6 Dec 2014

How to Commute to Laguna's Tourist Spots

  • 6 Dec 2014
  • Lagalag

  • This commute guide will give you commute directions to some of major destinations and spots of Laguna. As we all know, the province of Laguna is blessed with a lot of wonders, among them are the seven lakes that bestowed the city of San Pablo its title of "City of the 7 Lakes." That said, these lakes are not in the same state of cleanliness and once you arrive to a polluted and filthy one, your travel optimism might crash. So, we've...

    The beauty of Pandin Lake

    ...only selected 3 lakes for the awesomeness of the two with 6-star given to the first while the superb artificial landscaping and its proximity to the city proper are the reasons why the third lake is picked. Another thing to consider is the diversity needed to make your hopping from one spot to another more pleasurable and diverting.

    And so, using this guide, you'll find yourself within different dimensions and themes as you arrive to each destination. Talk about posing against various backgrounds for your photos. Now you wouldn't want to be photographed with only the lake as backgrounds of all your photos, right? So, below are eight destinations in Laguna that you might covered in one day.

    Big Monument or Giant Statue of Tilapia in Sampaloc Lake San Pablo Laguna

    This Laguna Trip Guide shows you...

    how to go to Pila Heritage Town from Manila
    how to go to San Pablo Cathedral from Pila
    how to go to Pandin Lake from the cathedral
    how to go to Pandin Lake direct from Manila
    how to go to Yambo Lake
    how to go to the Underground Cemetery of Nagcarlan
    how to go to the red brick church of Liliw
    how to go to the famous shoe center of Liliw

    Procession at Pila Heritage Town that starts in Saint Anthony de Padua church


    The best time to get to our first destination is early morning, so that you can arrive to the highlight of this travel as early as possible as well. It's not that enjoyable to be at the most picturesque lake during lunch time. Though you can find pleasure having lunch in a bamboo raft, except the lunch is expensive. Arriving early, there will be enough window if you decide to go bamboo-rafting, that is if the price is in your budget.

    So, I suggest to arrive at the bus terminal in Manila before sunrise and please pick a day with less traffic. If this is your first time to explore Laguna's attractions, given after the eight destination near bottom of this article is direction on how to get back to Manila from the last destination of this Laguna Trip Guide.

    First Destination - Pila Heritage Town

    Old church of Saint Anthony de Padua at Pila Heritage Site
    A version of Taal Heritage Town in a smaller scale. The usual Spanish inspired houses lined up the national road that bounded the town plaza along which on the other side Pila church, the Diocesan Shrine of Saint Anthony of Padua, stands opposite the masterfully designed municipal building. You'll find this spot a cool place for your travel to kick off. Now go get some photos. Quick and we're ready for our next destination.

    How to Get to Pila Heritage Site

    From any terminal of provincial buses headed to southern Tagalog, take a bus bound for Sta Cruz. The fare is Php 125. Ask the driver or conductor if they will pass through inside Pila town. Most buses don't get inside. However, because they don't want to lose a passenger, they will be obliged. But you must inform them that your destination is within Pila as soon as you hop in. Just mention "Simbahan ng Pila" or "Plaza" as your specific spot to get off the bus there.

    Row of Spanish houses along national road of Pila Heritage Town

    You can have your fast breakfast at the restaurant that although looks classy still serves food at low price. It is opposite 7-11 store and occupied the ground floor of one of the heritage houses in the town plaza.

    Second Destination - San Pablo Cathedral

    San Pablo Cathedral
    This is where you get off the jeepney from Pila. San Pablo Cathedral (St Paul the First Hermit Cathedral) is located opposite Rizal shrine at the plaza area of San Pablo City which is teeming with commerce. This is the city proper area and your favorite fast food chains in Manila have big branches here.

    How to Get to San Pablo City from Pila

    Wait for a jeepney with "San Pablo" sign at the opposite lane of where you alighted from the bus you've ridden from Manila. The direction of jeepney is toward Manila and it will just take a fork somewhere along the highway.

    Third Destination - Pandin Lake

    Lake Pandin
    The sight to behold! This is the highlight of your one-day adventure. Your entrance is dramatically imbued with the nature's beauty in an epic scale. I don't know but I was really awe-struck upon reaching the top of the uphill unpaved road that led to this spot from the highway, suddenly greeted by this hidden gem as if a wizard cast a spell to rid me off the tiredness, and after waving a wand the barren land and thick woods are replaced by the spectacular beauty of the most revered lake of San Pablo.

    Bamboo rafting in Lake Pandin is cheaper if you are in a group
    Maybe because of the bad weather then, with the downpour not showing of letting up. Alone, with my shoes full of mud and the small umbrella barely protecting me from the strong rain, I traversed the muddy winding road that at times goes steep. I've also experienced getting the wrong way as not far from the highway the road splits and I had chosen the wide one but it was dead-end. So I had to comeback and enter the narrow trail on the left hand side of the unpaved roadway which became so muddy. And then there's a crossroad up ahead. But I just went straight up.

    a bamboo raft is leaving from the bank of Lake Pandin
    It's good that the rain finally stopped as I reached the top of the road and that's when all the doubts and fears gone, upon seeing that immaculate beauty of nature. From the tip of that road, the path to the lake is another steep slope. So, you can imagine at that height, the vantage view is so amazingly great. Guest what? Right there and then, I took the photos and enjoy the view before going downhill to the lake bank where lots of good things are happening, with the bamboo rafts, the locals, the guides, the vendors, those kinds of stuffs.

    a bamboo raft has left for a tour of Lake Pandin
    Before long, I could hear travelers in groups arriving one after another. And the first words uttered from their mouth were all the same, upon seeing the view: "Wow!", I even heard "Sulit!" and "Ang gandaaaa!"

