Back in Manila, early in the morning after the longest bus ride (10 hours – from Banaue) we have ever had through mountainous Luzon. Back in the concrete jungle with its dynamic life within. I can’t really recall at which bus terminal we arrived or which bus company we had been on. But it was small and far away from any MRT/LRT station. We had nowhere to go and no idea where we were and Van (Johanna’s cousin) was working at that time. We called him and he told us to come to MRT (Metro Rail Transit) station EDSA. So we hopped on a cab, trying to be really serious and not to get ripped off. But we only had a 500 Pesos bill. And the taxi driver ‘had no change’. So we told him to stop by some place where we could change the bill. He wasn’t very amused but we were not going to give up the last bill we had. He dropped us off at some MRT/LRT station – guessing that it was somewhere in Quezon City – and we bought a ticket to station EDSA in Makati.
Manila Metro Rail Transit and Tickets
Manilas Rail Transit system consists of ‘three lines’:
- LRT Line-1 (LRT-1)
- MRT Line-2 (MRT-2)
- MRT Line-3 (MRT-3)
Fares and Tickets
The fares can range from 10 pesos to around 15/20 pesos. It depends on your destination and how many stations you pass. Logically, the more stations you pass – the more you pay.
Tips and Experiences
- Bring around 50 pesos just to be sure, especially if you’re planning on going back the same way
- The cashier will ask you to which station you will be going (to determine the price), so you need to know at which station you have to get out = be prepared and informed
- You will get a magnetic ticket
- Which you have to put into the machine to enter and take it out on the other side
- All stations have the similar process
- Women have a separate waiting area on the platform and separate train coaches to prevent harassment
(Although it isn’t necessary to sit/stand there if you’re afraid to lose each other while traveling)
- It’s VERY, VERY busy and crowded so watch your stuff and be prepared for a sauna
For us, as backpackers, it was a ‘special’ ride with the MRT/LRT. Everyone gets frisked before entering the MRT/LRT due to security reasons. And we’re no exception of course, so we had to unpack our 75 liter backpack and pack it up again. Not to mention the ride itself with such a backpack! If you’ve ever been in Manila you know what we’re talking about, it’s hard to stand in the MRT/LRT with only a small handbag, let alone with a big backpack. Luckily, everyone was very nice and patient with us.
Have you ever watched programs like Scam City? This program airs on National Geographic and is about scammers and pick pocketers (is that even a word?). Its main goal is to show how people get ripped of in (big) cities all around the world. While waiting for Van, we observed the streets of EDSA and recognized how a group of pick pocketers went to work. Interesting in such a vibrant city.
We got picked up by Van and right after we got ‘home’, he asked us if we were in the mood to travel to Bataan, where my (Johanna) auntie an uncle live. So, there’s not a lot of time to rest. Our thoughts: ‘Lets rest and sleep first’
Johanna & Vincent