Monday, February 6, 2012

NAIA Terminal 3 International Pre-Departure Shops and Restaurants

As part of our updates on our Traveler's Survival Series, we are featuring some of the shops and restaurants at the International Pre-Departure Area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3. What we've featured before were shops at the Domestic Pre-Departure Area.

Though relatively more modest than Thailand's Suvarrnabhumi, NAIA Terminal 3's shops will adequately provide for your shopping and dining requirement. These shops are as follows:

There's a Duty-Free Philippine Shop right across security entrance (it used to be a mere stall); a Globe Phonecard stall; a GMH Bar and Restaurant which offers rice toppings at P128 each. Some of these include breaded pork chop and pork teriyaki; sandwiches at P100/125; pasta dishes and palabok at P75.

There's the packed, but underlit Sushi Noodle Express; a Sweet Ideas Cafe; a National Bookstore; a Seattle's Best Cafe at the middle aisle; a San Mig Food Shop.

There's a Tesoro's which sells local handicrafts; La Flor de la Isabela is a stall selling cigars; there's a Foreign Exchange counter; a Pasalubong Shop; an Art's Cream Gallery which also offers "pandesal", coffee at P99, as well as pasta and pizza.

There's a Tokyo Cafe as you head nearer the pre-departure gates, as well as Bo's Coffee; a Chipstead franchise (which was close when I saw it); a Magnolia Ice Cream Shop that's now called Frezbox, and filled with stuff other than ice cream; and a Marlboro - Smoking Area Cafe.

Kaishu, a Japanese Restaurant, offers delicious set meal (karage, tempura, tonkatsu, etc.) with soup and red iced tea for PhP250. Food here, mark my work, is tasty. Through Kaishu is a massage spa, a branch of SM Kenko Spa.

Manila Cigar is now open near the walkalator. The walk towards the newer boarding gates is a pleasant one because the view outside is nice - the tarmac and further on shows the old Philippine Village Hotel. At the opposite glass panels, you will see the sprawl of the ambitious Resorts World complex. The walkalator now works, and some boarding gates are now enclosed by glass walls as of September 2014. Fly Dragon smoking cafe and restaurant is due to open soon. This will be the third smoking shops  here, aside from Sky Go Cafe and Manila Cigar.

Spirits and Confectionary

Sweet Times luxurious sweets

As of November 2014, Spirits and Confectioners, alongside Sweet Times Luxurious Sweets have opened beside Res Toe Run. These, obviously offer alcoholic beverages and chocolates/candies. This single string of shops is located across Seattle's Best.

There are obviously more shops available at the domestic pre-departure shop because it covers more boarding gates, but as of September 2014, the terminal has opened a wing that contains more boarding gates (101 to 108). This means, more shops are set to open in the next few months. Could passengers move between the two per-departure shopping halls? Nope! Besides, I think there's enough shops at the international pre-departure hall to "kill" time between flights.

Schedule of Shops

While many of the duty-free shops at the 4th shopping/dining level are open 24 hours, shops inside the pre-departure area have limited operations. Many of them, in fact open at 2 AM (the duty free shops, restaurants) and close at different times. Some at 6PM, and many at 10PM, The Foreign Exchange counter at the predeparture area is supposed to open 24 hours as well, like the majority of forex shops at the arrival and departure hall. Yes, you will be able to shop and window-shop even during the wee hours. Refer to another Terminal 3 post for some selected shops' schedule.

Though these line-up is limited, they will provide enough time for you when you have time - and money - to burn.


And just so you avoid delays, if you're taking a meal or snack at the Food Court, we feel we need this special mention. Avoid Mary Grace Cafe. The place is messy, the servers take forever to serve you and they forget orders.

GOOD NEWS: Major International Carriers Move to T3
(July 2014 Update)

Starting July 2014 , NAIA Terminal 3 will be accepting major international carriers: Delta, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Emirates, Singapore and CathayANA has also been using this terminal a while back. This makes the terminal fully operational, which used to only operate a mere 50% of its facility and services. They've in fact opened the once-empty right wing. These new airline companies will also be posting shuttle bus services for its passengers with connecting flights to other terminals (1,2,4) - for free! Travel between these terminals usually take 30 to 45 minutes. These will give tourists arriving with these carriers a better impression and a more relaxed arrival in Manila. Three other carriers are slated to move from Terminals 1 ans 2 to Terminal 3 in the coming months. This was made possible after the settling of the long-running court cases related to the construction of NAIA Terminal 3.    