    Note: I've posted photos of the trail you need to take from the highway to Pandin Lake. They are towards the end of this article, next to How to Return to Manila from San Pablo City Plaza and How to go to Lake Pandin from Metro Manila

    How to Get to Pandin Lake from San Pablo City Proper

    the beautiful view of Pandin Lake
    If you're facing San Pablo Cathedral, there's a 7-11 Convenience Store at the right hand side of the church. At the corner of 7-11 is a terminal of jeepneys with "Ilog" sign. Take that jeepney and ask the driver to drop you off at "Sambat". Tell him that you're going to Pandin Lake. The jeepney's route ends exactly there. The fare is 15 pesos. You need to walk further along the highway until you see the sign that reads "Yambo Lake" and that's your jump-off point. Here's the good news. A lot of kids are waiting for tourists and they offer themselves as guides. So, even if the signs are gone, the kids are there. I didn't take the offer because I wanted to challenge myself in exploring the route which for me was uncharted. For me it was fun, or was it? The truth is traveling alone as an adult I am not comfortable with the idea of having a 7 year old as guide. If I was in a group, that's different. And if you're in a group, you might as well accepted the kids' offer as the amount you're going to give will help them a lot. Take that path and once you see the road splits, still near the highway, take the trail on the left. Follow the trail which initially passes through a small barangay where houses are scarce. It snakes its way through the woods and jungle, passing some bunchgrass areas where the soil could easily become muddy. You will encounter a crossroad before the road goes a bit more uphill where some sort of unfinished galvanized and concrete fencing on both sides are built. Reach the top and you'll find yourself a surprise.

    the most beautiful picture of Lake Pandin

    How to Get to Yambo Lake

    As your fourth destination, Yambo Lake is just next to Pandin Lake. Just walk further from Pandin. I never went there as I was petrified by the beauty of Pandin until it's time for me to return to the highway for lunch. Don't ask me the price of food in Pandin as it was hilarious, for solo traveler, that is. Planning to go bamboo rafting and eating in Pandin Lake in budget? Here's a tip: Go in a group, the more the cheaper.

    Fifth Destination - Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery

    the facade of Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery
    Just fresh from your adventure in the beauty of Pandin and Yambo Lakes and the strenuous hike needed to reach them, it's time for a chilling experience - below the ground, and it's a cemetery, an over one and a half century old cemetery. But above it, you'll find yourself entering a different era. You'll be walking from the gate that depicts Spanish time architecture and in front of you is the actual church built in 1800s. Well, the underground cemetery was built in 1845 by a Franciscan Friar named Vicente Velloc.

    tombs inside the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery
    So, the church which is actually a size of a chapel might had been bit later. Sorry, as I am not good in memorizing. But hey, the whole territory - from the gate, to walls that enclosed the inner frontage, to the church itself, it is something that will make you think of Spanish colonialism in a far-flung part of the Philippines. And actually viewing those crypts first hand and underground, with dates of deaths as old as 1886, wouldn't that be not enough for a different spice of your travel adventure?

    How to Get to Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery

    crypts of underground cemetery of Nagcarlan
    As soon as you return to the highway from the lakes, cross the road and wait for a jeepney bound for "Nagcarlan". From San Pablo City, the terminal is on the left hand side of San Pablo Cathedral when you're facing the church. It is just alongside the Fire Brigade building of San Pablo City. The fare from San Pablo City to the Underground Cemetery is 25 pesos. The driver will drop you off there if you ask him the favor.

    Sixth & Seventh Destinations - The red brick Church and Liliw's Shoe center

    the popular street of Liliw where row of shoe stores lined up the opposite road
    As soon as the jeepney turns right and enter the one-way town street of Liliw lined up with newly built stores of shoes on both sides, you will wonder, "some stores look like boutiques." Don't get off yet and wait until you reach the top of the uphill town's main street where Saint John the Baptist church is located. The jeepney turns left to take the paralleled road back to San Pablo City. You can go window-shop after your church visit. You will be amazed at different arrays of footwear, handmade shoes, and giant displays of sandals. Going to the church first, you don't get exhausted as you will be in the downhill direction later. And the jeepney back to San Pablo City is waiting at the bottom end of the street. You must see this church for its uniqueness and the landscape and view of the expanse of the pastoral landscape of Laguna.

    How to Get To Liliw from Nagcarlan or San Pablo City

    Liliw red brick Saint John the Baptist Church Laguna
    Actually, the Nagcarlan bound jeepneys are headed to Liliw. Though the prominent sign of the jeepney is "Nagcarlan" there's a secondary sign that reads "Liliw." So, from San Pablo, follow the direction to the terminal. And from Underground Cemetery, cross the road in front of the gate and wait for the same jeepney. The fare is minimum from the Underground Cemetery. Soon, you will have known that you've already arrived in Liliw Shoe street. That's the paradox there. Liliw is so small and Nagcarlan is larger.

    modernized and Contemporary buildings in Liliw Laguna occupied by stores that sold shoes and sandals at low prices making Liliw the shoe capital of Laguna
    But the shoe commercial area looks contemporary and modernized that they're seemed to be in a city. And I don't think you can find those stylish facades of shoe stores in Marikina City today. You will be enticed to enter each store. So, if your weakness is buying shoes and sandals, make sure you bring extra cash as they are cheap, based on what I heard. I never actually asked as I was busy with the design and architecture of the buildings along the street. I wonder, maybe its the shoes that make them so classy. Or maybe because before getting to see them, I've been to road that all I saw was the opposite.

