chuvaness
What’s wrong with NAIA Terminal 3?
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Finally got to see NAIA Terminal 3 when my friend Karen arrived with her family this weekend from the United States via Delta Airlines. Yes, Delta is one of the airlines that has moved its operations to NAIA 3.
Since both Karen and I didn’t know what to expect, I had to personally pick her up at the airport (long story).
Luckily our friend Lia volunteered to come with me at 10 PM. This is where we got dropped off (at Bay 1)

Outside NAIA 3

We took the nearest entrance and put our bags pass through the X-ray machine. A lady guard barked at me not to take pictures. Obviously that didn’t stop me.
The first thing I saw were the sad concessionaires with not much customers. This was past 10 PM anyway.

Concessionaire, NAIA 3

You just can’t avoid carinderia settings at NAIA, can you?

Concessionaire, NAIA 3

Or the sad convenience store

Concessionaire, NAIA 3

So much water

Concessionaire, NAIA 3

I wonder who chooses the concessionaires and what does it take to get a space here?
Why don’t they have a Jollibee or McDonald’s which everyone can appreciate? Or a Family Mart instead of the sad convenience store?
At least there is one brand I recognised but it’s the saddest Burger King I’ve seen

Burger King, NAIA 3

It was just so dark and cheap-looking (sorry!)

Burger King, NAIA 3

Actually I’m not sorry. The entire arrival floor was dark and somber-looking. I looked up and saw the light.
I saw white lights everywhere, which makes everyone and everything look grey

Burger King, NAIA 3

You can actually mix white light with yellow lights. Because lighting is so important. It can change the way you feel about a place and how everyone looks.
NAIA Terminal 3 has so much space, which is a good thing, with a high ceiling and space everywhere.
I’m happy that all Filipinos who want to pick up their loved ones can be accommodated inside, unlike NAIA 1 where the waiting area looks like a zoo.

NAIA 3
NAIA 3
NAIA 3

Good thing there are signs

NAIA 3

and a convenient Arrivals board, which you didn’t see at NAIA 1

Arrivals sign
Arrivals sign

I decided to check out the toilet next to still-unoccupied spaces (ooh…slippers off!)

Toilet, NAIA 3

The cardboard sign looks ngarag (read: worn out)

Toilet, NAIA 3

The restroom looks so creepy—creepier than Narita’s. Nothing makes my skin crawl as much as small bathroom tiles.

Toilet, NAIA 3

It reminded me of a Peque Gallaga movie set

Toilet, NAIA 3

Eek.

Toilet, NAIA 3

This looks so temporary (read: cheap)

Toilet, NAIA 3

Here’s the really scary part

Toilet, NAIA 3
Toilet, NAIA 3

But thank God no bad smell (unlike Schipol’s) and there was toilet paper!! I wonder who designed the restroom. My guess: contractor?
No thought was put into it. I find it sayang for all the money they spent on the airport and the restrooms already look old and creepy.
Still they are much better than NAIA 1 toilets.
Finally, with all that space, nobody bothered to think about seats. These were the only seats in the house.
Seriously, there must be 24 seats here

Seats

So what do people do while waiting for arrivals? They put their drinks down and have a picnic

Lack of seats, NAIA 3

They lie down and charge their phone

Lack of seats, NAIA 3
Lack of seats, NAIA 3

They sit down and charge their iPad

Lack of seats, NAIA 3

They doze off

Lack of seats, NAIA 3

They look kawawa

Lack of seats, NAIA 3
Lack of seats, NAIA 3

You can sit anywhere. No one will stop you!

Lack of seats, NAIA 3

Seriously it makes you wonder if they are there to pick up people or just use the aircon? It looks uncivilised.
I proceeded to the viewing gallery to wait for Karen. (NAIA needs an art director)

NAIA 3

I waited with the people behind the glass

NAIA 3

At 11 PM (one hour later) Karen arrived with her sisters and brother-in-law

Karen and family
L-R: Karen Salgado, Marty Wilcher, Susan and Carlos Patino

They were hungry but we left quickly because I didn’t want them to see the food choices. Luckily our car arrived shortly and Karen and her sisters were impressed by the new airport.
Next time I’ll review the Departure area—but not so soon because I’m still scared to fly.

