FFE Magazine

Para sa tabi: Modes of transportation in the Philippines



Land travel

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By jeepney. This is the iconic mode of transportation in the Philippines. But this is mostly found in the Greater Metro Manila, southern Tagalog and Northern Luzon and the biggest cities in the country. Jeepneys follow specific routes around the city: passengers should pay attention to their sign boards. The basic fare is Php8 for regular passengers and Php7 for students and seniors. It costs around the same in provinces, although their passenger vehicles may come in the form of L300 vans. Jeepneys are convenient because passengers can criss-cross the complex metro


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By city vans and FX. Air conditioned vans and FX also work like the jeepney but they are more expensive and follow fewer number of routes. But the advantage is that the passengers are away from the pollution and noise on the streets.


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By city vans and FX. Air conditioned vans and FX also work like the jeepney but they are more expensive and follow fewer number of routes. But the advantage is that the passengers are away from the pollution and noise on the streets.





By metro trains. There are three metro lines that serve Metro Manila (at the moment, because the government is planning to build more lines): the Yellow LRT Line, the Purple MRT Line and the Blue MRT Line. Each metro train line passes through certain points in the cities around Metro Manila. The train lines are also linked to each other so that passengers can jump from one train to the next.



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Manila LRT-MRT map


Metro trains in Manila are above ground and cost Php10 minimum. While they are faster than city buses, they are always very crowded during the morning and evening rush hours, from 7–10am and from 5–8pm Monday to Saturday. The tickets used for each train line are different.


By tricycle. Tricycles are motorcycles with attached passenger cars. In Metro Manila, tricycles which fill their cars to capacity are worth Php9 per seat while special tricycles or those rented by passengers are worth Php20. But the price of tricycles range depending on the neighbourhood: some charge Php40 for entering subdivisions and other gated neighbourhoods. Tricycles cost more in the provinces since they usually cross greater distances than in Metro Manila.


By taxi. Taxis are common in Metro Manila but are very rare even in the biggest cities outside of Metro Manila. However, some taxis in Metro Manila can drive to any point in Luzon. Taxi flag down rate is Php40, and while there is no incentive to tip, it is always considered polite to add a maximum of Php10 over the total fare. Like any other capitals of the world some taxis in Metro Manila can be unscrupulous so better plan and study your route before flagging down one.


By provincial bus. There are plenty of bus companies that link provinces as far as those in the Visayas to Manila. Plenty of these are found in Cubao, Quezon City. The fare in provincial buses greatly depends on the distance to the destination, and most offer regular trips 24/7. Just some of the bus companies that offer trips to the provinces include:


There are two main provincial bus stations in Metro Manila: Araneta Centre in Cubao, Quezon City and the Southwest Integrated Provincial Transport in ParañaqueCity. Provincial buses are also common in provinces and are connected from one major city to the next.


By personal car. Driving a car in Metro Manila can mean getting stuck in the Manila traffic at certain points of the day (the rush hour for example). But it also means having the convenience of avoiding stress commuting when going to the provinces.


According to the Land Transportation Office (LTO), those holding a non-Filipino driver’s licence can use their licences in the Philippines for 90 days after arriving the country. Those who are staying longer can also convert their foreign driver’s licence to a Philippine driver’s licence provided that the foreign licence is still valid . If the licence has expired, then the foreign driver must take the LTO written or practical exam.


By rent-a-car. In case a visitor doesn’t have his or her own car, there are plenty of rent-a-car companies in the Philippines. Just some include Avis, Manila Rent a Car and Europcar.


Air travel

By plane. There are two main carriers that sell domestic flights tickets around the Philippines. These are the Philippine Airlines (PAL) Express and Cebu Pacific. Two additional, non-Filipino companies that cater to a number of domestic airports are AirAsia and Tiger Airways. A third-party website called PISOFare collects all promo fare ticket sales for all four companies. These promo tickets could often cost just Php1 plus surcharges.

By private jet. There are also private jet airliners that offer trips to many island destinations around the country. These include Skyjetair Airlines and Sky Pasada. The tickets are much expensive than by plane, but they are more convenient since they can access the small airport runways in these islands.


Sea travel

2Go Travel. 2Go is the biggest shipping company in the country with trips to 17 destinations through ferries. They have a modern fleet and offer promos and tour packages for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Montenegro Lines. This liner serves the largest number of ports (35) and can even carry vehicles. Its main port is Batangas and it mainly serves southern Luzon and the Visayas regions.

Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corporation. Formerly known as Sulpicio Lines, this company serves around 25 ports but is mostly docking at the Visayas and Mindanao regions. This company is notorious for its history of maritime disasters.

Motorised boats. In many beaches around the country, some locals offer transportation services using motorised boats of different sizes. Most of the time, there is no other option than to avail of them. The payments for these types of transportation can be done through tour packages or by private dealing. The price is highly subjective and is based on the distance to the destination and the size of the boat.





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