An Uber Good Way to Say Fuck You to Manila Taxi Drivers

(Originally I posted this in a comments section of Taxi stories, but might as well make it into an article)

I did not see anyone else post about this service here yet so I thought I would pass the advice along that allowed me to never take a taxi again. It has been a god-send.

I’ve always hated taking taxis in Manila. It is such a pain to argue and negotiate with them. I know if and when there is traffic so I’m so sick of hearing that as an excuse to add P200 to the fare or double the price of what it normally would be. I have no issue tipping well if the guy turns the meter on and we are stuck in traffic cause I actually feel bad for him. Other than that, I hate negotiating, being driven in circles, wondering if the meter is moving faster than normal, or if he is going to pull into an ally where his friends will be waiting to rob me.

After a long night of drinking and being exhausted, the last thing you want to do is sit there and negotiate. It makes you even more tired. Since I’ve been going back and forth to the Philippines for over 15 years, I kind of have an idea where things are (not always), but since I’m a foreigner they try to take full advantage of me. I finally got to the point where I felt almost nauseous when it was time for me to take a taxi.

A friend of mine introduced me to the holy grail of solutions to say good-riddance to the corrupt taxi system of Manila. It’s Uber!!! You can read all about it on their website, but I will give some short details on it as well.

I had no idea what it was at first, but after complaining to a friend of mine, he grabbed my smartphone and immediately loaded it on there. Then he made me input my credit details (which I was uncomfortable with of course). He knew I was going to Manila in a couple of days and demanded that I use it. I’m so happy I did.

If you’re unfamiliar with Uber, it’s basically a private taxi or ride sharing service. You will not have to ride in dirty taxis with cheating drivers. You will be picked up in a private, newer car that is clean, plus before the driver gets to your location you have access to his phone # to text/ call him. You will not have to negotiate with taxi drivers and the rate will be set. If the rate is higher during peak times, they will warn you before you commit to a pickup. The App can also give you an estimated cost of fare.


The money is taken out of your credit/ debit card. I know that is tough to accept at first, but I have not had any issues with it and not heard of any. The receipt is then emailed to you along with the map and route you took.

The biggest hurdle you will have with using this App (other than knowing how to operate a smartphone for the older guys) is having an internet connection. If you have a cell phone and plan, you will know full well, the mobile internet is super unreliable. Globe, Smart, and Sun like charging you for it, but do not like delivering it.

The best way around this is to carry a pocket WiFi device. I have found Smartbro is the best so far and works almost anywhere in Manila. The smaller, less-internet capacity devices can be bought for less than P2,000 now, maybe even P1,000. Then you will need to “activate” or load it. I’ve found the best way is to get the 5 Day unlimited for P200. If you are arriving at Terminal 3, they even have a kiosk near baggage claim you can use. (Usually, I let my fiancé wait for the bags while I take care of the pocket WiFi. Yes, we have to use Uber immediately when we arrive).

So there you have it. I did not see anyone else talking about it so I decided I would post it and give it the recommendation for others just frustrated taking taxis in Manila. They even give you a free P200 (or first ride free) and P200 when you recommend other people. If you want to use my promo code and give me P200, go ahead. ( However, I really just want to let everyone else know what I discovered about 8 months ago and the newest way to feel like you have overcome one aspect of the cheating pinoys. The best part is their rate is about 20% cheaper than using an actual taxi.

If no one has used it before and has any questions, I’ll be more than happy to answer them in the comments section.

Published in Corruption, Scams


  1. Profile gravatar of Beavis

    The taxi cartels have fighting it pretty hard in the U.S. and Europe, with some success. I wonder how long Uber will last in Manila, after the taxi companies pay the right bribes to the right people.

    One question that might interest the other members here is, how uh, “punctual” are the drivers? Are the Uber drivers on the famed “Philippine Time”, or do they pretty much show up when they are supposed to?

    1. Profile gravatar of Captain PFB
      Captain PFB

      I had the same questions in my mind about this. Although it’s obviously NOT a Filipino run company, just like McDo, once Filipinos get involved, expect their stupidity to stain any good reputation it may have elsewhere.
      Put anything good in the hands of a Filipino and it will turn to pure shit failure.

