I’ve often wondered how I’m going to handle driving in the Philippines. The lack of any regard for rules and signs is disconcerting to me and I imagine to many visitors from the States and other countries that adhere to some sort of semblance to order. I mean I get pretty frustrated currently with the driving I see locally, and with the amount of driving I do, it’s a lot of frustration.

Then I got to realizing, it might actually be better to know that no one is going to follow any sort of rules or courtesy. Here the problem is that you don’t know who will and who won’t. You expect that people should, but many don’t, and it causes you to become almost schizophrenic trying to determine what a person might do. In the Philippines I pretty much know what they are going to do – push and squeeze, first come first served.

I feel that lately I’m being prepared for the frenetic driving that I’m going to experience in the bigger cities in the Philippines. No, I don’t think I need to worry too much about getting around Samal, it’ll be Davao that will be more of a challenge for me. Samal Island may offer different challenges because of the roads and mode of transportation that could be used there.

I don’t know what it is – me getting older, the increased cell phone usage, less police on force, general disrespect – but it seems that there are more and more people out there that just have no focus on their driving anymore. We’ve got a new cell phone law here in Washington, but when you see the police driving around talking on cell phones, you know it’s not being taken seriously.

Running red lights, stopping 10 feet past the stop sign into oncoming traffic, ignoring yield signs, going down the wrong way on a one-way street; these are all becoming common place around here. Throw in winter driving (for those of you that don’t know there are basically three types 1) those that have experience and drive like it, 2) those that have no experience and drive like it, 3) those that have 4 wheel drive vehicles and for some reason think that helps them on ice – you’ll see them in the ditch later) and you have an all out mess at times.

So I’m thinking that I’m getting well prepared for my initial attempt at driving in the Philippines. I suppose I really don’t have to drive in that anymore, if I only venture out to Davao on occasion. I could keep my driving local to Samal. Though some of the taxi rides I’ve had there haven’t exactly done anything positive for my blood pressure either :-)

Photo credit: alfredo camba jr. | www.pbase.com/image/85951168

Anki Bisaya Phrasebook Flashcards