    Eight Destination - Sampaloc Lake

    Back in the city proper, your last destination, Sampaloc Lake is so near. Just hail a trike and for 20 pesos for a single person, you'll be there in minutes. Just asked the driver for you to be taken to "Taas" where you get to see the blending of baluster landscaping and the lake as well as the mountains below it with the concrete stairs that connects it to the lake bank below. Another road which I presume called "Baba" area also runs along the entire stretch of the lake side. The beautiful landscaping is capped by a promenade below it and built above the water.

    With the giant tilapia statue as the centerpiece, it's a landscape design like no other. The big tilapia monument of Sampaloc Lake would surely catch your attention. It's best to place this attraction last on the list. And the best time to come here is when the day is about to end because you can spend time sitting in a promenade bench looking out to the lake. And you don't have to hurry and worry about being in the wilderness at dusk. Your hotel is near and you can get late checking in. There are also food establishments and cheap food stalls around the area. When its time to go, you can go check out the nightlife along Rizal Ave though I've noticed what I thought to be a bar & restaurant by the lake itself.

    How to Return to Manila from San Pablo City Plaza

    In front of Jollibee, wait for a jeepney with "SM" wording along with other signage but avoid "SM Calamba" as it will take you to Calamba Laguna. All buses bound for Manila, e.g., "Cubao", "Buendia", "Pasay", pass by the frontage of SM City San Pablo. Do not cross the highway. Right on the spot where you get off the jeepney from the plaza, wait for the bus to Manila.

    How to go to Pandin Lake from Metro Manila

    If you want to get to Lake Pandin straight from Manila, take a bus bound for "San Pablo City" and get off at SM City San Pablo. Right on the lane where you get off, opposite SM is the spot where a jeepney will park and a barker will call out its destination which is "San Pablo" (proper) or "Plaza". Ride this jeepney, get off at city plaza and follow direction to the terminal of jeepney headed to the lake vicinity that I've already given, under third destination - Pandin. You don't need to wait for a jeepney to arrive at SM, you can ride one that passes by, with "San Pablo" sign, of course.

    The Trail to Lake Pandin

    On the way back to the highway and the sky had already cleared, I took photos of the trail. Here they are, arranged in the order from the jump-off point along the highway to the tip of the trail which once reached, a roller-coaster like decent will suddenly appear and the picture-perfect Lake Pandin comes into full view.

    Jump-off Point to Pandin Lake

    The trail to Pandin Lake

    Pandin Lake jumping-off point

    How to get to Pandin Lake

    Guide on how to to to Pandin Lake

    Looking from the distance below as you climb, the peak of the trail is unassuming. But once you get there, you will be stunned at what you'll see.

    27 Sep 2014

    Comet E-Jeepney Routes and Faring System

  • 27 Sep 2014
  • Lagalag

  • Just today I have learned that Commet E-Jeepney is operational already in Quezon City. So I created this post so that commuters will be guided in riding Comet jeepneys.

    What are the routes served by Comet E-Jeepney?

    As the e-jeepney is relatively new, the only available route now is in Quezon City which is from SM City North EDSA to Katipunan LRT-2 Station and vice versa. As they open new routes in the future, I will update this post so that other commuters from different areas of Metro Manila will also experience riding this amazing public transport which was introduced to the public by no other than US President Barack Obama in July.

    How to ride a comet e-jeepney?

    Here's the faring system of the comet jeepney. Say goodbye to loose coins and the hassles of not receiving a full change from traditional jeepney drivers. To ride a comet jeepney, you must first buy a reloadable GET pass card. Tap the card on a marked portion of the passengers' door, then ride. For the locations of where to buy GET cards, you can ask drivers once they stop at loading areas.

    Why would I ride a comet?

    Environment friendly because they don'r emit fumes, fast as their speed is 60 km per hour, and fan for its free wifi and television on-board. And the best part is the e-jeepney has camera installed at other end of the jeepney aimed at the door. The cameras take photos of each passengers getting on board and then transmit all photos taken to the command center. Now that's a one step forward for passenger safety, right?

    Operating hours of Comet E-Jeepneys

    Commets served passengers from 5am to 9pm.

    How Comet E-Jeepneys are managed to serve the riding public?

    All comets are being monitored by the command center for any problem, be it technical or human related, that might occurred while on the road. The command center has GPS tracking device that ensures all units are monitored wherever they are on their respective routes.

    For our introductory post about COMET E-Jeepney, please go to Comet E-Jeepney Is The New King Of Philippine Roads


    22 Jun 2014

    Philippine Arena Commuters Guide

  • 22 Jun 2014
  • Lagalag

  • This directional guide will tell you how to go to Philippine Arena from different locations of Metro Manila as well as other nearby provinces. Philippine Sports Stadium is located adjacent to the humongous dome. Going to the exact location of Philippine arena by public transportation, e.g., bus, jeepney, and even in part by MRT/LRT trains is a breeze. Returning to Manila - also written.

    Where is Philippine Arena located

    The largest indoor arena in the world is located at 75 hectare land owned by Iglesia ni Cristo at Bocaue, Bulacan. Specifically referred to as Ciudad de Victoria, the massive territory in which the world's largest dome arena majestically stands is bordered by NLEX itself. That said, you will have no trouble in going to the exact location of Philippine Arena as the giant iconic building is very visible from the distance. And as the bus or jeepney from Manila you're riding in passes by this architectural and engineering marble, you would think that you could literally walk right from the edge of NLEX straight to the gigantic dome and get there quickly. Well, if you can get off the vehicle on that spot, that is.

    How to Commute to Philippine Arena from Different parts of Metro Manila

    First, go to any terminals of jeepney or bus headed to its location. Or along EDSA, go to the loading zone and ride the bus headed to its location.

