I love the Philippines. Filipinos are, without a doubt, some of the friendliest, most fun-loving, outgoing and easygoing people in the world. And that is quite an awesome combination!
I call Manila 'home' - and PAL (Philippine Airlines) also happens to be my favourite airline.
I also quite like Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)... It's nothing special in terms of modernity or facilities but checking in, Security, Immigration, Customs and all of the usual rigmarole generally work pretty smoothly. You can even get a smile out of an Immigration Officer - sometimes! Now that is saying something!!
And you always get a nice welcoming chorus somewhere in the arrivals area at Christmas time.
But... (Moaning Poms!!)
How long will it be before Watsons realise that they do need to stock up on antacid tablets before Christmas and the New Year? (Not in the middle of January.) IE, When the demand is bound to be higher and supply chains are always severely disrupted? Or, how long before suppliers in general start to realise that essential supply chains do need to be maintained over the Christmas and New Year period?
...Or that it is actually quite a good idea to have more than two or three taxis working NAIA, the main international airport, on New Year's Day? (Not just let them all take the day off because they have hangovers from celebrating on New Year's Eve?)
Funny as hell, that! When I cleared Customs at NAIA (MNL) the other day and saw the state of the queue for the official airport taxis, I managed to bluff my way past the guard who was insisting on preventing people from going upstairs to the Departures area - (where you can generally hop into an incoming, non-airport taxi that has just dropped off a departing passenger) - even though the queue for taxis at Arrivals was probably about five or six hours long...
Basically, I used the momentum of my heavy suitcase to get myself onto the escalator up to the Departures level. Then, once I was safely on the escalator and moving steadily upwards, I made a big show of looking for my onward domestic ticket... By the time the guard realised what I was up to, I was already halfway up and it was too late!
There was no angry exchange and there were no hard feelings. I just lamely explained to the Guard that the queue for regular taxis was ever so slightly on the unbearably long side - and we both smiled as we said goodbye!!
The Philippines! I just love this place! ❤️