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bugoyprince

all i saw in your post is the word “SAD”, prolly best describes the writer.. you are the one to take sympathy from your readers for seeing only the bad in the good.. [Reply]CVS Reply:August 26th, 2014 at 1:17 PMi suggest you read my entire blog and not just one entry to see how much joy i take out of life. sorry, it is YOU who are being negative about me. I’m not sorry. If NAIA is good enough for you, then I’m happy for you. But sad that you don’t think Filipinos deserve the very best considering all the… Read more »

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cutedoc

airport must be a big thing if Philippine Island (PI) would sell its tagline “its more fun in the Philippines”. its your gateway, so make it pleasing, please… please!!! if T3 is a set of Peque’s film, what is T1? living hell perhaps? imagine a crowd, without and air con, or fan or even a ventilation, to add insult to that its on a place where no window, sigh… to get to toilets you need to take a maze passing their staff house, their storage room and clutter everywhere. The First class lounge has air con, yay, but we need… Read more »

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sarkk1984

Was just there yesterday to fetch my sister. i found CBTL on the third level and seattles best. i also saw kenny rogers,yellow cab,wendys, jollibee, pancake house, kopi roti, mini stop and 711.

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bloodsugar

Hi chuvaness, long-time lurker here. Unlurking just to say that though I agree that the bathrooms at NAIA 3 could be better, it would also be best to get the facts straight. As some others already pointed out, there are a lot more concessionaires at the upper floors of the airport which I guess you weren’t able to see. (Trust me, I should know, I spent 2 of the last 3 years travelling all over the Philippines as a development worker and thus I spent A LOT of time at Terminal 3 at all hours of the day. Just to… Read more »

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Kaye

Yes there are a lot more stores and food stalls upstairs but they all look dilapidated and sad looking, which i think is the point of this article.

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Miketotheb

NAIA 3 is better than 1 and 2. Sadly NAIA 3 is all we have right now. It’s exteriors are palatial but mind you Ms Cecile, it’s not aesthetically done either. The gov’t should revamp the location of the shops and segregate them into food, clothing, bookstore. To me Naia 3 is just ok but not in any way worth mentioning. A good thing though is they have free wifi access which is good enough. For me, it could add more sophisticated shops to accommodate those coming from the upscale airlines like Emirates/Delta

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Baldwin

Apart from the terrible NAIA 3, the lady guard who told you not to take pictures is completely out of line. It’s irritating. Tax-contribution-wise, im sure she has contributed much less than you so in essence, u have “more right”. It’s a PUBLIC place, owned by filipinos, so who is she to stop you? What, they wanna try to hide the terrible condition of OUR airports?

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tanya

you know why our airports are stuck with horrible and badly food concessionaires…its because spaces are granted to the family of those working at the airport. (palakasan). i know one concessionaire who sold religious artifacts, cinnamon rolls, sterilium hand sanitiser etc in her stall all because ‘may kilala sola sa taas’. we wanted to give a proposal to naia for our grab and go food concept but you have ‘to give’ these people a minimum of 300k (lagay) for them to approve and may cut pa every month. [Reply]Allan Reply:August 17th, 2014 at 2:40 PMI 2nd to this, its all… Read more »

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Allan

I 2nd to this, its all about “connection” in NAIA . I have an construction work in the pre-departure area, our man were able to get in without security check because my client “know” the guard there. thats horrible, it was so easy to bring in JUST ABOUT anything into the airport.

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jajaja

I hope you take the time to correct your blog post regarding the lack of concessionaires. Jollibee, Pancake House, Kenny Rogers etc. are in the departure level. And you can access the departure level via the escalators from the arrival floor. A lot of people already mentioned this in the comments but you seem to ignore it. I’m a regular reader of your vlog and I know you update your blogs when needed. Baka kasi akalain ng mga tao walang choices pero meron naman talaga. [Reply]CVS Reply:August 26th, 2014 at 1:20 PMgiven the chance to see all of them, I… Read more »

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Vicky

my only issue there is they should add more benches and chairs to avoid being on the floor. at least it’s much better than naia 1.

