Airport Press Club
APC officers and members in a posterity shot with special guests led by MIAA general manager Eric Ines (third from right) and NNIC manager Lito Alvarez (third from left). In photo are (from left, standing) Cebu Pacific Corporate Social Responsibility head Roxanne Gochuico; APC President Ariel Fernandez of Manila Bulletin; NNIC head Alvarez; APC Vice President Itchie G. Cabayan of Journal/Pinoy Publiko; APC Secretary Joyce Adra of DZXL; APC Director Cherry Ilaw of SMNI; APC membership committee chair Butch Quejada of Pilipino Star Ngayon; APC director Jerry S. Tan of People's Tonight Online/Police Files Tonite; GM Ines; PAL President Capt. Stanley Ng and AirAsia Head of Communications and Public Affairs and First Officer Steve Dailisan. Behind them are (from left) BI deputy spokesman Melvin Mabulac: CAAP spokesman Eric Apolonio; APC treasurer Anthony Ching of Daily Tribune; APC Directors Rudy Santos of Star, Jojo Sadiwa of Police Files Tonite, Benjie Vergara of Manila Times, Tony Gildo of DZME and Otto Osorio of Abante and PAL spokesperson Ma. Cielo Villaluna.

The Airport Press Club (APC) held a successful induction of officers recently, attended by friends, colleagues and airport stakeholders.

Business tycoon Ramon S. Ang, whose San Miguel Corporation (SMC) won the deal to rehabilitate the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), was represented by New NAIA Infrastructure Corporation (NNIC) manager and former Customs Commissioner Lito Alvarez who inducted the APC officers into office, with Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Eric Ines standing beside him as witness.

During his speech, Manager Alvarez assured the APC that the airport media will still be welcome to cover the premier airport once the formal turnover takes place on September 14.

Manager Alvarez even expressed surprise where the concern that media may no longer be allowed to freely cover the airport comes from, stressing the mere fact that Mr. Ang, also known as RSA, sent a representative to induct the newly-elected APC officers is a clear indication that he gives importance to the media and welcome them with open arms, adding that RSA merely had a previous appointment that he could not say ‘ no’ to.

“Ang ibig sabihin niyan, napakahalaga kayo dito sa kompanyang itinayo niya (RSA) kaya asahan nyo na ‘welcome’ kayo… kailangang-kailangan di lang sa pagbabalita. Kayo ang magsasabi kung ano ang dapat malaman ng turista sa bansa, kung ano ang tunay na nangyayari… na makaka-encourage sa turista,” he stressed.

GM Ines, for his part, explained why it took him two months to meet with the APC after he assumed office in late December last year.

Apart from having to learn everything for himself since there was no formal turnover that took place, he also got preoccupied as the processes for the privatization bidding began and practically fell on his lap and, in his words, ‘kinain lahat ng oras ko sa arirport.’

“Natutuwa ako sa inyo marami kayo naituro sa akin mga nangyayari sa airport…as i went along, isang bagay na nakatulong sa akin, di lang kaalaman ko way back kundi kaalaman n’yo… kayo ang nagturo sa akin kung ano ang mali at tama at kadalasan binibigay nyo sa akin ‘yung mali which I really appreciate,” said GM Ines.

GM Ines added: “Sana, ipagpatuloy nyo ang pagtulong lalo ngayong me mga bago na tayong makakasama. Malamang siya na ang magpapatakbo at ako naman, sa likod niya at kung kaya, tutulungan ko”, in apparent reference to manager Alvarez.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) President Capt. Stanley Ng echoed what both Avarez and Ines stated.

He said that through the APC, more tourists may be encouraged to come into the country and patriotism may be drawn from the riding public, particularly our ‘kababayans.’

“Importante kayo kasi me mga bagay na di namin nakikita as airline or operator pero kayo, me nao-observe na room for improvement which is good na nalalaman ng airline,” Capt Stanley stressed.

In his speech read by NNIC manager Alvarez, Mr. Ang said that the work of journalists covering the airport beat is not just about reporting events but also about shaping the first impressions of our country.

“The airport, after all, is often the first experience tourists have of country. It is, in a very real sense, the face of our nation. As we, at the New NAIA Infrastructure Corp. (NNIC), prepare to take over the management of NAIA this September, we recognize the enormous responsibility that lies on our shoulders.

Yet, we are committed to transforming NAIA into a gateway that not only meets international standards but also embodies the unique spirit of the Philippines—an airport that every Filipino can take pride in, one that truly reflects the warmth, beauty, and resilience of our nation,” Mr. Ang stated.

Ang added: “Your role as watchdogs and storytellers is very important. Responsible journalism is key to keeping the public informed and engaged with our progress and initiatives. Your reporting will connect us to the millions of Filipinos who rely on our airport. It is through your lenses that the public sees our accountability, our challenges, and our successes.”

“May you all continue your vigilant, fair, and insightful reporting. Let us work together to ensure that NAIA is not only efficient and welcoming but also reflects the Filipino spirit, Mr. Ang further stated.

Other special guests also took turns in extolling the role that the APC plays in highlighting the good things that happen at the premier airports and the aviation industry in general.

They are PAL spokesperson Ma. Cielo Villaluna; AirAsia Head of Communications and Public Affairs and First Officer Steve Dailisan who came with Carlo Carongoy, Air Asia’s Communications and Public Affairs /External Communications Manager cum Deputy Spokesperson; Cebu Pacific Corporate Social Responsibility head Roxanne Gochuico; CAAP spokesman Eric Apolonio who arrived with public information officer Karen Villanda and Bureau of Immigration (BI) deputy spokesman Melvin Mabulac who represented the BI in the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signing with APC President Ariel Fenandez in the bureau’s fight against human trafficking done before the induction.

Newly-elected National Press Club Director Atty. Ferdie Topacio also graced the occasion, where he vowed reforms and to invite unlisted and delisted legitimate media members into the fold of the NPC which he said must be ‘inclusive,’ by introducing amnesty, since a good number of the former members were taken off the list due to failure to settle their dues which were imposed even during the pandemic that lasted for almost four years.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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