public has been given its first glimpse of this megastructure, it is not yet operational and will only begin accepting flights and passengers on the 1st of July. In the meantime, start booking your tickets and get excited for your next trip to Cebu. The airport alone will blow you away.

 

Photographs by Erwin Lim