Grab Philippines: a Mobile App for Public Transportation and Food or Parcel Delivery Convenience

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Well surprise surprise, I used the Grab Philippines (PH) app to order food and get items delivered. Since Uber is not around anymore, Grab is currently monopolizing the Philippines but not for long. I'll let you know more below.

This article will be dealing with what Grab is locally. I will also include details about GrabFood and GrabExpress - additional features of the Grab mobile app.


 (Edited Pixabay Photo credit: ArtGirl via Bitlanders


Let me tell you about Grab first, in case you are not yet familiar with it.




♣     What is Grab?    ♣

On Wikipedia it says the following:

GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd. (branded as simply Grab) is a Singapore-based technology company... offers ride-hailing, ride sharing and logistics services through its app in Singapore and neighbouring Southeast Asian nations such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia.

The company came to the Philippines in the same year and was known as GrabTaxi. To use it, book a taxi or car thru the mobile app and then the fare will show up, including the driver details.  You can book whichever you prefer to ride on your own or with companions.

It also has a ride-sharing option known as GrabShare.  Use it like a carpooling service where you share the bill with another rider for a lower fare cost per person.  

Here's Grab PH's introduction video in 2013:

(Video credit: GrabTaxi via YouTube



Its main competitor back then was Uber which came to the country earlier than them. Personally, Grab was second best to Uber when it was still around. I didn't follow all the hullaballoo about the issues surrounding it in 2015 to 2017 but eventually my preferred transport service left the Philippine market. Wikipedia says Uber did not comply with Philippine laws. An online news article said they preferred public clamor when regulators came a-calling. Grab complied to local laws and so it is here to stay.

The good news is, there are other Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS) and Transport Network Companies (TNCs) to break their current market monopoly: HirNa, u-Hop and Hype. Watch the news video below:

(Video credit: via YouTube)


While the above mentioned TNVC/TNCs aren't fully operational yet, the public can keep using Grab for the meantime. 

In 2016, the company rebranded from MyTeksi/GrabTaxi to just Grab. It used to only be available in Metro Manila but has already expanded to other key places in the country. The transport service is currently available in the following areas: 

  • Manila
  • Cebu
  • Davao City
  • Iloilo
  • Bacolod
  • Baguio
  • Cagayan de Oro
  • Pampanga

You can easily download it for free through the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. To know what it looks like, view the images below for the mobile app navigation:  

(Mobile screencap by ArtGirl via Grab mobile app)


You can see there are several things aside from the two features I discuss below. GrabExpress and GrabFood will show up as a drop down option once you put an address as pick up point.




♣     What is GrabExpress?     ♣

GrabExpress is a same day parcel delivery service with the delivery person being registered motorcycle or motorbike drivers. This service allows one to get something delivered quicker in terms of city traffic. Within a certain area, if you book a GrabExpress, you can have the item in less than 15 minutes. 

(Photo credit via Pixabay)


This is a great convenience as opposed to using same day courier services. Whether you drop off your item or have it picked up before the cut off period, it can take hours before anything gets delivered via courier. Grab costs a bit more than that delivery option but it can save us a lot of time.

Last month, I was able to use this service because my bulk temporary tattoo buyers were in a rush to get the items they ordered. Naturally I thought of the best option for them. With GrabExpress, they can have the items faster than if it was sent through any courier.

There are two ways to use this Grab delivery option: either the buyer or the seller books and pays for the service. The cost will show up and will depend on the distance between the specified pick up and delivery points. 


(Mobile screencap by ArtGirl via Grab mobile app)


On another note, just a few days ago, this service feature was integrated in Shopee Philippines. Shopee is another Singapore-based company. This one is an online marketplace mobile app that people buy and sell from. (If you want to sign up to it, you can use my code ARTST222 and get P100 discount on your first order.) Their partnership is another good thing for sellers and the buying public.

Not only can GrabExpress be used by businesses and clients, it can also be used for personal emergencies too. For example, if someone left something at home, that person can have it picked up and delivered to him/her in no time. Take note that you should get a light blue pick up slip or a delivery paper from the Grab driver.

