Archive for the ‘Driving’ Category

2011 Honda CRV

October 3, 2012

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Thank you God for this durable SUV. I love my CRV.

Sienna 2012 by Toyota

October 3, 2012

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This is my next car. Always buy last year’s car to save money.
With 8 seats, it can seat more people. Ideal for highway driving.

Evil Drivers

July 9, 2010

Specimens of the asphalt jungle

The road much travelled
By RKM
July 6, 2010, 2:19pm

The Philippines must be the only place in the world where traffic is governed by Darwinian laws.

The roads here are jungles, inhabited by wild animals called Filipino drivers. These animals can be subdivided according to their species, which is easily identified by the kind of car they’re driving.

But as with all manner of creatures, Filipino drivers are marked by one defining characteristic: they cannot be tamed!

Draw lines on the road and Filipino drivers can be expected to step over them. Tell wang-wangs that a street goes one way and they will use it to go the other; a behavior called counterflowing. Designate loading and unloading areas for public vehicles, and they will pick up and drop off passengers in the middle of the road. Filipino drivers are fiercely independent; they follow no whims other than their own.

In the Philippines, there is no speed limit, but there is a minimum speed at which you can drive. Expect to be eaten alive for driving too slow. Taxi drivers and brash young college students will honk their horns fiercely at you, then throw a contemptuous look as they overtake your car. The most obstinate ones will even hurl obscenities in your direction.

Some species are notable for being predatory. Jeeps for example follow a hit-and-run strategy when it comes to hunting: they dent and scratch other cars, then speed away right after. Others only hunt on certain times of the day; buses have been known to mercilessly run over both cars and pedestrians in the middle of the night. Some prey species, therefore, have evolved defense mechanisms to combat these predators, such as carrying guns or pipes under the driver’s seat.

Filipino drivers also follow some sort of social hierarchy within their species. At the top of this hierarchy are the wangwangs, though the jeepneys might disagree. Wangwangs are the lions of the jungle, a tough prey to catch even for the most seasoned hunters, also called traffic enforcers.

Slightly below them are the trucks and buses, which look like elephants but move like flies.

At the bottom of this social order are the motorbikes and tricycles, which really are flies in every sense of the word.

But majority of the species can be classified as private vehicles, and their behavior follows a predictable pattern. On their own, they will not cause any trouble. But when the roads get congested, they start to become very aggressive, for they see this as an encroachment on their personal space. And when the wangwangs start sounding their sirens, one can expect these animals to fall in line and follow behind them.

Filipino drivers also have distinct ways of adapting to their environment. Traffic lights, for example, communicate very distinct signals to these animals. Green lights are no problem as they simply mean, “keep on going.” But yellow to a Filipino driver means, “go faster,” and red — which studies have shown to incite belligerent behavior from certain animals — means, “go fastest.’’

They also maximize the use of space on a road. Their instinct is to squeeze into any space where their bodies will fit. For this reason intersections are often clogged, because Filipino drivers don’t stop moving until something is explicitly blocking their way. In very extreme traffic situations, jeepneys and taxis would even use sidewalks as an additional lane — a testament, no doubt, to their resourcefulness. They will also park anywhere as long as there are no pink lines. Thus narrow residential streets are often too tight to traverse.

Finally, a remark can be made on their relationship with the hunters.

In general, Filipino drivers are afraid of traffic enforcers, but have developed devious methods of escaping their traps. Speeding ahead and pretending not to see them are common strategies to avoid being pulled over. But if caught in a pull over situation, Filipino drivers have creative ways of devising escape, such as crying, getting angry, or using sex appeal. In the event that no exit strategy works, bribing is usually good enough.

Philippine roads are a haven of biodiversity; it’s a wonder that zoologists aren’t coming in droves to study them. Filipino drivers are fascinating creatures with remarkably intelligent behavior patterns. But as with other wild beasts, it is very difficult to change them.