Taxi in the Philippines!

We’ve been living back here for 12 years now. Have been traveling before all over Mindanao and other parts of the country. We noticed before that Davao has the worst taxis that I knew. If you guys travel here in Davao City, you will remember some of the old and junkie looking taxis we have here in the city before. But you just have to ride on it because we just have no choices unless you have your own vehicle. I remembered the taxi driver would say that sorry ma’am just go to the other side to enter or get out because the handle just fell off. Most of the taxis at that time were all surplus from Korea or Japan. Lots of it they converted from the right side driving to the left. Some of it the wiring’s were visible.

New Davao Taxis
New Davao Taxis

One time I was riding the taxi with a friend that came here for a visit. Man, she was so scared to enter the taxi seeing how bad looking it was inside. My friend said wow, I’ve never been to this kind of taxi before and its pretty filthy. She had no choice but to ride in it, unless we would walk from the house to SM. I could tell the relief on her face when we got to our destination. But at that time we also had some descent taxi though, but it’s just limited (just few were running).

I remembered like around 7 years ago the city had a big conference and the invited guests were from all over the world. Being the taxis were not looking good and look so old, the city rented a bunch of taxis from Cagayan de Oro just to cater to those guests. Started at the time the city maintained quite well on the cleanliness here.  I mean even the Bankerohan Market at that time was really cleaned. People that I met and knew at that time were really impressed.  They started planting bunch of flowers on the pathway in between the main road. They still are good until now. And improving some other areas too with nice planter boxes.

New Mabuhay Black Taxi
New Mabuhay Black Taxi

Over the past 3 to 4 years the taxi situation is improving here. The city told the owners of the taxis that all non air-conditioning taxis will be eliminated. They want all air conditioned taxis running around the city. The Mabuhay and Holiday already had units that’s going around the city. Finally in a year or 2 after the city told them all the non-air taxis were gone. That’s when the Blue taxis were born, they really are nice and clean looking taxis. Then another one the Orange taxis were here now too.  Another company owned a taxi. It’s white taxi and they had plenty of them. They had there hub near the San Rafael area. Some were even parking at the shoulder of the highway. I think they are still building for a bigger hub. A month or 2 ago Bob was telling me about a Black taxi, that they will be coming here to Davao city. That they are going to be a nice and good looking taxi.   Finally yesterday I saw one passing by when I was waiting for a jeepney. I was shocked, it really is looking neat and nice. I haven’t ridden to one of them yet. I will try to ride one of this day and tell you guys what I think.

Been shocked to some of the taxis that I’ve been riding here. They even have TV inside the taxi. Only bad thing the driver was just showing boxing game inside. Ha ha ha, I was thinking of home and garden show. lol. Kidding aside the taxis here now really look good and clean. I’m so happy for that, and you don’t have to fight now to get a taxi. We have plenty now going around the city. Now I can say that taxis here can compare to the taxis of the other cities in the Philippines. We even have a few SUV’s type kind of taxis.

Feel free to share what you think. Have a good and enjoyable visit here in the Philippines!


Post Author: Feyma (353 Posts)

Feyma Martin is a Columnist here on the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine, she is the wife of site Publisher, Bob Martin. Feyma is originally from the Philippines, but went to the USA for 10 years after marrying Bob in 1990. Bob & Feyma moved to the Philippines to live permanently in 2000.

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  1. Gary Wigle says

    Yep! Davao City has good taxis…..and some really bad ones! The Mabuhay seems to be nice. Have yet to see the black ones. Meriam and I have had taxis break down, just plain stop running! Some have had so many missing parts that I was happy to even have a soft seat to sit on. No joke they were that bad. 😛

    I have been on some very nice taxis too. Look brand new, ride brand new! TV’s? Yep but it was all ads for the taxi company. Yuk. I refuse to ride in the SUV taxis. I did one time and it rode so hard that my back hurt for days after the ride.

    What I really like is the skill of the drivers. Wow are they good. Well at least 99% of them are. Some just drive and others talk and talk. FUN!

    Worst taxi drivers? In CDO, had a driver stop too fast in front of big truck. Yep the truck hit us. It sure was fun to watch those two drivers yell at each other. 😀

    One thing about Tagum City. No taxis, no Jeepney’s! Just little green tricycles that are great fun to ride. Yes, I have had them break down also! :-(

    Thanks Feyma, have a great day!!!!

    Gary in Tagum City aka Kuya Ed on Facebook

    • says

      Hi Gary Wigle aka Kuya Ed – Yep for sure nowadays…. Ha ha ha,,, same experiences you had there before when taxis were so old and junkie.