    Second, alight at "Barangay Turo" or you can simply say to driver or bus conductor as "Turo" which is approximately 535 meters from NLEX ramp where the bus or jeepney bearing you and other passengers turn right after stopping at Bocaue Exit on its way to destination in Bulacan. A tall and wide metal arch is erected at the corner of the street perpendicular to the left of the main road you're taking from NLEX which is Gov F Halili Ave. Attached to the arch reads "Welcome Brgy Turo Bocaue Bulacan" and that's where you must alight.

    Third, go to the terminal or queue of tricycles that you would see not far. Take a trike and say your destination to the driver - "Philippine Arena"

    The trike takes the narrow road perpendicular to the right of Gov Halili Ave which is just a little bit past the Brgy Turo welcome arch. It will take you right to the Philippine Arena. You can view the location map of Philippine Arena at the end of this article.

    Terminals & Loading Areas one ride to Philippine Arena Vicinity

    Photo from here

    As I have already mentioned, after getting off the jeepney or bus from Manila, you still need to take a trike to set foot on the ground of Philippine Arena. So, below are three different spots in Metro Manila where you can take a one ride route to Brgy Turo from which you take a trike to Philippine Arena.

    Monumento Jeepney Terminal

    There are two terminals of jeepneys bound for Philippine Arena - via McArthur Highway and via NLEX. Forget about 'via McArthur Highway' as it takes long to get there. Take only the jeepney with route 'via NLEX' for fast commute. The terminal of jeepneys that take NLEX is located near LRT-1 Monumento Station. Exact location is Benin St corner Maximo St. The route and sign of jeepneys there is "Monumento - Sta Maria."

    How to locate the terminal

    From LRT Monumento Station, walk towards EDSA where Andres Bonifacio Monument is located. Turn right onto street before EDSA which is L Bustamante. Walk past a street perpendicular to the left and then turn left onto the next street perpendicular to the left which is Benin. Walk to the next corner on the left of Benin before EDSA, where the terminal is located.

    From Andres Bonifacio Monument aka Bantayog ni Andres Bonifacio and popularly known as Monumento, walk on the right of EDSA. Turn right onto the first corner from Andres Bonifacio Monument which is Benin. The terminal is located at the next corner of Benin St, on the right from EDSA.

    From footbridge of EDSA before Bantayog ni Andres Bonifacio (Monumento.) If you're in the northbound lane of EDSA (you have alighted from jeepney or bus from Balintawak part of EDSA), use the footbridge and cross EDSA. Walk toward Andres Bonifacio Monument and turn left onto the road before Andres Bonifacio Monument.

    Doroteo Jose Bus Terminal

    Located below LRT-1 Doroteo Jose Station, exactly beneath the footbridge that connects LRT-2 Recto Station to LRT-1 Doroteo Jose Station. The route and sign of bus to take here is "Sta Cruz - Bocaue."

    How to locate the bus terminal

    From LRT-2 Recto Station, follow directional signs to LRT Doroteo Jose Station, use the footbridge. Don't cross to the other side of LRT-1 D Jose Station. Just go down the road once you get to Doroteo Jose train station. You'll immediately see the bus terminal next to the building of LRT Doroteo Jose Station, along Doroteo Jose St and just below the footbridge.

    From a Baclaran bound LRT-1 train, go down the D Jose Station. Cross Avenida towards the opposite corner of D Jose and Avenida. Go to the back of LRT D Jose Station via D Jose St and the bus terminal is there.

    From a Roosevelt bound train, go down to Doroteo Jose St, and go to the first bus terminal below footbridge of LRT-1 and 2.

    EDSA Bus Loading Zones

    The most convenient spot to board a bus headed to the location of Philippine Arena along EDSA is at Farmers Plaza in Cubao. The bus has a lot of vacant seats there. During peak hours, it helps if you take the bus at this area. Other loading zones are located past Aurora Blvd, Trinoma, SM North EDSA, Roosevelt-Munoz and Balintawak. The sign of the bus to take is any of these: "Garden Bocaue Exit Sta Maria", "Sta Clara Bocaue Exit" and "Sta Maria Bocaue Exit."

    How to find the bus at Farmers

    Just go out of Farmers Plaza and wait along the sidewalk in front of Farmers Plaza which is shaded by Farmers Plaza building itself. The bus passes through the lane nearer to the sidewalk.

    How to go to Philippine Arena from...

    (Note: You must have read the directions above before reading routes below)

    Route #1

    From Alabang, Sucat, Bicutan, FTI via SLEX

    Option 1 - take a bus with secondary sign that reads "Cubao Ibabaw" and alight at Farmers Plaza. Then ride the bus to Brgy Turo in Bocaue.

    Option 2 (faster) - alight at MRT-3 Magallanes Station, ride train to Araneta Center Cubao Station which is connected to Farmers. Go down to the loading area and take the bus to Bgy Turo.

    Option 3 - take a jeepney with "Pasay Rotunda" sign, alight at Pasay Rotunda, ride a LRT-1 train to Roosevelt and alight at either Doroteo Jose or Monumento stations. Then go to the terminal of either bus or jeepney mentioned earlier.

    Route #2

    From NAIA Terminals

    Terminal 1 & 2 - take a NAIA shuttle and and alight at Terminal 3 then ride the shuttle headed to Pasay Rotunda in Taft.

    Terminal 3 - go to shuttle bus bay and ride the train headed to Taft/Genesis Terminal.

    Terminal 4 - jeepney along Domestic Road, alight at Airport Rd. Ride another jeepney with "Nichols MRT/LRT" sign. Alight at Pasay Rotunda.