    2. Profile gravatar of Johnny
      Johnny Post author

      This is definitely NOT a Filipino run company otherwise I would probably not recommend them. They are basically the middle man of finding drivers and riders. If too many riders complain on a driver, he gets banned from being “employed” by Uber. He has to maintain a 4 Star rating.
      Regarding time: When you log in and request a taxi, you will be able to see it’s location on the map. It will say, “2 minutes, 5, 10, etc.” They try not to give you a driver/ car that is too far away. If that is the case, they will just say, “no drivers available right now”, thus leaving you to the shitty taxi option. When that happens, you can take the taxi as far as you can until you see more uber cars available, then get out of the taxi.
      I HATE Manila taxis so I try to avoid them as much as possible.

    3. Profile gravatar of TightWired

      I’m for anything that will improve this country. Anytime something takes 2 steps forward, it RP then shoots it self in the foot, and then staggars 3 steps back. The business owner then says “Fuck this” I’m out of here. The next guy that comes along becomes even more gun shy…and the end result…this country continues to fail.
      An old-timers around the bar one day was telling me a story about a foreigner who invested some serious money trying to improve the Trike situation. He buys a dozen new Trikes, bigger side cars, uniforms for the drivers, puts a sign with set faires, etc… What happens (I’m sure you can already guess)….Within a month the locals run off his drivers, valdalize/destroy the trike stands, etc, ect ect… Fili-Fail.

  2. Profile gravatar of ShootMeNow

    I am anti-Uber in New York (it works in the regulation’s grey area) , but it sounds like a boon for expats in Manila!

    The software and management is American and the app is designed to be fool-proof… I know, look who we are talking about.

    After a couple of years in business, there were more Uber cars than taxis in the largest fleet in the world- New York City.

    I think a whole lot of Manila drivers will have to join Uber for regulation to be proposed against it in Manila. Uber says and your experience also says Uber rates are cheaper than taxis so I don’t see normal Manila taxi drivers jumping to the lower fares – until surge pricing is explained to them.

    1. Profile gravatar of Johnny
      Johnny Post author

      I started using it when it was still “underground” in Manila. About 5 months later, it became popular and they tried to outlaw it. PNP were giving tickets to drivers and some politician stepped in. I guess he was using them or liked them and saw the outcry of people. It took a long time and I’m sure Uber had to pay some big bucks to get it legalized, but its not legal all over the Philippines.

    2. Profile gravatar of Johnny
      Johnny Post author

      This is definitely NOT a Filipino run company otherwise I would probably not recommend them. They are basically the middle man of finding drivers and riders. If too many riders complain on a driver, he gets banned from being “employed” by Uber. He has to maintain a 4 Star rating.
      Regarding time: When you log in and request a taxi, you will be able to see it’s location on the map. It will say, “2 minutes, 5, 10, etc.” They try not to give you a driver/ car that is too far away. If that is the case, they will just say, “no drivers available right now”, thus leaving you to the shitty taxi option. When that happens, you can take the taxi as far as you can until you see more uber cars available, then get out of the taxi.
      I HATE Manila taxis so I try to avoid them as much as possible.

  3. Profile gravatar of Jamess

    I used it twice long time ago… The rates are almost triple the regular rates as i recall… I guess it’s ok for emergencies or special occasions
    And 2nd thing I wasn’t feeling safe putting my credit card info online here…
    But in a usual day i use grab a taxi app… U only need to pay 70 pesos on top of the meter and the bastard usually shut his fucking mouth and don’t complain about the traffic in manila, like it’s something new n it’s his first time seeing it.

    1. Profile gravatar of Johnny
      Johnny Post author

      Yeah, if it is during peak time and you don’t want to pay, then the taxi is still an option. However, they will always let you know ahead of time so there are no surprises. I’ve personally found them to be about 15 – 20% cheaper than normal taxis.
      Usually, when someone uses it for the first time they become the biggest advocate of it. I was so scared of putting my info online like you. I logged in and checked it regularly, but did not notice anything off about it and they email you the receipt with a picture of the route you took as well as the drivers name.
      I think the taxis in Davao are more honest than Manila. I take taxis in Cebu (as Uber was not legal there at the time) and I did not have to argue one time or him whine about traffic.

  4. Profile gravatar of Fr. Bong Bong Jolog Jun III
    Fr. Bong Bong Jolog Jun III

    Naturally, the Philippines is at the leading edge of regulation and applies worlds best practice to everything that they do. This proud nation will be first to regulate the activities of ride sharing services, like Uber and GrabCar. Naturally, drivers will be required to register with the LTO, which will guarantee that an efficient, low-cost service will turn into a giant cluster-fuck of inefficiency and corruption. It’s the Failipino way…

    1. Profile gravatar of Johnny
      Johnny Post author

      Agreed. It looked like they were going to ban it initially, but they did not. I could not believe the legalized it. It will have to get really bad to be on par with the taxi service in Manila.

