Welcome to the Philippines! Getting around the Philippines, especially in the Metro, is a bit challenging because of traffic. But with all the new roads in the making, the experience will be smoother sooner or later.
The Commuter Must-Haves
To help you prepare for your travel around the Philippines, here are the things you need to have:
- Google Maps or Waze App – Filipinos are known to be hospitable and kind. If you are lost, you can always ask around and help will immediately come your way. But to avoid treacherous people, you have to at least have an idea of where you’re going, especially when you’re starting from your rented apartment and need help finding the nearest landmarks. These navigation applications help a lot. You can also search online for directions since sites providing detailed directions with options already exist. Not all areas in the country have an Internet connection. You should come prepared.
- Umbrella – The Philippines is a tropical country with two climates. It will always be either a sunny or rainy day. It is best to have an umbrella so come prepared.
- Water – During the dry season, the Philippines tend to become too humid. Having water on hand to quench thirst is a must. Note: There is a transportation medium like the metro train which used to have a rule about not bringing water inside the train for safety reasons.
- Face Mask – There are modes of transportation in the Philippines, especially in Makati, which have open windows. Have a mask to protect your lungs from the dirt and dust.
How to Go Around the Philippines | Types of Transportation
Jeepneys are the country’s popular public utility vehicle. It is the most affordable mode of transportation at the moment, and it can take you anywhere from Manila to the house you’re renting or any other popular destination around the metro. Just say the magic word “para” to stop the vehicle.
Like the concept of cabs and taxis around the globe, the same is implemented in the Philippines. These are air-conditioned cars that will bring you directly to where you want to go. They don’t have a fixed payment and the fee will depend on the distance vs time measured by their car’s meter.
Via Rented Private Vehicles
Using a car-renting app, you can make your travel more convenient and relaxing. This option would cost more but will definitely veer you away from smoke and dust.
Habal-habal is a motorcycle with a driver. This is usually the way to go in the province if your destination is far and there are no more jeepneys or tricycles. This service is also offered in the metro using the Angkas app, which is often used to avoid traffic or if the commuter needs to get to the destination asap.
Tricycles are like the taxis of the province. It’s a motorcycle with an attached sidecar with a roof for the passengers. You can have a “special ride” where you are the only passenger inside, or you can share it with other passengers for a more affordable fee.
Via UV Express/FX
One of the few air-conditioned and closed options for public vehicles, this is like a jeepney that can drop you off designated stops, but the difference is its more comfortable.
Buses are usually for long-distance routes like going to and from the province. It’s also a good option for long highway travels. There are a few point-to-point buses in the metro too, which will help you reach your destination faster.
There are three trains in the metro to make your travel faster: the LRT-1 (north to south of Manila), LRT-2 (east to west of Manila), and MRT-3 (along EDSA). Note: Avoid using the train during rush hours or if you are not used to crowded spaces.
Via Rented Motorcycle
In some islands in the Philippines, especially the rural areas, they have an option for motorcycle rental. This is more apparent in beach areas which tourists love to explore, such as Cebu and Siargao.
Whatever mode of transportation you must take, remember to study your route well and to be careful. Always have coins and smaller bills with you to avoid all the hassle. Most of all, enjoy learning more about the country via its offered transportation services. Your experience would surely be a memorable one.