    Take MRT-3 train to Araneta Center Cubao and ride the bus to Bocaue Bulacan mentioned earlier.

    Route #3

    From Southwest Integrated Terminal

    Option 1 - Ride city bus bound for Fairview via Espana, Lawton and UST. Alight at any point along the route with LRT-1 station. Ride a train bound for Roosevelt and follow Option 3 of Route #1. You can also take jeepney with "Sta Cruz Monumento" sign.

    Option 2 - Ride a city bus with "Cubao Ibabaw" secondary sign. Follow either Option 1 or Option 2 of Route #1.

    Route #4

    From Cavite towns and cities, i.e., Dasmarinas, Bacoor, Silang, Tagaytay, Imus, Kawit, etc as well as in Batangas City via Southwest Integrated Terminal.

    Ride a provincial bus to Southwest Integrated Terminal, then, follow directions given in Route #3.

    Note: If the terminal of bus you're riding from your provincial origin is located along EDSA such as in Kamuning, you can take the provincial bus headed to Brgy Turo. Just wait for that bus at loading area near the terminal of the bus you have ridden from Batangas or Cavite.

    Route #5

    From SM Mall of Asia and SM Arena

    There are lots of jeepneys you can take to EDSA. Look for "Malibay" bound jeepney at South Terminal which is just outside SM Store or SM Department Store. You can ride that jeepney and alight at MRT-3 Taft Station then take the train to Araneta Center Cubao Station and follow Option 2 of Route #1.

    If you prefer bus, then get off the jeepney at Heritage Hotel, then ride the bus with "Cubao Ibabaw" secondary sign.

    Route #6

    From Divisoria, Binondo, Lucky Chinatown Mall and areas nearby.

    Walk from Lucky Chinatown Mall to Recto Ave which is very near. In Divisoria, Recto is where ends. In Binondo, use a pedicab or if you can, then walk your way to Recto or take a jeepney headed to Divisoria in front of Binondo Church or nearby.

    Ride a jeepney bound for Cubao, Morayta/PRC, Quiapo or Marikina. Alight at Avenida where LRT-1 runs above.

    Option 1 - Cross Recto Ave and walk along Avenida until you get to Doroteo Jose. Now, take the provincial bus to Bulacan mentioned earlier in the post.

    Option 2 - Ride a train at Doroteo Jose Station bound for Roosevelt and alight at Monumento. Now, follow direction to the jeepney terminal which is mentioned also at the start of this post.

    Route #7

    From Eastwood City

    Along C-5 Road, just outside Eastwood City, jeepneys bound for Cubao pass through. Take one of these jeepneys. In Cubao, walk your way to Farmer's Plaza mall. Once there, go to the frontage which is EDSA. Now take the bus to Brgy Turo.

    Route #8

    From Marikina, Antipolo, Angono, Cainta, SSS Village, Sta Lucia East, Robinsons Metro East, SM City Marikina and nearby places.

    You can take a jeepney or Urvan Express. You can also take a bus with "Quiapo" sign if there are in your area. If bus, alight at EDSA-Ortigas or Robinsns Galleria. If jeepney or FX, alight at either EDSA-Crossing or EDSA-Ortigas. Ask the driver if where he's headed. Either way is okay, as long as you're near EDSA.

    In EDSA, ride a bus with secondary sign that reads "Cubao Ibabaw." Now, take the provincial bus to Brgy Turo in Bulacan.

    Route #9

    From Central Temple of Iglesia ni Cristo in Commonwealth Ave Quezon City where New Era University College of Evangelical University is also located. Also from Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City Hall, Philcoa and other areas nearby.

    Ride a jeepney bound for "Roces", "Pantranco", "Delta", "Fisher Mall", "Quiapo" in any loading area located along Commonwealth Ave. Alight at the corner of Quezon Ave and EDSA. Use the pedestrian footbridge, cross Quezon Ave and go to Centris. Go to the bus loading area along EDSA and wait for the bus bound for Bulacan. Note: Some bus also stop at the spot along EDSA past Quezon Ave but it's not convenient to wait there because most of the time buses are already full. Buses stand longer at Centris area before crossing Quezon Ave.

    Route #10

    From any station of LRT Line 2. You can get to Philippine Arena faster by using LRT-2 from your location along Aurora Blvd, Magsaysay Blvd or from Santolan Station. Legarda Station is the one to use from Sampaloc/Legarda area and Mendiola where university belt is located.

    Just take a train either to Recto Station (last station) or to Araneta Center Cubao Station, depends on what type of bus you want to take. Most buses in Doroteo Jose are ordinary while in Farmers Plaza/EDSA bus bay, buses are air-conditioned. Take the exit to Gateway Mall in Areneta Center and follow the directional sign to MRT-3 which is connected to Farmer's Plaza. Once there just go down to EDSA and ride the bus to Bulacan.

    Route #11

    From BGC or Bonifacio Global City - Market Market, SM Aura, Bonifacio High Street (BHS), etc.

    Take a BGC Bus bound for EDSA-Ayala at Market Market BGC Bus Terminal. If you're location is at west part of the BGC, just go to any Bus Stop located near you and take a bus with "West Route" sign, it returns to EDSA after dropping all passengers in all bus stops there while also loading passengers headed to Makati and MRT-3.

    Once in EDSA, ride a northbound train at MRT-3 Ayala Station and alight at Araneta Center Cubao Station. Get down to the bus loading bay in front of Farmer's Plaza and wait for the bus headed to Bulacan.

    Route #12

    UV Express via NLEX from SM San Fernando, Angeles, Dau, Tarlac, Pangasinan, Bataan.

