Check-in counters lined with the familiar red, white and blue logo

NAIA Terminal 2 (Centennial/PAL Airport)

All but one of my work trips were flown via Philippine Airlines through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2. The terminal is also referred to as centennial terminal since it’s completion in 1998 coincided with Philippines’ 100th year of independence from Spain (although a marker in the terminal said it was constructed in August 1999). Today, Centennial caters specifically to local and international flights of Philippine Airlines (PAL, the country’s flag carrier) as NAIA Terminal 3 hosted Cebu Pacific in mid-2008.

Philippine Airlines A320 Airbus (view from the boarding area)

When I was working for the two-month JICA study, both PAL and CebuPac operated from this crisp-white, wanna-look-modern airport. The check-in counters were usually divided into two sections, one for each airline. Now, PAL mans all the 28 check-in counters and filled it with the blue, white and red line separators. Gone are the yellow polo shirt-wearing staff of CebuPac and more yellow checkered formal-uniformed staff of PAL welcomed passengers.

Empty Check-in Counter Area (Section 14-28) for the lunchtime/afternoon flights

I have gone through Terminal 2 dozens of times and probably through all of its boarding gates. I have also done my computing in all of its laptop stations at the boarding area and used both of its comfort rooms. I haven’t eaten on all of the food stalls though as some of them looks intimidating (read: expensive).

To give you an idea of what’s inside the boarding area (especially for those who have never flown via PAL) and as I got a little bored waiting for our flight, here are some fast facts about Terminal 2, mostly for the boarding area of domestic flights.

Getting to the airport- by taxi or by bus (those with MIA signs).

Entry to the airport – this was the first flight I took in PAL wherein I was able to enter the airport even without showing my ticket (I guess they adopted the NAIA 3 style already)

Baggage Scan – twice. One before check-in and one before entering the boarding area. Body check (or what’s that term again?!) is being conducted at each scan area. REMEMBER: Hand-carried bags must not have any liquid containers above 100ml and always check-in your umbrella, tripod, Swiss knives and any other “deadly” normal stuff. Otherwise, you might be “forced” to leave them behind (Merry Christmas to the airport staff!) or go back to the check-in counter (I don;t know if there’s an added fee. Since PAL fares include baggage allowance anyway, just check-in your luggage. It will take time claiming upon arrival to destination but at least saves you some trouble if in case you have these items.

Check-in counters lined with the familiar red, white and blue logo

Check-in counters- 28? (I didn’t really count this one). Upon entry, you can look at the screen directly in front (elevated) of you and cross-reference your flight number with the specific check-in counter.

Terminal fee – P200 (in Terminal 3 too!) paid separately prior to entering the boarding area (the receipt is stapled to the boarding pass and checked by Terminal 2 satff

Boarding gates – 8, S1 from the left section and so on to S8 at the right section (except S4 which is the “need-to-take-the-bus-to-get-to-the-plane” gate). Check your boarding pass for your assigned gate.

Airport-airplane Bridge (or whatever it is called) – I didn’t really count. But as far as I can remember, I have never walked from boarding gate to the plane without it (unless I used the bus)

Laptop stations – 4, 2 each section. Comes with tables, chairs and electric outlets. Sadly, wifi is not included. Even if there are a lot of “FREE wifi” connections being detected.

Inside the boarding area

Seats – 5-in-a-group. Unlike Terminal 3′s cushioned seats, the ones at Terminal 2 are quite sturdy (read: hard) but not really uncomfortable.

Air-conditioning - I think the AC units are in those tall circular posts all-over the boarding section. I don’t know about you but I get cold easily so I always bring a jacket/sweater/shawl.

Comfort/Rest Room- 2, one per section. Payphones are outside (it’s like the wall to hide the CR) so as prepaid load vending machines (your bills should be as crisp as pringles to be accepted. seriously.)

A group of tourists/missionaries in a "by the phone booth/CR" souvenir photo

LCD Television – 8 (two back to back, 4 each section)

Smoking Area – 1 (I think this is some kind of a restaurant/snack section as well. Never been inside since I don’t smoke)

Stalls (Food and Drinks, Coffee Shop, Books/Magazines) in order from S8-S1

Lola Babes – snacks, chips, noodles, drinks; Chipstead – hotdogs, sandwiches, shawarma, drinks; 1418 Food enterprise – two stall spaces, snacks, chips, cake/bread, drinks; Cafe France – coffee shop; Ya Kun Kaya Toast – Singapore coffee shop (never tried. intimidated by the perceived cost. hahaha); Vin Vin Kiosk – one part siomai/siopao cinnabon, one part snacks, noodles, drinks; Red Ribbon – bread, cakes, drinks; Christian Ventures Bookazine Corp. – broadsheets, books, magazines (local and international showbiz, lifestyle, business and news); Mister Donut – donuts, coffee and drinks; Cafe del Cielo Goldilocks – mostly cakes, breads, pasalubong packs, coffee and drinks; Massage Center – Whole body, chair, foot and leg, scalp. Minimum 20mins (P300), P900/hour.

