The first thing about the Philippines is the traffic and the lack of organization to it. It is simply the survival of the fittest and you have to have a strong personality to endure it on a daily basis.
There are cars and a massive number of them, even more motorcycles, with most carrying two passengers, Taxi’s, Buses, multi person route jeeps, and tricycle taxis.
It is a constant jockey for position and constant lane changes and beeping of horns. The horns are just to warn others of your presence. There are no rules of the road and no cops writing tickets. Cars are travelling on all sides of the road in every direction with brief periods of head on traffic and bumpers inches from each other.
There are no crosswalks and the pedestrian’s just step out and cross the street anywhere. And there are vendors walking in between cars trying to sell products. There are no right of ways laws, (Or at least adhered to). There also does not seem to be many accidents either. The cars do not have a lot of scratches or dents.
If someone were to drive like that here they would be involved in road rage situations regularly with the pettiness we have on our roads here and the self-righteous mindset we have about everything. Personally I think with them it is a way of life and they generally have a sense of respect for others. Which we certainly do not have here either.
Going to Quezon City from the airport it was about a 20km drive but took almost two hours with many of the roads very narrow, which we would almost call alleys.
There were numerous fast food outlets like Mc Donalds, KFC, and Jollibee. Funny how areas that are poor in nature still can support fast food places.
Most of the building are made of cement and most have metals roofs, which makes lots of noise during the daily downpours. They have homeless people sleeping on the sidewalks and lots of panhandling by all age groups from 5 yrs. old to the elderly. I even saw one woman who appeared to be in her 70’s carrying a small child trying to gain sympathy for change for milk.
Going to a bank to exchange currency I was met at the door by several armed security guards who also had shotguns slung across their shoulders and one went to see if I was to be allowed in to do business. I also noted there were armed security guards at almost every business along the route we took and they are held in high esteem there, Another area that they show respect for. Coming out of the bank I had a short walk to my restaurant and he offered to walk with me for my safety and he wanted to protect me from the hot sun with an umbrella.
Next my stay at a Chinatown hotel……..