As much as I love the Philippines, I don’t love their international airport all that much. Despite the fact that brand new facilities have been built in the last 16 years (Terminal 2, 3 & 4), people flying into manila on non-Philippine airlines or airlines that at not affiliated/partially operated by the national air carrier*, have the joy of landing at the original terminal.
*Starting March 30 of this year, All Nippon Airways (Japanese airline) has the privilege of landing at Terminal 3.
My experiences with the old terminal are as follows: it is dark, hot, humid and crowded. That pretty well sums it up. Not really the best way to greet guests coming to your country if you ask me. If you can, try to fly to any number of places within 6 hours of Manila and hop a flight on Philippine airlines, Cebu Pacific, AirAsia Zest and starting in March, All Nippon Airways. If you can do this, you will be able to avoid Terminal 1.
There are plenty of stories about Terminal 1 I can share, but I don’t want to bore anyone.
Below is my ride at Terminal 1, a Cathay Pacific Boeing 777.