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miles-high

One man’s view of driving in the Philippines…

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miles-high

For visitors, my suggestion would be don’t drive… A chauffer-driven car can be had at only about $50 to $70 a day… It’s a steal if you consider the thousands of dollars you may need to spend if you got into an accident here…

For residents, drivers can be hired for much less than you think...

 

Don’t’ drive at night… unless well lighted city streets…

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Alcohol and driving don’t mix…

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How do you stop this thing without losing the umbrella?

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He knows we are coming?

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A pothole behind?

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He knows we got excellent brakes?

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A National Highway is their playground…

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A National Highway is their Badminton court...

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A National Highway is their workplace as well…

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It’s more fun in the Philippines

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Drive safe!

 

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udonthani

I think driving standards are fairly good here, considering there is almost no education and almost nobody has ever taken a driving test. They do pretty good, considering. Of course we can each of us get on our culturally superior pulpits, any time we want.

 

fact is, almost none of us know what it is like to drive a jeepney from one end of Cebu city to the other and if we were forced to do it, most of us would just shit ourselves.

Edited by udonthani
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CebuKano

I think driving standards are fairly good here, considering there is almost no education and almost nobody has ever taken a driving test. They do pretty good, considering. Of course we can each of us get on our culturally superior pulpits, any time we want.

 

fact is, almost none of us know what it is like to drive a jeepney from one end of Cebu city to the other and if we were forced to do it, most of us would just shit ourselves.

I have to agree with Whip. I only have a motorbike and I think that I would not like to drive a car or multicab in the city just because of the traffic. But I find it easier to ride a bike here compared with doing so in the US. It took me about a month to get used to the the traffic patterns when I first started riding here but once you learn it's not that difficult. Until it rains :D

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David Kennedy

I think driving standards are fairly good here, considering there is almost no education and almost nobody has ever taken a driving test. They do pretty good, considering. Of course we can each of us get on our culturally superior pulpits, any time we want.

 

I don't see any cultural superiority involved in lamenting the lack of enforced good driving in PI. There are real dangers when someone without skills or concern is behind the wheel or handlebars. An expat I knew was t-boned on his scooter by another one 11yrs ago and afterward was okay some days, some days not due to his head banging the ground

 

Even some of the local Filipinos I am friends with brace and get defensive a bit when I talk about the ill-mannered drivers here in Dgte.. I'll bet when it someone in their family who's maimed or killed they won't be so happy with "their way".  Even Filipino friends from Bacolod are not happy with the way people drive in Dgte.

 

Just a few days ago I saw a guy coming out from a side road planning to turn right onto the highway with no intention of slowing down any more than he had to, crashing when he realized he was about to t-bone another scooter already on the hwy. He wobbled and went sprawling onto the pavement.

 

 

Driver's Ed wouldn't help in PI. You can't teach common sense or self preservation can you? The maybe 10% of the Dgte drivers who in the West would be deemed suicidal and taken off the road are beyond educating in better driving

 

Go to YouTube and look for motorcycle accidents. There's lots of footage, mostly from auto dash-mounted cameras. You'd swear you're watching Filipinos drive, but most of it's in Europe

Edited by David Kennedy
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Monsoon

It all comes down to a total lack of discipline and common courtesy for others. Pretending not to see the person they turn in front of or cut off. Not picking a damn lane and staying in it, instead driving in the middle of two lanes. Making 3 lanes where there are meant to be two.  Clogging up the overtaking lane without any regard for the cars behind them on the expressway. Not letting anyone in, so everyone has to force their way in. 

 

They couldn't handle a 4 way stop intersection if their lives depended on it. Also nobody is disciplined enough to even slow down at intersections and stop signs. Even those with two signs, a stop sign and one that says, "FULL STOP REQUIRED" Who else has such stupid signs? A stop sign means stop. Thus, subdivisions have to put in massive humps that are a pain in the ass. Someone died in an ambulance in the subdivision I used to live in because the ambulance couldn't traverse all the humps fast enough. They have since tore them up and put them on alternating sides so the ambulances could go around them.  Now regular cars are doing the same thing, going around them.

 

No discipline. No courtesy. 

Edited by Monsoon
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JohnFromTexas

To be a devil's advocate... $50-75 would add up to several thousand after not very long...80 days @ $50/day, 53 @ $75 for the $4000 fine for killing someone ;)  I think the main thing to worry about in that situation is not money at all but a) being killed by the locals on scene, b) ending up in a filipino jail for any length of time and c) your own conscience (hopefully you got one).

 

No discipline, no courtesy it's true... but have they ever been taught it?  

 

I drove with a taxi driver the other day who made the sign of the cross practically every time we went through an intersection... so yeah even the pros are scared :)

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Brucewayne

I have been driving here for several years now and have not had an accident as of yet.

Close calls, yes, bribed for doing something I shouldn't have, yes, but in spite of the minor annoyances in this province, I do enjoy driving here most of the time and only during daylight hours.

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thebob

I drive 2,3,4 and 6 wheels here, it isn't as bad as most people seem to make out. Defensive driving is imperative. All of the above pictures are good examples of what you will encounter on the roads here. You need to concentrate very hard, all the time, but you should be doing that anyway. every single maneuver you make, you should expect the other road users to do exactly what you don't want them to, and take appropriate action.

