Cubao is a place to hop on to Northern trip in Philippines, most long distance buses departed here. Dangwa bus is one among of the bus going to North, and also a direct bus to Banaue during night time and vice versa. Buses to North are all the same when it come their service. They stops on the way for bathroom used, also in the terminal there are shops where you can buy snack as well
All buses with air conditioning on board has a terrible air temperature. It is something they can't control. Bring a pullover to keep you warm, inside the bus can be very cold especially those night buses. Long distance buses in Philippines are really good, they're reputable for this kind of long journey. But do not expect for luxury inside.
Before you decide to travel by bus for long distance, looked for an option if you can fly to and from. Travel for long distance by bus, it is not very comfy. We have done a 14 hour ride, it was an exhausted journey. But it was okay, was a good experience and also is the only way to get there
Dangwa Bus has no website!, they have a terminal in Cubao at "Aurora Boulevard" purchase your ticket the day you want to travel, but if you doubt you can buy your ticket a day before, but certainly no need to do that
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
We took a night bus from Banaue and wanted to go to Tagaytay right after arriving in Manila. I have looking the night before on the internet how to commute to Tagaytay from Cubao. I found the site that it can be easy to take a bus in the same area where we arrived. The website of buses in Manila is not updated, so never rely on that. To be sure of the timetable contact them and better ring them with telephone number that provide in their site, but sometimes the phone number is not correct, if you see more than one phone number try ring all the numbers
None of the buses leave from Cubao to Tagaytay. Don't even bother of asking a conductor or driver in Cubao, because you only get a wrong information
When we arrive at the terminal in Cubao I asked again the driver, he said we have to take a tricycle, so we took a tricycle from terminal to the other terminal which is very short distance. We get to the terminal where the driver indicated. We ask one of the driver or conductor in that terminal if there were bus going to Tagaytay and they said no, we have no destination for Tagaytay. They told us to catch a bus on the highway that goes to Tagaytay without going to the terminal in Pasay.
So, the tricycle driver drove us to the highway and we waited for the bus, we saw a few bus passing through with Tagaytay signboard and we try to stop them but they didn't stop because it's full already. We standing there for about 30 minutes and no luck. There was one passenger standing next to us also try to catch the bus to Tagaytay I ask him where to commute for Tagaytay or where is the main bus terminal. He said in "Buendia or Pasay". So, we took a cab and asked to bring us to Pasay terminal
The taxi driver wasn't sure either where to commute for Tagaytay, I said to him just bring us to Pasay bus terminal that bound for Tagaytay. And suddenly he said, "oh that is in "Coastal Mall" but I'm not sure he said. I said to myself, what? even taxi driver doesn't know the terminal?
Well, we made it to Coastal Mall and once we get off the cab I saw directly a bus with designated for Tagaytay, I was so relief. Now I know and will never forget!, this bus terminal called " Provincial bus terminal". Pasay terminal at COASTAL MALL is for "South Bound" short distance journey. While Cubao - terminal is bound for Northern trip, I will never forget this, after all the hassle we've been through
To get here, take a taxi or bus. If you are in Cubao, take a bus which is a lot cheaper than taxis with sign "PASAY or COASTAL MALL". We took a taxi from Cubao which cost us 270 peso on the meter. The Pasay bus stops at the mall and the terminal is just behind it.
Bound for Cavite, Batangas or Nasugbu and Tagaytay and etc. Look for designated or ask!. The terminal is not really good organized a bit confusing, each bus has signboard next to the driver seat for destination, so, you will never get into the wrong bus, if you are unsure about it, read the signboard carefully or ask.
Going to Tagaytay take a bus designated "Nasugbu via Tagaytay" and tell the conductor where you get off. The main stop is at Olivarez and Rotonda. Tagaytay has no terminated bus terminal. If you are planning to get off one of the stops I mentioned above, there are tricycles to take you to your destination
- Arts and Culture
"The Ninoy Aquino International Airport" or "NAIA", also known as Manila International Airport, is the airport serving the general area of Manila and its surrounding metropolitan area.
Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (airport code MNL) is the main gateway to the Manila Metro Area and all the Philippines islands. Manila Airport has four terminals, 1, 2, and 3, which oversee international travelers, and Domestic Terminal serving local carriers.
The airport managed more than 27 million passengers in 2010, which put it in the top 50 for world's busiest airports. Served by 29 airlines, the airport is also a hub for travel throughout Asia.
About four miles south of Manila, there is a 2-kilometer taxi ride to the Light Rail Transit line that takes travelers into the city. The Manila Airport Hotel is on-site next to Terminal 1.
As you arrive from an international flight and wanna switch to a domestic flight as like to "Cebu, Tagbilaran, Dumaguate" or so, you have to choose the domestic terminals accordingly.
