How To: Survive Traffic in the Philippines, 2of2

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26 comments

  1. A couple of my fav’s: The Kamakasi Jeepney driver going way to fast, after dark, with no headlights on. 4-5 people riding on a scooter that’s designed for two, max. And then a little kid is standing in front of the scooter driver. Or Mom has a baby in her arms on the back! If you nut-up, the kids become air-bags. Well I guess when you have 10 kids, it’s no BFD if a few of them get killed.

  2. Henry, you forgot snakes – big 10 foot boa constrictors crossing at night.  Doesn’t matter so much if you’re in a four-wheel vehicle but can be very dangerous if you’re in a scooter or a motor bike.

  3. Wow, I knew it’s crazy driving there but now I understand the extent of it.  I’ll have to hire a driver … I know my limitations and weaknesses and I can’t be trusted regarding the pretty girl hazard.  🙂 

  4. The “Ninja” (Kamakazi) riders is why I wear an air-mesh Kevlar Jacket, a full-face helmet, gloves and boots, of course. Yeah it’s warm in the PH, but not nearly as warm as your fat ass sliding on that concrete!

    Also, if you ride in the PH, the normal death-trap is only 150cc’s, which means they can’t get out of their own way. Always keep an eye out for your escape route (gap). I don’t recommend anything smaller than 600cc’s in the PH and run for daylight if necessary.

  5. I will be there July 2nd ( Manila suburbs) and my girlfriend and I want to go to Clark and Subic.  I plan on driving a few test runs at first..haha..to get used to the “traffic laws” which appear to be, in reality, loose guidelines.  This helps though so thanks…I will remember. 

  6. You missed one, people in the barangay’s start hanging out on the road at dusk too. On the national highways. But great video, all very true I have seen all of it, just haven’t had a bat yet. 

  7. Thanks for info. Now I know I will not try drive there. Buy the way is bettet to buy a automatic or manual drive? Which better for the tearian?

    1. vast majority of minicabs here are stick-shift (manual).  easier to get parts for and get fixed, last longer given all the bad roads.  but automatics are available.

  8. Hey Henry, I really would love to meet you before I go back at the end of this month.  I know you are now in Dumaguete and I am in Cebu but I know there is someplace we can maybe meet.  Please give me a shout.  Rick

  9. Thanks for all Your information regarding the traffic.  I myself have been driving a small pickup gently for about only 30 km h with three passengers on the trucks platform – when I get overtaken by a bus running at least 65 km h and has about 15-20 passengers sitting on the roof of the bus. This happened in Bohol 2009. Again, thanks for your nice and informative traffic video…Best regards from Stockholm Sweden

  10. Hello . i totally agree ,you have to go with the flow, as if you are in a schoel of sardines.I once drove just after sunset on a main highway which had no lights or markings on the road.It was from the Province to a City when suddenly  a Sugar Cane Truck with no lights doing 1/10th my speed was  upon me.Man if it was a rainy night i would not be here to tell you about it.

  11. Having a Scooter is good in the Country/Province/Small City.  In Manila just walk outside pretty much 24/7 and grab a Peticab or Tricycle or Cab… it is so cheap.  Traffic in Manila is INSANE.

  12. I don’t think I would ever drive at night – anywhere in the Philippines.  One day I was crossing the street with my friend and the traffic was coming out us and he said don’t worry they will not hit you – they will stop and they did – it’s very strange

  13. Wow man I guess I’ve been riding so long now its just reflex action lol. The best I can describe it is like being a bobble head .you have to have your head on a pivot always watching everything . its like being aware of your surroundings walking in a strange place in the middle of the night but at 100 times more precise in every second your on the road. And I can garuantee as soon as you get comfortable disaster is giving you a bad wake up call. I was watching a girl get a ticket while riding one day and ended up in the back of a pick up truck with a bunch of kids skippng school.

  14. You described it so scary well it is specially if your not used to this system (if you call it a system.. haha). But once you get a hand of it and get used to that system, its not really that bad. Advantage when you get back to your country where every one is driving safely, driving is so easy you will miss the intense driving.

    Regarding the “horn” rule you mentioned that it means “I’m coming through and i don’t plan on stopping” well that’s only true when there’s nobody in front and wanted to warn others not to cross in front of the way. If there are vehicles in front, it means “Hello, let me through please” or “Please move, hurry”. Just to make it more accurate

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