    2. Profile gravatar of TightWired

      I think some of you guys have mentioned you own/run businesses over here…I honestly don’t see how you do it. Is it worth it…??? Is the headaches worth the money/satifaction /???
      Anyway I spent 30 mins reading the various laws that the link shows from Business to Immirgration, etc… How the fuck can you prosper in this country without beating yourself up with all the fucked up laws and regulations. ???

      1. Profile gravatar of 30-30

        How can you prosper when you have 10 businesses all doing the same thing on one block??
        Then the gov’t wants you to spend 1/2 of your time paying fees and filing papers. Also, very hard to find honest helpers.

      2. Profile gravatar of Johnny
        Johnny Post author

        You have to talk with some of the chinese guys who own businesses there. There are rules, but many times no one follows anything. They can advise you what to do and who to pay to get things done.
        The fees to start a business are insane sometimes. Then you are running from office to office and back again with countless stacks of paperwork. Many times, the guys who know what they are doing will refer you to someone who specializes in getting a business started.
        Either way, it is such a pain in the ass.

        I lived in my town for a while now and what I noticed are the politicians are the ones who own a majority of the big businesses. Of course they don’t have to go through all the loopholes like everyone else.
        The mayor owns subdivisions, restaurants, a Jollibee, etc. The congressman owns a convention center and a couple of hotels. The other congressman owns hotels and restaurants. So what I learned is they love to throw seminars, award ceremonies, parties, gov’t functions. Guess where they love to throw those parties?? Of course its at their own places to filter gov’t money to themselves. These are just the things we can easily see, so how much money are they making that we cannot see.

      3. Profile gravatar of Johnny
        Johnny Post author

        One good thing a friend of mine did. He added four rooms on to his house. He did not want the in-laws using them so he went ahead and had them modified as little hotel rooms with a shared kitchen. Then he advertise them on air B&B. He did not deal with any Filipino government, didn’t bother with the scamming permits, or even the barangay captain and it was easy to do. Everything was online and they deposit direct to his account. So he avoided to Filipino government altogether and just operated incognito. I thought it was a pretty good idea and I’d like to do something like that. He is worried they may catch on one date but he’ll keep operating in the meantime until they do.

        1. Profile gravatar of TightWired

          Johnny, After 20 plus comments…your comment loops everything back to the Original Post. If as the OP points out the “if public trans/taxi weren’t so shitty, then their would be no reason for Uber”.
          In your comment, if it wasn’t such a hassle setting up a business (barangay, city hall, corrupt, bribes, etc…) then your buddy probley would have legally setup his BnB…instead of “breaking the law”.
          Actually…if he didn’t have DEAD-BEAT in-laws Blah blah blah…
          It’s a continuing cycle. Oh well more pfun in the pfili-pfail.

          1. Profile gravatar of Johnny
            Johnny Post author

            Yeah, they guy learned in-laws will arrive and stay indefinitely if you give them the room.
            He had he maid already there and just gives her a little extra for cleaning after guests. So she is happy too.
            He discussed they may one day figure it out, but they are so corrupt, th ey lack Amy true focus or will to do their jobs effectively.
            I had a business for a while providing online support to American companies. My money came in usd and I only transferred what was necessary for payroll and expenses. I simply rented an after hours office from a guy and used his permits or licenses. Since we operated at nighttime, no government person took any notice.
            It’s sad you have to do things that way, but it’s the system they set up.

          2. Profile gravatar of Johnny
            Johnny Post author

            I’d much rather pay taxes to the American government than the Philippines government. That is for sure. At least I know they dint pocket every cent!

  5. Profile gravatar of HawkEye

    My wife started using grab cab on coding days for her car. Started using it myself for coding days on my car. Brilliant service. Very fair pricing and still give em 100 tip to make sure the service survives.

  6. Profile gravatar of FHPS

    Most drivers won’t turn on a meter in Manila.
    The 200 fare they want 1000.
    Theyre mongrels the taxi drivers.

    What pisses me off is no change.. They start the day with no change..serious they’re not bullshitting me as I have had a 83 fare I gave 100 and he said no change the driver had to run around finding 17p change!!
    Many times that’s happened.

