If agile walking does not sound appealing to you, here are some different ways to get around
This neat form of transportation was one of the first things I noticed when I arrived. There are a plethora of them in every neighborhood, and are often times full (with some daring riders even standing on the back). They reminded me of shuttles and are a popular and inexpensive way to get around town. They fit around 10 people and can be hailed down like a taxi. The coolest thing about the Jeepney is the individuality each one of them has. They all have a name which is clearly labeled on the front and sides.
This Jeepney is named Revelation:
They are very colorful and often times have lots of chrome and logos. Riding them can be a little frightening at high speeds, as the back is completely open. Rest assured though, there are handles to hold onto.
The inside of the Jeepney:
Tricycles are faster than walking, but overall remain a slow form of transportation. These man-powered vehicles are an effective way to travel down small streets. The driver peddles on the left while passengers relax on the right in the shaded sidecar. The sidecar is designed for 2 passengers to ride at a time, anything over that is stretching the roominess.
3. Motorcycle Taxis
A convenient and faster alternative to tricycles are motorcycle taxis. They are very similar, with room for two passengers in the sidecar and space for one adventurous rider who wishes to sit behind the driver holding on for dear life. These could also be hailed down randomly in the street if vacant. Since the motorcycle taxis are quick, they ride on major streets along with all of the other vehicles on the road. The one downside to this is the smog build up. It pays to cover your mouth and nose while riding, and I noticed that some locals wore masks over their mouth to help protect against the smog.
4. Sky Train
The sky train is often the quickest way around Manila, especially when traveling from one neighborhood to another. They are fast, clean, safe and easy to navigate. Depending on your destination you will sometimes need to take a quick taxi ride to and from the sky train station. When on the train you can clearly see all of the time you are saving, as the train shoots past the crawling vehicles on the traffic filled expressway beneath.
Taxi's are everywhere and easy to flag down. The problem is that Manila's traffic is so bad that often times taxis seem unbearably slow. Nevertheless they are an essential way to get to certain places, and are inexpensive when compared to prices in the states. Manila cabbies are often cowboy drivers, so be prepared for a wild ride with sudden stops.
It's nice to have have options when traveling around Manila. No matter what your time restraint or location is there is always a way to get around town. When traveling to nearby cities such as Batangas (about a 2 hour ride) express buses are the best way to travel. When traveling to other islands such as Romblon, long boat rides are usually the most direct way to travel. But when trying to navigate around Manila, there are plenty of choices to choose from.
So I ask the question to all of you, what is your preferred way to travel around your own city?