Here’s our ultimate guide for transportation in the Philippines!
Manila and Beyond
Some tourists tend to shy away from the Metro, preferring to skip to the more serene places in the Philippines such as Siargao, Boracay, and Bohol (If you are one of them, you have to check out our list of the best diving spots in the Philippines and all the amazing activities you can do in Bohol).
But did you know that steering away from Metro Manila means missing out on its lively culture, extraordinary nightlife, and a captivating experience? If you are concerned about the hearsay about the notoriously hectic public transportation in the Philippine, worry not! You have an array of options to choose from, making your stay in Metro Manila hassle-free.
From the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)
Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is the primary air gateway to the Philippines. However, it is not connected to the Metro’s rail system. The easiest way to get to your first destination in the Philippines is by riding a “point-to-point bus,” one of three types of taxis available at the arrival area of any of the four terminals, or a private shuttle service.
Coupon taxis are in blue and yellow and charge a specific amount depending on the distance of your stop. To take one, you need to approach the dispatch station available at any airport terminal, state your destination, and you will be given a coupon that shows the price to pay. Usually, the price ranges from PHP 400 to PHP 720.
Remember to keep your coupon during the trip and do not give it to the driver until you complete the ride. Although they are not particularly cheap, coupon taxis are the best option for group travel.
If you have large luggage, you can ask for a large taxi that can accommodate up to eight passengers without an extra charge.
Metered Regular Taxi
Regular taxis are white and charge a fixed rate based on the meter. These are the normal cabs you can hail around Metro Manila. Price ranges from PHP 180- PHP 240 depending on where in Metro Manila you are heading.
Yellow-metered Airport Taxi
Yellow-metered Airport taxis are yellow and 50% more expensive than regular taxis, but they are the only metered taxi company that is authorized to operate on the airport premises. Taxi fares are around PHP 300-PHP 450.
P2P (Point-to-Point) Bus
A point-to-point or P2P bus is also an option when traveling from NAIA to selected stops on designated timeslots. From the airport, you can get to Entertainment City (from 5:00 am-12:00 am), Robinsons (from 6:00 am-8:00 pm), Makati (from 6:00 am-8:00 pm), Grand Prix (from 2:00 am to 1:00 am), and Atrium (from 4:00 am to 10:00 PM) at around PHP 300.
Abraham Manila Airport Shuttle Service
To save time and add some convenience to your experience with transportation in the Philippines, you can avail yourself of Abraham Manila’s airport pick-up and drop-off shuttle. You are eligible to buy this service if you have a booking with Abraham. Just make sure to inform our front desk officer 48 hours in advance for airport pickup, and 6 hours prior for airport drop-off. With our private shuttle, we will choose a vehicle that is most suitable for your needs. So don’t worry about your luggage, we’ve got you covered!
Getting Around the Metro
After settling into the Metro for the first few hours, it’s time to start having fun and explore the city! Transportation in the Philippines might seem overwhelming at first, but when navigating Manila, you’ll have a variety of transportation modes to choose from based on your preferences and convenience.
Jeepneys are an icon of transportation in the Philippines, they can be found almost everywhere and each jeepney goes around different points in the city. To pay the fare, you must pass it up to the driver by saying “Bayad po” and saying, “Para po” when getting down. Right now, the minimum fare is PHP 12.
If you’re unsure, you can ask the driver about your destination and they will drop you off at the nearest landmark.
To help you out with your transportation in the Philippines, you can also check out Sakay.ph app to help you plan and let you commute confidently wherever you are.
Buses are one of the most commonly used public transportation in the Philippines. There are different types of buses such as the Point-to-Point (P2P), shuttle, provincial, ordinary, and air-conditioned buses.
A ticketing officer will roam around the bus to ask for your payment in exchange for a bus ticket. Remember to keep it throughout the ride as an inspector might ask for it to check if you’ve already paid. The fares depend on your destination.
In the Philippines, tricycles are the best option for quick, short-distance rides within a city or town. Some tricycles can accommodate multiple passengers in one trip, with a minimum fare of PHP 10 to PHP 20. If you want to ride alone, there are special trips that start at PHP 40. You can negotiate before getting on the tricycle as some drivers may try to charge you higher than usual.
Grab is a transportation app that offers various services you can choose from depending on your needs. GrabCar (4-seater and 6-seater) is a recommended option where you can book a private car, but you can also opt for GrabTaxi and GrabShare which is a cheaper alternative.
Just a quick note, you need a local sim card to register and use Grab. If you don’t intend on buying a sim card or haven’t done it yet, Abraham Manila’s front desk officer can help you out.
If you’re looking for a more adventurous mode of transportation in the Philippines, Angkas is the perfect choice for you! It is a transportation app similar to Grab, except it only offers motorcycle rides. There are many promo codes to watch out for on the app, so make sure to stay tuned to their social media platforms.
Similar to Grab, you also need a local sim card to register and use Angkas. If you don’t have one, Abraham Manila’s front desk officer can aid you.
There are three train lines in the Philippines: the Light Rail Transit (LRT), the Metro Rail Transit (MRT), and the Philippine National Railways (PNR). Each of these has different stopping points, so be sure to ride the correct train line depending on your destination.
To access the LRT and MRT, you need to buy a single-journey ticket at the booth in the station. The single-journey ticket price ranges from PHP 12 to PHP 24, depending on how far your destination is. If you plan to stay in Metro Manila for a longer period, you can purchase a beep card, which you can reload to avoid long queues at the station.
For the PNR, there is a small table at the station where you can purchase a ticket, starting at PHP 10 and going up to PHP 45. This train line is ideal for traveling to destinations outside Metro Manila.
Aside from the train, you can also opt for the Pasig River ferry to avoid traffic and try a different mode of transportation in the Philippines. The Pasig River Ferry System has 5 boats in operation, one having a capacity of 36 people, and four with 52 people. It can transport passengers from Guadalupe to Manila in 45 minutes to an hour. It operates on specific daytime hours from Mondays to Saturdays and there are no fare charges!
Getting to Nearby Provinces
If you are looking forward to going beyond Metro Manila, riding provincial buses is the most recommended option. Transportation in the Philippines is leveling up and now has a hub that can take you to so many places! Plus, there are boutiques, restaurants, bookstores, and even an arcade so you can spend some time waiting for your ride.
PITX (Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange) is a transportation hub where you can ride buses to provinces such as Cavite, Tagaytay, Baguio, and the like. You can book as a walk-in passenger or book online. Depending on the bus operator, you may have the option to select seats on your preferred trip.
Feeling more confident about getting around Metro Manila? Transportation in the Philippines can be more adventurous and immersive than you might think. You can choose a few modes or try everything while you’re here, and we’d love to hear about your experience. Ingat (Take care)!