    I had a guy use the meter ..gave the guy coffees ..lunch.. It was 900/something pesos for a little drive around. He said oh mate you been so good here’s 1,200 pesos (meter 900)

    Guy looked angry..barred up and said no no no 2000p!!

    Ungrateful prick

    1. Profile gravatar of BLX2

      I ALWAYS carry change. Davao has gotten pretty good about having change, still, I carry a pocket full, even centavos, Kuripot, lol.
      “The 200 fare they want 1000.” I hope you don’t pay it. I’ve gone bullshit more than once in Manila when they don’t turn the meter on, the look of horror on my ex wife’s face. It is expensive for them in Manila, if they do not fuck with me I will tip them. When they do fuck with me they are lucky I don’t stiff them. When they try to make up their own fare, so do I.

  7. Profile gravatar of FHPS

    I went to another place a restaurant. Driver had no change. I said I’m going in..the doorman said he would get the change to me go inside. Ok ok

    The guy returned with lot less.
    Wtf?? I said didn’t the meter say.. Xxxpesos
    Yes sir but the driver had left the meter on and had to get change.

    ThiS IS THE ONLY COUNTEY where business charge customers for business inefficiency.

    The drivers will fill up in passenger time on way and you have to say TUEN OFF THE METER else they won’t.

    I had3x one day this petrol filling on the journey happen.

    No respect for passengers time

    1. Profile gravatar of BLX2

      As soon as the taxi stops I now say out loud what the meter says, and that is what I pay them. Because gas prices have fallen Davao taxis are required to give a P10 discount on all fares, so that is what I quote when we stop.

  8. Profile gravatar of FHPS

    Have you had taxi drivers..buses..trikes.. Jeeps..fill up gas on the way of YOUR JOURNEY???
    And you are waiting and waiting to be filled?

    That’s YOUR TIME

    AND CHARGED me the journey to that spot well wtf I had to walk to the highway to find another taxi

    1. Profile gravatar of BLX2

      “fill up gas on the way of YOUR JOURNEY???”. I hate that!! I haven’t actually had them FILL UP, more like put P100 to P200 in at the most. BUT I do give them a break on that, it is efficient (on my peso of course), it doesn’t add more than P3 to the meter. But I understand it really would cost them a lot more if they have to go and try to get gas between fares. See, they can be efficient when it is their piso.

        1. Profile gravatar of Sarah

          Yep, happens to me all the time, especially on a bus heading to the province. Really annoying.

          First time I came to RP, went to a hairdresser for a trim on the ends of my long hair. Fee was P500 according to their advertised price on the board. Afterwards, the assholes charged me P1000. I asked why….”But ma’am, we applied special imported hair conditioner and we blow dry your hair”. WTF?? Did I approve of the conditioner and blow dry? Fucking no! I never went anywhere near any hairdressers in the RP after that. Not to mention the damn baklas try their best to talk me into coloring and “rebond” – whatever that is!

          1. Profile gravatar of kalbo

            Rebond is when the hair is weakened by chemicals or heat to remove any curls and then rebonded with another chemical to form nice, straight, very shiny, hairs. Voila! You really dont need it as youre ganda anyway 🙂

          2. Profile gravatar of Sarah

            Thanks Mr. Kalbo 🙂

            Ah, so the Pinays pay big money to destroy their hair? Then borrow money next day to go somewhere? – likely to meet her prey…. errr, a Kano 🙂

  9. Profile gravatar of Johnny
    Johnny Post author

    Yeah, when they fuck up, that is YOUR problem. Makes no sense other than to them cause they know you have money. Then they know we won’t argue too much cause we get nervous when more corrupt Filipinos show up,,, like the police. The police will make you pay it most likely since they know you are rich too. So, better to pay the small amount than have 3 pignoy cops demanding money too.
    If you have a fiesty Filipina next to you or decent Filipino friends, they will fight it. They will really let the guy have it for overcharging or trying to charge you for THEIR mistake. Usually with Filipinos, the guy will back down when the other person gets louder and when they are wrong.

    With the gas, they have done that to me as well. Luckily, they only put in like 300 pesos at a time so it doesn’t take much time/ extra cost. That drives me crazy with Jeepneys when they just stop and wait for more passengers. Time has no value,
    The insane part is all those corrupt politicians travel to other countries like Japan or Hong Kong where things are efficient and move smoothly. For some reason, they don’t apply it to their country. They like it chaotic and crazy for some stupid reason.

