Manila, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – If you are planning to travel to the Philippines in the next few months, be prepared for extreme hot temperatures when you land at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila.
NAIA’s reputation as one of the worst airports in the world has been exacerbated by airconditioning problems in its terminals, with incoming and outgoing passengers describing the terminal as a dry sauna. So it was a welcome relief when the airport administration finally received the shipment of 36 airconditioning units it had ordered from Japan. With much fanfare, Angel Hornado, general manager of the Manila International Airport Authority, announced last week that the installation of the new units would begin and will be completed in three working days.
Like with all projects in the Philippines, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was scheduled Saturday to mark the official switching on of the new airconditioning units. Presidential sister, actress and television host Kris Aquino was invited as honored guest to cut the ribbon. “It’s quite an emotional moment for me,” she said. NAIA was, of course, named after her dad who was assassinated at the same airport upon his return from exile during the Marcos years.
Then Hornado flashed a thumbs up to signal the switching on of the cooling units. In less than 15 minutes, all units were functioning and guests and passengers could hear the soft humming of the fans that started to blow air into the sprawling, albeit crowded terminal.
But something was obviously terribly wrong. The new units were blowing hot air and they added to the already warm and humid temperature inside the terminal.
Immediately, an aide came rushing towards Hornado and whispered, “Sir, the units that were installed were actually heaters!”
Apparently, something was lost in translation when the airconditioning units were ordered from Japan.
For now, NAIA remains the hottest airport in the world.