Ground Transportation Methods in the Philippines
Most definitely, the ground transportation in the Philippines is a thing to see and do.
The Philippines is an exciting place to visit. There are many thing to see and do. For example, there are lots of historical and other tourist sites all around Manila (the capital city) of the Island of Luzon and outlying provinces.
The Philippines is home to very beautiful natural wonders including it’s many spectacular white sand beaches and warm blue waters. Also, there are many other island besides Luzon which are accessible by air or ferry boat.
The Philippines is home to the nicest people on the earth.
The scenery is very beautiful with many natural wonders. In particular, it’s many spectacular white sandy beaches and warm crustal blue waters are amazing.
What I want to talk about today is how to get to all of these wonderful places. Let’s talk about the ground transportation system in the Philippines. In fact, there are many ways to get around in the Philippines and I used all of them.
The trike is the most common means of public transportation in the Philippines, especially in rural areas. A trike is small cylinder motorcycle with a side car. The side car is usually partially enclosed and typically has a roof to protect the passengers when it rains.
Trikes either go on a set route or they are for hire like a taxi. Trikes are typically only for short distances within their particular town or city.
The cost depends on the location and distance that you are going, but the cost usually runs from 30 pesos (about $0.70) for a short distance to 100 pesos (about $2.25) for a medium or longer distance. That does not include a tip, if you give one. I suggest you do.
The trike can fit from 4 – 6 people with 3 Filipino adults (or 2 foreigners, lol) on the seat, a couple of kids tucked away in some kid spaces and up to two people on the motorcycle, “The Back Ride”, behind the driver. For example, the first time I was in a trike, it was us three and a family with 4 small kids.
I love riding short distances in a trike as it is very romantic, unless there is a lot of people with us and then the big guy gets the “Back Ride”.
Trikes can also be used for hauling things with special flat bed side cars. I’ve seen all sorts of things being hauled like pigs, concrete bags and more.
Jeepneys are the trademark and the second most common means of ground transportation in the Philippines. They are old U.S. military vehicles left over from World War II. Jeepneys are restored and proudly pimped out by their individual owners.
People ride sitting in the back on benches along each side. The back is partially enclosed with a roof to protect the passengers from the weather. People can also ride up front with the driver.
They are typically used for medium distances along a particular route either between or with towns and cities. They are not for hire like a taxi. You can get on at a jeepney terminal where there is usually a “Barker” who is someone yelling and pointing to which jeepney to get on to go where. You can also get on anywhere along the Jeepney’s route at regular stops or by flagging it down.
Jeepneys are known for being very crowded. If you get on at a jeepney terminal, you will learn the Filipino term for “Wait till full” and I mean squished full. Jeepney is pronounced, “jeep” “knee” because they were made by Jeep and you may have your knee in your face.
I have been in many of them and now know the lingo including, “Bayad Po” (pass the money to the driver, sir/madam), “Suicli Po” (change, sir/madam), and “Para Po” (Stop, Sir). When you get on, you sit down and pass your money up to the driver by handing it to the person next to you saying, “Bayad Po”. They will pass it along to the next person until it gets to the driver. Your change gets passed back the same way with people saying, “Suicli Po”. When you get to your destination, and you want the Jeepney to stop, you say, “Para Po”.
The typical cost for a Jeepney is 8 peso ($0.20) for a short distance and up to 100 peso ($2.25) for a longer distance, depending on location.
Typically, Taxis are only in the larger cities like Manila. They are for hire just like taxis in the U.S. Just be very careful when using a taxi as a foreigner. You may get charged too much. Make sure that it is a real taxi with a meter and make sure that the driver uses the meter. For sure, if the taxi does not have a meter, don’t get in.
The cost for a taxi can range from a minimum of 45 pesos ($1.00) to more depending on the location, distance, and the foreigner factor (don’t let them do that).
Many taxi drivers are friendly and very talkative. On the contrary, some are not.
Tip your taxi driver well and you shouldn’t have a problem.
The buses in the Philippines are usually quite new, comfortable and clean. For example, many have TV screens and play movies on your route. They are for long distances between cities on a specific route.
You typically go to a bus terminal to get on. It maybe be a large terminal with many buses. In contrast, you may have to go to a bus company’s individual terminal. Ask a local, your hotel clerk or your taxi driver which terminal to go to to go where you want.
Typically there are two employees of the bus company on the bus, the driver and a conductor.
You don’t have to worry about getting water or any snacks because, at very stop, vendors will get on and showcase their goods up and down the isle. Get a water or a snack for the ride.
The typical cost for a bus can range from 120 peso to 500 peso ($3 – $5), depending on the distance.
Some people do have their own car, motor cycles, or scooters for ground transportation, but most people rely on public transportation.
Renting a Car
If you are really brave and think you can drive in the Philippine traffic, rent a car in the Philippines for ground transportation. By and large, the best place to rent a car is at the Manila Airport.
I am not brave enough. Generally speaking, Filipinos have their way about driving. Indeed, it is a free for all and kind of a fluid dance all in one motion. Consequently, if you don’t know how to dance, you are in serious trouble with a rental.
Usually who ever is bigger, in the right position or faster has the right of way. As a result, there is a lot of communication by honking. In addition, there is a lot of passing and playing chicken in doing do. Surprisingly, I only saw only one accident.
Where I come from, its a law to stop for a pedestrian crossing the street. In contrast, pedestrians do not have the right of way in the Philippines.
So if you are brave enough, you can rent a car in the Philippines through the Expedia link below and click on cars.
Hiring a Van and Driver
A great way to get around and see a lot of sites is to hire a driver and van for ground transportation. To emphasize, you get around faster and see more things this way without the burden and confines of public transportation.
Hiring a van and driver is actually not that costly in the Philippines. Its usually a negotiated deal based on the distance and length of travel. Also, the customer pays a set rate, plus gas and tolls. Ordinarily, tipping your driver is a welcome courtesy.
We have hired a van 3 different times for our ground transportation. They were all great experiences as we got to travel directly to where we wanted to go quickly. We also were able to go different places.
We hired a van for our wedding, get away to the beach with all the family, to Manila to get my brother at the airport, and more.
If you need a van driver for for ground transportation to destination in Luzon, we recommend that you contact Charie Paras. She and her husband have two vans that they rent with a driver for any destination in Luzon. Particularly, it is a comfortable feeling in the Philippines to hire someone as a driver that comes well recommended like Charie Paras.
Our driver was Rolly Ona and he was great. Without a doubt, he is the best driver in the Philippines. Firstly, he is always on time. Secondly, he was funny, courteous and always helpful. Lastly, he gets through the toughest Manila traffic.
Charie and her husband have vans for rent to any Point of Luzon. They have a new Nissan Urvan with good air-conditioning. Their services offered are:
- airport (pick-up or drop-off)
- out of town trip to any point of luzon
- family/group/class outing
- wedding/birthday & all special occasions
- city tour
- Batangas port service
- personal trip
- team building, etc.
For inquiry please Call or Text: Mrs. Charry Paras