It was October 20, 1888 when the first tram system (R. De la Torre, Visitacion (1981)) was opened in the Philippines. The Manila-Malabon line would soon be connected to a large networks of tranvias in the metro extending toward Makati, San Fransisco Del Monte, and Pasay.
It will be 4 years later when the Philippine's first railway formally opens. The Manila to Dagupan line, with a total length of 195.4 km was completed 127 years ago - on November 24, 1892. The line was extensive with many links throughout Northern Luzon and was expanded toward Bicol on January 31, 1938.
These railways were mostly wiped out during World War II and it will not be until 1984 when we get our first light rail. The LRT1 links the West corridor from Monumento to Baclaran. It will be another 15 years when LRT1 is expanded to EDSA with the MRT3 in 1999 linking North to South. It's yet another 4 years after before LRT2 opens in 2003 linking East to West.
It's been 16 years since LRT2 opened, and the 3 main railways including the PNR's commuter lines are performing beyond capacity. We now have new lines being built from the metro's first subway in Tandang Sora towards FTI and Terminal 3 (targeted in 2022), a new MRT 7 linking North to North East was targeted for 2020, extensions for LRT2 to the East and West and LRT1 further South, and finally the rehabilitation of both the North Commuter line all the way to New Clark City and the South Commuter Line towards Legazpi.
There's more expansion according to NEDA as the agency sees most lines including the Makati Subway which is targeted to be completed by 2025, and 2 new rail links that are yet to start. This infovideo takes you through a tour of these lines from 1980 until NEDA's target of 2030.
Editor's note: MRT 7 is delayed until 2021 with full operations in 2022.
Update as of January 8: ICC's approval of Line 4 with target completion of 2025. Here's what it looks like when they're all completed by 2030. This does not include the Makati-BGC SkyTrain which has been announced 2019 and yet to start construction.