    Look for the terminal of UV Express in your area and ask for the one headed to its terminal in Bocaue. Once you reach Bocaue terminal, just walk down Gove Halile Road away from NLEX until you get to the arch of Brgy Turo. Take a trike to Philippine Arena. Note: If you're riding a provincial bus bound for Manila, make sure to alight at Bocaue Exit, cross NLEX and walk further until you get to Brgy Turo arch where you a tricycle to Philippine Arena.

    If your point of origin is not included in this commuting direction to Philippine Arena, you can use the comment form below to seek my help.

    How to go back to Metro Manila from Philippine Arena

    First you need to return to Brgy Turo the way you came. There's also tricycle terminal right at the spot where you get off the trike you would have ridden in going to Philippine Arena. Take one of those waiting tricycles and get off at Gov Halili where you would have alighted from the bus from Manila. Now wait for any bus bound for anywhere in Metro Manila, e.g., Cubao, Alabang, Baclaran, etc. Get off the bus at the spot along EDSA from which you would take the next ride on your way home if applicable. You can alight at any LRT or MRT station and take the train for fast commute.

    Philippine Arena vicinity map


    4 May 2014

    Pasig River Ferry Commute Guide

  • 4 May 2014
  • Lagalag

  • Getting to your destination by ferry boat is a good alternative if you hate traffic and crowded trains. But if commuting by boat is new to you, then this post is ultimately the solution. Discussed in this article are valuable pieces of information such as departure schedules, approximate travel time, next ride from ferry station, etc. We will be updating this guide so if the information you sought is not answered, my suggestion is to always get back here to check out. Below are the questions answered in this guide, click each one for particular answer.

    What are the stations served by Pasig River Ferry and where are they located?
    How much is the fare?
    What are the schedules of departures for all the stations?
    How long does it take to travel by ferry from one station to another?
    How to take a BGC Shuttle Bus from Guadalupe Station to Bonifacio Global City?
    What are the jeepneys I can take to my destination from Guadalupe Station?
    What are the places near to Mexico Plaza and how to get there?
    What are the places near to Escolta Station and how to get there?
    What are the places near to Guadalupe Station and how to get there?
    What can you say about Pasig River Ferry?
    Any updates?

    Pasig River Ferry Boat leaves Guadalupe Station

    Ferry Terminals and locations

    Plaza Mexico Ferry Station - Riverside Drive, Intramuros, Manila

    Plaza Mexico Ferry Station

    Escolta River Ferry Station - exactly located next to Jones Bridge where jeepneys bound for Divisoria and Binondo pass through.

    Escolta Ferry Station

    PUP Station - located in Sta Mesa within the complex of Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

    PUP Ferry Station

    Guadalupe River Bus Ferry Station - located very near to EDSA and Guadalupe Commercial Complex Bldg which is attached to MRT-3 Guadalupe Station.

    Guadalupe Ferry Bus Station for Pasig River Ferry Boat

    Pinagbuhatan - Pasig City

    Pinagbuhatan Ferry Station

    Pasig River Ferry Fares

    Pasig Ferry Ticket and Fare

    The interim fares for a ride of Pasig River Ferry are Php 25, 32, 35 and 50 as what written on the ticket. Free ride is extended for this week. Watch for update on which fare is for what station destination.

    Pasig Ferry Free Ride Ticket

    Departure Schedules of Pasig River Ferry

    Departure Schedules of Pasig River Ferry

    As of this writing the only station that has departure schedule is Guadalupe Station. For some reason, other stations or the people in-charge of each station can't post the schedule of departure of ferries as they are dependent on the time at which the ferry from Guadalupe would arrive. Below is the departure schedules of ferries from Guadalupe bound for Pinagbuhatan Station in Pasig and Mexico Plaza in Intramuros.

    Guadalupe to Plaza Mexico via PUP

    6:45 am
    7:45 am
    8:45 am
    9:45 am
    10:45 am
    Mid-day break
    2:45 pm
    3:45 pm
    4:45 pm
    5:45 pm

    Guadalupe to Pinagbuhatan

    6:45 am
    7:15 am
    7:45 am
    8:15 am
    8:45 am
    9:15 am
    9:45 am
    10:14 am
    Mid-day break
    2:45 pm
    3:14 pm
    3:45 pm
    4:14 pm
    4:45 pm

    If you are going to take a ferry from a station that don't have departure schedule, the thing to do is look at the departure schedule of Guadalupe Station and make a time estimate of what time the ferry would arrive to your station. Factors to consider are:

    1.) Travel duration of one ferry differs from the others as they are not of the same size and speed.
    2.) Travels are interrupted always because they have to stop the motor every time some garbage get stuck on the propeller and clean it all up.
    3.) Pasig River ferries have to give way to small boats that taking people across the river from one bank to the other and the most number of small boats crossing the river at one time is three, so expect traffic there.
    4.) The boat from Escolta Station have to go to the Coast Guard ship so that an escort can get on board as required every time a ferry passes through Malacanang.

    small boats crossing Pasig River slow down Pasig River Ferry boats

    Pasig River Ferry Travel Time

    Travel time varies. One time I boarded at Escolta, it took 1 hour and 20 minutes to reach Guadalupe Station. Much of the delay on that one was when the boat had to stay a while at a Coast Guard ship and then had to make a return path to another Coast Guard ship where the escort finally got on board. It was a bit longer that it should and I know it happens on occasion. You see it's not as simple as berthing the ferry and the officer hop in. Coast Guard job is to protect the passengers so there is a lot of checking like if there's an engine man which is vital for the safety of all passengers. The man steering the boat and always at the helm who is the one to board the Coast Guard ship to report is asked on some important matters and at times get reprimanded if at fault. Meanwhile PUP to Guadalupe station clocked at 27 minutes when I have timed it and heading to Pinagbuhatan from Guadalupe took longer than the return trip which was only 34 minutes. Apparently, there were lots of times that junks got stuck on the propeller on our way there.

