Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Things To Know When Driving In The Philippines

I drive everyday and let me just say that driving in the Philippines (and Negros Occidental in particular) is enough to give any rational human being several ulcers! I believe that the following information when driving in the Philippines are important things to know. The Filipino driver as a rule (to be fair there are exceptions like me, for example) must be all or any the following:
  1. Blind to the color yellow and white, because they cannot seem to recognize pedestrian lanes (ex. stopping/parking on them), the no overtaking white or yellow paint dividing the lanes, the white lines indicating the bike and cycle lanes,etc. 
  2. They also believe that the yellow light means GO FASTER, instead of warning!
  3. Poor reflexes and vision because they rarely give way to pedestrians, and do not follow traffic signs
  4. Ambidextrous because they think right and left side are interchangeable,
  5. Excellent calculation skills since they can convert a 2 lane road to 3 and even 4 lanes, effectively blocking the right turn slot AND can convert any vehicle to 200% it's sitting capacity!
  6. Expert racing and driving video game player because they can move in and out of traffic without regard for other vehicles
  7. Thinks that cars, trucks, motorcycles, scooters, tricycles, trisikads, bikes, skateboards are all in the same category...as long as it moves forward, it can be driven the same way and manner in any kind of road, in any traffic condition all over in the country,
  8. And last but not the least, believes that traffic rules are suggestions and recommendations.
(2nd-4th Photos source: http://keithlane.com/page25.htm)
But if there is a Filipino driver, there must be a Filipino pedestrian! If in other countries, the norm is well-disciplined and law-abiding pedestrians...in the Philippines, they are a rarity. Pedestrians in the Philippines are usually one of the following.
  1. They think roads are part of malls where they can just walk leisurely anywhere,
  2. They think sidewalks were made for vendors not pedestrians,
  3. They think those white lines are street graffiti or maybe they think it indicates "do not step" here...because I often see them crossing alongside a pedestrian lane,
  4. They see traffic lights as only for drivers but not for them to follow,
  5. They believe they are faster than the speed of light because they love to outrun vehicles on the road,
  6. They believe they have superpowers just by putting their hand up and make vehicles stop,
  7. They think PED XING is a foreign word meant for Chinese or Koreans,
  8. And finally, they too like the drivers believe traffic rules are only suggestions.

Thinking about all of the above and as an afterthought, I believe now more than ever that if we are able to fix our traffic, then we are taking the first important step for real change to happen in this country.

The way I look at it, our traffic situation is a clear reflection of our flawed culture and moral apathy. If we, the people cannot obey simple rules, what more the bigger laws? If people can start to follow simple traffic rules and regulations, would it not be a logical consequence that we will eventually learn to be more productive citizens of our country and be part of the change that we dream of?

We complain so much about government but do we realize that many of the problems of this country is largely our fault too? That if we want change to happen, then change begins in us...we have to start by becoming good citizens...how?  Simple.  Follow and obey traffic rules.




1 comment:

  1. Good article! I have been saying the same thing for some time now as a foreigner living in Bacolod. You and your readers may wish to know about my book about Idiot Drivers in Bacolod :) http://amzn.to/1Rk4IAF

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