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The Short Cut


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Bob Ward

Kristine and I were shopping at Emall recently and grabbed a taxi to take the groceries home. We have made this trip many times with no particular issues.

 

This time when we crossed the bridge into Taboan, where Sanciangko turns into Tres De Abril, instead of going straight through Taboan, the driver turned left toward Pasil. At this juncture I looked at Kristine in an inquisitive way. She had already started to ask the driver why he turned left. He replied that he was taking a short cut.

 

Now Kristine's parents own a dried fish store in Taboan and they live just 2-3 more blocks from there across from Miller Hospital. So Kristine knows that area like the back os her hand. She told the driver that this was not a short cut. He assured her it was and implied that she should keep quiet.

 

This was a HUGE mistake as I have taught Kristine to stand up for her rights, and not be the silent sheep type. She immediately told the driver that she would not let us be ripped off. He then got belligerent and told her to not start trouble. BIG mistake!

 

Easily at this point I see that she is p!ssed off pretty badly. She tells the driver to pull over and that we will transfer to another taxi. By this time we are in Pasil and he complies reluctantly.

 

Here is where the real trouble starts! He tells us to pay the meter, which was at P37.50. I tell him I am not paying the whole meter since he tried to rip us off. I hand Kristine P20 and get out and motion for him to open the trunk. He refuses to open it unless we pay the full meter.

 

At this point Bob gets p!ssed. I tell him to open the trunk immediately or we are going to have some big trouble. He refuses so I point to the police station 1 block away and tell him that Kristine's father is PNP and we will just let the authorities handle it. He refuses again, but thinks about the PNP issue and the fact that we can identify him, so he opens the trunk finally.

 

By this time, since I was not being really quiet about it, a crowd gathers. Mostly street vendors and school kids. The street vendor nearest helps me with the groceries onto his cart and we flag another taxi. All the while the crooked driver is still demanding his P17.50. So we got the stuff into the new taxi and are getting in the taxi, when the driver grabs the door with both hands and tries to slam it on my leg. I guestimate that it would have broken my leg had I not caught the door with my hand.

 

Now in any other place and time, I would have commenced to open a can of whoop a$$ on this guy. But I learned my lesson before as some of you know and I just started laughing at the idiot and did the American thing and shot him a bird! LOL

 

We pulled away with Kristine explaining the situation to the new driver. He told us that the garage that the other driver worked for was just 1 block away and that we should report him to the owner. We just wanted to get the food home and forget about it though.

 

Bottom line here is that if some crooked taxi drivers think you are a tourist, they WILL try and rip you off. But they don't like being caught in the act so be prepared to deal with the consequences!

Edited by Bob Ward
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broden

oh man my mother in law is in pasil .. i know tons of people there .. next time let me know .. you can stop in have some great puto and let the locals take care of the driver for you :rolleyes:

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Kristine and I were shopping at Emall recently and grabbed a taxi to take the groceries home. We have made this trip many times with no particular issues.

 

This time when we crossed the bridge into Taboan, where Sanciangko turns into Tres De Abril, instead of going straight through Taboan, the driver turned left toward Pasil. At this juncture I looked at Kristine in an inquisitive way. She had already started to ask the driver why he turned left. He replied that he was taking a short cut.

 

Now Kristine's parents own a dried fish store in Taboan and they live just 2-3 more blocks from there across from Miller Hospital. So Kristine knows that area like the back os her hand. She told the driver that this was not a short cut. He assured her it was and implied that she should keep quiet.

 

This was a HUGE mistake as I have taught Kristine to stand up for her rights, and not be the silent sheep type. She immediately told the driver that she would not let us be ripped off. He then got belligerent and told her to not start trouble. BIG mistake!

 

Easily at this point I see that she is p!ssed off pretty badly. She tells the driver to pull over and that we will transfer to another taxi. By this time we are in Pasil and he complies reluctantly.

 

Here is where the real trouble starts! He tells us to pay the meter, which was at P37.50. I tell him I am not paying the whole meter since he tried to rip us off. I hand Kristine P20 and get out and motion for him to open the trunk. He refuses to open it unless we pay the full meter.

 

At this point Bob gets p!ssed. I tell him to open the trunk immediately or we are going to have some big trouble. He refuses so I point to the police station 1 block away and tell him that Kristine's father is PNP and we will just let the authorities handle it. He refuses again, but thinks about the PNP issue and the fact that we can identify him, so he opens the trunk finally.

