A Foreigner’s Guide to Plying the Streets of Manila

Manila Cars StreetIf your travels bring you to Manila, you might be in for a bit of a surprise. The city’s streets take a bit of getting used to, and drivers can be a bit aggressive. You can always ride a cab, use a ride-sharing app, or take public transport.

However, if you’re in Manila for business or you plan to stay for a while — renting a car from RentCarManila.com is probably the best option. If you opt for public transport, it can be a bit daunting for the unprepared.

Public transport consists of three major railways, buses, jeepneys and tricycles. Railways can get a bit crowded at rush hour, so make sure you plan your trips accordingly.

Names Count

As a foreigner, you might get confused on how Filipinos use Manila. It could mean the actual capital or Metro Manila as a whole. The business districts of Makati City and Quezon City still count as being part of the “greater” Manila area.

A lot of places streets also have the same names, so it’s best to be sure before setting off. You wouldn’t want an appointment in Dasmariñas, in the business district of Makati, only to get sidetracked by going to Dasmariñas, the far-flung province of Cavite.

Finally, use a GPS, as street names have constantly been changing. Asking directions may sometimes fail, as even locals get confused by the constant name changes — often referring to some streets by their previous names.

The streets of Metro Manila are home to aggressive drivers, buses that change lanes on a whim, and bikers with very little regard for their own safety. It’s essential to keep a calm mind — and maybe avoid the rush hours.

If you are in Manila for business, keep in mind the traffic when making your appointments — although Filipinos are very forgiving when it comes to punctuality and traffic.