How To Travel Cheap in the Philippines

mary jane grueso By mary jane grueso, 6th Oct 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/holmcl09/
Posted in Wikinut>Money>Travel & Transport

Travelling in the Philiipines unlike either places in the world is pretty comfortable and easy. Owning a car is not a necessity because public transportation is available wherever you wish to go.

The Jeepney

The jeepney is a classic example of Filipino ingenuity. Its use started when jeeps left by the American military in the Philippines after the world war started replacing the classic calesa which used to carry Filipinos point to point. The advantage of the jeepney was that it could carry more people, faster and in longer distances. Unlike the calesa which can only carry a specific number of people not to mention the fact that the burden of carrying the weight was literally on the shoulder of sometimes malnourished donkeys or horses.

In Manila, the capital of the Philippines, almost all major roads are crisscrossed by the colorful jeepneys traversing specific routes which oftentimes crosses other major roads where you can take connecting jeepneys to the area where you need to go. Directions and length of travel in the Philippines is never mentioned by kilometers nor hours of driving, rather by the name tags of jeepney routes that need to be taken and the numbers of jeepneys it would take the desired location respectively.

Taking the jeepneys in the city is fast and easy. The only thing to contend to would be the traffic during rush hours. Minimum fair is at P7.50 which increases by P1.00 for every kilometer after the minimum first four kilometers.

Taking the jeepneys in provinces is a different matter. There is no traffic to contend to but most of the time you will have to wait hours until the jeepney is filled up sometimes upto the roofs before they would start moving to your destination. Taking jeepneys in far flung provinces of the Philippine is a whole different experience. And sometimes they cost more because trips are farther in between.

Most jeepney drivers could also serve as your tour guide. Just ask them to drop you off at the place where you need to go. Most drivers will remember your request but there are those who will forget so just remind them from time to time.

The Tricycle

For weird reasons or perhaps the heat, Filipinos seem too adverse to walking. So if ever you are wondering what those colorful three-wheeled little rides are that Filipinos usually ride to take them on short rides, they are what we call tricycles.

The tricycles are motobikes which have been fitted with a body which can carry 2 to 3 sometimes even 6 passengers aside from the one behind the driver. This bodies are sometimes made of iron and most recently srainless steel. It would usually have a cushioned seat which seats two people and a small metal side seat which I used to think was only for kids but now seats huge adults as well. It could get really uncomfortable sometimes. Some of these fitted bodies would sometimes have 2 identical faces, one facing the front and the other facing the back.

The standard rate for tricycles is a nebulous area of knowledge. It is not relevant to distance rather depends on whatever ongoing rate the tricycle association for a particular area have agreed on. Some tricycle drivers would even negotiate if you need to go to a place which are a bit farther or are not in their usual route or if simply you do not wish to be squeezed in with the rest of the regular passengers.

Tricycles like jeepneys are also colorful. And if you wish to gain some snippets of knowledg about life, try reading the grafittis that the owners would usually paint or hang as decorations.

The Pedicab

The pedicabs are a whole new breed of transportation in themselves. You guessed it, they are like tricycles but they are powered by their drivers' feet. These are the Filipinos way of addressing the need for environment friendly transportation.

The pedicabs are bicycles which like the tricycle have been fitted with a body welded into it, sometimes made with cast iron and fitted with cushioned, sometimes wooden seat. The most it could seat is usually 2 people max. Most Filipinos only ride them within very short distances.

In a province in Bicol, you may find pedicabs which are powered by engines used in motorboats. They would usually have no roof, so if ever there is any sign of rain it is best to bring an umbrella, just in case.

The pedicabs are not as colorful as the tricycle nor the jeepney, but it serves its own specific purpose. They are generally cheaper than a tricycle but takes longer depending on whose driving you. Pedicab rates are also different per location but most of the time they would have a fixed rate for each determined route.

Tags

Commuting, Philippines, Public Transportation, Travel

Meet the author

author avatar mary jane grueso
Jack of all trades, master of none. Therefore trying to conglomerate those snippets of knowledge by writing about them.

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Comments

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23rd Jan 2012 (#)

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9th Feb 2012 (#)

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9th Mar 2012 (#)

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