ALON Passenger Terminal: Integrated Domestic Passenger Ferry Terminal in North Harbor

Thursday, November 10, 2005

• Site •

Thursday, October 06, 2005

• Philosophy+Concept Beta V.01 •

As i was sitting and wondering about things, while browsing thru architectural magazines and stuffs..something dawned upon me which i think can be a start of coming up with a real design philosophy and a design concept.

here's what i thought of. this is not final, as it will be changing as i get more grip of what i want.

Overall Philosophy: Life is merely a circulation in which God is the Architect. We as subjects, are bound to follow life's design. But also by having creative minds, we have the capacity to customize life, to innovate, and to interact with the structure.

Design Philosophy: Beauty + Strength + Function = 75% ARCHITECTURE
= 100 % Architecture

A structure for me can only be identified as architecture if there are people using it. And sticking with my overall philosophy, people defines the structure. People can customize and innovate upon a given space, and thus giving life to the structure and defining it as an Architecture.

Design Concept:

" ARCHIPELAGIC WAVES " : Promoting unity in the Islands of the Philippine Archipelago through water architecture.

my design will evoke the rolling waves of the sea. i will post some sketches soon. at the same time, the Archipelagic state of the philippines will be emphasized in my project, and a way of connecting these separated islands through the most viable means, water transportation.
In a smaller scale though, in my site development plan, i will try to emphasize this idea of being separated but connected by a means of transportation. As the Passenger terminal will only be located in one pier (pier2), people will have to be shuttled to the other piers in loading and unloading. A proper circulation will be the solution.

Friday, August 26, 2005

• Baggage Issue •

NOTE:Here is an article I found in the net, about the impact of baggage mishandling. It is an airport setting but the problem is universal when it comes to passenger terminals. This situation can also be identified in a ferry terminal.

Baggage claims and departure delays now costing $1 billion annually

COLOGNE, Germany – 22 February 2005

Growing passenger numbers and improved security procedures were today cited as the main factors fuelling estimated annual losses of one billion US dollars for the world’s airlines in mishandled baggage and delayed flight departures.

The figure comes from a report* released today by the global provider of IT solutions to the air transport industry, SITA INC, to coincide with the opening in Cologne of the world’s largest industry event focussed on airline and airport passenger services, Passenger Terminal Expo 2005.

Catherine Mayer, SITA INC Vice President of Airport Services, said that given the Federal Aviation Administration announcement of a greater than 10% rise in the number of mishandled bags in the United States last year, baggage reconciliation systems would be a welcome solution to increase operational efficiencies and reduce costs for airlines in the near future.

“Disgruntled passengers, important security concerns and the high cost of inefficient baggage handling are critical issues that all stakeholders – airlines, airports and governments – must collectively address,” she said.

read more >>>

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags are clipped on each baggage which will allow easy identification and location of all baggages especially those which are misplaced or lost.

use of RFID tags in baggages is very convinient. on the other hand, it will be an additional cost to the terminal operation. This can only be part of a baggage handling solution, but still, a better "passenger : baggage : ship/transportation circulation" concept can be thought of in time.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

• North Harbor •


Located along the shoreline of Tondo District is the country’s leading domestic port – North Harbor. It can accommodate all types of inter-island vessels. Its six (6) main piers cater to coastwise cargo and passenger ships.

The facilities are also used extensively for passenger accommodation. North Harbor services the Metro Manila area and the immediate provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and Nueva Vizcaya in the north, Rizal in the east and Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Quezon in the south.

Under the PMO-North Harbor’s jurisdiction are smaller ports. These are sub-ports of Bataan and Subic.

Passenger Terminal Users:

Location User
Pier 2 Negros Nav.
Pier 4 Aboitiz S.C.
Pier 6 Sweet Lines
Pier 10 C. A. Gothong
Pier 12 Sulpicio Lines
Pier 14 William Lines
Pier 16 Escaño Lines


The north breakwater protects North Harbor from wave action. Its length is 2,200 m. A portion at the southernmost part of Isla Puting Bato serves as landing place for small vessels.

aside from this breakwater, Manila Bay itself is a natural harbor providing great security from threats of large waves. The port of Manila thus enjoys protection that can only be provided by nature itself.