This is the Eye in the Sky!

NAIA Terminal 3

Duty Free Philippines before.

Duty Free Philippines now.

GMH Bar and Restaurant

Sweet Ideas Cafe

San Mig Food Shop serves bland food on styros.

National Bookstore

Seattle's Best Coffee


Tesoro's local handicraft

Pasalubong Philippines - Lots of sweets and gastronomic souvenirs.

Magnolia Ice Cream Shop before it's been refurbished to Frezbox (see below)

Frezbox used to sell only Magnolia ice cream. Now it's come alive.
Tapa King paired up with Canton Road at the corner of the hallway, beside Frezbox.


Now here's the surprise. This Foreign Exchange counter actually sell a lot of foreign money which makes the Terminal a good option when you want foreign money which is hard to come by in forex shops outside the airport. You can get you US dollar, Japanes, Yen, Malaysian Ringgit, Singapore, Australian, Canadian and Hong Kong dollar, Chinese yuan (RMB), UAE dirham, Indonesian rupee, Qatari rital, British pound, Saudi riyal, Vietnamese dong, and even legal tenders from Taiwan, Macau, Korea and the Euro, of course. This forex shop is located just before the boarding gates.

At MNL Footrest, you can get your shoes to look new at PhP200 - or PhP500 for a full-length boots. 

Among the newly opened shops at the T3 (as of May 2015), this is one of the more interesting, selling indigenous items, weaved and otherwise, with a lot of local flavor (see photo below). 

Cancer Society.... ooops... I meant Fly Dragon Cafe. It has free wifi for its paying guests. You see, T3 wifi isn't something to crow about.

At 4 AM, Pete's Pasalubong has dried fruits and local delicacies - and a lot of lights. :)

"I Love Gifts and Snacks" start to open their bar at around 4AM ... well, barely. Those siopaos aren't ready at 4 when I ordered. But when a noisy lady orders one later, the guy at the counter starts putting the frozen siopao where they should be. I instead ordered congee/porridge (arroz caldo) which didn't look much but actually tasted better than I expected... with huge chunks of chicken and a boiled egg in it.

Congee (arroz caldo) actually tasted better than it looked.

Religious products being sold at "I Love Gifts and Snacks".
Another duty-free shop is opening soon.

NAIA Terminal 3 Food Court and Shops -

Airport Chapel, Viewing Deck and Left Luggage

Covered Parking

Res Toe Run, the country's first restaurant-inspired multibrand shoe shop, is the latest shop to open at the international pre-departure area. It's the first shop in the otherwise empty row. But with the opening of almost 8 new boarding gates, that's about to change.
More boarding gates opened as of September 2014.

Nice view of the tarmac and the defunct Philippine Village on one side.

A view of the sprawling Resorts World at the opposite side.

Manila Cigar - Yes, go ahead, get yourself a cancer. Pick one. :)

These glass partitions weren't here until recently so some boarding gates are now enclosed as of September 2014.

For specific inquiries, here are some important telephone numbers and email addresses at T3:

Airport Trunkline+63.2.877-7888
Asst. Terminal
Lost & Found+63.2.877-7888
Bureau of Animal Industry+63.2.877-7888 loc.8238/
Bureau of Customs+63.2.877-7888 loc.8127/
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources+63.2.877-7888 loc.8238/
Bureau of Immigration+63.2.877-7888 loc.8128/
Bureau of Plant Industry+63.2.877-7888 loc.8238/
Bureau of Quarantine+63.2.877-7888 loc.8125/
DENR Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit+63.2.877-7888 loc.8238/
Philippine Overseas Employment Adminnistration+63.2.877-7888
Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority+63.2.877-7888 loc.8159
Customer Relations
Passenger & Customer Relations+63.2.877-7888 loc.
Terminal Administration+63.2.877-7888 loc.
Terminal Security & Safety+63.2.877-7888 loc.

