Many tourists in Manila stay in the Makati area because of its proximity to excellent lodging, dining, and nightlife.  The trip from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to central Makati can take anywhere from 20 minutes to more than an hour, depending on what time of day you are travelling.  It is best to avoid the rush hours of 7-9am and 5-7pm, during which traffic can get quite mad.

There are several transportation options available to you.  First, there is the Airport Taxi service that you will notice on the left side as soon as you exit the airport's arrival area.  This service typically uses Sports Utility Vehicles (larger than the typical city taxis) to bring you to your destination.  Depending on where you are going, your trip may cost anywhere from around US$7.50 to US$11 for travel within the Metro Manila.  This is generally a safe option as the license plate and driver details are logged and a copy of the information slip is given to you.  The rate is agreed upon prior to departure and will not change upon reaching your destination.

An alternative option is to arrange for a hotel car to pick you up and drop you off at your hotel.  These need to be arranged in advance, as only the most exclusive hotels have permanent booths set-up outside the arrivals area.  This is probably one of the most expensive options, ranging anywhere from USD$20 to USD$40 depending on the hotel.  The vehicles are usually nice and well-maintained, and you will be driven my a member of the hotel's staff.

Finally, the most affordable option is to turn right upon exiting the arrivals area at T1 or left at T2, and go up the outside stairs to the departures area.  This can also be done at T3. You can then take a city taxi (there are plenty dropping passengers off at the airport).  The tricky thing about this is you need to have a general idea of where you are going and you need to be confident and assertive to make sure you are not overcharged.  You need to insist that the driver uses his meter and does not add on any additional charges.  One tactic is to say 'meter po' upon entering the taxi. A trip to Makati will only cost you about US$5 using this method. 

 An alternative to this is to book a 'hotel' car in advance from your hotel.  When you depart from the baggage claim area and turn right you will see a hotel waiting area as well as several unitformed 'greeters'.  In particular the Shangri-La, Peninsula and Mandarin are quite conspicuous.  You will have several choices; Mercedes Benz or Toyota sedan.  They are both clean but relatively expensive (US$40 - 75 one way).  The driver will greet you with a cool towel, bottled water and newspapers.