‘Kakaibang Valentine’s date’: Couples can cruise along the Pasig River for free

February 11, 2020 - 2:11 PM
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Pasig River Ferry Service
Undated photo of a passenger boat under the Pasig River Ferry Service by the Metro Manila Development Authority. (The STAR/Edd Gumban)

Couples in Metro Manila can enjoy a unique date aboard Pasig River’s ferry for free this coming Valentine’s Day.

Metro Manila Development Authority chair Danilo Lim offered couples to embark on a cruise with Pasig River’s free ferry service and relive the romance associated with the waterway as featured in Jose Rizal’s famous novels, among others.

Lim announced on his Facebook page that couples can take advantage of Metro Manila’s famous waterway service and go on a date this love month with the ferry’s “budget-friendly” benefits like enjoying the romantic sunset and seeing colorful murals.

Its route runs from Pinagbuhatan in Pasig City to Escolta, Manila with 11 stations from Pasig (Pinagbuhatan, San Joaquin and Maybunga), Makati (Guadalupe and Valenzuela), Mandaluyong (Hulo) and Manila (Lambingan, Sta. Ana, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Lawton and Escolta).

According to Lim, passengers can have a view of nine “artsy” pumping station murals along the way. They can also relive historical moments associated with the waterway as featured in Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere” and “El Filibusterismo.”

Rizal featured the famous river as the setting of Crisostomo Ibarra and Maria Clara’s proposal in “Noli Me Tangere.” It also served as a venue for merriment and other activities in “El Filibusterismo.”

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Meanwhile, couples can spot colorful murals when the ferry cruises along pumping stations in Makati and Manila, including Quiapo, Escolta and Binondo, the world’s oldest Chinatown.

Lim also encouraged couples to share their own photos while on the cruise on the comments section of his post.

“Comment your photos below ‘pag natuloy kayo,” he said with a winking emoji.

Alternative mode of transportation

The Pasig’s ferry service will only be free of charge until Feb. 29, 2020.

The MMDA chair previously said its free run would only be until January 31 but the government agency decided to extend it as part of its “continued effort to support the public’s interest on the ferry service and further highlight its many benefits.”

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“We are overwhelmed with the interest and clamor shown by the public and other government agencies’ support to the Pasig River Ferry project. People are fully enjoying the benefits of the ferry service as a fast and convenient mode of transportation,” he said in a statement.

“For those who have not tried the PRFS (Pasig River Ferry Service) yet, take this extension as a perfect opportunity to enjoy its benefits,” Lim added.

The Pasig ferry service was officially relaunched last year as an alternative mode of transportation to help decongest vehicular traffic in Metro Manila, particularly along EDSA and other main thoroughfares.

It currently has seven boats that can accommodate varying number of passengers.

According to freelance writer and traveler Kara Santos, traveling via the ferry can “significantly” reduce the travel time within the metro.

A 2- to 3-hour commute can be shortened to 45 minutes by taking the ferry, Santos said on her blog. She was pertaining to her travel from Guadalupe in Makati to Lawton in Manila.