Philippine Trip: Flight To Manila

The trip from LAX to Ninoy Aquino International Airport is a little over 15 hours. Yikes! If you’ve never done that long of a flight (sadly, this length of time is a norm for me because of my usual trips towards Asia), don’t panic. It’s not too bad if you plan for it.

I boarded the plane on PAL (Philippine Airline) with group E. The PAL plane had middle rows along with side rows, but fortunately, the side row only had 2 chairs: aisle and window. Unfortunately, even though I requested for aisle, I got window in their economy seating. For long flights, your window is closed 99% of the time and if you want to get up to use the bathroom, you have to bother the aisle seat passenger, so I try to plan my bathroom breaks.

My flight served lunch, refreshment sandwich, and a hot meal. Before I boarded, I made sure to purchase a bottle of water to keep myself hydrated. You want to stay hydrated, especially on a long flight, to keep your risk of DTV down.

Front of the menu

Message from the airline


I brought along an iPod full of music, an iPad with shows and movies I downloaded from Netflix, and a notebook and pen to jot things down like this post. I also brought along a small textbook, a how to speak Tagalog book, and flashcards.

Admittedly, I’ve been trying to sleep for most of this flight. With a 9 hour layover in Manila before flying to Zamboanga, I’m going to need it. When I’m awake, I do ankle pumps, ankle circles, rolling my shoulders – basically keeping myself moving in order to prevent DVT.

The flight wasn’t particularly bumpy, but I kept waking up every couple of hours. It’s hard to sleep in one position for very long, especially if that position is seated. The plane’s lights were dim for most of the flight so I couldn’t use a lot of my reading material unless I turned on my seat light and bothered the person next to me. Sometimes I turned on my tablet to watch something I already downloaded, but for the most part, I listened to my music and slept.

We arrived in Manila and I headed to baggage claim, hoping that my luggage also arrived in Manila with me. Across the carousel, I saw two elderly Filipino men that I had seen at my airport as well as LAX. They had arrived at the LAX terminal before me, so I doubted they had ‘left’ the airport to go to baggage claim only to reenter the airport on the international side. Since I doubted they did that, and they were waiting for their luggage with me, I hoped my luggage was fine.

And it was! My luggage was one of the last ones, but they arrived and I was relieved.

Philippine Trip:
1) Don’t Forget Your Luggage Tag!
2) Flight To Manila
3) 9 Hours at Ninoy Aquino Airport
4) Arrival in Zamboanga City
5) Isle of Santa Cruz
6) Paseo del Mar
7) Fort Pilar
8) Alavar Restaurant
9) City Mall
10) Vista del Mar
11) KCC Mall
12) Returning Home from Zamboanga City

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