I went to Quiapo with friends yesterday and one of them suggested that we try the Pasig River Ferry instead of taking the car. Because I was apprehensive about it, we compromised by taking the MRT-LRT on the way there, and the ferry on our way home.
Although I did agree to the ferry ride, I was silently praying the entire time for rain to pour or any other thing that would prevent us from actually going on the ferry. My heart was racing as we were headed towards the terminal. I hate boat rides. First, I have motion sickness. Second, I don't really trust boat rides in the Philippines. Especially since it's common to hear stories of boats that sank because they were overloaded and without enough supply of life vests. And third... the Pasig River?!? Doesn't that stink? I shudder at the thought of any part of my body touching that in case the ferry does sink!
When we finally got to the terminal in Escolta, I was surprised to see a clean and modern structure. Even more surprised that the river didn't stink. Though I'm not sure if it stank in other parts of the river, it seemed to me that the Pasig River rehabilitation program is actually paying off. The tickets were printed on thermal paper which you simply scan on the turnstile to enter the area. The ferry was clean with ample leg space between rows of seats, and yes, a life vest under each seat. It was airconditioned and had big windows so you can see the view of the river bank.
There's potential in making this an organized tour for those wanting to experience a different view of the city. It turned out to be a smooth and pleasant ride -- definitely a good way to cap off a sightseeing or food tripping in Binondo!
Unarmed with a camera yesterday, I snagged the photo above by Eric Sales from http://www.adb.org/Media/PhotoGallery/photos2.asp.