When the time comes to depart the Pearl of the Orient you will, at the time of writing, have to make use of Terminal 1 if you are flying with anyone other than PAL. The new Terminal 3 has yet to open and it is anybodies guess when that will be.
If you’re traveling to NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) from Makati, the central business district, taxi fare should be around 130 pesos and the trip will take about 40 minutes, depending upon the traffic. Whilst still in your taxi, when you get to the Airport you will encounter your first security check. As your taxi enters it will be searched, usually just the clove box and the trunk with a quick glance at the passengers.
It is a short drive from there to the upper level departure area. Only ticketed passengers can enter the departure hall, so have your passport and ticket handy. Your friends seeing you off won’t be allowed in, but once your formalities are done you can rejoin them.
After the security check of your paperwork you and your baggage will be subject to an x-ray inspection. You are then in the departure hall. Along the wall facing you on either side of the central entrance to immigration are the departure desks of the various airlines. Once you have found yours and completed seat allocation and baggage lodgment you can rejoin for friends waiting patiently outside.
Your passport and seat allocation will get you out and back in again. There is a cafeteria on the left hand side of the terminal that is open to passengers and non passengers where you can have one last merienda. You will need around 45 minutes to get through immigration so bidding your friends a final fond farewell you re-enter the departure hall. You and your hand luggage will be x-rayed again and you will need your paper work.
Once through you can proceed to the central immigration entry. A short way in and you will come to the departure tax booths where you pay 550 pesos and get a receipt stapled to your boarding pass. Then it’s off to immigration where you will need to present your passport, boarding pass with its attached departure tax receipt and your immigration declaration form. That was the one given you at seat allocation which you filled up whilst having your final merienda.
Once through immigration you can head off to your departure gate passing by a host of duty free shops. On the way to your gate lounge you and your luggage will be x-rayed yet again and you will receive a pat down search as well.
Then it is a quiet sit as you wait your turn to enter the tin can that is going to rush you through the sky at 800 kph.