Top 12 Tips When Driving in the Philippines

Ever driven a car?  Easy enough question answerable by a simple YES or NO.  But have you ever driven a car… in the Philippines?  “Heck, yeah!” would be the obvious reply if you indeed have shared the road with the jeepneys, tricycles, motorcycles, huge travelling coffins (err, buses), pedicabs, and kuligligs (yup, pedicabs and kuligligs in major roads like those found at the intersection of Taft and U.N. Avenues in the great city of Manila) frolicking around the major thoroughfares of the country. So, if you want to go from Point A to Point B in these islands without any hitch, I suggest you read on, take down notes (mental or otherwise) and keep an open mind because as they say in TV, radio, internet and print ads, “It’s more fun in the Philippines!”  And the fun begins… now: 

1. Keep cool.  Remain calm.  Stay collected.  First things first, (and you should always remember this while driving in the Philippines) keep in mind that you are driving in the Philippines -- a country where it’s perfectly normal for people to drive like there’s no tomorrow.  Here’s one way of keeping your anger at bay: Use the Force.

2. Be courteous and never take other drivers’ behaviors on the road seriously/personally.  Road rage, anyone?  We Filipino drivers are very possessive of the roads we’re driving on.  That’s where the expression “Parang mauubusan ng kalye!” (Like it’s gonna run out of roads!) is derived from.  If you want to survive your trip, better let the occasional dirty finger from another driver slip by “unnoticed” even if you want to shout expletives right in his face.  Instead of cursing, just smile and be on your way.  Besides, you’ll be sparing yourself the stress that surely stems from such situations. And you might just save a life in the process: your own.

3. Stay alert, be aware of your surroundings, and practice defensive driving--always.  Shit can surely happen when you drive offensively in these islands.  Accidents here are like a box of chocolates ‘coz you never know what you’re gonna get.

(We don't want any serious injuries to happen on the road, but if they do, you can call Lifeline Ambulance Rescue Inc. for help.)

4. Buckle up, use your side and rear-view mirrors, and maintain a safe distance all the time.    It’s better to be safe than sorry and it’s much better to be safer than just safe.  We can’t reiterate this enough.

5. Plan your route ahead.  Mapping out your trips can save you a lot of trouble and a whole lot of time, not to mention a lot of money.  Preparing for your drive not only gives you all these advantages, it also keeps driving more manageable as you already know what to expect when you’re out there on the road.  If you don’t know where to go, Google it!

(Keep your car in tip-top shape with Global 1 Car Care Center.)

6. Leave early if you can.  If you can’t, make sure that you still do.  My advice:  As always, use the Force.

7. Tune in to traffic reports on the radio.  Most radio stations have this special service for motorists during rush hour in the mornings and evenings during weekdays.  This is truly helpful especially if the traffic reporter can give you up to the minute updates on what’s happening on the thoroughfares, so you’ll know which roads to use.

8. Be mindful of pedestrians, motorcycles, tricycles, “kuligligs” and bicycles.  In the U.S. and Canada, when a motorist sees someone crossing the street, the motorist yields and gives the pedestrian the right of way.  Here in the Philippines, when a driver sees pedestrians crossing the road, he incessantly honks his horn and leaves each one of them biting the dust (literally) as they scamper away from the four-wheeled monster out to get them.  

9. Share a car, win some friends.  Carpooling can work wonders for you.  Though it’s not usually done here in the Philippines, just think of how much fun it would be to see your friends off to work and pick them up later in the afternoon when all of you are dead-tired and you’re (you guessed it) the designated driver.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is, tomorrow and for the rest of the week, you’ll be sleeping to and from the office as someone else from the group is in charge of the wheel.  Just think of how much down time you (and your car) will have at your disposal, not to mention the savings you’ll incur, from this very nice approach to being green.

(Don't drive home drunk. Learn more about Lifeline's 'Driver on Call' service.)

10. Leave your ride in a safe car park and take the train instead.  So, you’re an introvert with no friends to have rides with?  Not to worry, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet new friends in the jam-packed trains of the metropolis.  Just go to your nearest (and safest) car park service and leave your ride there so you can go to work feeling like a million bucks!