Shadows at the International Pre-departure Area


R.Ramakrishnan said...

Looks like a swanky modern hi tech international airport. Who is Ninoy Aquino? Any relation to Corazon Aquino?

eye in the sky said...

@ R.Ramakrishnan:

Ninoy Aquino is the husband of Cory Aquino. He's our modern day hero - who literally came home to die.

He was in exile in the U.S. when he decided to "give up" his life to come home despite knowledge that he will be assassinated. True enough, upon arrival in Manila (with cameras documenting his prediction), he was shot - and died.

His death led to what was eventually called "People Power" (the uprising of the people) that toppled the long-running dictator Ferdinand Marcos (his family was air lifted to Hawaii where they stayed for several years).

Cory, Ninoy's reluctant wife, was thrusted for office - and the French-speaking housewife became the country's first female president. Her reign was a transition government. She's had 4 successors ever since. The current president is Ninoy Aquino III, Ninoy and Cory's only son, the country's first bachelor president.

As an addendum: Ferdinand Marcos died in Hawaii but his wife Imelda Marcos and their children are back with a vengeance. They are all in political positions as senators, governors and congressmen... as though almost 30 years of political oppression didn't happen. How people easily forget. Cory died from cancer a few years ago.

Quite a colorful political past. But then so is your country and the Gandhis, right? :)

R.Ramakrishnan said...

Thanks for the detailed account. Yes the storyline is quite similar to what is happening in India.
I do remember the oppression during Marcos regime( I think I w3as in school/college at that time). He was fully supported by USA and ultimately he & Imelda fled to US for refuge.
Did not know that Ninoy Aquino III is the current President. Wasn't he preceded by one Gloria Macapagal(daughter of another former President) & before that by a film star turned President?

eye in the sky said...

I'm impressed you know that much about our politics.

Yes, Cory was succeeded by a general who turned against Marcos that made the uprising possible (Fidel Ramos); a legendary actor - an action figure head that's beloved by the grassroot (Joseph Estrada - he rose through the political ranks and was a long time mayor and vice president before running for the presidency); a former president's daughter who was Bill Clinton's classmate and who's a brilliant economist who's now being held in "prison" (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) and the current president Benigno Aquino III.

momoy said...

Thank you! Your blog is very useful. I didn't know there are restaurants at the NAIA 3! I'll be flying to Cebu on Thursday. I'm gonna be there early and I was looking for a place to sit down before take off. Now I know where to go.

eye in the sky said...

@ momoy:

You're welcome. Terminal 3 has made travels more pleasant than it used to be. Have a safe trip. :)

Anonymous said...

I saw one of the pictures captioned as "Penang Int'l hotel-style airport, Thailand". Penang is in Malaysia, right?

eye in the sky said...

I actually thought I've remedied that before. I must have forgotten to "save" the correction. Thanks for noting that. :)

traciethediva said...

If you are waiting for an international flight, is it allowed to shop at the domestic pre-departure shops as well? as I've noticed there is a glass wall separating the two, but is there a way to transfer and go back? please help since I am planning to buy "pasalubong" in the airport to save time. Thanks for your help.

eye in the sky said...


No, it isn't allowed and there's no way between the two predeparture areas. But you can still buy your gifts at the international predeparture area. They have shops there although they are comparatively limited.

If you have more time on your hands, there are more shops at the upper level of the departure area where the restaurants are. Plenty of options there actually. BUT if you prefer to shop right after you've checked in and gone to the predeparture area, you can also do that. Safe trip.

Anonymous said...

I will be meeting my gf in NAIA3, and we plan to eat and make some shopping before she leaves .are non-passengers allowed to roam around?

eye in the sky said...

Non passengers (i.e. those without tickets) are in fact allowed to roam in several areas: the arrival hall (entrance through the extreme end of the arrival level where parking is - right side of the building if you're facing the airport); the shopping/restaurant hall a floor above the cordoned departure hall; the chapel area at the mezzanine (midlevel between arrival and departure hall) accessible through escalator/stairs located at the side of the complex.

Anonymous said...

Are you allowed to bring duty free liquor onto a PAL domestic flight?

Can I purchase duty free liquor at NAIA 3?

eye in the sky said...

