Driving in the Philippines



Driving in the Philippines

When greeting a Filipino driver, slowly lower your window and be prepared to greet the driver with: “Tang namo, bobo”. However, if you have been already addressed by a fellow driver, reply with a joyful “Tang namo rin, gago”.On Turn signals

If a driver in another lane turns on the turn signal, do not let him go into your lane. In fact, press the accelerator and start driving right next to him/her. The fellow driver will probably greet you and you already know what to do.

On Traffic Lights

These amusing artifacts hang from intersections for no apparent reason. Sometimes you will see drivers stop to see the colors change on these lights (a fascinating experience). Government officials (specifically police) believe that each color stands for an instruction for drivers to follow.

From pure observation I have determined the followingdriving Philippines instructions for each color: Yellow light: accelerate your car as much as possible.

Red light: this light gives permission to the next five to six cars to go through.

Green: reduce speed and wait for the five to six cars passing through their respective red lights.

Little-known-fact: Time to start honking your horn, as soon as the light turns green: 1.5 seconds.

On Changing Lanes

Changing lanes has been elevated to an art form in the Philippines. First of all, no matter what you do, never turn on your turn signal or otherwise you’ll stimulate the reaction described above. Second, swerve your car uncontrollably to the lane you want to change, preferably if you end up within inches of a car in that lane. At this point a greeting from the other driver may be in order. To perfect your change of lanes, reduce the speed of your car dramatically in a matter of seconds and you will see an action packed reaction from the car behind you.

On Traffic Jams

Traffic Jams are teeming with fun filled activities such as:

Honking your horn rhythmically.
Put on make-up (usually female drivers only)
Nose-pickers sightseeing. (not to be confused with people who scratch their brains through their nose)
Reduce speed to watch whatever is causing the traffic jam. Add excitement by trying to see if you know the parties involved. (note: every Filipino driver is obliged to do this)
Lose weight by sweating like a pig as a result of a lack of air conditioning.
Greet other drivers.
Practice lane changing.
Play the game: Let’s see how close I can get to you before rear-ending you.
On Pedestrians

These individuals are an annoyance to the Filipino driver. If you see pedestrians on your way, accelerate your car to let them know who’s the boss. If you are at an intersection, let the pedestrians know you want to proceed by accelerating your car and honking at the last possible moment.

On Social Situations

Bumping into a friend while driving (not to be taken literally) is a joyful occasion. Drivers should reduce speed and stop their cars in the middle of the street and chit chat. What about other drivers? Well, they can wait.

On Highway Driving

Bottleneck Formation: To accomplish this type of driving, cars must block all lanes by driving at the same speed and side by side (to avoid other cars to pass). It is important to drive at a speed at least 20 mph below the speed limit.

The Three-Lane-Change : This movement requires a lot of precision and creativity. It should be done around the highest number of cars possible and in a matter of seconds to create what others may refer to as widespread panic.

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