Transportation in the Philippines
One of the great things about living in the Philippines is that there are so many options for cheap public transportation.
Romantic rickshaw bike ride with Date in Asia chick
I really don’t ever see the need for owning your own car or motorbike here. It would be a bit more convenient I suppose, but overall not worth it.
You can call a taxi to take you most places in whatever city you are in for under $5. A big city with lots of traffic like Manila may cost more then that, but even in Cebu the majority of taxi fares will be less then that. Even if you take taxis everywhere you go I am sure it would be much cheaper then owning a car in the western world.
The taxis in Manila are more sketchy than those in Bangkok, in Cebu they’re a little better.
Another option for transportation is motorcycle drivers. They will be hanging out all over the place looking for customers. Any mall or well trafficked area will surely have them. There are usually spots where they all hang out and you will figure those out.
If you see a guy sitting on a bike waiting and he has an extra helmet he will probably give you a ride for 60% what a taxi would cost. This will also be much faster then taking a taxi because at any traffic jam or red light he will weave his way around the parked cars, if you were in a taxi you would just sit and wait.
The problem with this option is that the main way most expats die in Asia is in motorcycle accidents. That is why I use them only when in a hurry.
Viral Facebook post from Mark Zuckerberg
Jeepneys are basically free to an expat. You can get from one side of the city to another for less than a quarter. You may have to change routes and hop on a different jeep and then it may cost ya 45 cents. They aren’t the most comfortable, but they aren’t that bad and are only a bit slower then a taxi.
Once you learn the routes they really are a great option. If you find yourself living near a popular jeepney route not only can you save money on your own taxis but you can ask any visitor to take the jeepney that goes right by your place. In Manila that won’t be an option, but other cities is. Try and pick a hotel or apartment near a common jeepney route if you can.
Manila Sky Train
This is only for Manila (obv) but the sky train will make travel so much easier for you. Manila is the most condensely populated city in the world and the traffic is terrible. The sky train can get you from one side of the city to the other very quickly.
There are some cons to it, the lines are huge during rush hour and they really pack each car as full as it can get. This is definitely a spot to be on the look out for pick pockets. However the time it saves is very worth it, and oh ya it’s extremely cheap also.
I really did not like driving in the US. Taking that out of my life is another perk to living in Asia.