 

By this time, since I was not being really quiet about it, a crowd gathers. Mostly street vendors and school kids. The street vendor nearest helps me with the groceries onto his cart and we flag another taxi. All the while the crooked driver is still demanding his P17.50. So we got the stiff into the new taxi and are getting in the taxi, when the driver grabs the door with both hands and tries to slam it on my leg. I guestimate that it would have broken my leg had I not caught the door with my hand.

 

Now in any other place and time, I would have commenced to open a can of whoop a$$ on this guy. But I learned my lesson before as some of you know and I just started laughing at the idiot and did the American thing and shot him a bird! LOL

 

We pulled away with Kristine explaining the situation to the new driver. He told us that the garage that the other driver worked for was just 1 block away and that we should report him to the owner. We just wanted to get the food home and forget about it though.

 

Bottom line here is that if some crooked taxi drivers think you are a tourist, they WILL try and rip you off. But they don't like being caught in the act so be prepared to deal with the consequences!

 

 

Good job Bob!

 

Sometimes drivers try to rip us foreigners off, so I think we have to tell them while giving them a way out with honor.

 

On the way back from SM one day last year, I got into an old taxi and we headed back to our condo. I guess because I was alone and a round eye, the guy figured he could rip me off and I believe he had to have a bump switch on his meter because we barely stopped at any lights and took the usual route, but the meter was already 20 pesos higher than the most the whole trip would normally cost and we were only about 3/4 of the way to my home. I told him that his meter was fast while holding up the slip that had his cab number on it that they give out when you board the taxi (so he knew that I knew what cab I was in) and I said that he needs to get it fixed (more or less blaming it on the meter), at which point he just smiled and shook his head. I then told him that even with the tip and in traffic, that it never came to more than p80 to get to our home and he did not reply, but when we arrived at our home, he said p80 even though the meter was much higher and that is what I gave him.

 

I learned many years ago not to back a person into a corner that they cannot get out of and Bob did the correct thing by just smiling and not easily kicking the taxi drivers butt.

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After years of living in the Philippines I have learned to never allow anything to be put in the trunk of a taxi. Even Arriving at the airport I will insist that all my luggage is put in the back seat with me.

 

Also, I never sit in the front with the driver, I always sit in the back so that there is as much distance as possible between me and the driver.

 

There have been several times that I have waited until the taxi stops at a red light, I explain to the driver that I know he is overcharging me, and then I open the door and walk away to get in another taxi.

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"I learned many years ago not to back a person into a corner that they cannot get out of and Bob did the correct thing by just smiling and not easily kicking the taxi drivers butt."

 

 

From Robinsons to my home is always P40. If I happen to get a taxi that reads P60 or P70 when I arrive home, then I just smile, tell the driver that he needs to have his meter repaired, and then hand him P40. The drivers just smile, knowing that I know the truth, and have never said anything to me about it.

 

One advantage to learning some Visayan is that I try to speak as much Visayan to the drivers as possible, that way they know I am not a newbie, and seem less inclined to play tricks with me.

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miked2569

Bob your a better man then I , that can of whopp a$$ would have been opened has soon as he refussed to open the trunk........( starting to take notes from those who are wiser then I)

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smokey

I am happy all you guys are feeling like young rambo.. but lets not forget in this place WE call home you can get knifed for singing out of tune.. I once in 2004 saw a Foreigner screaming at a boy who looked to me like he was carrying a 50 kilo bag of rice or something for the (Korean) foreigner well as i waited in the hope of taking this Korean looking guys parking space the kid drops the bag to the ground and i guess it was rice spills out of one corner.. i am thinking oh dam this is going to take forever.. the Korean looking guy starts screaming at the kid who was doing the carrying and slaps him a good one right on the face.. the kid falls back and trips over some crooked cement and as fast as you can blink an eye .. this kid comes up and takes what i thought was an air swipe at the guy.. the korean screams real loud and holds his leg and the kid he is dust ... next i look at the korean guy and he is his pants are turning bright red .. Knowing i was not going to get this parking space i just drove off.. I said to the wife should we go back and tell the police what we saw???? she says.. i dont want trouble that boy is a neighbor of mine and his family is very agressive that foreigner is lucky the kid did not stab him for being so rude... end of story.. ONLY in the PHilippines

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Ok, I don't quite understand how in other posts its told to be the proper guest in the Philippines, but yet in this instance one becomes the "ugly foreigner".

 

I agree there is no need to be taken advantage of, but at the point you realized you were

being taken for a ride (literally), you did the right thing and told him to stop.

 

Now what I don't understand is all the problems you caused over less than 20 pesos.

 

True, he may not have deserved it, but is it really worth it?

