Friday, June 15, 2007

Philippine Air Force Museum

(opening this July)

I went to Villamor Airbase with Rui last week to visit the Philippine Air Force Museum. I had a chance to visit it last 2004 and learned that it was slated to transfer to a new site soon. I was hoping to see it in its new site but much to my and Rui's disappointment, the Museum is not set to open until July. I would just have to make a note in my calendar then and make another trip next month.

(old sign of the Museum)

But the day didn't turn out bad. Not the least. I had a blast shooting away at these "retired" aircrafts right by the Museum. I have never seen these many aircrafts all in one place at the same time this up close! It was dizzying and dazzling!

This was the only aircraft that I didn't have a hard time remembering because this was used as the Presidential plane from the 70's to the mid 80's. I am proud to say that I was able to go up and in this plane that afternoon.

It was being used as the temporary office for the museum, so that was where I had to ask permission to take pictures of these flying machines! So, in I went! Yey! I was aboard our own Air Force One!

This is the statue of Colonel Jesus Antonio Villamor. The base, formerly named Nichols Airbase, was named after him, in honor of his patriotism and his bravery as a pilot and an intelligence officer. Read more about him here.

I'm looking forward to the completion of the Philippine Air Force Museum come July. Thanks to Mr. Raymond Donesa, who was supervising the entire project, for being gracious enough to walk me through inside the museum that afternoon amidst all the construction being done. And judging from the amount of work and all the that's being put into it, I am sure the PAF Musuem would be a must-see come July. I can't wait.



  1. Gita,
    I was fortunate enough to board some of those airplanes when I used to work for GTV 4 during the martial law day. We use to hitch on the choppers to film floods and disaster areas. The PAF Hercules C123 was also used to haul stranded people from calamity areas. It was also used to transport TV Patrol jeeps to China during Marcos's State visits there with Imelda. The freakies one to fly was the C47 and DC3. It gets really hot and humid inside before the long take off ritual and then freezing cold up in the air. We even flew with PAF Captain America! I kid you not, that was his last name.

  2. Hi Gita,

    Thanks for the info on this place. I showed my son your pictures and he's really excited. =)

  3. noypetes, wow, it must have been an amazing experience! not everyone gets that privilege. you should be proud of it!

    houseband00, i am happy to know that your son liked the pictures. tell him he would love them even more when he sees the planes up close! how young is he, by the way?

  4. 10 and smart and perky and charming little boy, i'm sure! happy fathers day to you, houseband00!

  5. thanks p3t3r for taking time out to identify each one of the planes. i decided to copy your entry in my shoutbox here.

    p3t3r wrote: photo 1. UH-1H Huey Helicopter 2. F-28 Super Saber Jet 3. F-8 Crusader 4. F-5 Tiger 5. Same as No. 1

  6. Thanks, Gita. Same to your Dad! =)

  7. ei!

    we passed by there last saturday at night since my friend made a wrong turn at the Fort going to C5 so we maneuvered to return there

    this place is on my list to visit aside from the nearby american cemetery

    who do I contact in case I also want to post pictures? :)

  8. tutubi, make sure you visit both; the PAF museum (in Villamor Airbase) and the Philippine ARMY museum (in Fort Bonifacio). interesting shoot talaga. although both museums are closed pa, pwede magshoot sa aircrafts and tanks.

    i just asked permission to shoot dun na mismo sa site. sa PAF in Villamor, dun pa lang sa gate entrance, he will tell you na where to go. he wil accompany you sa old AIR FORCE ONE which is their temporary office.
    yung sa Army Museum naman, may tao sa likod. ask permission lang.

    wala naman silang restrictions as to what you can and cannot do with your fotos. so shoot away! enjoy!

