NAIA’s Terminal 1 recently reclaimed the unenviable title of worst airport in the world. While I have seen worse airports in the country, NAIA happens to be the country’s main gateway to the world. Thus, there are a lot of expectations regarding the airport including the facilities and most importantly, the quality of services provided to passengers at the terminals. Just this week, NAIA’s radar had to go through maintenance works and it was shut down for a few days. The shutdown meant air traffic had to be managed manually. The result was quite disastrous to airlines schedules and a lot of flights were delayed or cancelled, thereby costing a lot of people a lot of money.
One feature of international airport terminals are the shops. Most major terminals would have the typical duty free shops selling chocolates, alcohol, and luxury brand items. Many terminals would have shops selling specific merchandise or local products that are popular or associated for that country like electronics, jewelry, fabrics and various crafts. Local crafts are stuff that foreign travelers would probably look for in airports especially for last minute souvenir shopping. If the price is reasonable, then I would assume that such products will sell quite decently at airports.
In the case of NAIA, there are more handicrafts stores at Terminal 1, which serves most international airlines flying to Manila. The larger handicrafts stores are located at the end of the corridor in between the entrances to the two main wings of the terminal and are featured in this post.
Arts and handicrafts stores sell mainly local or Philippine-made goods. I say mainly because I’ve seen souvenirs like miniature or toy jeepneys and tricycles that are actually made in China.
Souvenir shops are mostly open early in the morning except a few like this curiously named “Multi-gift” boutique.
I like this shop “Children of Maisog arts and crafts.” I think their products are authentic and of high quality. Also, and perhaps most importantly, the prices are not pang-airport or pang-turista (for tourists). They are comparable to those in the malls or even some trade fairs.