Cruising the River that Runs Through It: Pasig River Ferry Cruise


Pasig River has so much importance in the history of Manila. It was the EDSA during the pre-colonial era, a main water thoroughfare used by our ancestors for trade and travel. It has also become an advantage as a natural harbour for ships. The Spaniards came and constructed the walled city and several pueblos along the river. But just after World War II, as roads plough the streets, the river’s importance declined and was notorious to be “the largest poso negro in Metro Manila.”

Now the efforts have paved the way for its improvement, one of them is the revival of the Pasig River ferry system, which is part of the ways that the government can alleviate transportation woes in the metro. Equiped with air-conditioned catamarans and modern terminals, ferries ply from Pasig City to Intramuros in Manila in an hour less the traffic…


From Guadalupe, Makati to Intramuros, Manila, it will cost you PhP45 for regular fare, P20 for students. You don’t need to worry about traffic, the river’s stench. Instead, just sit back and relax and enjoy the cruise and the river scenery. You may even go out at the bow to breathe fresh air (and most of the time I took the ferry, the obnoxious stench is not available). Go out and take pictures of the surroundings but as you approach Pureza and Pandacan, security people would request you to get inside. Unfortunatelty, hanggang beinte pesos na lang ang Malacañang as the crew would not allow the people taking pictures of the Palace due to security reasons.

Pasig River may have been the reflection of the Philippine urban society. The soaring skyscrapers of Makati and Ortigas are contrasted by the slums beside the river. The oil depots that bring life to infrastructure to the city and a Palace that is the seat of power of the Republic. Unseen Manila can be seen here, if you want to reminisce the old days when Bapor Tabo of El Fili once cruised the waters of this historic river. The river that brought life to Manila.

This post has been viewed 25205 times by 4275 visitors.

  • jean


    have few queries please

    1. how long is a complete tour?
    2. schedule please? we plan to experience it but we would like to take guadalupe to pasig (end?) then pasig straight to intramuros….. we want to take the earliest from guadalupe to pasig….. then to intramuros…. we are pressed for time so we are scheduling it so we will still have ample time to explore intramuros for the rest of the day…… please advise….
    3. any suggestion?

    appreciate your immediate response

    thanks a lot

  • Joanne

    Filipinos are known for “Sa umpisa lang”. Thousands of Philippine legislations but never implemented, to be true. Even just a basic Driving and Pedestrian Road Rules doesn’t exist. Unlike overseas, Learner Drivers must pass a computer Driver’s Road Rules as well as to pass an actual driving test. In the Philippines, they don’t follow road rules and obey the rights of the pedestrians. To clean the Pasig River, it requires a comprehensive interventions; from preventing the illegal throwing of garbages, human wastes and toxic chemicals up to educating all Filipinos about Environmental Awareness. These must be an ongoing process, not only for a few months. They should also include tree planting in mountainous areas to prevent future soil erosions which is very common in the Philippines because of their lack of knowledge about their environment. If you love your country, you have to act to show it.

  • Carlo Jose C. David

    Are there any parking areas where patrons can safely leave their vehicles until their return? My buddy and I intend to drive down to Guadalupe and take the ferry from there to Escolta.

  • ela

    my sister and i are planning to try this on a saturday morning. how long will it take from Makati to Intramuros?
    would you know the trip schedule? thanks.

  • i’ve tried this already. the system that runs this is very effecient. no traffic and a lot of nice site to see while crusing. comfortable seats with plasma tv and lifejacket for evrey seat.a definitely must try activity in manila.

  • nice way to spend a weekend. i haven’t tried this in Manila but hope i could.