Light Rail Transit 1
LRT Line 1 services the route of going North (Monumento Stn) and South (Baclaran Stn). Stops at the following major intersections: Monumento, 5th Ave, R. Papa, Abad Santos, Blumentritt, Tayuman, Bambang, Doroteo Jose (interchange with LRT Line 2), Carriedo, Central, United Nations, Pedro Gil , Quirino, Vito Cruz, Gil Puyat, Libertad, EDSA (interchange with MRT Line 1) and Baclaran.
Normal operating schedule: (taken from www.lrta.gov.ph)
Monday to Sunday:
5:00AM - First train leaves the Baclaran Station bound for Monumento.
9:00PM - Last northbound commercial train leaves Baclaran Station for Monumento.
9:30PM - Last southbound commercial train leaves Monumento Station for Baclaran.
1st 4 stops: Php 12.00
Succeeding: Php 15.00
Stored value tickets availabe at Php 100.00 normally the last ride is a "bonus ride"
- Road Trip
Light Rail Transit 2
Running mainly along Aurora Blvd
Recto (connects to LRT1) - Legarda - Pureza - V.Mapa - J. Ruiz - Gilmore - Betty Go Belmonte - Araneta Center (connects to MRT3) - Anonas - Katipunan - Santolan
Base fare of P12 for the 1st 3 stations, additional P1 for the succeeding segment (3 stations/segment)
- Budget Travel
Kalesa! (Horse Drawn Carriage)
No trip to Manila would be complete unless you've tried riding a local tranportation called 'Kalesa'
2 person can ride comfortably, but sometimes a 3rd person can seat on the coachman's place in front.
Catch some kalesas around Binondo/Chinatown area
- Budget Travel
Manila to Puerto Galera
Manila to Puerto Galera via Batangas
1. Sikat Bus and Ferry Service
Departing from Lobby of the City State Tower Hotel
Address: 1315 A. Mabini Street, Ermita, Manila
Departure time : 9:00 am
Arrival time - 1:30 pm
Round trip costs about P 700/per person
- Budget Travel
Manila to Coco Beach (Puerto Galera)
Manila - Coco Beach (Puerto Galera)
a) 1 - 4 pax:
Car / Van and Outrigger Boat / Mini Cruiser - Php 4,500
b) 5 - 8 pax:
Van and Outrigger Boat - Php 5,000
c) 9 - 20 pax:
Bus and Super Outrigger Boat - Php 11,000
d) 21 - 45 pax:
Bus and Super Outrigger Boats - Php 15,000
- Diving and Snorkeling
Manila to Boracay Island (Kalibo Airport)
1. Manila - Kalibo, Aklan (Domestic Airport)
by domestic flight (1 hour)
2. Aklan Airport - Caticlan
by Bus or Jeepney
3. Caticlan - Boracay Island
by outrigger boat
PhP 5,636 + PhP 615 (tax) x 1 Adult = PhP 6,251.00
Total fare = PhP 6,251
a. Manila - Kalibo Airport
a) Philippine Airlines with up to four flights daily
b) Cebu Pacific with one to two flights daily
c) Air Philippines with one to two flights daily
- Diving and Snorkeling
Manila to Boracay Island (Caticlan Airport)
Manila Domestic Airport - Caticlan Airport
Air fare: (one-way fare)
1) normal fare - PhP 2,940
2) promo fare - PhP 2,800
3) special budget one-way fare - PhP 1,950
The easiest way to reach Boracay Island is to take chartered plain from Manila to Caticlan!!!
From Caticlan Airport to Boracay Island, take outrigger boat.
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Mass Rapit Transit 3
Running along EDSA
North Ave - Quezon Ave - Kamuning - Cubao (Connects to MRT2) - Santolan - Ortigas - Shaw Blvd - Boni - Guadalupe - Buendia - Ayala - Magallanes - Taft (connects to LRT1)
Base fare of P10 for the 1st 3 station, additional P1 for the suceeding segment (3 stations/segment)
- Budget Travel
Mass transit system in Manila: MRT 3 (part 1)
Unlike most megalopolises, which do have efficient mass transit systems, Metro Manila (MM - the metropolitan area around the core, capital city of Manila) still lacks one. Fortunately, efforts are now underway to develop one (taking so long, as usual) and so far there are 3 existing lines - line 1 (known as LRT 1), MRT 2, and MRT 3. Expansion of these lines as well as construction of new ones are still in the works. Eventually, the plan is to connect all these lines in one seamless mass transit system (wish them luck!).
