So, there I was, in Megamall, waiting for the PhilTranco bus to come along. When it did, I was greeted by my co-blogger and friend, Renz Bulseco of Traveling Nomad. I was relieved because I only had one more ride to go through to get to that airport in Pampanga, the one which services cheap airlines like Air Asia and SEAIR. I was also relieved because when I went up the bus, it wasn’t full, meaning that it was okay that I didn’t make any reservation.
But when the ticket was handed to me by the girl, it read: P450 – Megamall – Clark.
My reaction: “What the f^ck? I had to pay an extra P450 just to get to Clark? Make that P900 for my return trip.”
That was NOT gonna happen again.
The first and easiest way to get to Clark Airport or DMIA:
You see, the easiest way for you to get to Clark Airport is to go through PhilTranco. The bus terminal is located in Pasay and at the back of Megamall (Mega B, if I’m not mistaken, the one with the food court). They have a schedule, but I’m not sure about the rest of the times. They do pick up at Megamall at around 10.30am though.
Seriously, would you spend P450 just to get to the airport? And it’s not just the steep price either. It’s a 2 and a half hour bus ride. While the scenery may be rewarding, it’s not always practical to pay P900 just for your ride to the airport.
After that I promised myself, no more flying through Clark.
Except they offered a promo fare and unfortunately, I couldn’t resist.
I booked a ticket to Puerto Princesa, Palawan, via Air Asia for only P700 round trip. Cheap? Definitely. But when you think about it, the fare is actually around P1600 with travel time of approximately 8 hours total travel time all in all from PPS and back. Worth it? Not really. Especially not on the days when I truly want to just appreciate traveling.
Still, after 2 months, there I was, planning my next trip. My friend Darwin of The Tracking Treasure had already gone to Clark by commute and since we were going to Palawan together, I thought he could teach me. Damn if I was going to spend another P900 on that stupid ride to and fro the airport.
The second cheapest way to get to Clark Airport or DMIA:
I waited at 5 Star Bus Terminal for about an hour before he arrived. I was pissed off, but he had a headache and I was too lazy to scold. We boarded the Dau-Tarlac-Dagupan bus and after about 15 minutes, the bus took off at around 7.30am, an hour and a half late than what we originally agreed on. Filipino time? You bet.
It’s important that you ride a bus to DAU, because the next stop should be at the Mabalacat Terminal in Dau, where you can take the next ride to Clark Airport. The fare from 5 Star Terminal, Cubao to Mabalacat Terminal, Dau is P139.
Surprisingly, the bus ride was fairly shorter than the one in PhilTranco! PhilTranco took its merry time going through beautiful plains, valleys, mountains and bridges. It took 2 hours and a half to get to Clark Airport.
With 5 Star Bus, we were at Mabalacat Terminal in an hour.
At Mabalacat Terminal, we looked for Chowking and Jolibee, which is at the right side of the terminal if you’re facing the terminal. At the back of Jolibee and beside Chowking, there’s a terminal with FXs, buses and air conditioned jeep. We asked the conductor which one was headed to Clark Airport and he lead us to the white, air conditioned jeep. The jeep doesn’t look anything near a regular jeep so before you go looking for a “Patok” jeep, it’s best to ask the conductor where to go. The ride takes about 15 – 20 minutes going to Clark Airport and the fare is around P100.
The cheapest way to Clark Airport:
Cheap? Not as cheap as it would be if you take a jeep from Mabalacat Terminal to Clark gate (P8) and then Clark gate to Clark Airport (P8 – approximate). The long walk from the stop to the Clark Airport isn’t pretty either, especially if you have big bags.
Still, compared to the P450 that I spent the last time, P239 is still a pretty neat deal.