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Navigating Metro Manila

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Most Recommended Transport Option by the IFTR Manila Convening Team)
Grab mobile app available via iOS & Google Play 

Grab is Southeast Asia’s leading super app, offering a suite of services consisting of deliveries, mobility, financial services, enterprise, and others. They offer a wide range of services for consumers, merchants, and enterprises. Grab delivers food, groceries, and acts as an express connecting everything to the doorstep of users. (

Grab’s primary service is transportation. It is the Convening Team’s highest recommended mode of transportation since it provides a convenience similar to other ride-hailing service applications in other countries such as (Uber or Lyft). Their prices are relatively affordable and they accept via Mastercard, Visa, and American Express.

From Airport (NAIA - Ninoy Aquino International Airport) to Accommodations:
Grab’s estimated prices for travel from the airport (NAIA Terminal 1 & Terminal 3) to our listed accommodation recommendations & the University are as follows (prices listed are as of March 2024 during peak travel/traffic hours):


From Accommodations to Campus
Grab’s estimated prices for travel from our listed accommodation recommendations to the University are as follows (prices listed are as of March 2024 during peak travel/traffic hours):


The Jeepney is not only one of the the most common modes of public transportation in the Philippines but is also an iconic national symbol. The jeepney in the Philippines came to be because of thanks to the Americans who left their surplus jeeps left behind after World War II. Enterprising Filipinos turned them into passenger vehicles, along the way giving them colorful makeovers that made them the icons that they are today. 


Photo credit: Jire Carreon/ Rappler

They can be found all over the country, as their open-air design and bench-style seating make them one of the cheapest land transportation in the Philippines, with the current minimum fare at PHP 13 or USD 0.20  (as of Jan 2024). Their routes usually cover only one city and its adjacent areas. To get on the right route and avoid getting lost, it’s best to ask locals what jeep to take. Jeepneys will have signboards displayed on their windshield, indicating their route and final destination. 

While some jeepney routes have designated stops, most don’t, and you need to tell the driver you need to get off by shouting “Para po!” IPA(key): /ˈpaɾapo/, [ˈpa.ɾɐ.po] which means, please stop. You may also chance upon jeepneys with a string on the ceiling, which you need to pull to alert the driver that you need to alight. Note that you need to do this several meters before your actual stop to give the driver enough time to slow down and stop at the side of the road safely.

Local tip:
It’s best to bring coins and smaller bills for the Philippines jeepney ride,  as it’s usually the driver themself who handles payments. If you are seated near the driver, you can simply hand him your payment while letting him know where you will get off so he can compute your fare. If you are seated far from the driver, you can ask your fellow passengers to pass your payment to the front by saying, “Bayad po!” Any change will be passed back to you.

When traveling from your hotel to the conference venue, keep in mind that you need to alight at PHILCOA (for those who are staying around Quezon Avenue Area) and UP Gate (for those who are staying near Commonwealth, Cubao, and Katipunan Area)

Jeepney from Katipunan to Conference Venue (Palma Hall)

If you are coming from the Katipunan Area, you may take the jeepney to UP Campus and alight at the gate near UP Integrated School. Walk for about five minutes to Palma Hall. Fare is PHP13 or USD 0.20.

Jeepney from Quezon Avenue to Conference Venue (Palma Hall)

Depending on your hotel venue, make your way along Quezon Avenue. Take the jeepney or van headed to Philcoa, Litex, or SM Fairview. Alight at Philcoa and and take another jeepney bound for UP Campus and alight at Miranda Waiting Shed. Walk for about a minute to Palma Hall.

C. Trains (MRT, LRT, PNR) 

There are several operational train routes in the Philippines, but they currently only run through Luzon, with most covering only Metro Manila. You have four options when it comes to rail transport in the Philippines: The Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT), the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT 1), the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT 2), and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Metro Commuter Line.


Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3

There are 13 MRT stations in the Philippines, all of which can be found along EDSA, the National Capital Region’s (NCR or Metro Manila) main highway. The MRT route in the Philippines has two bookend stations, North Avenue in the north and Taft Avenue in the south. The minimum fare is PHP 15 or USD 0.23 (as of Jan 2024), making it a good option if you want to beat Metro Manila traffic. 