There are 4 terminals ... :
Terminal 1: NAIA Terminal - International flights, non-Philippine Airlines
Terminal 2: Centennial Terminal - All Philippine Airlines flights only (North wing International, South wing Domestic)
Terminal 3: NAIA International Terminal - International flights (Air Philippines, Cebu Pacific, PAL Express)
Domestic Terminal - All domestic flights other than Philippine Airlines.
Have a nice flight and enjoy Manila... :)
- Food and Dining
- Arts and Culture
When catching a taxi from the airport i prefer to use the prepaid coupon system located in centre pickup area out the front of the terminal.It will cost you a little more than a regular taxis but this will avoid the driver who "cant find the hotel" or insists on taking you to "another hotel".This could cost you a lot more!
Before getting into a taxis, i always ask them to turn the meter on.If they" do not" or say "it is broken",wait for another to come along, as there are many and they will over charge you if the meter is not on.
I always carry a map/directions as some taxis say they dont know where hotels/places are.Always have low denomination bank notes as they may not want to or cannot change the large denomination notes.
The cheapest way to get around although I do not think it is the best.In the hot, polluted traffic jams of manila, I do not recommend these pedicabs.Maybe at night time when there is less traffic.....Taxis are inexpensive,airconditioned and safer.
- Budget Travel
I was amazed to be in a jeepney in Manila the other day when i heard the whistle of a train and barriers came down across the road, and a train with 4 carriages passed by, so i decided to investigate. Unknown to me the Philippine National Railways run a service from Tutuban to Alabang, but one train a day starts further up the line at Mamatid and returns there at night. Twenty-five trips a day are made on this 29 km Metro Commuter Line (Tutuban -Alabang only) from around 5 am yo 7 pm, and fares cost 10, 15, 20 and 25 pesos which seem quite reasonable to me. From Tutuban (Manila) to Alabang takes 65 minutes which seems rather long for a 29 km journey.
As a visitor to Manila you may have no idea of where the route takes you but there are some stations on the route that many tourists want to go such as EDSA (for MRT, LRT and Mall of Asia), Buendia (bus to Makati), and Paco(Paco Park).
Tutuban Station is not too far from the North Harbor but an area that i would not feel comfortable as a foreigner while Alabang is a little past Las Pinas on the shore of Laguna De Bay, not too far from Muntinlupa where there is a notorious prison.
We saw several trains that day and they all appeared to be jam packed, so should you decide to use one i would be very careful of pick pockets.
For stations, schedules and fares please refer to the website below.
Although i have visited Manila countless times over the last 35 years and traveled by boat, car, jeepney, tricycle, pedicab, bus and taxi, last weekend i took my two rides on a UV Express, and wished i had used this mode of transport before as the trips were very comfortable and fast.
WHAT IS A UV EXPRESS? (UV = Utility Vehicle)
A UV Express is a public transport license to operate in the country and the franchise costs around 200,000 pesos. UV Express vans are air-conditioned and can hold up to 14 passengers and travel along certain routes, which are indicated by a sign in the driver's window. They have their own passenger terminals throughout the city. I took two rides and each time there were two passengers in the front with the driver, 4 more in the back seat and there were two fold down seats at the back which could accommodate 4 more passengers. The vans can be hailed from anywhere and can drop you off along the route (as long as it is not illegal to stop).
Overall i found them to be quite comfortable, even for a big foreigner like myself.
I am not sure what the minimum fare is but the rate should be 2 pesos per km after the minimum, but i am told some drivers overcharge. I paid 15 pesos and 20 pesos for i guess a 3 km and 8 km ride.
You can find a list of routes on the website below
Arriving at any terminal at NAIA in Manila you will find that there is a regular bus that connects each terminal to the LRT or MRT at Edsa or Taft. I have only caught this bus from T3 and it leaves from just outside the arrival terminal about every 15 minutes. The cost is a very reasonable 20 pesos so if you are traveling light you can avoid the expensive airport taxis and later take the train to different parts of Manila, but be warned that you may have to wait up to 30 minutes as quite a long queue may form during busy times. Tickets cannot be purchased in advance but can only be paid for when you are on the bus. There is lots of room for your luggage which is usually piled up at the front of the bus or in the aisle. There are also buses that connect all four terminals for passengers wishing to catch an onward flight.
The bus from T3 to Edsa normally only takes 15 to 20 minutes.
- Budget Travel
If you are unable to get on a jeepney at its origin and should you want to make a trip from the suburbs to Makati try and allow plenty of time if you wish to travel in the rush hour which is 6.30-8.30 am in the morning. The same goes for the evening rush hour which is from 5pm to 8pm. We had an important appointment at the hospital and stood by the side of the road for 30 minutes before we found a jeepney that could accommodate us. Trying to catch a jeepney along the early part of the route is next to impossible at this time as the jeepneys leave the terminal full and most of the people will mot get off until they are near the end of the route, or at junctions where they have to transfer to other modes of transport. The journey can also be extremely slow in the heavy traffic.