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sunshine

instead of brand name stores and outlets, i would rather have an efficient public transport system to and from our airports (airport rail links and legitimate bus lines) so that people don’t fall prey to unscrupulous taxi drivers and operators…

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Guest

I just hope with the expansion in catering to major international airlines, they can upgrade and uphold efficiency in check-in and immigration queues (bad enough already in peak flights). Can’t end up looking like NAIA 1 all over again. Speaking of queues, travel tax and and terminal fees should have one queue (or the whole thing be done away with altogether!) … such a hassle. Plus, organised taxi queue / waiting area (no seating area last time I went, looked miserable). Agree with keeping loiterers in check – I do think they’re mostly in there for the air conditioning, which… Read more »

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Guest

um there’s Wendy’s and Jollibee NAIA 3! There’s Yellow Cab, Shakey’s and even Coffee Bean all of which are familiar to me. I’ve been to NAIA 3 several times, but mostly at dawn-morning. Not sure how the place feels like at night. Just check out the 4th floor it is where most of food stalls can be found.

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deeperdigger

I’m really disturbed by the giant “viewing gallery” poster, there are a lot of talented graphic artists who could do better than that.
I disagree on the small tiles, I personally find them nice specially if the finish is good (metallic)
Well maybe they should hire contractors of malls like Rockwell and Shang.

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Jadz

LAX airport is just as bad, well in fact most of US airports are with the exception of San Francisco maybe. Arrived a few times at LAX once via Auckland and few times from London Heathrow. A small Starbucks is the only decent place to actually have a sit down meal after a long haul flight. The moment you came out of immigration, retrieve your luggage and cleared customs, you will be greeted by a musty smell. The corridors leading to the greeters area and the fetchers area were dark and dingy. The seats were in short supply and the… Read more »

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Mrs. M

They’ve renovated LAX. Last time I was there (mid-July), a portion was still under renovation but the renovated parts were super nice/sleek! It looked like the beautiful Asian airports already (BKK, KAnsai, Singapore, HK, etc.) Hehehe

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Bella

Super kulang din upuan sa departure area, though mas ok naman yung food options, but still with the sad looking ones. Don’t know how such concessionaires with questionable looking food could afford the rent there. Oh and creepy nga ng small bathroom tiles! I feel like always madumi pag small tiles.

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RealChangePH

I’d rather they fix the long lines at immigration AND emigration first.

You can have the best looking airport in the world, but if you have an inefficient immigration bureau, you’ll only go up 2 notches in the worst airport in the world list.

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Chad

I’ve only been to T3 once couple of years ago and I like the space and openness of it (granted na Cebu Pacific pa lang yata ang gumagamit that time). Basing on your pics I do agree that T3 need more food stalls and seats; not for the people arriving but for the people waiting. Please don’t say “bakit sa arrival area sa ibang bansa eh kunti rin food stalls and upuan ah”; I’ve seen plenty of airport as well and I can’t argue with that but what we have in the Philippines is uniquely Filipino. We all know about… Read more »

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boi skater

I guess it is still part of Filipino culture to greet relatives at the terminal. Most international airports that I’ve been to don’t really have anything at the arrival area. Basically, people go through immigration, baggage carousel and then out the door to catch their ride home.

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lemonetlime

Looks-wise, it’s really que horror at our international airports, especially at NAIA 1, 2, and 3. The stores look dry, restrooms with cracked tiles aplenty (it makes me sick looking at it), and none of the airports have a proper looking bookstore/kiosk— a true essential! Thanks Ms C for being our airport patrol, valid points there. But I think the real problem in NAIA is congestion with limited runways. How about we look into maximizing the use of Clark International Airport? The government built nice roads in NLEX for that, right? If for example we build new runways in NAIA,… Read more »

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boi skater

It is funny because I have never even noticed the

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CVS Reply:

wow. Ten years! sayang.

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boi skater Reply:

Yup, that is why the washrooms already look old and dated. T3 was mothballed for that long because of litigations and counter litigations between the builder and the government. The problems stem from over- pricing and illegal arrangements between the group of contractors who built T3. We have to give the sitting president credit for doing what needed to be done and have T3 fully operational despite the ongoing legal problems.

