New NAIA: In our lifetime please!
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I’m a simple girl. At least I like to think I am.
All I wanted was a nice, clean, modern bathroom at NAIA so I wouldn’t have to stuff my face with tissues when entering the loo. Can you smell this?


Oh, and the food problem. We need food in NAIA. Not mass-produced dense siomais, noodles cups and other smelly food.

NAIA Terminal 1

I feel so sad for me and all the foreigners who leave with the worst image of the country—NAIA.
Then things started to improve. They started to fix some toilets—not all.

NAIA restroom

But the food still sucks.
And now, something more than we’ve bargained for—an overhaul by some of the biggest names in Philippine design—Kenneth Cobonpue, Royal Pineda, Budji Layug, and Leandro Locsin:

Cobonpue group to design NAIA-1’s interiors for free
June 26, 2013 4:19pm

The government has tasked the team of world-renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue to give the interiors of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 (NAIA-1) a facelift, a Malacañang spokesperson said Wednesday.
Quoting a text message from Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Cobonpue’s group “will be allowed to do the interior of the NAIA 1 building” for free.
Lacierda added that the Leandro V. Locsin & Associates (LVL) architecture firm, ran by the son of national artist Leandro Locsin, will be in charge of the airport’s architectural services after it was awarded the contract to redesign NAIA-1 two years ago.
“The Cobonpue group will help out with the interiors, but Architect Locsin will still be architect of record. The Cobonpue group has offered their services pro bono,” the president’s spokesman said.

new NAIA
new NAIA

I have no words. Thank You Lord, for Filipinos who care.
And as Filipinos would say, “NAIA, bigyan mo naman kami ng kahihiyan!”

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  • Peachy

    its welcome news that they will build a new NAIA 1 (with the locsin-cobonpue collaboration). but i hope that they will hire competent people as well who will comprise the building management & maintenance group. if not, a world-class, modern building will just amount to nothing in the long run if napabayaan. dapat, mga magaling & incorruptible technical people.


  • Cecille B.

    I hope Cobonpue, et. al should understand that more than aesthetics, it is the functionality, crowd flow, etc. of the NAIA that should be most improved. They should not concentrate on the outside look, but rather the inside. NAIA is not a piece of furniture, or a gown. It is the gateway to the Philippines-the first and the last edifice that foreigners see. I hope the designers are aware of that. Enough of the high brown designs, but please concentrate on the functionality without sacrificing aesthetics.

    And the food – enough Goldilocks, Red Ribbon, Hen Lin, – gosh. It is an international airport, not an office cafeteria. Take a cue from the food served in the airports of HK and Singapore. Really yum.



    Anita Reply:

    Architecture is not all about aesthetics. It considers function and circulation of the people using a certain space. Please bear that in mind.


  • emy

    I totally agree with ryq24. Building a beautiful structure is half of the problem. The second is if it will be maintained properly.


  • chichiYS

    “NAIA, bigyan mo naman kami ng kahihiyan!” Wagas!
    Nakakaiyak ang NAIA! We really need Kenneth Cobonpue!


  • ryq24

    The problem with our airport is not only the facilities but the people running it. So o matter how modern, clean and beautiful our airport will hopefully one day become, it will just rot in a few months if the people running it are incompetent and corrupt.


  • Marielle Ong

    That first photo of the old restrooms made me think of the Ambi Pur spray commercials. Kulang na lang si Tessa or La Greta. -_- As for the shops, the only thing I like about NAIA 1 is that they have a bigger Duty Free shopping area than the other terminals. The food selection is entirely depressing. *sigh* If only the airport looked a little more like SM Aura… So happy to hear about the group of designers!


  • Eileen

    reading this, I had a strong sense of deja vu— this has been going around forever, without any actual results. See: (“The face-lift of NAIA-1 will start in January and is expected to be finished within 2012.”) and


  • Gratches

    Spacious, airy and modern airport please!


  • Jude Lopez Mancuyas

    …and they should fire the person responsible for this.



    Deepa Reply:



  • jojoloco



  • johbeeze

    its about damn time! hopefully di lang ung NAIA airport ang irenovate, but the employee as well.


  • the Government of the Philippines should not condone the work of designers for FREE. It is a national infrastructural venture with some private commercial interests… someone will be making money… just not the Design Industry. It’s horrible. If we have good people, then they should be justly compensated!



    CVS Reply:

    if they do that, it will go through palakasan, and we’ll still have an ugly airport


  • Can’t wait for the renovations! I freaking hate the food at NAIA 1, it’s like cheap office cafeteria food. Not even a Jollibee inside!


  • karen

    I am excited for this!


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