YMMV: Last Night Was One of My Best Arrivals in NAIA

I’ve had bad arrivals in NAIA and I’ve had worse ones, but this story is a complete opposite of those.

Last night, my friend and I boarded a plane from Hong Kong going back to Manila. Boarding time was around 8:30 PM since we were scheduled to leave at 9PM. We were on time and people began lining up at the departure gate at around 8:30-ish.

It was the usual scene, like everyone was just so excited to get back home as if they’d be left behind if they don’t crowd the departure gate. But it was still organized, nonetheless. I’d give it a 7/10 compared to my Dubai experience where there were no defined lines leading to the boarding gate.

We waited it out and decided not join the crowd since all of us will be able to board anyway. While waiting, I looked around the huge, nice, and shiny Hong Kong airport and I felt a tinge of envy. I wish we can have nice things like that in Philippines.


Maybe in time.

We experienced minimal turbulence on our 2-hour flight. I was expecting it to be more rocky because I heard there was typhoon in PAR. Yet, maybe the typhoon wasn’t on our path on the way back. So the flight and the landing was smooth than I expected.

We landed in NAIA Terminal 3 at 11:30 PM.

We brisk-walked our way to the Immigration stop, thinking that there’ll be a queue of people. Like all the passengers, we were already tired and just wanted to get home already. To our surprise, there were no lines. If I remember correctly, around five booths were open. I was the first one in line.


Maybe we were just able to walk ahead all the other passengers or maybe service was just fast. We were seated on row 16 and we even stopped by to the restroom midway so I was leaning more towards the latter.

We went down the escalator to get our checked-in baggage. I noticed there were fewer people waiting at the baggage carousel than usual. Maybe less people were traveling on a Tuesday or maybe we’ve become more efficient.

I also noticed that there are reminders around NAIA about accredited transport rates, customer hotlines, and contact info of the terminal manager. These details are really helpful if you encounter any trouble or if you’re a tourist needing additional assistance.

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In about five minutes, we got our luggage. We then headed out to the exit while booking our Uber.

For me, ride-sharing is one of the best ways to travel to and from the airport. In my experience, they are safe and reasonably-priced, and oftentimes, the drivers are really helpful and nice.


At 12:06 AM we were already on-board our Uber.


The ride home, passing through C5 was smooth and fast. I expected that we’ll experience traffic jam since truck ban is no longer in effect at that time. But I was wrong, it felt like I was still in Hong Kong.

At 12:25 AM, we passed Eastwood City. Imagine that, from NAIA to Eastwood City, it took us less than 20 minutes. I’d say that’s fast.


At 12:36 AM, our Uber trip ended. I was already home.


So overall, the trip from the airport to our house was just 30 minutes. Wow.

I just paid P234 from NAIA to home. I used to take those coupon taxis and pay about P550. Good thing that I hooked up my PayMaya card on Uber for added convenience. I don’t even have to worry about not having cash when returning from a trip abroad.

Moreover, PayMaya sends a text message instantly when Uber charges it. On top of that, Uber also instantly sends an email receipt.


Maybe, it’s just one of those lucky Tuesdays that prove arriving in NAIA and Manila wasn’t so bad after all or maybe it was change. If it was the littlest of changes, I’m grateful for it.

This was my experience, your mileage may vary (YMMV).

Hope, it varies for the better.

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