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2/4/13

Philippine Traffic



What is up with all the cars in the Philippines.

Cebu South Road Traffic.


Now I have been in some traffic jams in my life.  Bumper to Bumper in LA. Yet the Philippines brings a whole meaning to the word traffic.  I will try to explain this.   

First you have people lots of them.  Cebu Philippines has 7 million people.  It has usable land mass, about the size of San Diego, California with out the Suburbs.  So there are people milling around everywhere.  That would include the street where Filipinos play Frogger as they dart from side to side.

Then you have the street vendors selling everything from: water, juice, peanuts, and today one was selling Santa hats.  Yes, we are in February so stock up early.  Now it would not be bad if people actually had their money ready or PLEASE help us if they need change.

Fruit Vendor walking in street in cebu
Thirdly you have these people on pedal cycle things.  Some hauling pigs and others hauling people.  Now this is the only major through fare from one end of Cebu to the other.  You also have people pushing fruit stands down the middle of this road.  All going at a snail pace if not slower.

Next we have our occasional funeral parade that happens more frequent then not.  They will march down the middle of the street and hold up traffic.  As people throw coins as they pass to pay respects to the dearly departed.  That would not be all that bad if they did not keep dead uncle Tommy on display  for a week taking up one lane of traffic.  

Philippine JeepneyFifth we have the Filipino mode of transportation the Jeepney (Filipino local bus) and regular buses.  Now they do not have designated stops.  You wave your hand and they will dart over three lanes of traffic to pick you up. Of course blocking two lanes while people enter or exit the vessel.  This goes the same for the buses. They dart all over the road.  If you hear a bus horn just for safety sake get out of the way.  If not  it will squish you like a bug. Also remember that car, bus, jeepney and truck repair are done where it breaks. Does not matter the lane nor the degree it breaks.  They will just start fixing it right there.  Cones, warning signs, Filipinos do not need no warning signs.  

Then you have the average driver that probably never took the test to drive.  He just darts around and never looks and always assumes you will get out of the way.  Now if that does not make it bad enough you have motorcycles that squeeze into any open space on the roads.  Pass only on the left applies if there is no room on the right.   

man on ladder middle of street

Then the always on going road repair. Light poll repair, cable electrical and various other maintenance things happening all over.  Do they do this when there are no cars like in the middle of the night. Why would they do that, people should be sleeping.  So they will just setup the ladder up in the middle of the road and start the repair.  

Lastly to make it all worse, like it could get any worse.  See traffic lights do not operate. What happens next is some brave soul sticks his nose out there slowly and slowly till the traffic stops.  Then it is a log jam of cars with everyone trying to get by.  Oh my some one please help us if there is an accident! The cars or vehicle involved will sit there till the police arrive.  It does not end there a million pictures, measurements and interview anyone that saw anything.  Then and only then will they move the vehicles..  

So just remember if you drive in the Philippines traffic signs, lines on the road, and any other form of warning is mearly a suggestion.  If you follow all the laws you will be the first in an accident as no one else is doing it your way.  

So traffic is way more fun in the Philippines  

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