 

It could have gone completely another way, as Robert51 pointed out.

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"...what I don't understand is all the problems you caused over less than 20 pesos."

 

somebody, somewhere, dies every day over less than 50 cents. Chose your battles wisely. If a battle is unavoidable get em in an alley and do what it takes to win. Should an alley not be handy just wait. Revenge is, after all, a dish best served cold.

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Bob Ward

Since when is not letting someone rip you off being an "ugly American"? I was not going to pay the butthead for being a thief.

 

Ugly American is an epithet used to refer to perceptions of arrogant, demeaning, thoughtless behaviors of Americans at home or abroad.

 

At what point was I arrogant, demeaning or thoughtless? Shooting him the bird after he tried to break my leg? I don't think so!

 

Kristine is the one who first got upset because the guy demeaned her and basically told her to shut up to let him rip me off. Plus he tried to treat her like a stupid child without street smarts. Once she raised her voice, I knew he had done something very wrong. She is quite the docile type unless seriously provoked!

 

Regarding the P17.50, it was simply a matter of principle not to pay a thief, especially after he insulted Kristine that way. I learned my lesson before about where, when and how. This was a place I felt comfortable making a point.

 

I am not going to be a docile punching bag all the time. I am virile, well trained and capable of taking care of myself if not blindsided by an ambush. Some people on the forum might need to be a little more careful because of a number of reasons I am sure.

 

I did the right thing for Kristine and me at that place and time!

Edited by Bob Ward
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On the other hand...

 

Fe's family has a driver who used to drive taxi in Cebu. This guy seems to know every back street and barangay in town. When we come to a jam up on a major street he will jump off into some squatters alley that looks like something out of a Jackie Chan movie. A few near misses and many horn honks later and we are running out in the clear well away from the clog.

 

A couple weeks ago in Lilo-an he passed a long line of traffic by squeezing thru ON THE RIGHT next to the squatters homes, eateries and sari sari stores. I was sure we would get boxed in but somehow he got his nose back into traffic. A few horn honks and we were on our way.

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Bob is too generous to gave him 20pesos. For me, I'll not pay him a single dime...he caused stress for Kristine if she reacted that way and that alone can't be paid. On several occasion that I rode a taxi with her, I noticed that she is very friendly and polite to the taxi drivers.

 

By the way, at last I've met and known her in person and she is very beautiful and smart indeed...a young version of Miriam Quiambao (a Filipina 1999 Miss Universe 1st runner up)

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tom_shor
On the other hand...

 

Fe's family has a driver who used to drive taxi in Cebu. This guy seems to know every back street and barangay in town. When we come to a jam up on a major street he will jump off into some squatters alley that looks like something out of a Jackie Chan movie. A few near misses and many horn honks later and we are running out in the clear well away from the clog.

 

A couple weeks ago in Lilo-an he passed a long line of traffic by squeezing thru ON THE RIGHT next to the squatters homes, eateries and sari sari stores. I was sure we would get boxed in but somehow he got his nose back into traffic. A few horn honks and we were on our way.

 

But since they were familar with the area in this case they knew there was no short cut. He didn't say anything about a traffic jam either so no need for a diversion on that account either.

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Bob Ward

The meter fare from Emall to our apt. is usually P80. The fare from the place where we changed taxis was P80. So this guys shortcut was going to cost us P120 versus P80. It was mid day and there was no traffic to speak of.

 

Hoz there are many honest and knowlegable taxi drivers who have taken me on shortcuts or alternate routes due to traffic conditions or closed streets. I've been in the city long enough to know my basic way around. The fastest/shortest way to Bulacao from Emall is not through Pasil. But I get your point on the fact that some good drivers know the city well.

 

One other important point for new people using taxis in Cebu, when a good driver is going to use a route other than the typical one, he generally will inform the passenger that he is going to do so.

 

"...what I don't understand is all the problems you caused over less than 20 pesos."

 

somebody, somewhere, dies every day over less than 50 cents. Chose your battles wisely. If a battle is unavoidable get em in an alley and do what it takes to win. Should an alley not be handy just wait. Revenge is, after all, a dish best served cold.

 

PM me please about the importance of getting them into an alley. Kristine and I are unsure of the reasoning behind this. I value your input!

 

One advantage to learning some Visayan is that I try to speak as much Visayan to the drivers as possible, that way they know I am not a newbie, and seem less inclined to play tricks with me.

 

IMHO the best advice in this thread. I use this all the time but it would not have worked with this guy!

Edited by Bob Ward
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"PM me please about the importance of getting them into an alley"

 

No witnesses

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