      Hey, sorry about your bad experiences with the SUV taxi. We are totally opposite on that we kind of like the SUV taxi. It’s more roomy inside. Been to CDO and tried the taxi there. I thought it was a good ride there. But its been ages since we were there. You might just have gotten a bad driver that day.

      When do you think Tagum will have taxi? Are people there looking forward to have some? Or are they just happy to have tricycles and jeepneys there?

      Good to see you again Kuya Ed. Have a great day too!

  2. peterjoy says

    taxis love or hate them mate but some time in ur live time u are going need off one the very first i ever come to the phil i was badly riped off it cost me $ 100 to qc lol some one had a lovely day i can tell u butit is still happneing and more but tha the fun off it all ok god bless……..peter martin tassie

    • says

      Hi peterjoy – Wow, that must be a good/great/awesome ride you had there for the price you paid.

      I bet you now, you know how much to pay them. :-)

      Have a great day mate!

  3. SergeDavao says

    in QC, Manila drivers are tough, u need to get them put the meter on before they move, 1st time arrived, i’ve got ripped off too, P800, NAIA – SM MOA, usually it would be max P250, it was night anyway,
    Feyma, someone told me they saw this black taxi yesterday in our subd. too :)

    • says

      Hi SergeDavao – Wow, you paid a lot too. But not as much as Peter though. I think Manila taxi drivers are far more aggressive or should I say know how to get big money than in the province. We have some aggressive drivers too here in the city. Mainly the drivers from the airport to downtown too. I’ve been hearing some complains from foreigners too.

      The Black taxi, its just the same as the Blue taxi inside as what my niece said.

      Thank you for stopping by here. Have a good weekend!

  4. says

    Feyma, glad to hear Davao getting better taxi’s.
    I have had some bad one’s when visiting.
    Such as; running out of gas, no wipers when it rained, water coming into the back of the taxi and I had to lift my legs up, an air con taxi that you could not see out of the window’s and drivers that wanted to get rid of you because they haven’t had their dinner yet. So they would not take you further and get down right angry.
    Yup ! I think I seen them all.

    • says

      Hi Don R. – Ha ha ha same experiences we had there before. Thank God we have good ones now. Next time you visit Davao you will enjoy it and the air-conditioning inside the taxi are good now too. Hopefully it will continue for a long time.

      Glad to see you here. Have a good day!

  5. Stephanie says

    I agree that the taxi´s look better, however, in my opinion their prices increased also. In 2000 I took a taxi from Davao airport to Tagum City, it cost me 250php. Now in 2012, the guy showed me a list, saying 600 php to Tagum! More than double the price! Not even speaking about the SUV type-VAN which had a price list of 1000, while I could make the same trip with the bus for just 50 pesos… This really frustrates me, I think I have been ripped off, or atleast I feel like that when I see the big price differences.. you guys talk about a meter.. but the last time I had the same drive with the meter, it costed me even more than the price he had eventually on the list… I heard Davao has a strict policy and people can report drivers, so I belief this should be the real price, 600 php for a simple taxi to Tagum?

    • says

      Hi Stephanie – Tell me about it. It’s way double the price. When we first move here until like 5 years ago. The taxi ride from SM to our house in Marfori a little over 50 pesos was good enough at that time back and forth. Nowadays the 50pesos will just be from SM to the mid place in Juna Subdivision. Not really that far.

      I think the quote of the driver to you now was about right 600 or 800pesos. I think you might have to pay for the gas on that. It’s so expensive to rent the taxi or van here. My niece and my son if they go to Tagum for delivery for our business they will just ride the bus. Way cheaper.

      I remember a friend rented a van to Tagum and it cost him like 2500. That was like 3 years ago. Not sure how much to rent a van to Tagum nowadays.

      Good to see you here. Thank you so much for stopping by. God bless!

  6. sugar says

    Hi Ms Feyma -Is that like everywhere type taxi or airport taxi? Davao seems to have better taxis than what we have here Manila… which is old looking ugly type.. unless of course the taxi is a Toyota Vios. ^_^

  7. says

    Hi sugar – It’s really an all around taxi. I think right now Davao maybe has a better taxi from other places all over the Philippines. We have had hundreds of it with just a year. I think the new ones we have here were Toyota Vios. Not a hundred percent sure on that though.

    I would have thought Manila will put more taxi every year with the people waiting for taxi there were endless.

    Have a good weekend Sugar!

    • sanford says

      I live here in Bacolod and I must say that some taxis are pretty old and beat up. It bothers me too if the older taxis don’t have smog check so one can get dizzy in a bad vehicle. I am thankful of the taxis here because they start at P 40.00 and are pretty honest about turning the meter on 99% of the time. Not like Manila taxis! Five blocks and paid P100. Aweful !

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