First time in Angeles City : How to Get Around

First time in Angeles City : How to Get Around
Angeles City

This is the next immense and confusing question mark for first-time visitors. Where to go in Angeles City? And more importantly, how do I get there? We’ll cover the various methods of transit offered in the city, starting with our most recommended:

GRAB App

The introduction of Grab in Philippine cities is one of the best benefits to happen for local travelers, especially foreign visitors. This is simply due to not only the technology; which shows where you are and where your driver is, but also to the sheltering of passengers from some of the dishonest and unethical business practices of many of the unregulated private taxi and tricycle services. 

The positive things about Grab, other than the aforementioned, is the ease of use; elimination of any language barrier; and having a predetermined, set fare. The downsides can be no drivers available; lack of cell signal or wifi to book a ride or a canceled ride by the driver. 

The most difficult times to find a Grab ride in Angeles is during the evening rush and when it’s raining. 

Only GrabTrike and GrabCar are available in Angeles. GrabTaxi is not in service here. 

GrabCar is the only available option for Clark airport rides, as trikes are not allowed inside Clark. The fare difference between trike and car is frequently very close, with a nice quiet air-conditioned automobile being the obvious choice in that situation.

Trikes

For first-timers, a “trike” is simply a contraption consisting of a motorcycle fused with a partially enclosed side-car to carry 2 to 3 passengers, depending on their size. The upside to trikes is they can frequently weave in and out of traffic during jams, even drive up on the sidewalk (common here) to get you to your destination faster. The only reason we put trikes ahead of jeepneys as a recommended source of transit is that for first-time visitors to any city in the Philippines, the whole jeepney experience can be rather frightening and confusing. We’ll explain more below. Trikes are simply..simpler! At least at first. The only thing you have to do to get a trike is to wave at a driver or yell “TRIIIIKKE!!” at the top of your lungs (we’re serious). That’s assuming you haven’t already been offered a ride by one of the hundreds of trikes located throughout the city, Trike drivers can spot tourists and foreigners from a mile away like a shark smelling a wounded fish. This is their bread and butter, which brings us to the downside. Although there is a standard rate grid based on mileage established by the city, it is mostly ignored by drivers and largely unregulated. This where the art of negotiation comes in: drivers will assume you are a new visitor and don’t have a clue. Hence they will try to charge the highest rate they possibly can get from you. This is why it is imperative you agree on a fare BEFORE getting in the trike. If you do not do this, you are at the mercy of the trike driver when he drops you at your destination. Your only choice at that point is to pay the inflated price or get into an argument (not recommended). Instead, we recommend you have a cap of 150 pesos regardless of where you are going until you are more familiar with the city. This is also why it’s a good idea to have Google Maps or Map Me pulled up on your phone to see how far you have to travel. Start at something like 80  or 100 pesos, try to meet in the middle and joke with the driver to ease any tension. Refer to our most common Filipino words and phrases further down in this article so he knows you are not completely oblivious. Tipping is not customary but is a nice gesture if the driver was honest and fair and provided a good ride.

A couple of trike safety tips, do not solicit or accept a ride from a trike that is void of his license number boldly shown on the front and back of the trike. Also, avoid getting into any trike if the driver appears intoxicated or the smell of alcohol is present.

Jeepneys

Ah yes, the unique and colorful jeepney, the number source of mass transit for Philippine city dwellers. It also happens to be the most economical. You can travel on a jeepney to almost anywhere in Angeles City for under 15 pesos. For most destinations, the standard is 9 pesos.  

A jeepney is simply a jeep-like front end and cab followed by what resembles a small train car, with open windows and a long bench on each side where passengers sit. 

There are two ways to get on a jeepney, one is at a jeepney terminal. The two largest terminals in Angeles are located close to each other in the Fields Avenue district. One is the Hensonville terminal located directly on Fields Avenue, and the other is the Friendship terminal on Manual A. Roxas Avenue adjacent to Bayahinan Park. One can access virtually any area of Angeles City from either of these terminals. 

The other method of catching a jeepney is to simply wave one down or stand on a street corner with a group of people that are waiting for the next jeepney to come by. Drivers will frequently stop at side streets where there are populated neighborhoods and subdivisions. 

Now, it’s important to know what jeepney to take according to where you are going. All jeepneys in Angeles have been painted a certain color which dictates the routes and areas they service. Their service areas are also written on the sides of the jeepneys. Our recommendation is to study our Jeepney Guide section to familiarize yourself with the colors and their perspective routes.

Now to the science and etiquette of riding the jeepney. When a passenger boards a jeepney, they typically will move to the most forward spot available on either side. The passenger will then hand up their fare to a person in front of them and fellow passengers continue to hand it up until it reaches the driver. If you have some change coming back, your money will come back the opposite way it came, handed along by the passengers. Very rarely will drivers lose track, and it’s quite amazing to observe how they drive through traffic while collecting money and giving back change, all the while making frequent stops. 

As passengers disembark you will start sliding your way towards the back of the jeepney, as new passengers picked up along the way to move to the front. If you are just traveling to another terminal, you just sit and wait. If there is a particular place you want to get dropped off, according to your map or landmark or what have you, you must alert the driver to stop. This can either be done by tapping loudly on the ceiling of the jeepney with your knuckles or a coin or shouting out ‘“Para po” which means “stop please”. 

One last important point: if you are at all claustrophobic, or a germaphobe; riding on a jeepney is not for you. Drivers and terminal attendants (known as callers) know exactly how many people they can fit, and will cram in everyone until your almost sitting on top of each other. It can be very intimate, but the local Filipinos are very used, and it also helps that they practice excellent personal hygiene!