    1. Profile gravatar of FHPS
      FHPS ..alip of keyboard… Did you see a Thai guy left the country try after the BI took him in for using pignoy on a fb posts degrading flippers

      1. Profile gravatar of Johnny
        Johnny Post author

        Yeah, the guy from Thailand used his Facebook page. Then he probably had all of his coworkers on his facebook looking at it being insulted. I’m sure one of them got insulted enough to report him to the bi while also smiling in his face.
        It’s always funny when they try to kick people out for stating the obvious. Like it actually solve the problem by kicking out someone for pointing out the truth

  10. Profile gravatar of Grapes of Wrath
    Grapes of Wrath

    Just had my first Uber ride a little over a week ago. In Alabang! Where it’s too damn hard to find a taxi. It was great. There are two choices: UberX and the BlackUber. The former is the lower-end “mass market” type. Think Vios, Sentra, Altis, Lancer. Black Uber is the higher-end type. Mostly Camry, Teana, and some SUVs.
    Only UberX was available in the area. I was at Mazda Alabang where I brought my car in for regular maintenance service. Guys told me it would take 3-4 hours so I figured I better spend time at the nearby mall. I thought it’s a great time to try Uber for the first time. The last time I tried, 6 months ago, there wasn’t any Uber car in the area. Now, there are dozens. After a few taps on the phone, a Nissan Sentra (not really new) arrived. The driver’s name and photo and car make are shown on your screen upon booking. There is an option to cancel if for some reason you don’t like what you’re seeing. Then just book again.
    The guy arrived two minutes later than indicated time. I didn’t mind because I knew he had to make a U-turn before he could arrive to my side of the road.
    I haven’t taken a taxi for maybe 5 years in Manila. I just couldn’t deal with assholes. It always ends up ruining my day. So I always bring my own car even if I could do without it. And that’s why everyone here loves to bring a car. Public transport, in any form, just sucks!
    Anyway, I didn’t know what to expect from this first Uber ride. A 40-something-year-old driver showed up. Unlocked his door without asking any questions until I was already comfortably seated. Told him to bring me to Alabang Town Center. Without saying a word except “okay”, he drove and in a minute or two, we arrived. I was pleasantly surprised. I asked him how much I owe him. He told me to check the app and it would be automatically charged to my credit card. I did and it says P48.00. I thought that was too cheap, I wanted to tip him. He refused. I was so happy with the experience, I posted about it on Facebook:

    Some interesting comments there. But as I don’t usually befriend idiots, discussions on the comments were pleasant.

    After spending time at the mall, I was excited to have Uber for the second time to bring me back to Mazda. I was at The Spa so I indicated it as my pickup point. But then I realized I still have to buy something for the guys at Mazda. I always bring stuff for the guys there as a form of “diplomacy”. Filipinos serve you better when you get a little friendly and give stuff.
    I ran to Krispy Kreme to get some doughnuts for the Mazda crew. Through the contact number provided, I called the driver. Told her (it was a lady driver) I forgot something and asked her to wait. She said it’s okay. I think I held her for more than 15 minutes. She didn’t mind at all!

    So I got my car back. Drove home and lied on my bed. My phone rang. It was the lady driver from Uber telling me I left one of my credit cards in her car. Long story short, I got my card back that night.

    Uber is highly recommended. Fuck the taxi drivers! In fact, I’m contemplating on getting into it. Buy me a new car for Uber. I heard, from the lady driver, it makes good money. The average for self-driven is 14,000.00 a week.

    1. Profile gravatar of Johnny
      Johnny Post author

      I’m so happy someone here backed up my article. A few other people said they didn’t really enjoy the experience. I had the same feeling you described the first time I used it and I felt I’d never have to deal with all of those dirty little employees of Satan.
      Clean car, professional driver, and no hassle.

    2. Profile gravatar of kalbo

      That’s a great story Mr Grape. It just goes to show there are honest flips about.

      I think I may have to include “Uber driver” in my screening list for flip chicks!