 

If you aren't comfortable driving here, then by all means take the advice given and hire a driver, but practicing driving here means that you are ready when your vehicle is needed for that emergency journey.

 

The locals are very "competitive" when they are driving. Just let them "win".

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smokey

I have to agree with Whip. I only have a motorbike and I think that I would not like to drive a car or multicab in the city just because of the traffic. But I find it easier to ride a bike here compared with doing so in the US. It took me about a month to get used to the the traffic patterns when I first started riding here but once you learn it's not that difficult. Until it rains :D

i have to agree with whip he just dont know how to drive but some of us who drove trucks can drive backwards then most can drive forward :yahoo:  

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smokey

 

 

It all comes down to a total lack of discipline and common courtesy for others. Pretending not to see the person they turn in front of or cut off. Not picking a damn lane and staying in it, instead driving in the middle of two lanes. Making 3 lanes where there are meant to be two.  Clogging up the overtaking lane without any regard for the cars behind them on the expressway. Not letting anyone in, so everyone has to force their way in. 

 

They couldn't handle a 4 way stop intersection if their lives depended on it. Also nobody is disciplined enough to even slow down at intersections and stop signs. Even those with two signs, a stop sign and one that says, "FULL STOP REQUIRED" Who else has such stupid signs? A stop sign means stop. Thus, subdivisions have to put in massive humps that are a pain in the ass. Someone died in an ambulance in the subdivision I used to live in because the ambulance couldn't traverse all the humps fast enough. They have since tore them up and put them on alternating sides so the ambulances could go around them.  Now regular cars are doing the same thing, going around them.

 

No discipline. No courtesy. 

that is why when it says please park  forward facing only and 13 out of 14 dont do it 

Edited by smokey

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Canuck Joe

I have been driving here for several years now and have not had an accident as of yet.

Close calls, yes, bribed for doing something I shouldn't have, yes, but in spite of the minor annoyances in this province, I do enjoy driving here most of the time and only during daylight hours.

same and the close calls not even that close...

I have to accept the way traffic and things in general work here and adapt to it or be the grumpy faced foreigner who pisses of his wife with constant complaining and always comparing this country to his own..(I am still working on the last part)

Edited by Canuck Joe
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lamoe

After awhile, driving has nothing to do with skill. It's attitude. Their attitude versus ours.

 

Try New Jersey for kamikaze driving or some parts of Canada where everyone jack rabbit starts when light turns green.

 

Worst experience was on Autobahn near Stuttgart  in winter with  freezing rain. I slowed down to 75 Km h and got passed continually until I had to stop at a huge pileup. Later learned 75 cars were involved. 

 

Same as fog in California.

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Rocketman

I think about this subject a lot as I ride in my taxis.  I choose not to drive because I don't think I can adjust.  I would be to angry and frustrated with some of the stupid driving and I would want to "hold my ground" as I did back home and that surely won't work here.  But, I DO see reasons for some of the driving and it stems from too many vehicles and not enough road space that will only get worse in Cebu City.  The drivers simply adapt and it works most of the time.  Taxis are easy to get and cheap in Cebu.  Also, I'm a single guy, so no problem.  If I had a family, it might be different.  If I were to move to a city such as Davao, I would need a car since the city is spread out and taxis would be more expensive.

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Paul

Miles, you should have put a warning in the subject line. I bet when whippy saw those figures, he almost had a heart attack. :D 

 

 

 

fact is, almost none of us know what it is like to drive a jeepney from one end of Cebu city to the other and if we were forced to do it, most of us would just shit ourselves.

 

Been there. Done it. Actually, I have driven a jeepney from the southern side of Cebu City, through the city, up to Danao and back. It was quite a bit of fun, very entertaining as well. I'm talking with people in the back here. It was a hoot if there ever was one in my life. And you are right, not many guys can say they have - and most would probably shit themselves.

 

--------

 

As far as driving goes, I love driving in the Philippines. Come to think of it, I have enjoyed driving in Thailand and Cambodia as well. All three are fairly similar, with Thailand being the most disciplined of the three. 

 

I have been in several accidents in the Philippines. In one case, clearly my fault. In another case, partially my fault, partially the other guy's fault. In most cases, their fault. In the most cases, we are talking about jeepney type scratches due to them pulling in front of me, etc. In every case involving a jeepney, the driver simply drove off - I'm talking before I could even stop and say anything to them. 

 

In the one case where it was my fault, I hit a little girl. Fortunately, after picking the little thing up and taking her to the hospital, she was fine after convalescing. 

 

In the one case where it was partially my fault, I was making a u-turn and a motorbike t-boned me. When I saw him coming in my rear view mirror, he was some distance away. Most definitely, he was driving too fast. He had also had a nip or two, prior to driving, we later learned. 

 

If you drive long enough in the Philippines, eventually you will have some sort of accident, whether minor, or major. The odds, simply put, are against you. But, I still wouldn't trade doing it for anything in the world. 

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Davaoeno

 

 

I choose not to drive because I don't think I can adjust.  I would be to angry and frustrated

 

You have to respect someone who appreciates- and accepts- their limitations.  Its the guys  behind the wheel with the same attitude who do NOT appreciate it that scare me.

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