This is the truth: Manila, Philippines has a not-so-fascinating reputation when it comes to traveling around the metropolis, much more if you are getting a ride from or to the airport.

Whether you are just visiting the Philippine capital or a resident in the National Capital Region, everyone could almost agree that the worst experience one could ever get here is on commuting.

The mode of transportation is almost as hell, severe traffic condition in all major thoroughfares adds tension and taking a taxi ride is somewhat horrible.

A taxi ride going to or from the airport is so incredibly agonizing due to the unimaginable amount often asked by taxi drivers (with the exemption of the yellow cab units). Most of these drivers would not use a meter, instead, just proposed a specific amount to commuters, the cost makes you throw up with disgust, if you will ask them why such skyrocketing cost, they will blurt a litany of reasons from fuel to traffic to God knows what else.

The negotiation would run between Php300 and Php400 if you will take a ride around EDSA or Manila, and would double if you are somewhere else in the metro and since you want to catch your trip with less stress, you have no choice but to accept the deal!

And maybe curse your destiny why you ever come to Manila.

I want to avoid this scenario because I don't want to pump tension to my system, so as much as I could I want to avoid a taxi ride. If there are other ways, good.

I am a budget traveler who find ways how to cut expenses on transportation and pressed my nose to all available information around the web.

Last Saturday, my money-pinching habit had an initial test.

I was scheduled to travel to airport with my friend, Rowie, because we would meet a former colleague, Prissie De La Torre, who had her stop-over from Dubai before taking a connecting flight to Davao. I did some research around the web how to travel to airport via bus or jeep, and Rowie also helped out. after browsing details of the info, I wrote it down in a piece of paper.

And yesterday afternoon, we'd this master plan put into action :-D

 And yes! True enough, reaching the airport with just less than Php50.00 budget is really possible!

Here's how we did it:

From Boni (Mandaluyong) MRT station:

1. Alight at Taft station. 
2. Get off from the station, follow the north bound lane, and go downstairs to McDonalds.
3. At the back of McDonalds, there's an Airport shuttle waiting to take travelers to NAIA Terminal 3.
4. The travel from Taft to NAIA takes only 50 minutes without dense traffic.

You will only spend Php32.00 with this route:

1. Boni MRT station to Taft station: Php12.00
2. Airport Shuttle for NAIA Terminal 3 Php20.00

If you are traveling to Terminal 4, you may choose to take a jeepney ride across McDonalds in Taft. Choose a jeep with a route to Nichols and tell the driver to drop you off at the gate of Terminal 4.

When we returned home from NAIA Terminal  3, we're able to catch an airport shuttle that offers a free ride courtesy of MMDA, the route is via Coastal Mall. From Coastal Mall, we took another bus ride for Boni, Mandaluyong, and the fare is only Php16.00

For this travel discovery ride from Taft-NAIA Terminal 3-Coastal Mall-Boni, Mandaluyong, I only spent Php48.00!

If you are traveling to Manila from the airport, here's what you will going to do if you want to avoid a taxi ride (provided you are carrying only light traveling bags and love the idea of a budget travel).

Airport shuttle bus operates from 3:00 in the morning of the recent day and 1:30 in the morning on the next day. Travel interval is every 30 minutes. Fare is Php20.00, Routes of these airport shuttle buses are: Coastal Mall, Mall of Asia and Taft (near MRT and LRT stations)

From Terminal 1:
Also known as international terminal because it is here that most foreign airlines operate. Bus can be found at the arrival level, extreme right.

From Terminal 2:
Also called Centennial terminal exclusively used by Philippine Airlines (PAL). Shuttle buses can be found at the arrival level outside the international section.

From Terminal 3:
Few walk steps from the exit (departure level) door, you can find an airport shuttle bus going to Taft, Mall of Asia and Coastal Mall.

From Terminal 4
Also known as the old domestic terminal but now serving international flights. Bus stop can be found over the road at the right area outside the terminal.

Luggage Trick: Useful information to travelers who have a stop-over in Manila.

If your connecting flight has an interval of more than five hours and you may want to visit nearby places, Mall of Asia (Mall of Asia) for instance. You may take your luggage with you, there's a free luggage hold section in MOA called Package Pick-up Service, opens from 10:00 in the morning to 12 midnight. If you want to take a taxi, fare from the airport to MOA is around Php150.00 (one way) and the travel would take only 30 minutes, just plan your trip back to the airport especially if you are traveling during rush hour.

If you are conscious with your budget and don't want to go overboard with your expenses on transportation, you can always avoid taking taxi and opt for a bus ride instead. The ride is very comfortable and shuttle bus has enough space for your luggage.

Pretty cheap isn't it? You can try this strategy too and see how far you can cut your budget.