  11. Profile gravatar of FHPS

    Be good to highlight these Manila cab bastards

    1. Did you see they were drugging passengers and robbing them using chlorophyll

    2. Did you see a taxi driver shot a British lady in the face at makati
    Apart from other shootings where taxi drivers Rob their passengers

    3. The slow ..stop and roll strategy where the taxi driver has mates and he drives down a road and they open the door and rob the passenger

    1. Profile gravatar of Mufazzza

      I think you mean chloroform! Chlorofyll is something green in plants! ☺
      Horribly disgusting people!!! You almost want the chinese to rough ’em up a little! Oh well, the Chin want the rest of the Spratly’s, maybe there is hope!☺ If the pinoy just could do like the turks, blow a chin fighter or two out of the sky,,,but, unfortunately they’re not That stupid!
      they’d probably miss anyhow, lowlife incompetent crabs! ☺

  12. Profile gravatar of FHPS

    I remember I got in a taxi.. Apart from many the guy doesn’t turn on the meter.. After 3 times if saying turn on the meter I stick a camera in his face and say turn the fucking meter on … I fucking hate these assholes. If only they were decent FILIPINO upfront I’d round the fare or something but no .. Fuckersncant help thselves and as typical

    Filipino deals are.always shit



    I lose lose!!!
    I have to get out and find an honest driver.. Fuckwit Manila taxi.driver loses a fare…simple Filipino.maths


  13. Profile gravatar of dpjb2923

    During rush hour I got in a White taxi and the driver told me he would be adding a Heavy Traffic Surcharge of 70 pesos to the total fare.
    I said go ahead, because I arrived at Terminal 3 at about 2PM and gave up trying to get a Yellow taxi at 5PM when the road way became a parking lot. I waited 3 hours for a metered taxi. I asked a white shirt guard with those cool hats if there is a way I can get away from this insanity? yes he said, when you come out of the terminal building and turn left and keep walking for a bout a 1/3 of a mile and I picked up a taxi in 2 mins that charged me the sur-charge.
    Have a line for ever and yellows come in every 10mins on average
    I tried to catch an incoming taxi at the departure drop off but they don’t let you out the door to get out there.
    I was actually charged that heavy traffic surcharge twice

    1. Profile gravatar of FHPS

      Dude they can’t do that. The rate is set by LTFRB ..35 fkag.. 3.5p per 300m blah.. Surcharges are illegal.

      Nice cabbies are good.. 35p is rotten when you get those bastards like guards and.street touts pushing for 5-10p from 35p to open the doors… And the owners who fine them eg 300p.for.filling up at a service station other than the owners.. They have to go and fill the owners place that sort of thing. And the other thing..who’d wanna drive cabs at 2am in Manila anyway! And get paid the same rate at 2am as they do at.2pm

    2. Profile gravatar of Johnny
      Johnny Post author

      That is another thing that drives me crazy in the Ph. The airports have zero subway or train system, the roads are jam-packed, and there are no buses I can think of. The only option people have a private cars or taxi.
      They have the taxi service where people approach you right when you get out of the airport. It is like double the price.
      The line for regular taxis is so long at times, yet they make no effort to take advantage of the taxis that are dropping people off. It is completely inefficient.
      In terminal 4, there is a long line for a taxi where one comes in every 10 minutes like you said. However, just 100 feet away you can grab a taxi that just dropped off someone else.
      After waiting in line for 10 minutes, I realized it and went over there with another American guy. It took less than 5 minutes or we would have waiting in line for 45 minutes.
      At terminal 3 when you land, the taxi line can take 2 hours sometimes. Most taxis won’t even enter the airport between 4-6pm cause they don’t want to be stuck in traffic. The crazy thing is upstairs in the departure area, getting a taxi takes less than 10 minutes.
      It’s more efficient, but when is the Philippines actually efficient? The airport doesn’t care about people waiting . They want their money for each taxi ride. I think its 20-30 per fare.
      For terminal 3, the best thing to do (besides calling Uber), is to walk to either end of the airport (after getting luggage), then use the escalators to go upstairs. Go outside, and take a taxi dropping someone off.
      I’ll admit getting an Uber ride during rush hour traffic is easy. Many of the drivers won’t be available during that time or wont pick up cause the traffic is awful.

      1. Profile gravatar of Sarah

        Yes, I have experienced long taxi queues in T-3 a few times. If domestic flights, I buy flights that lands in T-4. No problems with taxis whatsoever.

