Another Davao Trip

This is more about airplanes and airport rather than anything to do with Davao except for the picture of Mount Apo which happens to be the tallest mountain in the Philippines. I’ve always wanted to climb this majestic mountain and on one occasion I almost did, but I had to follow the rules (the mountain was off-limits for climbers for sometime to allow it to heal/regenerate).

This picture was taken while the plane was making a turn around Davao Gulf as we were approaching Davao International Airport.

I left Manila on one of the early morning flights (630am if you call that early) because I had a meeting by 10am, I don’t want to be late if flights get delayed (more on that later) – a common occurence in Philippines due to arrivals congestion in NAIA – one runway 3 passenger terminals on Philippines central air hub, well you can do the math. Aside from delays, I love the light during early morning or late afternoon flights, the hues of red, yellow and blue and the richness of these that I love capturing. Of which I didn’t during this flight, but I get a slight glimpse of that light in the horizon on the picture below left.


When I arrived at Davao, I saw a rather quirky looking plane and I don’t know the make but I find it weird to see the engine above the wing not under it. Funny was that when I left that night it was still at the Tarmac, so I was able to capture it on the plane. I had a bit of a hard time keeping it in focus due to the lighting situations and I was shooting with F/1.4 with my Canon 50mm. What helped was focusing with my 7d’s liveview mode.

*** edit: the plane is an Antonov AN-74-200 registered to Ayk Avia of Armenia. Honestly the design of the plane looked familiar and when I googled it, the plane is codenamed as “Coaler” by NATO and then it struck me, this were the planes that I sometimes shoot down while playing that old PC game Night Hawk: F-117A Stealth Fighter 2.0. way way back. ;)***


I would have captured the plane in far more favorable lights if my flight back to Manila was not delayed. 530pm became 630pm due to air traffic congestion in NAIA. This is something that you have to be prepared with if you come to the Philippines, and this delay in flights gets worse as your flights goes later in the day. One hour delay is not bad, I’ve had 3 or even 4 hours delay before. What made the stay worthwhile was Philippine Airline’s Mabuhay Lounge, if you travel frequently it’s best that you avail of this via a membership – PAL’s Mabuhay Miles. It’s a life saver and accommodations are far better that what the terminal offers.


I was a bit sad that I lost the opportunity to shoot in the plane during the golden hour, but I thought, yeah it’s okay it was pretty cloudy that day. And as I was looking outside the airplane window, I’m loving the way the lights of the airport are falling in the terminal area of Davao International Airport.


To cap my adventure/misadventure, when we landed in NAIA we had to stay in the tarmac for more than 15 mins, trying to wait for an available space in the terminal. Well, a photo opportunity showed up as a plane was taxiing and waiting for its queue on the terminal.

Till next time. Cheers!

For other photos of this set. Click on the links below.


Davao 2, a Slide Show of this set on Flickr.


One thought on “Another Davao Trip

  1. Pingback: Dusk and Dawn | Ken Reston Photography

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