When I was still planning for the trip to Manila, I made it a point to try the Pasig River Cruise after learning about it from Bernie’s blog. The Pasig River was the lifeblood of the city during its prehistory until the Spanish occupation. Unfortunately, during the last decades of the 20th century, it has become Manila’s dumping site for trash and raw sewage. If you ask a Filipino their impression of Pasig, they would tell you that it is “mabaho” (foul smelling) and “puno ng basura” (full of trash). I was surprised to find out how the Pasig River has changed these past few years. Although still relatively dirty, it did not give off foul odors as I have expected.

Pasig River Cruise
Catamaran Ferry of the Pasig River Cruise

Pasig River Cruise
Terminals of the Pasig River Cruise are spacious and modern

I was surprised once more upon seeing the modern terminals and ferrys. For only P45, you can have a safe and comfortable trip from Guadalupe Makati to multiple drop off points such as Escolta or Intramuros. The best part of the trip was being able to go outside to take pictures and being able to see the Malacanang Palace (we were not allowed to take pictures during this part of the trip). If you opt to relax during the trip, you could just sit inside the air-conditioned ferry.

Pasig River Cruise
Our ride started in Makati, the country’s financial capital

Pasig River Cruise
Rockwell Center

Pasig River Cruise
Hulo Terminal

The Pasig River Cruise definitely is not for people who are in a hurry and would want to escape from Metro Manila’s busy streets or congested MRT/LRT because the ride from Makati to Escolta/Intramuros takes about an hour. It is better recommended for tourists who want an alternative way to see Manila and for people who just want to have a comfortable commute.

Pasig River Cruise
After passing by the one of the most upscale part of Metro Manila, you’ll be able to see the more rundown part of the metropolis

Pasig River Cruise
Residents living by the river playing with a swing attached to a bridge

I enjoyed the Pasig River Cruise tremendously, maybe next time we could drop off go all the way to Plaza Maxico in Intramuros (We only made it until Lawton because we still needed to go to Quiapo). I highly recommend others to try taking the Pasig River Cruise.