Land Access

There are four (4) entrance/exit gates to North Harbor from Radial Road (R-10). This is parallel to Marcos Road, on is at Moriones Street while the other one is at Zaragoza Street, used for passengers and cargo traffic. The other two gates are the Pacheco gate and the Access Road gate.

Currently, these roads are poorly accommodating the necessary access to the North Harbor. Since the North Harbor is currently both a cargo and passenger handling facility, the access roads for people are also used by carrier trucks. The result is chaos. R-10 area is highly congested with container trucks therefore making it very difficult for light vehicles to traverse. Pollution is very high in these areas. The ports' efficiency can be greatly diminished if the access to land transportation is very poor. This issue can be handled in cooperation with the DPWH and DOTC.

Parking Areas

No specific areas are provided for parking of vehicles in the port area. Vehicles entering the North Harbor compound usually park infront of the offices and at Collector Road

Adding to the passengers' woes is the absence of the parking facility.
Especially in the Philippines, where relatives see their loved-ones off, parking areas are most required. This raises the issues of convinience and security. Without a proper parking area, people are forced to park anywhere outside the port area. The condition outside the port is chaotic, men calling out for makeshift parking slots adding to the disorderly vendors. As if the trouble getting at the port through the current state of the access roads isn't enough, finding a proper parking slot seems to be making a name for itself.

• North Harbor Passengerization™ •

The North Harbor of the Port of Manila is currently a domestic Passenger and Cargo handling facility. In my proposal, bearing in mind the future development plans in the Port of Manila especailly the expansion of the North Harbor, a completely Passengerized™ North Harbor will be created, locating the Cargo Handling in an entirely new area, most probably either in the Batangas Port or in the future reclamation specifically for the expansion of North Harbor.

Being exclusive for passenger use only, the North harbor will be giga-safer for people to circulate in, more comfortable without the cargo handling facilities and equipment criss-crossing with people..

the whole of North Harbor will have a new identity: North Harbor: the Domestic Passenger Haven! (a more catchy title will be thought of as the project evolves. if you have an idea, comment on that pls ^_^ thanks ) this will revitalize Manila Bay and Manila City of course, close to or much more than what Gateway Mall did to Araneta Center in Cubao Q.C.

Monday, July 18, 2005

• Basic Problems in North Harbor •

Manila Bay’s North Harbor handles all incoming and outgoing domestic cargo and passenger ferries in Metro Manila. At present, all of the Ramos administration’s efforts seem to have been lost on the North Harbor in terms of infrastructure especially for passengers.

The safety of the traveling mass is being put at risk due to lack of security measures in the harbor. With the present economic condition, these people have no choice but to make do with what is inconveniently available. Inconvenience, threat to safety, these are but a few problems that arises from the absence of one single passenger terminal which will house all the proper facilities and security needed to avoid inconveniences and another tragedy.

With the current condition of the Philippine's second-hand fleet, passenger safety cannot be ensured if right from the loading port, confusion is at large. Lack of organization of passenger and baggage circulation and security due to the absence of a Major Terminal makes the ferry boat vulnerable to overloading and hazardous baggage, much to the passengers' detriment.

immediate problems:

The situation of the ferry passengers in the North Harbor is chaotic. The passengers bear all of the confusion in the system of the passenger ferries’ administration, seeing it as something that is already a part of traveling.

Basically, there is an absence of an integrated passenger ferry terminal in the Manila North Harbor that will contain all passenger-ferry related activities.

• there are several ferry companies that are using the North Harbor as their terminal, WG&A, Aboitizs, Negros Navigation, etc. Each company has its own area where it processes their respective passengers. The problem is that these areas are scattered with minimal signage, therefore making the processing of passengers and baggage very confusing.

• the ferry companies deal with their own passenger when it comes to their tickets and baggage. And with the usually not followed departure and arrival schedules of ferries, the absence of a single passenger terminal leaves the waiting passengers with no comfortable place to stay.

• there is a lack of security, personnel that monitor passenger areas which compromises passenger security and safety.

