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Not a Resort but Sort of: The New Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal 2

) Katrina Gadong |

As Cebu drums up to its most sought-after Sinulog festival, travellers flying in to the province, or locals picking them up, are greeted by a fresh sight: an eye-catching structure made out of large arches, the new Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal 2. With its resort look and feel, this terminal catering to international flights welcomes its visitors with the best "first impression."

Photo by Marcel Lam

Located just beside the old airport (now called MCIA Terminal 1, which now only accommodates domestic flights), Terminal 2 was finished, inaugurated, and began its operations mid-2018. Aside from its state-of-the-art security, check-in, and boarding facilities as well as baggage handling system, the new terminal's shopping and dining options are something Cebuanos can take pride in.

Photo by Marcel Lam

MCIA Terminal 2 is lauded first and foremost for its unique design that reflects the rich Cebuano culture and heritage with its architecture, materials, and colors. World-renowned Filipino artistry (represented by interior designer Budji Layug, architect Royal Pineda, Cebuano furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue) worked with international talent (Hong Kong-based firm Integrated Design Associates Ltd) in this collaborative showcase.

Photo by Marcel Lam

Beyond the box
Not the usual straight lines and rectangular structures, Terminal 2's series of timber arches curve gracefully to form a roof, mimicking the waves of the pristine blue waters surrounding Mactan Island. Its glass façade not only reflects the sunny blue skies, but also allows more natural light and thus room into the area. A skylight, on the other hand, runs through the length of each curve, letting even more daylight to come in.

Photo by Armand Frasco for Spot.ph

Like stepping foot in the beach
Replicating the look of sand are the airport floors made of glossy tiles and adorned with crushed mother-of-pearl. A sparkling reminder of Cebu’s many famous beaches and marine attractions, even these little details of the MCIA Terminal 2's floors make one want to book a vacation by the waters as soon as you step foot on it.

Photo by Pitch Photography for Spot.ph

Light and airy
The wave-like elements prove evident in most areas of the airport, extending also to the pre-departure area with the curved wooden beams on the ceiling. The ceiling of the baggage claim area, however, is made with straight yet lightweight metal beams that mimic wood. Meanwhile, a moss wall accents the wooden palette of terminal bathrooms, as well as helps purify the air in its surroundings.

Photo by Nath Ybanez

Warm welcome of a smile
Still true to its resort theme, the check-in counters, which are accented with colored lighting and intricate traditional weaves reminiscent of banig and Visayan baskets, are still manned by people instead of relying only on machines. The human element, it was said, adds the personal interaction touch and is line with the MCIA's hopes to becoming "world's friendliest airport." More so, the staff don bright uniforms and headdresses that give off the festival vibe, ready to welcome and send off travellers with their smiles.*