How are you? Thinking about travelling to the Philippines? Oh, you should, take that busy schedule of yours and push everything aside and squeeze the Philippines in there, somewhere. All packed and ready? Miss Hoggy really wants you to have a great time in the Philippines, without getting ripped off by taxi drivers, or mugged though.
If you don’t want to get ripped off by taxi drivers, ask for meter, EVERYTIME. They are more than likely trying to talk their way out of it. But insist on meter. No CONTRACT. No P300 to get to Makati. I say, NO NO NO. Like a little girl on tantrum, just stamp your foot and demand meter.
But if you don’t want to get on this expensive transportation, do what the locals do- get on the jeepney.
Everyone, this is jeepney. Jeepney, this is everyone. Now let Mr. Jeepney teach everyone, how to ride a jeepney.
- Find a jeepney with the route that you want.
- Sit down, don’t worry about being cozy with your neighbours, just GUARD your bags.
- Ask how much (in English is fine) how much is it to go to ____.
- Pass your money down the row, if you’re sitting at the back and say “Bayad, to____”. Don’t worry, the money will reach the driver.
- If you’re right behind the driver, you might want to pass the money to the local next to you, so you don’t say the wrong thing and do the wrong thing.
And if you’re anywhere in Manila, GUARD your bag with your life, especially on the MRT and in downtown Manila. They can smell foreigners, even if you’re an Asian other than Filipino, from miles away. Just GUARD your bag with your life.
And as American as they are Filipino, you might hear taxi drivers ask for tips. And your tour guide would too. P20-P50 should suffice. If they ask for more, they are just ripping you off. I’m serious. And if they say ‘Australians (or Americans) are so nice, they always give good tips’, they are playing you. P20 is more than enough.
Oh, be sure to save P550 in cash to leave Manila Airport. It’s called a departure fee and they don’t accept card. Sneaky, sneaky.
Anyhow, have a safe trip in the Philippines, oh and a great time. I’m serious, have a great time.