• inefficient boarding area security due to the absence of a terminal, makes the ferry boats vulnerable to overloading and baggage hazards which compromises passenger safety.

The safety problem is aggravated by the fact that the Philippines’ inter-island fleet is made up of second hand vessels acquired from other countries. With the Philippines’ passenger ferries’ age average of 9.31 years old *(Domestic & foreign Fleet Inventory in 1995 conducted by MARINA). Passenger safety can only be ensured if overloading is prevented and baggage handling is secured.

With respect to operational hazards, two major concerns were pointed out by International Maritime Organization (IMO): the perennial overloading of passengers, especially during peak seasons like Christmas and the start of school year; and the carriage and handling of dangerous baggage or cargoes. To respond to overloading, IMO suggested the building of passenger terminals to control embarkation of passengers in the main ports, particularly in North Harbor. As to handling of baggage or cargoes, an efficient system of inspecting dangerous goods was needed.

• The Philippine Setting •

In the Philippines, being an archipelago and most of its people belonging to the lower half of the economic strata, the most common mode of inter-island transportation is by ship mainly due to its affordability.

Filipino’s travel for different purposes and under different circumstances. Personal travel can be generally classified into three categories namely Pleasure travel, travel to work, and business travel. Among the three, the journey to work is probably the most often reason why Filipinos travel.

Since the Philippines is an archipelago, development in the country tend to be focused only in certain areas, the biggest of which is Metropolitan Manila. Most of the people from the southern region looking for opportunities in Metro Manila travel by ship, the cheapest mode of long-distance inter-island transportation.
People go different places for different purposes but one thing remains intact in the Filipino culture: Closely-knitted Family Ties.

This trait is what keeps the Filipino family together..But it's the transportion industry's role to keep the family together, physically. With the Philippines' archipelagic setting, it must be clear that water transportation is most significant.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

• Manila Bay: Natural Harbor •


1 : a place of security and comfort
2 : a part of a body of water protected and deep enough to furnish anchorage; especially : one with port facilities

As with all Ports, protection against destructive waves is a crucial element for a port's success. Normally, this protection is provided by the breakwaters. As the term obviously implies, breakwaters are there to break the incoming force of waves from the sea. Without breakwaters, the port would not be a very safe place to dock boats.

The peninsula of Bataan, along with the famous Corregidor island, provides for this type of protection to the Manila Bay, acting as natural breakwaters, against the open South China Sea waves. Although this is in a very large scale, momentum of destructive waves would nonetheless be greatly diminished if not completely dissipated as it enters Manila Bay.

Where else is it best to locate a major port for a country than in a Natural Harbor? And so the Manila Port is created, divided into the North and South ports, that is one of the Major centers of commerce in the Luzon area.

• Manila South Harbor •

• South Harbor is no longer the site •

Due to recent project advices and developments, I finally settled on the North Harbor of the Port of Manila as the site.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

• A little intro to water transpo history •

In terms of technology, water transportation dates from ancient times.
From the beginning of human history, we have been shaped by the availability of water and our ability to use it to enrich our lives.

The ancient remnants of human existence are found along ancient watercourses. Using rafts and dugout canoes, primitive people learned to use rivers for personal travel. The use of water for irrigation marked a major turning point for human social development.

With a stable food source, people could choose to stay in one place. They changed
from hunters and gatherers to farmers and village dwellers. Villages then became financial and cultural centers.

By water, transportation was quicker and more importantly, used less energy, compared to overland travel. Ships, boats, and barges carry far greater loads than wagons or animals. With the development of cloth sails, boats could use the energy of the wind to move.

Civilizations that learned to build and sail ships prospered as centers of trade, culture, and power.
Ancient mariners used the seas to explore the world, trade goods, and conquer their neighbors.
In doing so they spread cultural ideas from one part of the world to another.

Today, almost all countries rely on their system of inland waterways and coastal ports. Imports and exports of raw materials and finished products fuel the world economy. Water transportation developments provided larger ships that can accomodate more diverse services than simply moving cargoes.

The Wheel is being displaced as the symbol of Transport Progress.