If you are leaving Manila by sea check which harbour your boat is leaving from as there is the south harbour and north harbour which are either side of the river. It can be quite congested so if you arrive at the wrong one it may be difficult to transfer to the other in time to board your boat. It will normally say on your ticket which Pier you are leaving from, and each harbour has several piers. The easiest harbour to get to is the south one, it is near Manila Hotel, the north harbour is near Divisoria, which can be real busy.
the most popular means of public transportation in the Philippines. They were originally made from US military jeeps left over from World War II and are known for their flamboyant decoration and crowded seating. They have become a ubiquitous symbol of Philippine culture.
kalesa or calesa (sometimes called a karitela) is a horse drawn calash (carriage). This was one of the modes of transportation introduced in the Philippines in the 18th century by the Spaniards that only nobles and high ranked officials could afford.
If you have several pieces of luggage you don't have much choice but to take the airport taxis. These are considered very safe as you pay at a counter in advance and your journey is recorded. Perhaps you pay a little more than walking out of the terminal and hailing a taxi on the street but it's better to be safe than sorry.
I always like my tips to be accurate so I shall begin this by saying that I have not gone on a ride on one of the horse carts that ply for hire in the Intramuros district of Manila. Indeed, the day I visited there, moswt of them seemed to have been employed to carry musicians and guests of the various weddings that we saw in the area.
I can give no information as to prices or the tours offered but I thought the reader may be interested to know of the option.
Manila Airport (the main one, not Clark) is a bit of a maze as it has four terminals not particularly close to one another. This tip may be of limited use as it concerns Terminal 4 which, at time of writing, only serves the low cost Zest Air and SE Air but I shall post it for what use it may be.
Firstly, I cannot stress this enough and it applies to all terminals, leave lots of time to get from the city to the airport. The traffic can be absolutely chaotic and it can take quite a while to cover the relatively short distance, even using the new toll Skyway.
On arrival at T4, if you are flying Zest as I was, you will have to first check in at the office across the road from the entrance. Once you have done this, go through security and there are two check n queues, one for each airline. These can be quite long as well. There is only one coffee stall in this area, so if you are flying, you are better going through to the departure lounge where the facilities are much better. To do this, you need to pay your departure tax, which at time of writing (January 2012) is 200 pesos. They like you to have the right money and didn't seem amused when I presented a 1000 peso note. You pay at one of the two blue booths on the left of the second image. Both booths are in use and there seemed inexplicably to be a large queue at one and about three people at the other.
The departure area is quite comfortable and has a good selection of food outlets as well as other shops. There is free wifi including power sockets and even a 'phone charging area. Although I did not notice any specific disabled toilets (I may have missed them), the whole terminal is step-free which will assist mobility impaired travellers.
After that, it is a walk onto the tarmac and board your 'plane. All in all, it is not a bad terminal to go through if a little crowded especially when flights are deleayed as they often are on these routes and with these carriers.
Traffic in Manila is, frankly, a disaster and, along with the attendant polloution, is one of the problems often cited by locals and visitors alike. One alternative is to use the Light Rail Transit Authority system, usually referred to as the LRT. LRT1 runs in a generally North / South direction on an elevated railway system. LRT2, which I have not used runs through the areas of Pasig, Marikina, Quezon City, San Juan and Manila. It is cheap (I used to pay 20 pesos from Abod Santos to the centre although I am not sure if this is a flat fare) and is undoubtedly much faster than trying to travel by road but id does have a drawback.
As the title of this tip suggests, you will be crushed. The photo accompanying this tip was taken when it was NOT rush hour, and this is a relatively empty train, they can get much much worse than this. Your feet will be walked on (chances are you will be wearing sandals), elbowed, jostled and pushed. I don't think people are being rude, there are just too many of them. I often saw people with children and I genuinely did fear for their safety. At least the pretty efficient air-conditioning helps. I really would not attempt it with any sort of luggage, you simply will not get on the train unless you join at a terminal station, and even then it will be uncomfortable. A note for mobility impared travellers, all the stations are up stairs and I only saw a lift at one station.
Still, you pays your money and you takes your choice.
You will be searched upon entering any LRT station. Security seems to be a big concern in the Philippines. The other thing to note is that the front carriage of the LRT is reserved for women although it seems everyv bit as crowded as the other carriages.
Be aware that the system finishes relatively early at night, with the latest trains running at 2200 but some finish at 2130. Check the attached website for details.
