Manila, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – The murdered Filipino opposition leader must be turning and twisting in his grave as the international airport named after him has gained the reputation as the worst in the world. Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has been the subject of ridicule in recent months not only for overcrowding, confusing signage or lack thereof, clueless airport personnel, and most of all, non-functioning airconditioning units.
As of press time, new airconditioning units have reportedly arrived but it is no guarantee that incoming and outgoing passengers will keep their cool.
As a stop-gap measure, the Philippines’ Airports Authority issued a travel advisory recommending the top ten things traveling passengers will need upon disembarkation:
1. Anahaw (wicker) fans. They’re relatively inexpensive. Foreigners can easily borrow these from their Filipino friends and neighbors. They are also sold at NAIA concession stands.
2. If you want to go high tech, you can purchase battery-operated personal fans from almost every mall in America and elsewhere.
3. Cotton towel, to wipe your sweat and keep you dry at all times, especially while in line at the immigration, customs and baggage claim areas.
4. Plastic spray bottle. Make sure to fill it up with water before de-planing. You will need to squirt some mist on your face every minute or so.
5. Deodorant. Be courteous to your fellow incoming passengers.
6. Perfume. Make it a Prada. Filipinos love designer stuff
7. Face mask. It will not only protect you from airborne viruses, but from the stench of sweat all around you.
8. Bikini top for women. Think of it as entering a dry sauna. And make it Victoria’s Secret. Filipinos love designer stuff.
9. Bikini bottom for men. Make it Calvin Klein. Filipinos love designer stuff.
10. Ice-cold bottled water. Not just any bottled water. Make it a Fiji. Did we already mention Filipinos love designer stuff?
Mabuhay! Welcome to Manila, you know, the place novelist Dan Brown calls “the gates of hell.”