Globetrotters love to tell stories of how they survived a bus trip in a developing country, crammed not only with people but also with chickens and piglets, with passengers sitting on the rooftop, and with a reckless driver who never slows down, no matter how sharply the road bends. In reality, bus tripping in the Philippines is more comfortable and secure than that, but it can be an adventure nevertheless.
During rainy season, flooded streets are quite a normality in parts of Metro Manila. Here is what you should know about the floods, how to prepare, how to get around when streets become waterways, and where to live in the Megacity to stay dry.
As most other Megacities in the world, Metro Manila is unfortunately home to a high crime rate compared to the rest of the country. Most of the crimes committed in Manila are robbery and theft. Poverty and unequal distribution of wealth are the prime reasons behind most of the crimes.
Get off the couch, climb a mountain, breathe fresh air, enjoy the panorama of Southern Luzon, swim in the sea, relax in a cozy ressort, be back in Manila in the early evening – the Megacities team conquered Mount Gulugod Baboy and found out that the province of Batangas is the perfect destination for a day trip.
Itching to go swimming or attend a beach party? There is no need to hop on a plane because you can have some outdoor fun in Mindoro - an island paradise near the Megacity.
Brace yourselves, rainy season is coming! The first rainstorms show that the Philippine summer is over.
Dealing with the heavy traffic is a major challenge for Megacitizens in Manila. The metropolitan authorities try to reduce traffic through a number coding scheme. Effects of the coding scheme are cancelled out though because of the growing number of car owners in the metro. Here is what you should know about the traffic situation in the National Capital Region, why it is so bad and what else the authorities are doing about it.
In a 23.8 kilometer-long semicircle, EDSA leads through some of the most densely populated parts of Metro Manila, from Caloocan City in the north to Pasay City, near Manila Bay in the south. It further connects (from north to south) the cities of Quezon, Mandaluyong, San Juan, and Makati. Many major HotSpots, malls, and business districts are located along the way.
Buses are the true kings of the road in Metro Manila. They ply the major roads as well as the highways. They have seating for 50 to 60 people but in full capacity, which is standard during rush hour, they can accommodate 100 people. Here is all you should know about riding the bus in and around the Megacity.
Jeepneys are a uniquely Filipino means of public transportation. They are the most inexpensive mode of transport in Metro Manila as well as in the provinces. Individually designed with colorful images and patterns, the jeepney has become an icon of Pinoy culture.
Home to the headquarters of many banks and major companies, some call it the Wall Street of the Philippines: Ayala Avenue is the main road of Makati's business district, framed by flashy skyscrapers on both sides of the road.
The Megacitizens guide for moving to Manila, from booking a flight and packing your things to finding a job and making new friends.
Gil Puyat Avenue is an arterial road that goes from EDSA through Makati and Pasay City to Roxas Boulevard. While the western stretch is a typical business district street, the eastern stretch awaits you with the chaotic flair that is characteristic for Metro Manila.
Cash is the single most important way of paying your bills and carrying money around. Centavos come in 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 coins and Pesos come in 1, 5, 10 coins and 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 bills. It is not that uncommon to pay even large sums in cash. Due to the comparatively low value of the highest bill (1000 Pesos are roughly 20 Euros or 22.50 US Dollar), you might easily end up carrying around a large bundle of bills.
Slowly but steady Makati is becoming a bit more environmental-friendly. Around the same time as a city-wide ban on plastic-bags was implemented in 2013, the first low-emission hybrid buses have entered the streets. The Green Frog Hybrid Bus runs simultaneously on a diesel and an electric engine. This leads to less noise and 80 percent less exhaust emission, according to the operating company. Good news for the ever polluted Megacity Metro Manila.
South Korea's capital is a bustling Megacity of 10 million people, with a metropolitan area of more than 25 million. However, crowdedness, noise and traffic are not as bad as in many other cities, thanks to an excellent transport infrastructure and a high number of recreational areas and quiet temples. Korea and the Philippines have strong ties, with many Koreans coming to the Philippines to study English, work, or enjoy the beaches. 90,000 Koreans live in the Philippines, and 45,000 Filipinos live in South Korea, and there are many flight connections between Seoul and Manila.
As a means of public transportation, tricycles are almost as common in the Philippines as Jeepneys. Tricycle rides are bumpy, loud and smelly but they are often the fastest and most convenient way to get around.
As Manila is the capital of an ocean-locked country, the only way to get to other Megacities is via airplane. This is often much cheaper and easier than you might think. Regard your stay in Metro Manila as a base-camp for exploring other Megacities and Global Cities in Southeast Asia!
One of the most inexpensive journeys out of the Philippines via airplane is to travel to the global city Kuala Lumpur. With a population of about 5.6 million and its southern location in East Asia, ‘KL’ is a cosmopolitan melting pot of cultures, religions and foods. The city with the two identical towers, namely the Petronas Twin Towers, is definitely worth a weekend-trip. KL has evolved from a British Colony Capital into one of Asia’s richest global cities today. The city is young, vibrant and enjoys a wide variety in music, art and events.
If you have enough of endless taxi lines, old vehicles, and choosy drivers, you should try out Uber. The company connects passengers with private drivers via its mobile app - easy, safely, and quickly.
You don't live in the Philippines but really want to get to know the country, its past and present, culture and entertainment, urban life and nature? To make sure you make the most out of your stay, we prepared a sample schedule that shows what you can do and see within one month.
Hong Kong is one of the top weekend get-away destinations for a lot of Megacitizens in the Philippines. This city of eight million people is a mere two-hour flight away and its efficient public transportation system leaves everyone in awe.
In the aftermath of the President's State-of-the-Nation-Address (SONA) on July 22, 2013, we were able to talk to well-known political analyst Professor Edmund Tayao about its relevance for Megacitizens.
'Two things usually leave a lasting impression to foreigners visiting Japan: the country's love for high-end technology and the exquisite politeness of literally everybody you talk to'