Starting the Manila Trip with Ninoy International Airport
Situated along Pasay City and Paranaque City is the airport serving Metropolitan Manila- the Ninoy International Airport.
The airport serves as the focal point for all travelers, foreign and local, flying to and from the Philippines, as well as all Philippine airlines serving their travel needs.
Ninoy Aquino International Airport or NAIA is about seven (7) kilometers away from Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. Most of the traveler who reside in Manila knows that one has to leave early to meet one’s flight schedule. You have to thank the traffic for this. But if you’re already a veteran to this situation, you will also realize that most of the taxi cab drivers will know how to “fly” you to the terminal as scheduled. An expert driver knows all the routes with a strong gut feel for the right time you should reach the airport for your flight.
Security Measures at NAIA
NAIA implements strong security measures and policies. You must successfully pass numerous checks and counter-checks with you and your bags/luggage as subjects. You will be undergoing a thorough body check through a sensor and you may also be “patted down”. Don’t worry though, as there are separate facilities for men and women for this procedure. Your bags/luggage both checked-in and hand-carry, will have to pass the x-ray as well to determine the safety and appropriateness of its contents. Finally, when you reach the wait area near the entrance, your hand-carry bags/luggage shall be inspected before you are allowed to get in (if you passed the hand search of course).
Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminals
This is the elder terminal that is now used as hub for domestic flights, and a few meters away from the NAIA. The place is a bit crowded (thanks to the airfare promos) and can be rowdy at times. Several people are busy meeting people, or waiting for taxis to dive them home, or simply loitering for a few minutes before they go to their respective destinations.
Centennial terminal is for the exclusive use of Philippine Airlines. It is on Airport Avenue near the Philippine Village Hotel, and between the NAIA and domestic terminal. Opened to the public October 1999, the terminal is combines both international and domestic flights of Philippine Airlines, the flagship airline of the Philippines. It boasts of modern facilities, high glass walls, and the clean rest rooms’ faucets and flushes are automatic. There is a respective lounge for waiting passengers flying business and first class. The terminal follows the same strict security measures and procedures as that of its mother terminal, the NAIA. Fees and taxes apply as well.
Arriving in Manila
Your arrival at NAIA will perhaps be a unique lifetime experience. Passing the strict security measures is one kind of experience that you wouldn’t forget. You will also find that your “welcoming parties or greeters” are only allowed at the designated places outside the terminal. There is an option for your “greeters” to wait for you in an air-conditioned room for only a small fee. You may also have to bear going through the entire luggage and the crowd brought about by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). Hold your breath; they are just as excited as you are. You have arrived!
Be alert while you wait for your checked-in bags and luggage at the carousel. As in any other cities, thieves and pickpockets are just waiting for the opportune time to strike. You wouldn’t want to be welcomed with a lost purse, would you? Watch out and be careful.
Exploring the City: From NAIA to Your Destination
As soon as you descend from the Ninoy International Airport, and you find yourself wanting for a ride, it is always important to remember to take only official public transport or metered cabs unless you have it pre-booked. Be wary of people who will suddenly approach you and offer their cabs. You will find metered taxis that will cost you about $6-8US Dollar (Php 150-200) to drive you to hotels along central Manila.
Depending on traffic, estimated travel time is 20 minutes up to one (1) hour. However, major hotels offer cab services which you can arrange ahead of time. Pre-booked cabs from hotels charge about 750-950 pesos one way, but considering the expediency and security they bring, this is definitely worth your money.
To go around town, you may arrange with your hotel for your transport services. They have fixed fare rates and as compared to the public transport system, much safer and more convenient.
You’re all set to roam the city!
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