According to IATA's regulation on imports and duty-free items in the Philippines, all passengers, 18 years of age and over, have duty-free allowance once a year. This allows you, and I quote, "2 bottles of alcoholic beverages of not more than 1 litter each". I know of some who purchase a lot more than just 2 bottles - and aren't levied. Officially, more than 2 bottles shall be taxed (custom duties).

Can one purchase duty-free liquor at NAIA 3? Yes, you can - 2 bottles.

Can you bring liquor in a PAL domestic flight? Absolutely. Regardless of their being duty-free or not, you may bring as much as you want according to the limits of your baggage weight, as long as they are well sealed or safe from breakage. Customs regulation doesn't work on items checked in at domestic flights. They have to be checked in though.

Anonymous said...

Hi ! Your blog is very informative , thank you ! I have a question though, i hope you can help me . Im not used to fly alone , but this time i have to . I heard that by September this year Cathay Pacific International flights will be Transfer to NAIA 3. I will fly next year around April with Cathay, does it mean i will land in NAIA 3 , not anymore in NAIA 1 ? And i also have to fly to Cagayan de Oro after . In that case, do i have to Exit International area , then go to Domestic area ? I am not familiar with the Airport . Or there is no Need for me to go out ?

eye in the sky said...

By April next year, 8 international carriers will land in NAIA Terminal 3, including Cathay, and that actually is great news. The terminal is spacious and relaxed. You arrive into the country not feeling harassed. Flying alone? You'll be fine. I do it all the time. You did not mention which airline you'll be flying with en route to Cagayan de Oro. If it's with Cebu Pacific, then you need not shuttle to NAIA 1. Just hop to the next hallway of T3. If however it's with a different airline, like PAL Express, you may have to transfer terminals. There is now a transfer desk that will assist you to move to T1, a trip that will most likely take 30-45 minutes. You also have to factor in immigration formalities and the check out of baggages. Then you have to consider re-check-in to your CDO flight. I think the safe window period would be 5 hours. So you have to make sure that your CDO departure time will have enough waiting time after your Manila arrival - IF you aren't flying Cebu Pac.Otherwise, there's no need to go out of the airport, ask for assistance at the transfer desk - or just check out and re-check in for your domestic flight. It's a breeze and the signs inside are NOT confusing. Relax.

eye in the sky said...

This is for "Jen" whose question I can't locate in the blog (but I got in my email anyway). She asks: "hi, is there an internet shop in NAIA terminal 3?"

No, there isn't an internet shop at the NAIA Terminal 3. There's wifi though (with limited connectivity), but there's nowhere you can print documents.

Anonymous said...


Just want to know if there are nearby shops where non passengers can stay (not necessarily within the airport terminal) to kill the car coding time, while waiting for their passenger to board?


eye in the sky said...

Resorts World complex is right across Terminal 3 if you don't want to proceed to the terminal, but would like to be some place relatively near, this is the nearest mall/shopping center. You'd have to take into consideration the traffic in the area. Last December 23, from the toll gate right beside Resorts World up to the roundabout just before turning left to the terminal drive way, it took me 1 full hour. I have to say though that this was the very first time that I've experienced such a protracted travel time for such a very short distance most probably due to the season plus rush hour.

April Rose Pana said...

Hi just want to ask if the shops and the resto is 24 hours open? Cos i will reach there early in the morning and want to buy some food. Tnx

eye in the sky said...


T3 has 3 main levels (ground level - arrival hall; 2nd level - departure hall; 3rd level - shops and food court) and each of them has their own shops and restaurants. Upon your arrival (which is at the ground floor), it is best to proceed to the 3rd level (easily accessible by escalator, left wing of the terminal) if you're looking for food. To my knowledge, "7-11" and "Mini-stop" are open 24-7 (they were open last time I was there at midnight) and they have (heated) rice meals and noodle dishes. As far as I know, Jollibee and "Dimsum and Dumplings" at the food court are also open 24-7. The non-beverage/food shops will unlikely open after midnight.

bing beguico said...

Megamelts shop inside terminal 3?

eye in the sky said...

Bing Beguico:

There is a Megamelt stall selling ensaymadas at the domestic predeparture area in Terminal 3, from the last time I transited.