Now that I’m back in Manila, this time I didn’t want to be a baby. I didn’t tell anyone that I’ll be coming back(I didn’t even know I’ll come back that soon too!), so no one picked me up at the airport. I am totally up for what I have learned being a backpacker, Independence. Although I saw an old friend at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok and it was cool that we were about to board the same flight back to Manila. It didn’t affect my independence, my seat was 16F and his was 28A or something(I’m not sure about the letter), I told him he can go ahead when we arrived Manila because I have to withdraw pesos from the ATM.
Taxi is the safest way to go, BUT…
Arriving from Terminal 3 there are different options to go to where you are headed in Manila, you can take a jeepney which is Php8 to the LRT Station(which connects to most places in Metro Manila, there are LRT 1, 2, 3 and MRT). LRT is another option to get around Manila with fares ranging from Php12-20/ride depending on the distance of your destination.
In my case, it was past midnight when I arrived and finished doing the necessary stuff…lol (small talk with my old friend before we separate, luggage pick up at the carousel, toilet break, and ATM).
CONTRACTUAL TAXI (UNRECOMMENDED)
I went out the airport and a guy approached me asking “Taxi po Ma’m?”, I asked how much is it to…? (mentioning where I live). He said, “Php 900” ($19.50). What?! and so I thought, it is so expensive! Unbelievable! It is just around Php200 to where I live for a normal taxi (which you will seldom find at the airport!), I went back at the gates and asked the airport security if there are other taxis around aside from these people who were trying to deal with a fixed rate. He pointed me where they were.
COUPON TAXI (UNRECOMMENDED)
It was at the very right side, at the end of the airport sidewalk were two taxi bays. The first one you will see is the COUPON TAXI, which operates by a fixed rate. I asked the reception guy how much it is to our place and he said “Php600″($13). I’m still shocked how expensive it is. I asked one guy that works at the airport(I saw his ID) what taxi company is cheaper and he pointed me to the other.
I left the line at the Coupon Taxi probing the guy that works at the airport that I only have little in my pocket, so I really have to make sure that they are cheaper(Yellow Taxi). I am always intimidated with the Yellow Taxi for some reason, I always thought they were dearer than other taxis, but he seemed like he’s telling the truth, and I went to the Yellow Taxi bay.
I read the signs saying they are using taxi meter and that the flag down is Php70($1.50), the normal taxi flag down is Php40 (less than a dollar). I felt safe, because I know using a normal metered taxi my taxi expense would just be around Php200($4), with just a little on top of the normal flag down it is not bad. The taxi driver was really friendly and cheerful, making sure I had no dull time in his taxi.
They gave me a receipt too, with the written plate number of the taxi I took. The receptionist told me to keep the receipt just in case I left something in the taxi, I could recover it at their office. Isn’t that great? Nice service hey? Yes, indeed.
The meter rate up to where I live was Php278 which was way better than all the taxi rates available at the airport. I did not take the change as his tip because I find myself lucky to have saved myself from being scammed in my own country, but I would not like others specially tourists to be scammed if there are ways to avoid it.
TIP: Do not hesitate to ask.
Why I am writing this? There will be a lot of tourists coming over soon and this is one thing they should know to keep them coming.
UPDATE: The last time I hired their taxi, I asked the lady who’s giving out the ticket if the rumor online is true, that their taxi drivers do not switch on their meter saying they have centralized meter that will appear on the meter once they reached the destination. She said to ask the driver to switch it on to be sure. The driver on the taxi I went with switched it on but after reaching the destination and handed him 140 pesos tip, he was still disappointed with an attitude. I think different drivers have different attitudes so just please beware and be smart.