The same goes for buses too.
The metro can also be extremely busy and the locals are packed like sardines, unless you get on at the pint of origin
In the countryside people will climb on the roof of the jeepney or hang on the back but in Metro Manila there are limits of the number of passengers and of course you cannot sit on the roof, and certainly not hang on to the railing at the back!
After an absence of several years the river ferry is starting again on 4th April, initially having 5 terminals. A great way to see parts of the capital region and avoid the traffic. Hopefully in the future there are plans for 12 more terminals to open. The price for a ticket from end to end is 70 pesos, but you will be able to access parts of the city which you would be unlikely to see on foot.
1) Pinagbuhatan, Pasig
2 ) Guadalupe, Makati
3) Santa Ana, Manila
4) Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Manila
5) Plaza Mexico, Manila
I wrote this tip in the year 2007 when the ferry was still in operation. I am not deleteing this despite the fact that the ferry has stopped operating. there is a current move in the congress/senate to open it once again. I hope the proponent suceeds since the Pasig Ferry is not only a practical solution to the Metro's traffic problem but it also might help keep the river clean and add to the colorful story of the Pasig River saga.
Here's the text of my original tip:
A good alternative transportation to the usual bus, car, taxi and jeepney to get to and around the tri-city (Pasig City, Makati City and City of Manila) metro. The ferry service runs from Escolta to Sta. Elena in Marikina with stops in between (e.g. PUP, Sta. Mesa, Guadalupe). The ferry slows down as it passes Malacanang Palace so you will get a good view of the Philippines' seat of power.
The rates are reasonable and during Sundays their flat-rate (P25:USD0.50) apply.
- Family Travel
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If you are arriving at any airport in Manila you will see two different types of taxi, yellow or white. The yellow taxis are accredited by the airport authorities and may wait in line for passengers at the terminals. They must take their passenger to the destination and return to the airport to wait for another passenger. White taxis are allowed to drop off passengers at the airport but are not allowed to join the line to pick up a passenger. Yellow taxis are allowed to charge a higher initial pick up fee, and a higher rate per kilometer and are on the whole much safer that the unregulated white taxis. There have been many complaints of scams by drivers of white taxis such as overcharging, not using the meter, dropping the passenger off in the middle of nowhere if he argues about the fee, and even stealing the passenger's belongings.
Read more http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/456371/naia-allows-white-cabs-anew-but-exec-says-yellows-safer
If you are staying in the Malate area or anywhere near the LRT and plan on going north to Baguioo, Zimbales, Dagupan or Taguegarao in the Cagayan Valley it will save you a lot of time if you hop on the LRT and get off at the past stop at Monumento (Caloocan). Victory Liner have a bus station 2 minutes walk from the LRT station and buses will leave frequently for the destinations i mentioned. The link below gives the schedules and fares. To get to the bus station you have to walk through a small shopping mall, but just before you do there are a few stalls selling fruit where you can stock up with apples , orange or the local fruits of the season.
Driving round Manila is an experience! It is one of the most congested city's I have ever been to...if you are planing to stay a while I would use the yellow cabs first to get the hang of the way they drive...as it can be a terrifying experience.
What I did firstly was used a motorbike around my local area..finding my way back to the house...once I had enough confidence then I took to the road...
If you are only staying a couple of weeks then just stick to cabs, but make sure you get in one that is safe...some of the older cabs can be down right dangerous...I found the yellow cabs are the newest and safest...if you aren't sure? Don't get in it.
From the airport to your hotel you can get in line to get a cab which is booked and the cost is told you up front...
I wouldn't use these everyday but to get you safely to your hotel is probably the right thing to do.
Back to driving...the main thing to remember is they use the hooter to stop other drivers running into you..if you find the guy in the lane next to you is squashing you hoot the hooter and they move....usually..the lane discipline is none existent...you will find four lanes turn into six lanes, although the road markings are only for four...great!
They also have one day a week on which you can't drive your car...it is governed by you number plate and you will get nicked by the police rather quickly, if you drive on you off day..
Driving in the local towns isn't much different as they are as crowded and congested as the main city...the motorbikes fly past on your left side or right side or on the path and are not adverse to driving the wrong way towards you ( very unnerving )
Then you have jeepney's they stop where ever they like when ever they like, mostly without indicators, some have light lots don't and you need to keep alert...or you will find you smash into them...
All that said and done...Manila is a great city...just do what I do....go with the flow...
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Pedicabs are usually found hanging around the streets that branch off from the main arteries of Manila. The people who operate them are usually very poor and often sleep in their pedicab with their wife. They normally just go a few hundred meters so i don't mind giving generously to these poor unfortunates.