Fare Matrix


Stations and Landmarks

  • North Avenue: SM North EDSA, Trinoma, Ayala Malls Vertis North, Veterans Memorial Medical Center

  • Quezon Avenue: Eton Centris Complex, Quezon Memorial Circle, Scout Area (clubs and bars), ABS-CBN Network Center

  • Kamuning: GMA Network Center, Philippine Statistics Authority, East Avenue Medical Center

  • Cubao: MRT3-LRT2 transfer footbridge, Araneta Center, Araneta Coliseum, Farmers Market, several motels and hotels including Novotel

  • Santolan-Annapolis: Camp Aguinaldo, Greenhills Shopping Center

  • Ortigas: Robinsons Galleria, Ortigas Center (offices), Wack Wack Golf & Country Club, Metrowalk Complex (bars)

  • Shaw Boulevard: Greenfield City, SM Megamall, EDSA Shangri La Hotel and Mall, Estancia Mall Capitol Commons

  • Boni: Robinsons Cybergate Towers, SMDC Light Residences

  • Guadalupe: Pasig River Ferry Guadalupe Station

  • Buendia: Manila Golf & Country Club, Rockwell Center (mall)

  • Ayala: One Ayala Bus Station, Greenbelt Mall, Glorietta Mall, Ayala Museum, SM Makati

  • Magallanes: San Lorenzo Place, Southgate Mall, Chino Roces Ave.

  • Taft: MRT3-LRT1 transfer footbridge, several motels and hotels

Operating Hours

  • North Avenue

    • First trip: 4:40 AM​

    • Last trip: 9:30 PM

  • Taft Avenue

    • ​First trip: 5:26 AM

    • Last trip: 10:16 PM

Light Rail Transit (LRT) 1

There are currently 20 LRT 1 stations in the Philippines. The LRT 1 route in the Philippines stretches from Roosevelt Station in Quezon City of North Metro Manila to Baclaran Station in Pasay of South Metro Manila. The minimum fare is PHP 15 or USD 0.22 (as of Jan 2024).

Fare Matrix


Stations and Landmarks

  • Baclaran: Baclaran Market, station nearest to Ninoy Aquino International Airport and SM Mall of Asia

  • EDSA: LRT1-MRT3 transfer footbridge, several motels and hotels

  • Libertad: Pasay Public Market, Cartimar Market

  • Gil Puyat: Bus Terminals to nearby provinces such as Laguna, Batangas, and Cavite (JAC, Jam, and DLTB Lines), San Isidro Labrador Parish

  • Vito Cruz: De La Salle University, Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, Cultural Center of the Philippines, 

  • Quirino: Manila Zoo, Manila Baywalk, Malate Church, Papal Nunciature

  • Pedro Gil: University of the Philippines Manila, Philippine General Hospital, Robinsons Manila, Ellinwood Church Malate

  • United Nations: Rizal Park, National Museum Complex,

  • Central Terminal: Intramuros, various universities

  • Carriedo: Quiapo Market, Quiapo Church, Quinta Market, Divisoria Market

  • Doroteo Jose: LRT1-LRT2 transfer footbridge, Manila Grand Opera

  • Bambang: Bambang Market, medical supply stores

  • Tayuman: San Lazaro Hospital

  • Blumentritt: Chinese General Hospital, SM San Lazaro

  • Abad Santos: Ospital ng Tondo, Tondo area

  • R. Papa: Manila Chinese Cemetery

  • 5th Avenue: Caloocan City Medical Center, Caloocan City Hall

  • Monumento: EDSA Carousel Bus Terminus, 

  • Balintawak: Balintawak Market, Ayala Malls Cloverleaf, 

  • Fernando Poe Jr (formerly Roosevelt): Waltermart, Munoz Market

Operating Hours

  • Baclaran

    • ​First trip: 4:30 AM

    • Last trip: 9:15 PM

  • Balintawak

    • ​​First trip: 4:30 AM

    • Last trip: 9:30 PM

Light Rail Transit (LRT) 2

There are 13 LRT 2 stations in the Philippines, and the route starts/ends at Recto Station in Manila and continues until Antipolo station in the province of Rizal, north of Metro Manila.

Fare Matrix


Stations and Landmarks

  • Antipolo: SM Masinag, Valley Gold and Country Club

  • Marikina: Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall, Ayala Malls Feliz, Robinsons Metro East

  • Santolan: SM Marikina

  • Katipunan: Ateneo De Manila University, University of the Philippines, Miriam College

  • Anonas: Maginhawa Food Street

  • Cubao: LRT2-MRT3 transfer footbridge, Araneta Center, Araneta Coliseum, Farmers Market, several motels and hotels

  • Betty Go Belmonte: The Immaculate Conception Cathedral of Cubao

  • Gilmore: Minor Basilica of our Lady of Mount Carmel, electronic and computer supply stores

  • J. Ruiz:

  • V. Mapa: SM Sta. Mesa, Central Colleges of the Philippines, UERM Medical Center, music stores

  • Pureza: Polytechnic University of the Philippines

  • Legarda: Minos Basilica of San Sebastian, several universities

  • Recto: LRT2-LRT1 transfer footbridge, Isetann Complex, several universities

Local tip
From the MRT, you can switch to the LRT 1 line via the Araneta Center - Cubao station or the LRT 2 line via the Taft Avenue station (which will lead you to the EDSA station). The LRT 1 and 2 lines are connected via the Doroteo Jose and Recto stations.

