I first visited Davao in 2006, if my memory serves me correctly. I’ve been told I’m wrong, but I honestly don’t remember any traffic lights at that time. There must have been very few if, as I’ve been told, there were. Traffic flowed very easily, as what I recall. It wasn’t even that hard to cross the street then.

I moved here just over a year ago. Things had changed a lot in that time in regards to traffic. The proliferation of vehicles and intersections with traffic lights had increased drastically from what I had seen six years early. That pales compared to what I’ve seen in the last year though.

Davao is not in the same league as Manila. I can’t imagine it ever will be. It’s still not as bad as Cebu, but it’s not out of the question that it could be or possibly worse. Those of you that are planning your retirement, and have Davao high on your list because of the laid back “rural feeling, big city” that you once knew, are in for a big surprise. Davao is changing right before our eyes. Faster than you can fathom.

For those of you that don’t follow me, I’m a jeepney rider. To get into town takes a ride or two. I’ve got to pass some major intersections, depending upon where I’m headed. A year ago it was very uncommon to be stuck at a light more than one sequence. Then when this started happening, it was once or twice a week you’d get backed up. Usually Monday and a holiday. Usually morning rush hour and evening. Now it’s happening daily and rush hour is turning into rush hours. It’s not uncommon to sit through many light changes now at some of the busier intersections.

This is all within the last year. Congestion seems to be on a continual and rapid increase. If the next year is anything like the last, we are in for some long commutes from this point forward.

There are a lot of reasons for it of course. More people, more people with cars, more malls and retail stores, more people visiting those same, no new or expanded streets to accommodate the previous examples, etc. It’s just more of everything, except the ability to handle it.

I like Davao. I like quite a bit about it. But if I were to decide to move elsewhere in the Philippines at a future date, much of that decision will have to do with this and related issues.

We’re used to waiting in the Philippines, so we might as well sit back and enjoy a little music while we’re stuck in traffic here in Davao:

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