Does anybody care about the food choices in NAIA?
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I’ve been quiet about NAIA for a while. Not because I haven’t been traveling. I’ve just been waiting for things to happen, since a huge budget was supposedly approved for its renovation.
If they have already started, I can’t really tell. I’ve given up using the restrooms there. I just try to hold it in until I’m boarded on the plane.
Last November 1st, I was back at NAIA Terminal 1, on my way to Japan. I didn’t need to use the toilet, thank God. But I was hungry. There is no food in NAIA by the way.
First I checked out the offerings at the Japan Airlines Lounge.

NAIA Terminal 1

All they had were some sad little sandwiches

NAIA Terminal 1

and a this jar of peanuts. And some butter.

NAIA Terminal 1

I decided to check out the drinks. They had unchilled drinks in a refrigerator that wasn’t doing its job (no offence to Coke!).

NAIA Terminal 1

I had 20 minutes till boarding, so I stepped outside in search of food. First stop: Kalayaan Snack Bar.

NAIA Terminal 1

I was craving for siomai. But listen, do NOT order siomai at Kalayaan Snack Bar. I got four hard balls soaked in soy sauce. When I stuck my plastic fork into it, I swear the fork almost broke.
I didn’t eat it. I did return it to the staff and left to look for another option.
I found this bizarre “food court” in a waiting area.
Now check out the carpet. I do hope they allot some budget to remove this unappetizing carpet.

NAIA Terminal 1

Here are your food choices:
1) Bo’s Coffee

NAIA Terminal 1

2) Sweet Ideas Cafe

NAIA Terminal 1

3) Transit Snack (I have no idea why it’s dark)

NAIA Terminal 1

but this is where they sell those banned Korean noodles a cancerous ingredient

NAIA Terminal 1

4) Here’s where I ended up buying siomai

NAIA Terminal 1

It had no taste, but at least it was hot and a squeeze of calamansi made it bearable.

NAIA Terminal 1

5) I have no idea

NAIA Terminal 1

6) Oh, and the darkest eatery had the most people—maybe because they had seating


Meawnhile, check out some of the food I had in other airports, such as Saboten in Hong Kong


Shrimps in salted egg, Hong Kong

Shrimps in salted egg

Xiao long bao, Hong Kong

Xiao Long Bao

Beef Bowl, Narita

Beef bowl, Narita

Tori karaage and fries at Narita

Airport snack

Fried chicken wings and crispy pandan, Bangkok

Fried chicken wings with crispy pandan

Mango and sticky rice, Bangkok

Sticky rice and mango at the airport

Breaded shrimp at McDonald’s Schipol

Fried shrimp at McDonald's Schipol

Hot wings and fries, Singapore

Hot wings and fries

With so many food choices in Manila, why can’t we have some Cibo, Bizu, Dulcinea, Pepper Lunch, or even Jollibee, KFC or McDonald’s inside NAIA?
Don’t you wish the Ayalas would run the airport instead, so it would have restrooms like Greenbelt 5? Or why not hire someone like Malu Pineda to run the show like Powerplant Mall?

To whomever is in charge of renovating the airport:
The airport is the first and last thing a foreigner sees when they visit a country. If a foreigner sees a disgusting airport, it will set the mood for that person’s stay. It will stay in their memory.
You want to make money from tourism? You need to draw in decent tourists with money.
People with taste and money will have no desire to visit our country with this kind of airport. Just look at the people sitting around in the “food court” photos I took—what are they thinking??

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