        Two years ago, I took one of these private car rentals for P550 just to take me from T-1 to one of the hotels near MOA. I was tired after a long flight, so could not be bothered waiting for the yellow taxi. On the way to my hotel, I asked the driver why NAIA won’t allow ordinary taxis ro pick up passengers from arrivals. “Oh, they’re all liars and cheats Ma’am, this is the govt’s way of protecting incoming passengers”. he replied. “But you are charging me P550 for a trip that would have only cost me P150 on an ordinary Taxi”, was my reply. “Yes ma’am, but our private taxis are very clean, very comfortable and guaranteed not to rip you off ” was his reply.

        The guy was obviously deluded, so I asked who owns the private taxis? No surprise here folks…it’s one prominent politician from Manila.

        Oh, one more thing , the low-life driver would not leave the reception after he dropped me off till I’ve given him a fucking TIP!!!! It was more than I could bear after such a long tiring day, gave him P20 just to get rid of the asshole.

        1. Profile gravatar of Johnny
          Johnny Post author

          I always wondered and hated how they operate. They seem like the regular taxi and anyone who doesn’t know thinks they are the only taxi service. People are paying double to triple the price.
          That has to be Estrada or Binay that owns the company. I swear, the problem with Filipino politicians is they want to be businessmen instead of focusing on their job as a “leader”. The gov’t job they beg, plead, and vote buy to get becomes a part-time job once they get in.

          1. Profile gravatar of Sarah

            Yep, 13 days to go and counting.And I still haven’t gone to Colon St! Now, don’t you get a laugh at the street’s name. It’s the old Spanish commercial hub. Nowadays, it’s mostly Chinese traders….with Flips working for them. Now, why can’t it be like Oz where the foreigners were the ones working for Aussies? (Usually anyway, unless you go to Chinatown).

            Anyway, politics aside….no, I don’t leave money anymore. We used to leave our left over pesos behind to relatives. Till we decided to start taking it with us for next holidays.

            On a different note, I bought load from the sari-sari store across the road for my wifi. I used my old fake Samsung (bought in the RP 8 years ago) phone to do the UNLI deal. Next thing, the girl at the sari sari store just asked for my phone outright!! Like “can I have that phone?”. WTF!!!! The hide of the woman! Would any of you ask a stranger for his/her phone anywhere??? Only in da Philippines!

    3. Profile gravatar of Johnny
      Johnny Post author

      What kind of crazy, international airport (in the middle of the city no less) does not have a transit system attached to it. Well, I guess there are 3 of them. Terminals 1-3 .
      No subway system and I don’t know if they even have a bus system. Their goal should be to get people in and out of the airport ASAP. Even Bangkok has a transit system,, just like most major international airports.
      They make it so difficult you have to take a taxi cause even your BFF does not want to drop you off at the airport. And who the hell wants to pick up a person from teh airport with traffic and all the flight delays?

      1. Profile gravatar of Thunderhead

        They do have a bus that runs between the terminal 1 and 2. They demanded my passport before I could board the bus to go to Terminal 2 for connecting flight to Negros Occidental.

          1. Profile gravatar of kalbo

            DId you see this bit: “City buses, however, will not enter the arrival or departure area of NAIA terminal 3.”

            Even if there are to be buses going to the airport, they arent going to actually tell you where to get them! In fact, they will be hidden away somewhere you can be sure you wont see them!

            Once the taxi boys get on the case, the buses will have their wings clipped!

      2. Profile gravatar of 30-30

        There is a bus on the street outside the NAIA airport,, just turn right through the parking lot. You can take the cart up to the main entrance. Then go across the street. Or take a free bus to go to one of those gambling casinos and a bus or jeepney from there.
        But if the bus went through the airport,, you have to fight with the dozens of suitcases full of crappy Chinese junk that they hand out to their sponging relations.

        1. Profile gravatar of kalbo

          wow you’re seriously adventurous Al! :). Is it safe to go to that area with all your luggage? Where does the bus go to? Normally Im heading to makati from there. cheers!

          1. Profile gravatar of 30-30

            Usually I have my wife with me and if I feel up to getting on abus after flying in a plane full of flips for 5 hours!!! . The bus I ussually take is to Edsa,, where most of the provincial bus lines are in pasay.
            However, you have to suffer through a scratchy POS movie that blasts thru your ears.

          2. Profile gravatar of 30-30

            hello kalbo
            it is about as safe as anywhere else here,, they have a security guard who chases the taxi cabs away so they can not load up there, IDK why??? maybe becos compettion for therip off monopoly taxis,,
            strange ,, the only security gaurd on a street in manila????