(If you are a Mabuhay Miles Elite/Premier Elite Member, I think you can gain access to Mabuhay Lounge and all the food and drinks found within. A colleague who is a VERY frequent PAL flyer always manages to sneak out [read: not allowed!] some biscuits and soda for me whenever I ask him to. Hehe)

Massage center and food stalls

For prices, I believe softdrinks have a flat rate of P50. I’m guessing the noodles, water and other common snacks have the same price as well. If you want to save (or you’re just the typical “kuripot”), endure your thirst and hunger and enjoy the free snack combo of Coffee/Tea/Water (I usually have Tea AND Water) + Biscuit + Nuts.

As far as I know, PAL is the only domestic airline offering free snack. But if it’s the only thing that sets it apart from other airlines, I would gladly forego in-flight snack for a cheaper airfare from other airlines (for my personal travel at least). I think the only plus of PAL among my bosses is the perceived safety over other airlines and the “perceived” reputation of being on time most of the time (our flight was delayed due to other planes being prioritized for landing) but that’s another story.

Anyway, I hope these fast facts (or something) will help lessen the hassle you’ll go through when taking your PAL flight at NAIA Terminal 2. Happy flying!

Boarding time!
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23 thoughts on “NAIA Terminal 2 (Centennial/PAL Airport)”

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  2. paano po munta ng naia terminal 2 departing hall.
    at paano ko ko po malalaman kung sasakay na ng eroplano.
    paano po malalaman kung anung eroplano ang sasakyna… thanks

    1. Hi! Sorry, it was really late to see your post already but I hope you got on your flight. If hindi pa scheduled, then I suggest you try any of the following: super budget: MRT to Pasay Taft station and then take the MIA buses. Ask first if they go to NAIA 2. Baka nagbago na eh. If you can afford it, mag-taxi ka na. Although, they charge about 150-200 when I last took my flight late last year. OR, take the MRT to Pasay Taft station and then, get down on your left. Andun ang bus terminal for terminal 3. It’s 20 pesos. Again, that was for January this year. From there, take another shuttle to NAIA 2. I think free na yang shuttle to NAIA 2. Or 20 pesos ulit. Good luck!

  3. sna s pagpunta q bukas s centennial hindi aq mdisappoint s masasakyan qng taxi last sunday ksi grabe ang nsakyan namin taxi wlang traffic andali lng ng biyahe namen grabe cnicngil s amin 1800 C5 ang daan nmen ang garapal ng mga taxi driver inaabuso ang paniningil metered peo ng hinihingi nmen ung print wla dw kakagigil sna maaksyunan nio ang mga taxi dyan s airport mga abusado

    1. Hi Jack! Saan ba kayo hinatid ng taxi? Grabe naman sa 1800. Pauwi nga sa bahay namin sa Novaliches, around 500 lang eh. I suggest na lang na if wala kang madaming dala, you can probably take the shuttle (P20) at EDSA Taft station. As of 2 weeks ago, nagamit pa siya pa-Terminal 3 ng couchsurfer na hinost ko. From terminal 3, you can take another shuttle (also P20) to terminal 1. Ang alam ko ok pa yung service na yun eh. Or, from EDSA Taft, or anywhere along EDSA route, take the buses going to MIA. It’s supposed to drop you near the entrance of Terminal 2. Na-try ko na to, pero 2012 pa so hindi ko alam if ganun pa din route nila. Good luck!

  4. hi. is it okay for me to stay overnight at naia terminal2? my flight will be at 8am, and i’m from los banos. i’m afraid of not getting bus in the early morning and planning to stay overnight there. fyi,i’m a girl and travelling alone. thanks ^_^

    1. Hi! Hmmm, I’m not sure if the guards will let you in tonight. I think they have 24-hour operations but you getting there tonight for a morning flight, not so sure. But you can always try I guess. :) Otherwise, you can probably stay up super late tonight, take a jeep to calamba/turbina, get a bus that passes by EDSA and get down at Baclaran/Taft/Magallanes. From there you can take a bus with signboard MIA/NAIA. Straight to airport na yun. :) Of course, you can always take a taxi at any point. Baka mahal nga lang. Pwede din, gumising ka na lang nang maaga! Then take the same bus instructions from Turbina if wala pang Greenstar, DLTB or HM. :)

  5. Pingback: Japan
    1. As of 3 weeks, it’s still the same. :) my Belgian friend went to the airport to pick-up our other friend and yes, she used the bus from Guadalupe. Since there’s road works along EDSA, maybe better to take the MRT till Taft then just search for that bus. Lakad konti papuntang north since the buses won’t stop at MRT station.

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