Manila is the busiest, richest and most developed city in the Philippines. Manila, the capital city, never sleeps and is never quiet… literally.
Jeepneys and buses honk by the minute and music from bars, malls and jeepneys is always on maximum and infinite playback. While its streets are not the safest, cleanest, or most modern in Asia, the Manila experience is one-of-a-kind, primarily for the warmth of the people and variety of activities available. Manila is the place to go for entertainment, education, politics, sports, tourism, nature trips, shopping, or simply meeting new friends. Getting to Manila from anywhere in the country and outside is not a hard thing to figure out.
All roads lead to Manila. The most common form of transport is the jeepney. It is that overly decorated open-taxi modeled after the American military jeep, only longer so that it can carry more passengers. As of 2011, jeepney fare was posted as Php8.00 for the first four kilometers. Pay an additional peso or fifty centavos depending on how many additional kilometers you have traveled and the rates set by the driver.
There is one jeepney route from each of the neighboring cities that goes to Quiapo, the heart of Manila City. So whether you are coming from Pasig City, Malate, Makati, Caloocan or Quezon City, Quiapo in Manila is just one jeepney ride away. This is why traffic in Quiapo is always congested, especially on Fridays during the regular novena at the Quiapo Church.
For a faster way to get to Manila, take either the Light Rail Transit (LRT) when coming in from Caloocan City, the Metrorail Transit (MRT) when from Quezon City, Pasig or Makati, or the LRT 2 when from Antipolo, Cubao or Santa Mesa. The trains are less expensive and far faster than when on a bus or jeepney, so they are definitely the option for speed-conscious tourists.
Coming from further away, Manila is just one bus ride’s distance. Buses from the southern provinces of Cavite, Laguna and Batangas park at the central bus station located behind the Manila Metropolitan Theater near Quiapo Church.
Thus far we have been talking about land transport. When traveling from far-away Philippine cities and provinces as Baguio, Cebu or Davao, however, getting to Manila is best done by air or by sea.
There are now three major airlines that fly people to Manila from all the major cities around the country. They are Philippine Airlines (PAL), Cebu Pacific (Cebu Pac) and Air Philippines, which is also owned by PAL.
PAL Express and Zest Airlines fly to the smaller provinces such as Masbate, Baguio and Caticlan. The international and domestic airports are located in Pasay City, just a bus or jeepney ride away from the borders of Manila City through Roxas Boulevard. As for travel by sea, there are now modern and high-tech cruise ships that travel to Manila from all the provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao. The piers are all located at the Port Area in Manila.
Getting to Manila by land, air or sea and from all over the country and around the world is not a problem at all. Modern infrastructure and transportation are making it very easy for people to visit and enjoy this amazing city.