          3. Profile gravatar of 30-30

            yes, u head out to the line of POS sari sari stores are..then turn right to get to a gate,,, walk across the road,,,, and a bus goes to EDSA,,,
            Yes, and a ”gaurd”’ stands there on the road, so the taxis leaving the departure area can not pick up passengers, IDK??? Come to think about it,, that is the only gaurd I ever seen on a street between the airport and my house,, He chases the taxis away,, so we walk down the street,, a ways,, so the gaurd cant bother us,, flips think this is normal!!!!!!
            dis is da feelippines, duh, diba
            Preacher Al

      3. Profile gravatar of 30-30

        To our dearest Sarah.
        Do not forget about the papers for our visas to beautiful Australia!!!! You
        can Fedex the papers to us,

  14. Profile gravatar of kalbo

    I recommend UBER!

    I had 3 journeys with them. All were in clean, new cars. The drivers were great. No bullshit! The fares were kuripot. I was shocked how cheap they were. The drivers never asked for directions or for tips!

    The only downside is that you need a good connection to the internet. WiFi and Globe let me down many times, so I was forced to use a normal white fuckedup taxi.

    About Terminal 3, on arrival at night, there is the option to go upstairs to departures to get a white taxi. But the queue for me was hours long with many white taxis not even stopping.

    There were no yellow metered taxis either!!

    So in the end I was forced to get a coupon taxi, 650 pesos from terminal 3 to makati. And yes, the whole arrivals area is swarming with taxi touts who follow you around like some insane dog. Why the hell do they need about 30 taxi touts when you can see where the taxis are anyway? (i.e. about 10 metres in front of you).

    1. Profile gravatar of Phil Doh
      Phil Doh

      It won’t be long before the taxi drivers start kicking off on the Uber drivers – like in Paris – and it’ll be back to the way it’s always been.

      1. Profile gravatar of kalbo

        I think they already did. The LTO hauled them into a meeting about some “documentation” BS. But Uber have come out ok. I reckon cash has been paid to the correct people and the problem has disappeared.

        Interestingly, the Uber representative taking on the LTO etc I believe was a Chinese lady.

    2. Profile gravatar of Johnny
      Johnny Post author

      Great to hear your story.
      Some people did not seem to have great experiences with Uber. I thought I was doing everyone a favor by suggesting it.
      With regards to the WiFi. Get yourself a pocket WiFi,,, if you don’t have a smart phone mobile internet plan. The pocket WiFi costs about 1500 and you can get various plans for it. Then you can have internet almost anywhere in Manila. I found it really helpful when using Uber and going all over Manila for the day.
      When I get to T3. I usually go straight to the side of the building, then go upstairs. I won’t take the downstairs taxi and the other taxi service that is like 4 times higher. You know the one with the guy saying, “Taxi sir”.
      Read Sarah’s post. She said that service is owned by a “prominent politician in Manila”.

      1. Profile gravatar of kalbo

        Thanks for the tip Johnny, I’ll have to get one of those on my next trip.

        Hopefully with that, I’ll be able to use Uber at the airports. I did try to use it at NAIA terminal 1 and could see many cars in the area, but none would come up to the arrivals area. Maybe they are banned.

        It was a surreal experience being driven around Manila with respect and actually paying a correct fare! Following that first mind trip with Uber, I met a flip lady who told me she READ BOOKS! I mean wow, I hit the jackpot twice in a day.

        1. Profile gravatar of 30-30

          the arrivals area is a monopoly for taxis,, upstairs aat departure you can grab any cab you want.. of course ,, if they see a white eyes,, the meter is broke,, and the fare is fixed.

    3. Profile gravatar of BLX2

      I don’t get that shit, I already see the taxi, at least half the time I reach the taxi before they do, yet they have their hand out to the driver and the driver pays them. WTF for? The few times they put their hands out to me I refused, “For what, getting in the way of the door when I’m trying to get in?”.

      1. Profile gravatar of kalbo

        Remember that the enthusiasm of a flip is proportional to the amount of cash they think they can steal from you.

        Hence many of these touts making a beeline for any white face that shows up at the arrivals area.

        All they do is put your destination on a bit of paper and give it to the driver! WTF. Must be on commission.

  15. Profile gravatar of Thunderhead

    The Novatel 5792 once unlocked can be used anywhere LTE is available. 11 hours of battery life. Just got one and it works great. Exchange the SIM card and get a block of data plan.