Photos Of Bulan Airport Building Site

P1070464The Airport site is just a few minutes drive from  Barangay San Aquino. We came at about lunchtime and this explained probably (I hoped so) why we had seen only a handful workers along the future runway of the airport. The idea of an airport being built to be operational by next year naturally creates in anyone an image of a hectic building site with heavy machines, mixers, loads of cement and bricks, cranes, trucks, bulldozers, scaffolding, technical personnel and construction noise.This was not the case in Bulan airport building site for it was very silent, in fact almost a deserted construction site. The few piles of sand and gravel and the few men with spades braving the sun  looked very pathetic and depressing. I spotted a parked vehiclea but it was a fish dealer truck! I doubted till my bones as I asked myself how on earth could they possibly build an airport with only a couple of spades, wondered whether the whole thing was just a joke.

  “Trust the  Filipino ingenuity”  is something we have often heard before. But this old phrase has always been overvalued in the Philippines as we take it as a positive attribute. But this is just  an excuse to comfort ourselves and divert us from the real cause of our under-development which is our inability to work seriously for our own country, make self-sacrifice for the benefit of all and to view oneself as part of the team of nation-builders. These qualities  should be enough to combat corruption which is the main destroyer of our nation, not our multi-ethnicity, but this  viscous selfish attitude that has glued our nation in decades of political and economic quagmire. I have seen multi-ethnic countries yet many of them are progressive because they value teamwork, hardwork and thoughtfulness. In the current national administration under Gloria Arroyo administration I have not discovered any sense of deep thoughtfulness but a blinding reflection of avaristic colonialism and plastic patriotism. And if there is anything at all that’s  transparent in this administration it is the politic of lies and opportunism.

That’s the future runway. An airport should signal to Bulan Municipality an  era of modernization.


And this should be understood by Bulan leadership and the people alike. But this journey to a modern Bulan  is still a long, long  way to go. The Bulaneños must first  free themselves from the political dystonia that has been engraved in their cortex  after decades- or centuries- of political repression in the Philippines. Bulaneños still consider open political discussion and paticipation as dangerous; they twist their faces when asked about hot issues in Bulan, or hide their names and faces when they find the courage to say the truth. This  bad habit should be deactivated by now if we want to be modern and progressive. I believe that it is the political education that paves the way to economic progress. For as long as the people consider themselves as saling-kittens only in the political playground, they will not be able to help direct the course of Bulan development.

Exactly this attitude nourishes the so called political dynasties whose interest is really just to keep the people poor and dependent as they are while they continue to rule for decades, inculcating in  people’s mind the impression of their indispensability. A public office is not a private property that can just  be handed over to the next blood-line generation, and as a matter of propriety, public property should not be built within a private property. Last but not least, real democracy is not built upon the extent of private property but upon  the extent of  freedom of the individuals and the rule of law.

P1070465The Bulaneños should roll-up their sleeves now,  leave behind their saling-kitten dasein, unchain their minds and be self-confident. Bulan will never be progressive if the people still prefer to live in a dark and boggy political poultry.

The airport will be bringing in new opportunities for the town as well us strangers who might be interested to settle down in Bulan. Among them maybe Koreans who  someday might also eye for Bulan leadership. Koreans are now flooding the Philippines. This is the result of Arroyo’s unpatriotic economic policy: she boasts of driving out Filipinos abroad as Wow (Workers of the world) to find jobs  for her and be servants while she holds an open arm to the incoming foreign nationals like the Koreans who have money so that those servants left behind will find their masters, too. Arroyo’s  servants abroad-servants at home political policy attests to her thoughtlessness: indeed she’s a towering icon of Filipino ingenuity- not in a creative but in an opportunistic sense. So Bulaneños must wake up now before a  foreigner, this time a Korean, could snatch them of the town leadership.

With Bulan Airport, Bulan might find itself on the verge of a take-off someday. This woman in the photo told me these words when I talked with her: “Remember us when you come back next time”. I just wonder how the Bulan airport would affect her life  and the lives of these children living at the edge of the airport site. In any case I wish them a better future.


Of course I’ll remember this woman and the garden products we bought from her- fresh organic eggplants. But most of all, I’ll never forget the message I picked up from that short conversation with her which is to never give up. In her age I still sensed a tremendous life energy- the elan’vital, and the genuine rootedness in Bulan. Our president would pale and appear bloated beside her. An honest soul of Bulan is she, one with clean heart and intention and one who does n0t need to buy your vote for you to appreciate her or has to insert her name in every thing she does in every corner of Bulan. In fact I never know her name yet she made me realize the greatness that reside in  ordinary people that make up the town of Bulan. But at that very moment I envied her  for her serene spirit and for her lifestyle- a simple life, working on her garden and selling her products for a living. And I wished to trade places with her. But then I realized that it is just right to keep her where she is with her vegetable garden than for her to deal with sociopaths and psychotic minds everyday. In this sense, she has indeed a better life.

 Yet  Bulaneños would get what they deserve if their  greatness would  be expressed not through political slumber but through  political awakening. Progressive and democratically-inclined people are never silenced or manipulated because of  poverty but are motivated by it to to fight for progress and elect leaders who represent their needs and understand their longings.


