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Have you ever been to the Philippines before? If yes, then you most likely have been flying in or out from the infamous NAIA 2 terminal in Manila. Why infamous? Well, this airport really has something of a bad reputation , built up over many years, which amazingly enough happens to be used by the national carrier, PAL – Philippine Air Lines, as well.

It all starts as soon one arrive the airport area and the driver tries to navigate through a total chaotic traffic situation basically in front of the doors to the departure hall. Where there are more family members and friends than actual travelers, clustered together right by the entrance where one will show the passport and ticket, in order to pass first check point. One kind already has this sneaking feeling this is going to be an interesting experience.

After almost elbowing myself, with a sorry this and sorry that, I pass the first security check point to line up at the first baggage x-ray point. And it is understandable in these days, with all the security issues everywhere. Except that there are normally only 2 machines operating for 1000s of travelers and their luggage at NAIA 2. Oh well, we all must go through this.

 Then, after the first x-ray checks, more chaos awaits you with all the people moving in all directions, looking for their check in gates. The check in area is so narrow it is quite amazing to think that up and running intelligent people actually thought this out. People bump into each other all the time, looking for their gates. Some give up and line up by the information desk. They are actually helpful. And you are directed to the correct check in counters. This is because of poor information on the sometimes not always up and running boards.

Check in goes fairly quick, which is probably the most positive about this nightmare of a terminal. After all, we should also give credit were it is deserved. And off we go to passport checks, and another absolutely crazy solution. They seem to change the configuration (layout) of the passport control points ever so often. Ok, I have been 21 times to Manila, but 10 months since last time. But it must be the 6th or 7th new layout in 11 years.

It takes only 35 people in total before the lines start to form in to one single line, which starts to stretch along the airport itself. Absolutely ridicules, and one can not see which type of line one belongs to before one is well inside the area. Was watching a senior citizen who lined up at the senior citizen line, and kept waiting and waiting. Nobody helping. Finally, after some time she asked one of the immigration's officers who just hang around the ones working, and she was scolded and told to line up in the other lines.

After this ordeal, we are into another even worse one. Namely the terror of the last security check of hand luggage, shoes, electronics, except the “American Freedom Check” (cavity checks).

Again, only 2 machines for 1000s of people. With, wait for it, only 10-11 boxes available for items like laptops, etc. It feels like this is some kind of joke, but I realize it is just plain simple stupidity. Stupidity by the morons who created it, and by the cowards who are too afraid to tell their bosses how idiotic this system is. You finally get yourself a box, which is kicked over the floor (Indeed it is) and put all your stuff in one simple box. Laptop, pads, mobiles, chargers, Camera, belt, watch, and your shoes as well, all in the same box. My God, what’s the use of a box if it all are in a pile anyway.

Could just as well have been in the bag then. And when it has been through the machine and you start to pick up all your stuff, the other boxes are coming through and they start to pile up. Because the security staff want to use the few boxes asap for all the other pax already lined up. I only wish someone filmed this lunacy. Of course, the unintelligent security crews do not see the problems. After all, these inbreeds have gotten their jobs via family members or bribes.

Ahhh, finally inside the international part, and I want something to eat, or drink. Aha, now I start to understand why so many pax in the passport line carried with them stuff from various junk food chains in paper bags. Because there are 2-3 tiny small food vendors inside this International airport. Again, one must truly be there to really see this madness. Can you imagine the lines in front of these 2-3 tiny shacks of vendors. Yes they are shacks. Same as you might see on a corner somewhere. Not too hungry, so it is more laughable than to cry of.
The food lines are cutting through all the pax trying to move to their gates, because again, this part is also a narrow intestine of a place. The few places available for pax who have bought food is already taken by regular pax. So people stand all over and eat.
What about the rest room facilities. Oh dear oh dear. If you are in an urgent state, you might end up have to drop it in your undies, and hope for solid stuff. Toilet lines stretches out and in to the main departure area where rest of the pax trying to move from A to B. What a sight!

 A few duty free shops are here (2 of them I think), and the best about them? They have stolen most of the air condition! Because again, not surprisingly, this airport can not be cooled down when it is hot outside and the sun is shining. So they have placed big industrial fans here and there, which the duty free shops have taken a few and directed towards their shops.
And there we are, in all the noise from repeatedly announcements, loud chatter from all the pax, sweating, and trying to navigate between lines here and there.

 Summary, if the person this airport is named after, had seen this. He would have pushed up the lid on his coffin, stared into the air in disgust, before continue to rest.

NAIA 2, the embarrassment of the Philippines.

Ahhh, that was a good rant.


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