it is preferable to exchange money at the airport, banks or at the mall - they usually have forex there. but if you must go to the little money exchange shops, make sure you have the right amount of money before you leave!
there are some money changers who will count your money in front of you and with a sleight of hand can put away some bills. count it again in front of them. dont leave right away.
Check immediately to see if they use a meter. If they don't wanna use the meter, just get out. I have had a few situations where the driver doesn't wanna use the meter and suggests an overpriced payment. Luckily, i knew the price range to go to my destination.
Unique Suggestions: Maybe also consider that paying 20-40 pesos more might not B much in another country currency (if ur a foreigner), but may B helpful to them. More importantly it could B less hassle for u if u have to get somewhere in a hurry.
Fun Alternatives: i don't know any other alternative to get to the airport than by taxi from where i stay.....
I don't know if I should call this "tourist trap", but I somekinda feel bad about this,, so I am writing about it..
I know when we go abroad and travel some other countries, sometimes I get over charged, and if it's not too bad, I should take it like.. it's the way it is.. but.. sometimes.. it's kinda not really understandable, and sometimes makes me mad..
In PI, I came across a lot of mements that made me hate the beautiful country, and usually it was because of the "foregner prices"
Visiting Pi, I felt kinda obliged to get to know the country, and the history. I loved being there, and I wanted to know it better. so I decided to visit Ayala Museum. the first time I went there, it was closed. I went all the way from Malate, and got lost couple of times, and walked throught the crowded, confusing shopping mall, keep asking where the damn museum was, and it was closed. that's alright. the next day I went there again, the same thing, on MRT, LRT, walking and geting lost, and thinking today I will see the thing, but you know what? there were foregner price.
ok.. some people might say, you make a lot more than normal philippino make, and paying 150p isn't too much a big deal, that's right. 150P isn't too much for me. but the money wasn't too much important to me. what really bothered me wa the attitude of goverment. those foregners including myself go to the museum are eager to know the culture, and the country because we love and are interested in the country, and because we love the country and would like to know more, we gotta be ripped off, and over charged? if it was like private, I wouldn't mind too much,, because somethings are alwasy like that. but the museum is ran by government. hah.. so.. what is it? the government somehow engcourage people to overcharge foreigners cause they don't know too well, and they are too stupid to come all the way over to their country?
maybe some of you might think I am a cheapskate, maybe I am. but.. maybe I am not. I just don't see it right, do you?
when visiting san agustin or manila cathedral, be wary of vendors selling rosary who will pull out dirty tricks just to get your money. some of them will approach you and tell you the rosary is free. DONT ACCEPT no matter what they say. If you do, they will tell you, it's free but you should donate money. And as you take money out of your wallet, they will give you a price! unbelievable? if you do walk away, they will try to put the rosary on your hand, let it drop to the ground if you must. im sure Mother Mary will understand.
Unique Suggestions: just avoid the vendors at all cost. do not make eye contact, or smile at them. they can be really tricky and aggressive.
Honestly, I don’t like taking Taxis around Metro Manila because of inconsiderate and inconsistent fares! Taxis from the airports (yellow or ordinary) see the passengers (locals, tourists,foreigners) like walking dollars and are fond of tips.
For example, when the taxi meter reflects an amount of 170Php, let’s say you don’t have that exact cash on your pocket, so you handed him a 200Php. Two things might happen, One- he’ll confirm if you have exact cash and he’ll say, he doesn’t have change for you, so you’ll just get off the taxi and give the 30Php as a tip and Second- He’ll just wait for you to get off his cab until you realize that your supposed to be 30Php change was already a tip.
That’s what really happens here but in the provinces, the taxi drivers aren’t that greedy. They gave your change and if you give more than the amount you’re supposed to pay, they got ashamed and insist to give your change.
Sometimes, they also have to offer a specific fare amount before they take you to your destination. Don't agree with them, they're only overcharging you. Find other taxis that will be willing to take you to your destination and charge the fare using their meters.
Well, not all the Metro Manila taxi drivers are that greedy… there are a few people who are considerate too. People aren’t always the same but I’m just telling you things based on my experiences in riding taxis around the Metro. I just like to serve this as guidance when getting around the city.
