by - 12:33 PM

The Pasig River has lost its glory.  Foul odor permeating, garbage floating and informal settlers along the route are but some of the predicaments why most hesitate to take this only water-based transportation along the famed Pasig River.

Contrary to such notions, I have been wanting to experience firsthand the cruise along the Pasig River.  It has been part of the cinematography of several Filipino films and actors convincingly look satisfied, why shouldn’t I?

and we are entering the ferry terminal
One afternoon, friends came on this side of the metro where I am stationed.  After a series of discussions on whether to do the usual food trip in Binondo or walk through the streets of old Escolta and Quiapo, we ended up in one corner where a ticketing office stands.  We were at the Escolta Station of the Pasig River Ferry Service.  The next issue?  Where do we go from here?

Escolta to Santa Ana tickets

After a few minutes, the consensus was to stop at Santa Ana Station.  We were boarded for the last scheduled trip of the day.  And surprisingly, it has quite a number of commuters. 

Escolta station has a good vantage of the neoclassical Manila Post Office building and the Jones Bridge. The station is air-conditioned as well giving comfort to passengers on stand-by.  As soon as the boat arrived, an open-air one, the queue started and we were positioned at the center of the boat.  We were constantly reminded not to take photos when entering the vicinity of the Malacanang Palace.

the Jones Bridge leading to Binondo
Philippine Post Office from a distance

The sun was about to set as soon as we started to cruise.  The waning sun casted a melodramatic ray of lights on the historical structures and infrastructures of Manila.  Having experienced the Mekong River tour in Vietnam and the Chao Phraya river cruise in Bangkok, Thailand, it can be concluded that the Pasig River ferry cruise is indeed at par with the said famed cruises. I then realized the potential number of tourists that this cruise may attract.  But that day, the boat was filled by the usual commuters devoid of tourists with the exception of ourselves acting like one. 

We passed-by cargo vessels, docked catamaran-type boats, factories and sighted a few residents loitering, drinking and some fishing.  The four-hectare island of Hospicio de San Jose is an interesting landmark as well of the Pasig River.

If you’re wondering if the river cruise permeates a foul odor, there is none.  The cruise was surely a breeze.  The grandeur of the Old Manila is resurrected and imparted to commuters of the river cruise.  Definitely, witnessing the sunset even makes the cruise special.

After a few minutes, we were at the Santa Ana Station.  How to end the day?  Eat pancit palabok at one of the eateries in the Santa Ana Public Market.

Welcome to Santa Ana

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  1. ganyan talaga ang kulay ng palabok? parang naligo sa ketchup-looking sauce? hehe

    1. Hahahha! Oo nga e. Naligo nga sa ketchup pero masarap sya kahit papano haha

  2. Ditto on the Palabok, parang Strawberry Syrup haha :P Plus I love the idea of a ferry! Maybe in a few years may Dinner Cruises na din diyan with Jazz music and champagne by candlelights :P

    1. Hahaha sosyal naman ma'am strawberry syrup talaga hehe nwei my dinner cruise na din sa mla bay not sure though on the jazz music and champagne by candlelights medyo mahirap cguro un for now

  3. The takeoff of the pasig RiverBoat Tours will depend enormously on the visit organization and this will rely upon the climate conditions and alternate exercises the visit has gotten ready for the excursion.