Also known as the Metrostar Express, MRT 3 has been designated as the blue line in the current administration's so-called Strong Republic Transit System (SRT - expect this to change with a change in administration). At present, MRT 3 covers total length of 16.8 kms and 13 stations. It's the best and most affordable way to go around MM as it traverses the capital's most famous circumferential road and single most important thoroughfare, Epifanio de los Santos Ave, fondly called EDSA.
A virtual south-north trip: starting from the Pasay station, which connects MRT 3 to LRT 1, we move up north. Some points of interest:
Pasay - this is the southernmost station, which is connected to an easily-forgettable mall. To LRT 1, take the bridgeway connecting the two lines.
Magallanes - nothing special to see from this station, unless you need to go to Pasong Tamo Extension.
Ayala - this is the main access to Metro Manila's central business district, where multinational companies and top Filipino corporations have their offices. Top hotels, great shopping - Glorietta, Greenbelt - are also accessible from this station.
Buendia - will take you to Makati Ave area, where some of Makatis naughty bars are, particulary P. Burgos St (ironically, named after a priest!).
Guadalupe - another forgettable station.
Boni - nothing to see here
Mass transit system in Manila: MRT 3 (part 2)
Shaw - easily accessible to Shangri-La mall (high-end shopping) and to Ortigas Center - MM's 2nd business district where the Asian Devt Bank (ADB) and San Miguel (F&B company) have their headquarters.
Ortigas - gateway to shopping paradise of SM Megamall and Robinsons Galleria - huge shopping malls all. Be careful, though, as the sidewalk here is narrow and you might be sideswept by speeding buses and cars.
Santolan - takes you to two military camps - Camps Aguinaldo and Crame, and to Greenhills shopping area-the best place to get your tech gadgets and mobile phones and DVDs, VCDs.
Cubao - get off this station if you want to go to Araneta Center - another commercial (read: shopping) area - Gateway mall (one of Manila's newest malls), Ali Mall (yes, named after the boxing legend), and Araneta Coliseum, favorite venue for concerts, basketball games, and, (brace yourself) cockfights!
GMA Kamuning - takes you to the main office of GMA, a major TV station.
Quezon - get off here if you want to visit the Diliman campus of the University of the Philippines, the Quezon Memorial Circle, among others.
North - the end of the line (although plans are afoot to extend the line up to Monumento, Caloocan City and interconnect it with the northern end of LRT 1), takes you to SM City, SM's first shopping mall built during the crisis years of the 1980s.
Fare: MRT 3 is the cheapest way to go around Metro Manila, you pay only 9.50 pesos for a trip to the next station, and add 0.50 for every succeeding station. Total fare for the entire trip is 15 pesos.
Tip: If you intend to use the system more than once, better get stored value cards at 100 pesos each. You avoid queuing up every time you take the system and cheaper in the sense that they go by the "last ride bonus" system where you don't have to pay the difference between the actual fare and the remaining credit in your stored value card.
Hire an FX Revo to Get Around
If you want a good FX driver in the Manila area, call Arnold Martin (Cell: 09208157511). He drives a Toyota Revo, which is a small SUV. He charged 2000 pesos plus gas for the first day to Tagaytay/Talisay and just 1000 pesos the second day. Not only is he a good driver, he is a pleasant person to be around. We chatted about all sorts of things...people, the Red Queen effect, traveling, etc.
- Road Trip
Terminal 4, Manila Airport.
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.
Taxis are popular for the tourist because it's more convenient than taking the public transport.But make sure that he knows where you want to go and INSIST that he use the meter or else you will be charge an excessive amount.
Pasig River Cruise
As a result of the Pasig River clean up drive, the ferries are back in action. And in better shape!
More than a decade ago, the lowly version (non-airconditioned) of the present ferries were introduced as an alternative mode of transpo from the suburb to downtown Manila (and vice versa). However, the foul odor coming from the polluted river discouraged people from taking the ferry and instead endured the heavy vehicular traffic.
But with the recent clean up of the river, the ferries became operational again and this time, with airconditioned coaches. The boat trip becomes a pleasant river cruise passing by some historical landmarks such as Malacanang Palace and Park, Lambingan Bridge, etc.
Fees vary from point-to-point, but on weekends, they offer a flat rate of P25/pax.
A word of caution: An armed military man normally boards the ferry one station before Malacanang and alights at the next station after Malacanang. When the ferry passes by Malacanang Palace, taking picture of the palace is not allowed. Likewise, passengers are prohibited from going to the deck.
You will be crushed.
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.
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