    Pasig River Ferry is slowed down by junk getting stuck in the propeller

    There's one more thing. When registering your name and waiting for a ferry to arrive are added into the equation, the time involved would be more longer that what you might think. Having said that, it will be at your convenient to expect that you wouldn't arrive at your destination on schedule.

    Let's just be thankful that we have another way of commuting. One that showcases the sin we made to our "beloved" Pasig River which has now become stinky and looked more like a dumping site for all kinds of waste.

    Pasig River has become dumping site for different factories that operate nearby

    BGC Shuttle Bus from Guadalupe Station to Bonifacio Global City

    BGC bus from Guadalupe ferry station to Bonifacio Global City

    The shuttle bus owned by BGC with its signage on its outer body has its own terminal just outside the Guadalupe Station. You will immediately see it even if the boat is still far from the station. It would be more convenient for you to use this bus in going to your destination inside BGC. The bus takes EDSA on its way to BGC Bus Terminal located in EDSA/McKinley/Ayala intersection, specifically at Shell Gas Station in the corner of McKinley and EDSA.

    There are times that the bus stops over at this terminal to pick up passengers then proceed to BGC. Other times, you need to get off the bus and transfer to another bus. If you don't know what Bus Stop to alight inside BGC nearer to your destination, you can take a look at our directory of buildings and destination in BGC, just go to Commute Guide to Buildings & Attractions inside BGC...

    There are times that BGC Bus is not available. In that case take a jeepney to Market Market. Details below.

    Jeepneys from Guadalupe Station to different directions

    To Market Market BGC - across Guadalupe Station is jeepney queue. Ride one with "FTI C-5 Market" sign in the front and ask driver to drop you off at Market Market.

    To Pateros - same jeepney queue, look for Pateros sign. Or go to Guadalupe Commercial Complex, the building attached to MRT-3 Guadalupe Station. At the back of the building is terminal of jeepneys bound for Pateros.

    To Pedro Gil Taft - walk towards EDSA, the third road perpendicular to the left is where these jeepneys pass and they turn left onto JP Rizal which is the road where Guadalupe Ferry Station stands. The sign of these jeepneys are "Pedro Gil Taft Herran PRC Delpan."

    To Landmark Makati - jeepneys with "Landmark" sign pass by in front of Guadalupe Ferry Station but they are always full. But one time, in an afternoon, I happened to flag down a "Landmark" jeepney, with only 2 passengers, right in the front of the ferry station. Try to walk away from the ferry station and wait for this jeepney in a part of the road where they can conveniently load passengers.

    Destinations & Spots near to Mexico Plaza

    Intramuros is the destination itself on Mexico Plaza Ferry Terminal. But from Mexico Plaza, you can also get to South Harbor Pier, Manila Hotel and Rizal Park. Of course, you need to take a jeepney ride. Just read on and I will show you how.

    Inside Intramuros, you can walk to the following:

    Manila Cathedral - just follow the direction of the public jeepneys or if you don't want to hike just take one of them. The name of the main road through which jeepney pass is Soriano Ave. It's a bit wide compare to other roads inside Intramuros. You won't get lost if you just walk and take that road. Soon you get to see Manila Cathedral, on your left.

    Fort Santiago - located just opposite Manila Cathedral and on the right hand side of Soriano Ave with you coming from Mexico Plaza.

    San Agustin Church - located along Gen Luna St, the road next to Manila Cathedral. You need to hike from Manila Cathedral to get to San Agustin Church.

    Palacio del Governador - huge building next to Manila Cathedral. You won't miss it, the signage is big.

    BF Condominium Intramuros - just a stone's throw away from Mexico Plaza. You get to see it right away while walking along Soriano Ave and its signage is very visible, too.

    National Press Club - located by the Pasig River along side Mexico Plaza. Just walk towards Jones Bridge. The signage that reads "National Press Club" is easily seen from the ferry as it approaches Mexico Plaza.

    Bureau of the Treasury - is the building at the left of Soriano Ave immediately before Manila Cathedral.

    Bureau of Immigration - is the building opposite Mexico Plaza station. You need to get around the building to be on its front.

    COMELEC - located on the right of Soriano Ave before you get to Manila Cathedral.

    Jeepneys headed to "Pier" or "Pier 15" pass right at Mexico Plaza. Take one of these jeepneys if your destination is listed below. The sign of the jeepney that you must ride must be any of the following: "Proj 6 Quiapo Pier", "Pagasa Quipo Pier", "Monument Sta Crus Pier", "Cubao Quiapo Pier."

    Pier - just get off the jeepney in the exact location of your destination in the South Harbor.

    Bureau of Custom - ask driver to drop you off there.

    Manila Hotel - get off the jeepney before it turns left onto Burgos Ave from Bonifacio Drive.

    Manila Ocean Park - walk from Manila Hotel towards Manila Bay.

    Rizal Park - alight at Burgos Ave and walk to Rizal Park or Luneta.

    If your destination is not in the list, you can use the comment form below to ask me.

    Destinations & Spots near to Escolta River Ferry Station

    Sta Cruz Church - Ride a jeepney in front of the tall building which is AIC. It is located at the corner of Jones and Escolta, the road paralleled to Pasig River. The jeepney comes from Pier and stops at Sta Cruz Church on its way back to Pier.

    LRT-1 Carriedo Station - If you're going to ride a train to your destination, use this train station. Take the same jeepney mentioned above that stops at Sta Cruz Church. Walk toward McArthur Bridge and look at your left, you will immediately see the train station.

