“Getting around Manila is easy but you should know some of the basics about taxis in Manila because taxi scams happen often there. You know you are being scammed when the taxi driver does not turn the meter on and asks for fixed rates” ~ Haley DasovichIt was September 12, 2018 when we delivered our aunt to the airport who’s heading to Israel. She boarded at around 7:00 pm in NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) terminal 1 so after that, we decided to take a taxi going to Pasay. I was telling my cousin (she’s a first timer in Manila I guess) that it’s better to take the airport bus or rather take a grab taxi but she insisted. She’s not aware of the airport taxi scams I suppose.
Upon entering the white taxi, the driver was like “san po kayo?” then I replied “Kuya sa Pasay po, terminal ng victory”. And then he was telling us that we will going to pay 350 pesos so no need for him to turn on the meter. I knew from the start that this was going to happen so I argued with him.
Note: Taxi fare from NAIA terminal 1 to Pasay area if I’m not mistaken is less than 200 pesos, traffic or not.
“Ang lapit lang ng Pasay Kuya! Kung traffic na naman rason mo i on mo yang meter! Dahil sigurado akong hindi aabot sa 350! Sa Baguio walang ganyan, ni barya na piso binabalik nila. Try mo umakyat dun sa amin ng mahimasmasan ka jan sa pinagagagawa mo!
And then he sounded very amiable- kept on explaining that I was making a fuss about nothing! So I told him “sige, pwedeng pwede ko picturan ‘tong taxi pati yang pagmumukha mo at ipost!”. From that, he immediately said “sorry pero ang hirap kase ng source of living dito sa Manila”. In english, sorry but it’s because the source of living here in Manila is so difficult. Yes! Given the fact that living in Manila is kinda heartbreaking- poverty is very visible. You will generally see street children begging， sleeping and selling any items on the road. Therefore, you can’t survive Manila if you don’t have any source of income.
However, I told him that scamming other people is not the right way- don’t just think about yourself, think about them as well. I was so in love with this city to be honest since the first day that I came here but because of the people like you, you have given me main reason to hate Manila in general. Now I know why majority of foreigners were saying that Manila is a shithole city and I agree with them just because of you… I said in a not so loud angry voice!
He was looking at me and was saying again sorry. To cut the long story short, my cousin decided to give him 350 pesos instead of 200 so the rest will be his early Christmas gift. HAHAHA 😀 Alas! I never expected this to happen in one of my favorite cities. Nevertheless, I still admire the driver’s sincerity when he was apologizing. I guess, it’s the main lesson here- to always apologize if you know that it’s your fault. So okay, I’ll still give this city another try.
Disclaimer: Over the years, taxi drivers have been notorious in scamming people particularly if they knew that you’re new in Manila. Airport taxi scams are so common so you better watch out once you’re in this city. I suggest, you better book a grab taxi or wait for the airport bus, although the waiting time is sometimes so long but I guarantee you that you are safe.
Anyways, Manila is still a good place to visit despite of what happened to us- you can still meet a wonderful people out there and enjoy so many great tourist spots. You just have to be extra careful to a few rotten apples.
What about you? Do you have the same experience? Could you share?
Thank you for reading!