(Photo credit: ArtGirl via Bitlanders


As a newbie user who was unaware of this, the first two drivers left without giving me any paper slip. Only the third one told me that if I wanted to have a pick up document he can get it out from his motorcycle case/trunk. And we were standing in a drizzle at that! Kudos to that person for providing exceptional service. 

I can't do a review of the driver directly because I did not book the delivery. If I tell my client/buyer however, they can choose to add my comments to their feedback or not. Like the taxi and ride-sharing option, feedback and rating can be left to the drivers after items get delivered.

(Photo credit via Pixabay)


Is this available in all serviced areas? According to the app FAQ, this service is only available in Metro Manila. If you'd like to try it and don't have the Grab app yet, you can sign up and use my code: GRABARTGIRL8.

In case you're not in Metro Manila but are in the other Grab key areas, it's okay! Once you've signed up using my code (GRABARTGIRL8), we both get a FREE Grab ride!  Nice right?

However, if traveling isn't for you, why not opt for food delivery instead?




♣     What is GrabFood?     ♣

This is Grab's food delivery feature. It was launched in late May this year after acquiring Uber's regional operation and assets just last March. GrabFood is available from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.

Like other Grab uses, place an address at the pick up point first. Next, select the Food option in the drop down menu under Transport. Once done, restaurant results within a 3 kilometer radius will show up.  


(Mobile screencap by ArtGirl via Grab mobile app) 


Like the delivery and riding service, it will show you the estimated time for your order to arrive. When you choose a restaurant, it will show you the menu. It doesn't have pictures but the app has the food name, description or ingredients depending on the eatery you select.

(Mobile screencap by ArtGirl via Grab mobile app) 


When I tried it a week ago, I chose something with a wait time of 33 minutes. Since the restaurant was quite near me, I was happy to try it out. Also, Grab had a promo of 10 FREE food deliveries! Too bad I only got to use it once. Without any promo code, GrabFood will charge P49 for any food delivery. Other stores even have additional tax so be sure to check the price breakdown first before you confirm your order. 

Anyway, the driver I got was engaging enough and provided good service. He immediately confirmed my food delivery request upon accepting the booking. Unfortunately upon his arrival at the restaurant, the Bacon Asparagus wasn't available. I told him to just order without it. A few minutes later, an automated message confirmed my order.

True enough, the food did arrive in about 30 minutes. I also paid what was on the receipt and not the one on the app with the unavailable item.  

(Photo credit: ArtGirl via Bitlanders


Will I try it again? Maybe when there's another promo available. Haha.





♣     Thoughts on Grab    ♣

Personally I've never liked Grab. Maybe it's due to the green brand color or the higher price. I preferred Uber but unfortunately all the public fiasco over ride-sharing/ride-hailing vehicles edged Uber out of the Philippines. So sad but I'm not in control of any company so this is my expression of disappointment. Lol.

Anyway suffice it to say, I rarely use Grab and its additional features. I only use it when there's no other choice. Tricycles, jeepneys, buses, MRT/LRT or taxis are good enough for me. It's the same thing anyway. We'll all get to our destinations.

For me Grab is only convenient when we don't have a car and we're going somewhere kinda fancy. I mean, who would wear a gown inside a tricycle or jeepney and have full make up on? Come on. Haha. I'm not big on cars too because those add to rush hour traffic and air pollution. There are just too many vehicles here in the metro. (Okay yeah, that's another topic.)

(Photo credit via Pixabay


On a positive note, it does promote ride-sharing/carpooling which can lessen city traffic and pollution. It's just an upgraded taxi-service with a higher price too unless you're going through a high traffic area during rush hour. In that case, you can save money as opposed to the meter-run taxi.

With the upcoming competitors I'm sure the riding public will be happy to have other options. Suffice it to say, even with my dislike of Grab I will probably use GrabFood, GrabExpress and GrabTaxi (in that order). It will only be used when really necessary. :)

How about you, what do you think of the company? You can try both added features too and see if you like it.

Have you been using Grab as an alternative mode of transportation or not yet?  In case not, take advantage of the FREE Grab ride by using my code GRABARTGIRL8 when you sign up. 

Feel free to share any of your experience with it in the comments below.  



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About the author


Freelance Artist | Writer | Online Seller | |
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