  9. Sa bilang ng mga sasakyang panghipapawid na nakunan mo sa Museo ng Villamor, mukhang totoo ang sinasabi sa akin ng mga kawani ng Hukbong Panghimpapawid ng Pilipinas. "Mas marami ang nasa lupa kaysa sa mga lumilipad dahil sa kakulangan ng pondo pambili ng mga gamit". Hindi ko alam kung sila ay nagpapatawa o may pinatatamaan. Hindi malayo na magkaka roon ng isa pang Trillanes mula sa Air Force. Halihinan lang daw sa paglipad ang mga piloto (mas maraming piloto kaysa eroplano). Sana, bago nila gugulin ang pondo para sa museo, ay gamitin muna para sa pambili ng eroplano. Si General Acot ang naghakot ng maraming gamit mula Clark Air Base ng lisanin ng mga amerikano ang naturang base militar ng Estados Unidos noong sumabog ang bulkang Pinatubo. Ang ganda ng hawig ng pangalan niya sa ginawa niya.

  10. sa aking sapantaha, nasa kamay ng mga pinuno ng isang bayan ang ikauunlad or ikasasadlak nya sa kawalan. malas na nga lamang natin na tila baga walang malasakit ang mga namumuno sa ating bayan. maigi pa noon, dodong.

  11. It's saddening to see our F-5A Freedom Fighter jets flightless on the ground.

    I hope those capable will wake up and have the initiative of modernizing it rather than just talking about modernization without walking it...

  12. richard, i hope so too. i really hope so. not just about our national defenses... but in a lot of things in public office, moral and otherwise.
    thanks for dropping by... hope you enjoyed!

  13. Gita,

    My Father, Col. Manuel Navea, was presidential pilot for Marcos for over 10 years. I actually got to ride on RP-77 several times during regular maintenance flights. Great experience for a kid growing up.

    Mel Navea

  14. mel, it must have really been quite an exciting experience for you! and you must be really proud of you dad. i would be. ;-)
    thanks for dropping by...

  15. Gita, nice pics of the museum. I'm an Air Force Brat from Fernando Air base in Lipa and also Villamor Air Base. My dad was CL '55 PAFFS. You should visit it now. We had our AF Brats reunion there last Feb. BTW, would your husband be related to BGen. Roger Asuncion (retired)? He also used to be with the Presidential Airlift Wing (PAW)
    - Dinno Cabanban

  16. Gita,
    Hi, i'm tat, I've lived in Villamor Airbase since 1968 until 1987 when it was still called Nichols Air Base. I can't begin to tell you what a privelege its been having grown up in an Air Force base. I've seen the Air Force hey days when all those grounded aircrafts that you've taken photos of were still in service. A lot of them were flown by my friends' dads like Mel Navea who was my neighbor. Every single one of those aircraft had a special story for us all living in that base. Ask Raymond Donesa about those exciting days when our dads were still in the service. Raymond by the way is an Air Force brat whom we also grew up with. The museum sorta kept a lot of our memories alive and we occassionally meet up for a function there and go through the relics and relish their historical significance to our country. We also get to see a lot of our dad's past in pictures and historical records there. It's truly a special place for us.
    Tat Diano

  17. dinno, thanks for dropping by. im glad you liked the shots.
    we wil try to visit there if we get the chance.
    hmmmm, i am not quite sure if the ret. general asuncion is a distant uncle of my hubby, but i dont quite think so. he hasnt mentioned him ever to me.

    Tat thanks. i hope i was able to capture some of your special memories thru my shots...
    ive lived here in pque too since the '70s and yes, ive seen the hey days of Nichols. we used to hear mass there when we were little! i cant say though that i am pleased by the changes that i see now in the base, or whatever is left of it.
    anyway, thanks for dropping by...

  18. how do you go there for example sa MRT taft ka bumaba?

  19. how to get there halimbawa galing kang MRT taft?

  20. CHERIELYN, hi. im not sure kung anong ride... pero from MRT Taft, you can ride a jeep papuntang south super highway, tapos baba dun sa top ng villamor bridge... im not sure lang kung may ride papasok sa former airbase... parang meron naman... or, cherielyn, basta whatever ride papuntang NAIA 3, yun din papuntang museum. it is just a little farther down the road. malapit sa Resort World and Marriot Hotel. hope you find it!

  21. Hi, is there any admission fee if i want to visit the museum? Thanks :)

  22. hi, eulzkie, sorry for the very late reply. i have been really really busy with work... anyway, last i heard, the entrance is very minimal lang naman daw....