Public Transport In The Philippines
Going on a holiday in the Philippines is probably one of the best vacation decisions you can ever make. The country is chockfull of hidden getaways, surprising sights, exotic food, quaint customs, and interesting festivals that make for a truly unforgettable experience.
Unless you intend to go around in a guided tour bus, you will certainly find yourself dealing with different types of public transportation vehicles as you hop from place to place.
Some travellers find it necessary to travel by means of public transport because they can’t afford to pay for the exorbitant hotel rent-a-car rates.
Either way, travelling like a local can really give you a different experience than if you spent your whole stay inside an air-conditioned vehicle.
Check out the most common means of transportation across the Philippines and see whether you’d like to ride in all or some of them:
Riding a Jeep means sitting pressed close against ten or more other passengers on a seat and facing about the same number of people on the other seat.
Some Jeepneys feature a narrow bench for additional seating capacity. You can also hang out by the handrails or sit on top of the roof if you don’t want to feel too cramped. You can read more about the iconic Jeepney Here.
Our buses come in two types: air-conditioned and ordinary. You get the drift. The same bizarre approach to seating capacity taken by jeepney drivers applies to bus drivers as well, so you’re likely to stand along the aisle wedged tight against a good number of your co-passengers, some standing right up against the pneumatic doors.
MRT, LRT, and PNR
There are only two train lines that run in the Philippines. The first type includes the Metro Railway Transit and the Light Railway Transit (Phases 1 and 2), which crisscross Metro Manila to provide a cheap alternative to land travel for office workers and students.
The second line or the Philippine National Railway runs from Manila all the way to the Bicol peninsula in Southern Luzon, which serves as a substitute for going to the provinces by bus.
When you weld a steel carriage to a motorcycle and add an additional wheel for support, you get a tricycle. This is one of the noisiest vehicles you will ever hear in the country. The addition of a small wood plank will radically increase a tricycle’s seating capacity.
This is the Philippines’ answer to the rickshaw operated in other Asian countries.
Instead of a hand-drawn buggy, we just attach a carriage made of light steel and plastic canvas to a bicycle to make for breezier travel.
Motor-powered or manual, a banca can safely ferry you from island to island even in rough weather. The country’s geography has bred some very talented boatmen who won’t bat an eyelash against roaring waves and overflowing riverbanks.
The habal-habal is the tricycle sans the steel carriage. You got that right—you get around perched on someone else’s motorcycle. This is an especially useful transportation option when you’re rearing to cross mountains, because the habal-habal drivers are experts at negotiating tricky paths and cliffside trails.