Once you are in the Philippines, do you think you will own a car? Most ex-pats here elect not to have a car, instead they rely on available local transportation. In my case, I choose to have a vehicle, because I like to travel around a lot, and not just in town. I go out of town almost weekly exploring the area, visiting new places, etc.
If you choose not to have a vehicle, though, there are still plenty of ways that you can get around! Let’s look at a few!
For short local trips around your immediate area, you can ride a tricycle, which is a motorcycle with a sidecar. The cost is very inexpensive to ride a tricycle. Expect to pay under P10 to ride almost anywhere you want to go in your immediate area. If you are a foreigner like most readers of this blog, you might pay a little extra, especially if you are big like me! In small towns, the tricycle will be the main method of transportation and will take you all over town! In bigger cities, like where I live, the tricycles can only travel on side streets and in residential areas.
For a cheap way to get all over town, or even go to neighboring towns and cities, the Jeepney is a staple in Philippine Travel! A trip on a jeepney varies in price depending on where you are going, but it is usually P7.50 and up. The P7.50 will take you a certain distance on the route, and there will be additional charges depending on how far you travel. It’s a cheap way to get around, you can bet on that. Jeepneys hold a lot of passengers. If you get out in a rural area, it’s not unusual to see people piled up, sitting on the roof, hood and anywhere that they can get a place! Around town, people just sit on the benches in the back of the jeepney, as there are always a lot more jeepneys on their way to pick up more passengers. I’ve ridden jeepneys a few times, and it’s kind of fun for a change.
The old stand by, most popular for most foreigners is to ride in a taxi. Most larger towns and cities have taxi service. Small towns probably will not have taxis though. Taxis are inexpensive too. Flag down rate is P30 with additional charges for additional distances. For the most part in places around the Philippines you can ride almost anywhere in town for less than $1 (P45) to $2 (P90). In Manila, it is a huge city, and traffic is very congested, so expect your fare to be higher.
Of course, if you don’t like any of these forms of transportation, you can always follow the local custom!