When taking the taxi, always have in mind these things:
1. Always ask for the taxi meter on.
2. Always ask for your change. All of us work so we need money too.
3. Prepare coins and cash in your pocket so you can pay for the exact fare.
Fun Alternatives: If you can bear taking other local transportation, like the jeepney or the subway, it would be better.
Beware of those Horse cart operators offering cheap round trip from Rizal park to Intranomous, Binondo, Quiapo & back to Rizal park.
We heard they told us only US$5 per trip but at the end of the rip wanted US$50!!...I disagreed and only pay US$20.
when in Manila, do keep your mind on your valuables. Pickpocket are all around town, as they do in many other cities all over the world. Some pretend to try to befriend and help tourists. If you need help, you'd be better off asking from your front desk staff.
The Divisoria is a den of thieves. Great finds are bountiful but so are the advantage-takers. so, like I said, be aware.
Unique Suggestions: If you have to go to Divisoria, do go with a local.
January 9 - Quiapo Fiesta (Black Nazarene)
January 15 - Sto. Niño Fiesta (Tondo)
January 19 - Buling Buling ng Pandacan
February 3 - Liberation of Manila, Manila Chinese New Year
June 12 - Independence Day
Rizal Park, Manila
June 24 - Araw ng Maynila (Manila Day) Citywide Manila Film Festival
November Feast of Nuestra Señora delos, Malate
December Feast of Birhen ng Loreto
Sampaloc, Manila (second Sunday)
If you're parking in front of a restaurant which they own, then by all means you can pay the valet guys or parking attendants. If there are none and some poser just want money, don't give.
Unique Suggestions: If you encounter pushy parking attendant posers, then by all means bargain with them. You can just give small change, just say this is all you've got. Usually they will charge you around 20-40Php, go down to half of what they charge.
Fun Alternatives: Park your car in the designated area, which is owned by the place you're going.
Don't ride the pedicabs even if they offer you a ride, at first the pedicab drivers will offer you cheap fare but once you arrived in the destination, they will ask for a different amount of fare, larger than the initial offer.
This happened to my friend and I when we took the ride from Jose Abad St, Near the Divisoria Market, going to Chinatown. It was the day before the Chinese New Year celebration and my friend, Laurice, got tired of walking and said not to walk anymore. So, we decided to ride a pedicab instead, so we can atleast experience the public vehicles around.
I heard many stories that the pedicabs around this area got a lot of tourists fooled. Sometimes, I'm so hard headed... and want to try things though I did learned about the awful experiences from people who tried it. Sometimes, I just want to try it myself, so I can attest to what others say... and now, it happened. Like, what they told me so. But how will I know, if I don't try.
Anyway, going back, I asked the pedicab driver to take us to the Metropolitan Hospital, so from there we can have a few walks to Chinatown, and how much will the fare costs us. I really heard, he said, 2 for 40php and my friend also heard the same. So we took the ride.
When we arrived at the back of the hospital, I was about to pay 40Php, when he looked at me in the eye and said, "240Php ma'am"... OMG! If we took a cab, we can save 140Php for this ride and now this pedicab, a 3 wheeled vehicle, that only took us about 5-10mins to reach the place is costing us a very very inconsiderate amount! We really can't believe it!!!!
I argued with the driver since we really heard 2 for 240Php and now he's saying, our fare's 240Php!??? I insisted to give him only 140Php and that should be enough! 240Php was too much!!! I walked away from the pedicab and called Laurice to follow me. The pedicab driver got out of the wheel, and even told us that he's telling the truth and even his child would die. You see, he even cursed his own child! My friend's a little bit frightened now and hesitant at that moment... so I decided to go back. Sometimes, imagination instantly just pops in my head and I visualized that if we insisted to leave him, he might stab us from behind knowing that, there were no people within that area... ofcourse, I don't want us to be on headline the next day. so I went back and gave the lacking 100Php. I gave my last words to the pedicab driver and said what he did to us, he'll repay it someday then I hurriedly called Laurice to walk with me as fast as we can.
Fun Alternatives: If you can bear to walk... just do it.
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