The Motorela and Jeepney: The Cheapest Way to Get Around Cagayan de Oro

Cagayan de Oro City may be small, but it certainly has a lot of memorable places to go to, with almost every attraction easily accessible to everyone.

Getting to a particular destination is no problem at all. In fact, the Gateway to Northern Mindanao, as Cagayan de Oro is sometimes called, has various types of public transportation. Two of the most popular ones are the motorela and the jeepney.

Before you decide to go around the city, let us get to know these two types of public transportation:

The motorela, created by Raphael Floirendo, is a four-wheeled vehicle powered by a motorcycle. Apart from CDO, it is also a common public transportation in Mambajao, Camiguin. Normally, it seats six to eight passengers. This is different from the tricycles that are used in the north, particularly in Manila. Although tricycles are also motorcycle-powered, it only has three wheels and seats two to three passengers.

The motorela fare has increased over the years. Nowadays, instead of paying the usual PHP5.00 fare, the regular fare has gone up to PHP6.00. Students, kids and senior citizens, however, pay a lower fare, as they have special exemptions.

The jeepney, the most well known public transportation in the country, is another four-wheeled vehicle used in Cagayan de Oro. Originally created from US military jeeps that were left from the Second World War, it is famous for its flamboyant decoration and jam-packed seating.

A Lot of jeepneys and relas swarm the city, so there isn’t any question about where to find one. They are mostly found in Divisoria, as almost every destination passes through there.

Unlike motorelas, jeepneys follow strict routes to various destinations. Jeepneys also have higher fare rates; which can be between PHP5.00 to PHP20.00, depending on the distance of the destination. If confused about how much to pay, a tariff is found in every jeepney and motorela. If there isn’t any, then one can ask the driver, the jeep conductor or a fellow passenger for help.

Kagay-anons love riding the jeepney and the motorela. However, not all destinations and travel routes are covered by these two vehicles.

For instance, of you want to go malling, there are several that you can go to in the city. Not all of these malls, though, are open to motorelas. Read on to get an idea of what you need to do if you want to go malling in a rela or jeepney.

Firstly, SM City Cagayan de Oro. The best place to start is Divisoria. If your hotel or house is not near Divisoria, you will need to ride a jeepney or motorela that will take you there. All jeepneys that go to SM City are those that have Xavier Heights-Pueblo-Lumbia route and pass through Pabayo-Dolores streets. When you get to DV, as Divisoria is fondly called, tell the rela/jeepney driver that you will be riding a Xavier Heights jeepney. Once you get to ride the Xavier Heights jeepney, you will get to the mall in 20 minutes or so. The fare is PHP7.00 to PHP8.00.

Gaisano City. Go to the SM jeep terminal and ride a jeepney back to Divisoria. The fare rate is usually the same. From there, go to Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan in Corrales Street. You will notice several motorelas passing through this street. Hail a motorela and ask the driver to take you to Gaisano. In about five minutes, provided that there isn’t any traffic, you will arrive at the mall. The fare is PHP6.00.

Limketkai Mall. Getting to LimKetKai from Gaisano is particularly tricky, as you need to cross a busy – and sometimes dangerous – highway and ride a jeep that will take you to the mall. Once you exit Gaisano Mall, cross the highway through the pedestrian lane and wait for a jeepney that will pass through LimKetKai. It is advised that you cross the highway when vehicles have stopped, or when both lanes are clear. Normally, there is also a traffic officer to guide you while crossing. Once you have arrived in the area opposite of Gaisano, wait for a jeepney that has a Limketkai-Agora-Lapasan-Cugman route. Ride on that jeep and pay PHP6.00.

When you want to go home, look for a jeepney that will pass Divisoria, and from there, you can take another jeepney or rela ride to wherever you reside.

Usually, people ride in motorelas to get to short-distanced destinations and they ride the jeepney to go to far away places. When in doubt of where you are going, do not be afraid to ask for directions. Local bystanders are actually friendly and will help you get directions to wherever you want to go. After all, Cagayan de Oro was not named the “City of Golden Friendship” for nothing.

However, if you are still not sure about where you want to go, you can always hail a taxi cab. Riding a cab will, of course, cost you a lot; but it will get you to your destination faster.

by Rose Anne Quirante

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