THE CEBU PACIFIC AIRLINE CHAOS
I fly a lot and dont know how to discourage ANYONE in fact to take this airline if you could name it that way . Unfortunately the only positive thing i can say ( let me start with that :) is that when you are lucky : they fly ..!! :) . sofar the positive news .. and as far as I know they did not crash too much. So if thats enough for you and you are not o a tight time scedule...: try your luck :)and book at their website, which has a lot of links but the only thing that does function is the booking and paying .
For the rest : they are cowboys ... I could leave it to that .. but let me explain : I was at Bangkok airport one time about one year ago, had my printed confirmed and booked ticket at hand but they said to me : your credit card payment did not arrive so you have to buy a new ticket for tomorrow. After a lot of discussion because i was flabbergasted of course, one of the ladies of CPA told me in private : "I understand you sir . Actually i never fly with CPA .. its terrible ".What can you do ?? just buy a new one.
This was all one year ago. After this happening i send several decent emails to the " contact "form at thir site : still have to get an answer ( one year later).the only thing that works at their site is the online payment .
Now my recent experience : one week ago I flew from Europe to Manila ( by Royal dutch airlines) but that flight was cancelled the day before so i missed my connective flight from Manila to Dumaguete. ( yes , had again made a booking at CPA... how stupid of me) ..The same day my flight from europe was cancelled, I tried of course to change the flight manila - dumaguete on the " manage booking " link at their site : Does it surprise you it did not work ??? :) whatever i tried and at whatever time : no function ..seems to be phoney. I wrote of course a letter to their " contact " link again ...now its one week later: no answer . So instead of changing my flight I could buy a new one: how a cheap cowboy-line can turn-out to be expensive. The day I arrived at manila there came the other usual surprise : the disaster of their checking-in : although their are more yellow shirts as at ANY airline at the check-inn counter they have an absolute world-record in waiting .. and chaotic handling. The check-in counter more looks like a chaotic restaurant where one staff member does not know what the other is doing...count on 7/10 minutes for each passenger to check in : I have checked it at my watch .. so .. if 10 people are in front of you: reckon on more then one hour ..so indeed you are risking to miss your plane ..but they have a " solution" for that : planes that go very soon and because of the restaurant-handling .. there is another of the many ladies holding a shield and walking around yelling that passengers for that flight can go first. Otherwise several planes would go without a number of passengers . I know its hard to believe but you can simply check it at terminal 3 second floor at Manila airport ..watch it ... and be amazed although i guess that most of the passebgers have never bee abroad so will think that what happens here is normal .
So dear readers .. : it is the way it is ... cant make it more beautiful.
The cowboy-airline is so lucky they have no real competition in the Philipines ( except the more expensive Philipine
Airlines) and philipine people dont like to complain apparently.
And last but not least : maybe the most alarming fact is that one just have to google the words " complaints" and " cebu " and its all about Cebu pacific airline instead of about the city . Do i need to say more?
and : dont say its because its a third world country because they have the same aircrafts and the same equipment ( computers etc etc) as all airlines have .
Its just the "human factor", no competition and a small bunch of cowboys filling their pockets instead of really organizing this company. Its a pity for the nice city of Cebu thats its name is connected to this " business".
Korean Airlines is largest airline based in South Korea, it operates a network that links Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, North America to its hub at Incheon International Airport and its domestic hub at Gimpo International Airport.It flies to about 110 cities in more than 30 countries worldwide. The Asia/Pacific region and the US account for most of its traffic. The airline extends its network as part of the SkyTeam global marketing and code-sharing alliance, which is led by Delta Air Lines and Air France. (Code-sharing allows carriers to sell tickets on one another's flights.) Since South Koreans are the Largest Outbound tourist market in the philippines, korean airlines and it's korean legacy airline competitor Asiana Airlines flies twice daily flights to and from Seoul and once daily flight to and from busan.
Incidentally, it provides the cheapest fare to South Korea for a legacy airline (budget carriers and no frills arilines have cheaper rates than legacy airlines like korean airlines.
Cathay Pacific is a rare breed of a Legacy Airline, Legacy Airlines all over the world are hemorrhaging since most cannot compete with the budget carriers and low cost carriers but Cathay Pacific is not only thriving but also is making a lot of profit since there is still a big market of air travellers who prefer legacy airlines due to the frills (free meals, drinks, more legroom, free check in baggage, business class, free newspapers, etc) and are willing to pay more than what the budget airlines are offering. Cathay Pacific has 5 daily flights going to and from manila everyday and from their hub in Hongkong, can take you everywhere (like going to China, Korea, US Mainland, Europe, South America, etc.). The Swire group, which owns Cathay Pacific, also owns Dragon Air which is a low cost regional airline (it does go to Manila too).
before, delta airlines competed with Northwest Airlines to ferry inbound/outbound passengers from manila to both of their hubs in Tokyo and then to the US Mainland so that there was 2 northwest airline daily flights out from manila in the morning and one delta flight from manila. Howeey, when they merged in 2009, Delta Airlines removed the lone Manila outbound flight and retained the 6:00 am and 7:45 am flights to Nagoya and Tokyo respectively then off to the US Mainland.