11. Make sure your car is in good running condition all the time.  Maintaining your car in tip-top shape is its own reward.  You need your car to be on top of every situation rain or shine, flood or no flood.

(Having car troubles? Here's a comprhensive list of automobile services providers in the metro.)

12. Avoid honking your horn at the slightest provocation and don’t make a habit of flashing your headlights to on-coming traffic because you want to get ahead of the other driver.  Just don’t.  ‘Coz it’s so rude.  Enough said.

What are your other tips when driving in the Philippines?

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Sandigan OKs hospital stay for GMA co-accused
    Sandigan OKs hospital stay for GMA co-accused

    The Sandiganbayan has allowed a government official, accused with plunder along with former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to undergo a medical procedure at a hospital tomorrow. The anti-graft court permitted former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board member Benigno Aguas to undergo a cardiopulmonary/endocrine clearance at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City. …

  • Sandigan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy
    Sandigan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy

    The Sandiganbayan has recommended executive clemency for a former Philippine ambassador to Nigeria who was sentenced to 52 years for malversation of public funds. The Sandiganbayan First Division found Masaranga Umpa guilty of misusing the Assistance-To-Nationals Stand-by Funds totaling $80,478.80 in 2007, but the anti-graft court said the former assemblyman from Lanao del Norte should be pardoned. …

  • Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour
    Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour

    It was a night of stargazing in 58 SM Supermalls all over the country last night as these establishments participated in Earth Hour, an annual worldwide movement encouraging communities and establishments to switch off lights for one hour to raise global awareness of overuse of non-renewable resources. The Philippines has been an active participant of Earth Hour since 2008. Last night, in the province of Bulacan, for instance, all parishes, diocesan institutions, schools and household …

  • Payanig privatization hit
    Payanig privatization hit

    BLEMP Commercial of the Philippines, Inc. (BLEMP) denounced the recent announcement of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to privatize the 18.4-hectare “Payanig sa Pasig” property. In a statement sent to The STAR , BLEMP lawyer Dennis Manalo said the PCGG has no right to auction the property because it has no valid title and is not in possession. The PCGG has not paid a single centavo in real property taxes for the property, he said. He narrated that it was in the early …

  • New species of tarantula found
    New species of tarantula found

    Scientists from the Museum of Natural History (MNH) of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños have discovered a new species of cave-dwelling tarantula on an island off the coast of Quezon. The new species of the spider, Phlogiellus kwebaburdeos, was described in the recent issue of the Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology by MNH curators for spiders Aimee Lynn Dupo and Alberto Barrion along with their former student Joseph Rasalan. The tarantula was discovered by Rasalan during …

  • Palm Sunday: Do not add to suffering of others
    Palm Sunday: Do not add to suffering of others

    As Christendom enters Holy Week today, Palm Sunday, an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) yesterday called on the faithful not to add to the sufferings of their fellowmen. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Public Affairs (ECPA), said that while Palm Sunday is oftentimes remembered as the glorious arrival of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, it also signals the start of the Holy Week that tells of His suffering, death and …

  • Miriam pushes tougher graft law
    Miriam pushes tougher graft law

    Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has filed a bill that would make public officials liable for violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act even if they are elected to a fresh term or a new position. In filing Senate Bill 2716, Santiago sought to address what she said was the doctrine of condonation in Philippine jurisprudence brought about by the 2010 case of Salumbides vs. Ombudsman. Santiago also cited the older case of Pascual vs. Hon. “By merely asserting the doctrine of …

  • Phl hits back at China over sea infra work
    Phl hits back at China over sea infra work

    The Philippines assailed China yesterday for contesting Manila’s planned repair and maintenance works on some islands in the West Philippine Sea, saying they are “in no way comparable” to the Asian power’s massive reclamation activities which are in violation of international laws. “The Philippines’ possible undertaking of necessary maintenance and repairs on its existing facilities in the West Philippine Sea, over which the Philippines rightfully exercises sovereignty, sovereign rights and …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options