It’s More Fun To Start With NAIA


From the time Mr. Tourist lands in one of the worst airports in the world, NAIA, to the time he arrives in his hotel, a good hour and a half to traverse just a ten kilometer distance, “more fun” would not have been his description of that initial experience. When he steps outside his hotel to make his way to the nearest bank to buy local currency, “fun” would be the last thing in his mind while walking the less than clean streets and the incredibly long wait in the bank just to change his money. Arriving back at his hotel and reading the news in the local broadsheet over breakfast, the headline about the kidnap for ransom of an Australian national did not inspire “fun” by any means. A chill down one’s spine is not symptomatic of fun. The breakfast was “okay” but “more fun” would be stretching it. By the end of the day, a third of it spent stuck in traffic, unless his cab driver was a beautiful Filipina in mini-skirt, it’s hard to imagine what could have been “more fun in the Philippines” so far. If he likened the dare-devil manner in which his cabbie speedily weaved through traffic to a theme park roller-coaster ride, a fun childhood experience of his, that could have been a “more fun” ride; but this one was more nerve racking than the highest loop of the coaster ride of past and there was nothing fun about it at his now mature age. Day 2 would be spent beginning not with Michael Schumacher, thank God, but (he spoke too soon), with Sebastian Vettel behind the wheel this time. Finally arriving at the domestic airport, a heated argument ensues because Mr. F1 champ deliberately “forgot” to enable the taxi meter. Awaiting inside the terminal is news about the PAL union strike….
We can only pray his next destination is a lot “more fun” but sometimes, the “tyranny of the first impression” is hard to shake off, and so the rest of Mr. Tourist’s stay would have been on “defensive mode” which, alas, is no fun at all. Let’s “start from the very beginning, a very good place to start,” ika nga ni Julie Andrews in the classic musical film “The Sound of Music.”
Until we build an earnest international airport attuned to this century with capabilities corresponding to our most ambitious forecasts in the long term, and other airports in provinces strategically located, we’re not serious about building a tourism industry that could very well be our top earner in the coming decades.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “It’s More Fun To Start With NAIA

  1. edvicious

    Let’s assume it’s more fun; what then is it that makes them choose malaysia, thailand, indonesia, vietnam, singapore before us? Can’t be because they don’t know that it’s more fun here. Tourists nowadays have the internet and use it before choosing their destination. they read blogs, email their friends, read the news and all other info on a country.

  2. filben

    what’s the buzz all about as it really is fun being here in the Philippines. so not everything works but most people who travel want to just relax and get away from the rigid, disciplined and never admit, police state their place of origin is most likely to be.

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