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Guest

It seems like someone forgot that some passengers are met by a jeepney-load of greeters. That small cluster of chairs would work in airports abroad, a lot of people don’t even get picked up by family and just take a cab/train home, If they are, by one or two people lang. Or did they do that intentionally to deter the bus-loads of greeters or maybe tambay? But they also need to ask people not to sit on the floor randomly.

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Kal Lamigo

yes, they should do something about the waiting area so people wouldn’t have to sit on the floor. There is still so much space anyway.

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Angela G. Magpayo

I agree with the bathroom tiles. Yan yung mga tipong nangongolekta ng dumi eh. Pati yung kulay, anong color wheel ba ang gamit nung mga contractors? Nanililimahid pink and upos ng sigarilyo gray? Sayang yung pera, parang tinipid. Although, I admit that NAIA 3 is so much better than NAIA 1,I hope the NAIA management is on top of the maintenance of the airport. I mean di ba, maluluma din yung buong facility, hindi porke’t bagong gawa, hindi na aasikasuhin yung maintenance. Yun lang po. Salamat sa investigative journalism skills mo, Cecile hehehe. At least alam natin kung ano na… Read more »

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literarybulimia

I wish we’d have a Cibo or Recipes there somewhere.

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Guest

I have the same question as you.. Who the H chooses the concessionaires? I mean diba? Very basic for me ang Jollibee and McDonalds. Plus its scary – the lighting outside – saan ka nakakita ng airport na hindi well lit?? It’s a sad sad airport kasi – walang tao. Imagine the space that it has – sayang talaga.. I think they still have some parts of it na are still not used? Super sayang talaga.. Whats in my mind is – WHY NOT TRANSFER THE WHOLE OF NAIA 1 HERE?? Its a LOT bigger diba? Labo labo talaga ang… Read more »

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boi skater

T3 will be fully occupied by the end of September of this year. Four more foreign airlines will be relocating to T3. T3 is not big enough for all the other airlines that are still using T1.

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Guest

I said the same thing re: seats and people on the floor. Dyahe. There’s Yellow Cab, Shakey’s & CBTL at the departure area of NAIA 3. 🙂 [Reply]ems Reply:August 11th, 2014 at 10:38 PMAdd to that, there’s Jollibee, Kenny Rogers and Wendy’s. The departure area is much better than the arrival and I hope the NAIA management can address the things you pointed out on this post Ms. C! [Reply]luis Reply:August 11th, 2014 at 11:22 PMWait…..Baka Kasi you were thinking that this is a mall, not an airport. Dubai airport does not have much when you arrive for Dubai as… Read more »

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ems

Add to that, there’s Jollibee, Kenny Rogers and Wendy’s. The departure area is much better than the arrival and I hope the NAIA management can address the things you pointed out on this post Ms. C!

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luis

Wait…..Baka Kasi you were thinking that this is a mall, not an airport. Dubai airport does not have much when you arrive for Dubai as opposed to transfers. The reason is for you to literally get out of the airport. Siguro if there are jollibees and mcdo’s inthe arrival area, more people will be inside the arrival area. If so, , why make SM MOA an airport if everyone’s thinking is about the stalls and foodstuff inside the arrival area. Remember, in the Philippines, for every one Filipino passenger arriving at the NAIA, there will be one big barrio of… Read more »

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Jace

Hahaha siguro I think the thing here is medyo mataas masyado yung expectations natin (well, for now) without considering the resources, the budget of our government, how the whole system works, etc. I’m not saying we don’t deserve a decent airport but I think let’s just not expect too much for us to come up with a super world class airport at this time, with this kind of government, with the budget – basically the current situation of our country. Siguro this is just the best that we could come up at the moment? Maybe this is a start of… Read more »

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luis

But, the culture of thinking that the airport should look like and feel like a mall, park or even a church should change. Good thing that NAIA 3 is now being fully utilized is good. If I would compare, I would even say that it is just like Don muang ( old Bangkok international ) airport. As a perspective of a passenger who just arrived, I would rather get out of the airport quickly than socialize in the airport. ( no exception as to what airport). I have never seen a passenger who wants to stay long in the arrival… Read more »

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literarybulimia

Nobody’s asking for a mall, much less MOA.

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