Operating Hours

  • Antipolo

    • ​First trip: 5:00 AM

    • Last trip: 8:30 PM

  • Recto

    • ​​First trip: 5:00 AM

    • Last trip: 9:00 PM


D. Buses

There are two types of commuter buses around the metro: the EDSA Carousel Bus and the Point-to-Point (P2P) bus. Fare can range from PHP 13 (0.23 USD) to PHP 61 (1.06 USD) for a one-way ticket on a regular day for the Carousel Bus and PHP 55 (0.96 USD) to PHP 140 (2.44 USD) for a P2P bus depending on the route. 

EDSA Carousel Bus

The EDSA Carousel operates on a dedicated lane along EDSA with multiple stops from the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) to Monumento, and vice versa.


Pick-up and Drop-off Points 

  • Monumento

  • Bagong Barrio

  • Balintawak

  • Kaingin Road

  • LRT-1 Roosevelt

  • MRT-3 North Avenue 

  • Nepa Q. Mart

  • Main Ave. Cubao

  • MRT-3 Santolan 

  • MRT-3 Ortigas

  • Guadalupe Bridge

  • MRT-3 Buendia 

  • Ayala Ave Bus Stop

  • Taft Avenue (curbside)

  • SM Mall of Asia (MOA)

  • PITX Terminal

Operating Schedule 

The EDSA Carousel buses operate daily from 4:00 AM to 11:00 PM. Depending on holidays and
other factors, there may be delays or changes in the schedule. 

Point-to-Point (P2P) Bus

The P2P bus only picks up and drops off passengers at its starting point and destination. This lessens the stops for each station making bus commuting faster compared to EDSA Carousel.

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Ride-Hailing Motorcycle Taxi

E. Ride-Hailing Motorcycle Taxi 

Motorcycle taxis from ride-hailing applications such as Joyride, MoveIt, and Angkas (with insurance) are a go-to transport for most Filipinos in Metro Manila. Although not the most comfortable mode of transport, it is the fastest way around the metro. Applications must be downloaded and a Philippine mobile number is needed to avail of the service. 


Photo credit: Jire Carreon/ Rappler


F. Taxi

Taxi cabs are the best option if you are looking for a pick-up and drop-off service when traveling within the Philippines. Taxis are also one the most comfortable ways to get around, considering they are private and air-conditioned. Taxis can be found all over Metro Manila. Regular metered taxis have a fixed flag-down rate of PHP50 or USD 0.72 (as of Jan 2024)  and additional fees are added depending on the time spent and distance traveled. 


Photo credit: Aika Rey/ Rappler

Routes at the University of the Philippines Diliman

The easiest way to go around the campus is by riding the Ikot jeepney. Locals call it “Ikot” (EE-kot) for short, which means “to go around”. This is because the route of the Ikot jeep is within the campus only. Other jeepneys go outside the university. You can distinguish the Ikot jeep from the other jeeps by its yellow roof, and a sign on the windshield that reads “IKOT”. 

UP Diliman Routes

In the campus, the jeep has designated stops, usually marked by waiting sheds. The fare (PhP 13 pesos) is paid directly to the driver (you may ask fellow passengers to pass it on to the driver), while saying “bayad po”, which means “this is my payment”. When getting off the jeep, you can press a button or pull the string usually found at the ceiling of the jeep, to signal that you would like to get off. In the absence of buttons or strings, or if the driver did not notice your signal, you can say “para po” which means “please stop”. If you are not sure where you should get off, you may also ask the driver at the start of your trip to drop you off at the stop nearest your destination.

Here is a prepared a searchable map/guide (IFTR Manila 2024: UP Diliman Map) of our campus with some recommended locations and stops for the in-campus Jeepney routes: 

Alternative link: ).

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Tips When Commuting in Metro Manila

The public transit system in Manila is still far from ideal, so here are a few things to remember when you commute in Metro Manila:

  1. Always bring cash, preferably small bills and coins especially when commuting via jeepney and taxi to save you the hassle of asking for change.

  2. Wear comfortable and light clothes. The Philippines is a tropical country so the weather is hot and humid most of the time.

  3. Bring an umbrella and a light waterproof jacket. The rainy season in the Philippines is from June to November so expect possible drizzle to downpour during the commuteduring commute. 

  4. Avoid dressing up when not needed and avoid using gadgets in public. Always be mindful of your belongings and attentive to your surroundings when commuting.

  5. Avoid commuting during rush hour. This normally happens from 7 AM to 9 AM and from 5 PM to 8 PM on weekdays.

Commuting Tips
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