Ever since Delta Airlines merged with Delta Airlines and created the world's 2nd Largest Airline in 2009 (the largest is the Continental-United Airlines Merger), Delta became my new favorite as it has absorbed my Northwest World Perks card into the Delta Sky Miles and they now have no expiry air miles. I now use mostly delta airlines on travels around domestic and interational routes. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day. The airline's main hub at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the world's largest (overtaking O hare Airport in Chicago), and since 1999 the world's busiest airport by passenger traffic (88 million passengers per year) and number of landings and take-offs largely due to Delta's presence.
I really wanted to do this transportation tip since I am nostalgic about Northwest Airlines so I will be doing an old Northwest Airlines Tip and a New Delta Airlines Tip.
Northwest primarily operates a hub and spoke route system with hubs in Amsterdam, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Tokyo up to October 2009 when it merged with Delta Airlines. Northwest was formerly the world's sixth largest airline in terms of domestic and international scheduled passenger miles flown and the U.S.'s sixth largest airline in terms of domestic passenger miles flown before it merged with Delta and now Delta is the Second Largest Airline in the World (after the Continental Airlines- United AirlinesMerger, which became the largest airlines in the number of planes). In addition to operating one of the largest domestic route networks in the U.S., Northwest carries more passengers across the Pacific Ocean than any other U.S. carrier hence it is a favorite of asians like me for transpacific flights and the easy accruage of air mileage in its Worldperks program but since then, Northwest was absorbed by Delta Airlines as of october 1, 2009 and since I am a Northwest Worldperks member, I automatically become a member of Delta's Skymiles and also I love their planes.
Cebu Pacific Air is the No. 1 Low Budget Carrier in the Philippines (in domestic travel but in international travel, Philippine Airlines is still the Number 1 and i still prefer Philippine Airlines). The airline is a wholly-owned subsidiary of JG Summit Holdings, controlled by the Gokongwei family - one of the richest Filipino-Chinese families based in the Philippines. Cebu Pacific is currently headed by Lance Gokongwei, it's CEO. Cebu Pacific has the largest domestic destinations and is fiercely in competition with other los cost carriers like Sea Air, Air Philippines, Zest Air and the Legacy Airline Philippine Airlines. It operates like a no frills airline where even the potable water inside the aircrafts are for sale.
their Main Office is in:
Airline Operations Center Building
Manila Domestic Airport Complex
Old Domestic Road
South East Asian Airlines was set up by Iren Dornier, Nikos Gitsis & Tomas Lopez in 1994 to provide safe, reliable, and economical air transportation for travelers in the Philippines. SEA Air is the embodiment of a no frills airline that there is not even a cabin attendant! but the price is cheap that a one way trip to or from caticlan via manila is just 1,500 pesos pre booked in 2 months! It gives competition to other budget carriers and low cost carriers like Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines, Zest Air.
Seair has 11 aircrafts: 7 are 19-seater Let 410 and 4 Dornier 328 (32 passengers).
Tickets right away available at all Filipino Travel Centers.
Luzon: Clark (Angeles City), Manila, Basco
Visayas: Busuanga, Caticlan, Borongan, Tablas, Puerto Princesa
Mindanao: Zamboanga, Jolo, Tawi Tawi
10 kgs + 10 kgs more baggage for passengers with a valid onward international ticket for the same day.
Free hand carry luggage (per adult): 1 piece max. 7 kg
SEAIR CALL CENTER - +632 849.0100
Makati/Manila - Commercial
2nd Floor La'O Centre, Arnaiz Ave. Makati City, Philippines 1200
Commercial FAX: +63 2 849.0219
Reservation FAX: +63 2 849.0239
Phone: (632) 849.0100
What struck me the most was the presence of jeepneys at nearly every corner of town. You could see that the owners truly took great pains in making sure that their jeepneys are the talk of the town. You'd get some with loud blaring music; lovely psychedelic lights; but most were well-decorated externally.
You'd have to have a go at it to ever claim that you were in Philippines. The mode of passing the 'bus fare' to the driver, the squeezing of 20 people into one jeepney (Truly butt-to-butt), and the method of calling the jeepney to a halt saying, "Para-Po".
The shouting of the words "Para Po" caught own and surprisingly, I felt super empowered as I could call out those words and the jeepney would just come to a stop. Hmm, the power of words!