    Carriedo - If you're shopping and want to check out Carriedo Stalls and shopping centers, it's beneath Carriedo train station.

    Quiapo Church - it is located at the other end of Carriedo Street which starts right beneath LRT-1 Carriedo Station. The church is easily seen from the train station.

    Post Office Building - it is the magnificent building located at the opposite bank of the river. Use the Jones Bridge and walk towards it. Or you can ride a public jeepney and alight at the other end of Jones Bridge.

    Manila City Hall - Go to the foot of Jones Bridge and cross Jones. Take a jeepney with any of these signs: "Pedro Gil", "Taft", "Mabini", "Baclaran", "Pasay Rotunda", "Manila City Hall", "SM City Manila". Alight at Manila City Hall. It's near so watch for it.

    SM City Manila - located at the back of Manila City Hall.

    US Embassy - The jeepney to ride must have a "Mabini" and "MH del Pilar" wordings on its signs. Ask driver to drop you off at US Embassy.

    Bay Walk/Roxas Blvd - if your destination is located along Roxas Blvd, just take a jeepney with "Mabini" and "MH del Pilar" signs and get off the jeepney right at the spot nearer to your destination. For detailed directional guide in going to buildings and places along Roxas Blvd, go to Commute To Roxas Blvd Buildings & Destinations Malate-Ermita Districts.

    Lucky Chinatown Mall - Read Route #7 of the article on how to commute to Lucky Chinatown Mall, just go to How To Commute To Lucky Chinatown Mall.

    Divisoria - Use the route (Route #7 of commuting to Lucky Chinatown Mall). But don't alight at Plaza Lorenzo Ruiz. Instead, wait until the jeepney takes Juan Luna St and traverse the whole road up to CM Recto Ave. Note: During peak hours, jeepneys cut their trips and the make detour. In that case get off the jeepney along Juan Luna and walk your way to Divisoria area.

    CCP Complex - There's a CCP Complex shuttle that serve passengers to anywhere inside CCP Complex. First, cross Jones. That means, you must go to where Jones bridge ends and then cross the road. Ride a jeepney with either "Mabini MH del Pilar" or "Pasay Taft" secondary signs on both sides of its body aside from the main sign of its destination, i.e., "Baclaran", "Pasay Rotunda", etc. For next ride which is the CCP Shuttle, go to How to get to CCP or Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex.

    Destinations & Spots near to Guadalupe Ferry Station

    MRT-3 Gudalupe Station - you can get to your destination along EDSA from this train station.

    BGC buildings & Bonifacio High Street - you can go to your destination inside BGC from here. First, you need to ride the BGC Bus outside Guadalupe Ferry Station. For direction to your destination inside BGC, read Commute Guide to Buildings & Attractions inside BGC.

    Rockwell Center - one jeepney ride from Guadalupe, just take the jeepney bound for Taft I mentioned above. Ask driver to drop you off there.

    A Venue - you can go to A Venue Mall from Guadalupe Ferry Station by taking a jeepney with "Landmark" sign. It will pass right there. Or jeepney bound for Taft, alight at Makati Ave. Ride another "Ayala" jeepney and alight there.

    Robinson's Pioneer - you can cross Pasig River via Guadalupe Bridge and be in Robinson's Pioneer in minutes, just on foot.

    If you have any destination that you want to be given direction from Guadalupe Ferry Station, just use the comment section below.

    What I saw and experienced on board Pasig River Ferry

    Earlier, I have pinpointed the elements that cause the delays of Pasig River Ferry from one station to another. With all those mentioned, I can say that Pasig River Ferry will not be on your side if you have your schedule cut-out and that you have to be on time for your appointment such as meeting, seminar, etc.

    But if riding a Pasig River ferry boat is for purposes of jaunting in Intramuros or Escolta, going to either Manila Cathedral of Quiapo Church for a mass, dining in Chinatown, shopping in Carriedo among others, then the Pasig River Ferry is the ultimate means of transportation just to avoid the traffic and the jam packed trains. Another thing, I don't think that those salaried government employees from MMDA are happy to serve. Not all of them, though.

    Well it happened on May 2, 2014. I arrived at Escolta Station around 2:40 pm to board the ferry which was still at dry run and riding is free. They didn't allow me to sign my name which is the SOP. I was told that last trip was 3:45 pm and they said I might not be able to get on board. In asserting myself I was given ticket. Lots of commuters arrived soon and were told the same, no ferry after 3:45 pm. Then someone from commuters side talked to a personnel and I heard something like, "Does Tolentino knows about this you're posting a 'Last Trip 3:45 pm' on your ticket window..." something to that effect. The guy continued and showed the departure schedules from Guadalupe and in soft voice he said that if those boat left Guadalupe at 3:45 pm then there are still ample time to fetch the people "here." Suddenly, they (MMADA manning the station) posted another piece of paper with a note that read "Last Trip 4:45 pm."

    Another boat arrived for 4:45 pm schedule and all those who waited got on board. The question that's been boggling my head is "What if no one stood up among the commuters side and talked to those MMDA employees that's running the show?" "Who would have ridden the 4:45 pm trip to Guadalupe if that guy didn't speak up and those commuters just left the station?" Anyways, I happened to glance at a man wearing a shirt with MMDA printed on his back like the rest of his co-workers. He was talking to a woman and other companions outside the station. It seemed to me they were all related. Yes, they looked like a family and dressed up and all that.


    I will post updates about Pasig River Ferry in this section. At the moment, the free ride of Pasig River Ferry is extended. So, if you want some joy ride, get down your nearest station and hop in.