 Soon these children will witness planes arriving and leaving Bulan everyday. They will be excited also seeing the many people who arrive  and leave Bulan each day. They are the young Bulan observers of today,  yet their minds are also full of dreams and expectations. Many might be dreaming of the possibilities of life beyond the clouds they see and the far away hills across the horizon where planes slowly disappear from their eyes. Yet, against their dreams and visions, I hope that a progressive Bulan of the future would hold them together and keep them home.

jun asuncion

Bulan Observer











4 thoughts on “Photos Of Bulan Airport Building Site

  1. Hello Jun,

    Thank you for these wonderful pictures of Bulan. I am glad that we will finally have the domestic airport in Bulan. Yey!

    I can just imagine the robust businesses in the Terminal. Lines of stalls selling native products, balut vendors, carenderias, Donut shops, coffee shops, specialty bakeries, pili nut candies and other pili nut delicacies and plenty of souvenir shops for the tourist. Wow!

    We will have Security guards for the terminal, taxi cabs, pedicabs, sikad-sikads all line up and waiting for passengers. Plenty of jobs for everybody.

    Hotels and motels, pubs and disco place will start sprouting for night owls, restaurants and drive in fast foods plus many other small businesses.

    These is progress at its best. Soon Bulan will be a city.

    The only thing that makes me a little bit apprehensive are the pictures with three or four worker in the runway or maybe terminal with a couple of spades and maybe a rake and a fish truck. The runway is not pave and did not see any terminal building yet. We only have 5 months and the year will be over. Is the airport suppose to be open next year?

  2. Bulan Airport Development Project 2008
    Request For Proposals
    General Information
    Country: Philippines

    City/Locality: Sorsogon
    Notice/Contract Number: phl:558115
    Publication Date: Feb 25, 2008
    Deadline: Mar 27, 2008

    Original Language: English

    Contact Information
    Address: Nilo D Colinares Jr.
    Legal Officer III
    The Columbia Tower,
    Ortigas Avenue
    Mandaluyong City , Metro Manila 1555
    Telephone: 63-2-7277960 Ext.214
    Fax: 63-2-7277989
    Email: Click here

    Goods, Works and Services
    • 45235210 – Runway resurfacing
    • 45342000 – Erection of fencing


    The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), through its Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) for Civil Aviation Projects, invites contractors registered with and classified by the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB) to apply for eligibility and if found eligible, to bid for the herein projects:

    Name of Project/Location : Bulan Airport Development Project
    Brief Description : Concrete Paving of Runway, Construction of Perimeter Fence and Drainage System
    Source of Fund : CY 2008
    ABC/Duration : P82,025,000.00 / 270 Calendar Days
    IAC Registration : Medium “B” for Roads & Airport Horizontal Structures
    Minimum Equipment Requirement :

    1-Concrete Batching Plant
    4-Transit Mixers
    1-Concrete Screeder
    4-Concrete Vibrators
    2-Road Graders
    1-Road Roller
    2-Vibratory Compactor
    2-Water Tank Truck
    8-Dump Trucks
    1-One Bagger Mixer
    1-Service Vehicle

    The complete schedule of activities is listed as follows:
    Activities Schedule
    1. Issuance of Eligibility Form February 25 – March 02, 2008
    2. Submission of Eligibility Requirements Until 5:00 P.M. of March 07, 2008
    3. Opening of Eligibility Statements March 11, 2008
    4. Issuance of Bid Documents March 12 -19, 2008
    5. Pre-bidding Conference March 26, 2008
    6. Submission of Bids Until 9:00 A.M. of April 10, 2008
    7. Opening of Bids 10:00 A.M. of April 10, 2008

    The Eligibility Screening Forms will be made available at Unit 65, The Columbia Tower Bldg., Ortigas Avenue, Mandaluyong City, upon submission of a Letter of Intent written in the company letterhead duly signed by the owner/authorized managing officer together with the updated PCAB License, and upon payment of a non-refundable amount of P500.00 to the DOTC Cashier. The Eligibility Forms shall be submitted to the said office and the results of the eligibility screening may be secured from the same office. Bid/Tender Documents will be available only to eligible bidders upon payment of a non-refundable amount of P2,500.00 to the DOTC Cashier.

    The DOTC reserves the right to reject any or all bids, waive minor defects and accept the offer most advantageous to the Government. The DOTC assumes no responsibility whatsoever to compensate or indemnify bidders for any expenses incurred in the preparation of the bid.

    Assistant Secretary for Finance and Comptrollership
    Chairman, Bids and Awards Committee for Civil Aviation

    Approved budget: PHP 82,025,000.00
    Delivery period: 270 Day/s

  3. As we can see from the above invitation to bid by the DOTC, the contractor must fulfill the following
    Minimum Equipment Requirement :

    1-Concrete Batching Plant
    4-Transit Mixers
    1-Concrete Screeder
    4-Concrete Vibrators
    2-Road Graders
    1-Road Roller
    2-Vibratory Compactor
    2-Water Tank Truck
    8-Dump Trucks
    1-One Bagger Mixer
    1-Service Vehicle

    Well, the fact that there was on this day only a fishtruck parked in the construction vicinity and a few workers doing the mixing with their spades instead with at least one of these 4 transit mixers required really makes you suspect that something is fishy with this Bulan Airport construction.

    Where were the Bulldozers, the Dump trucks, one Bagger Mixer, Concrete Vibrators, Water Tank Trucks, etc?

    The DOTC should send out its people to the construction site to check out everything.

    jun asuncion

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s