Monday, August 23, 2010

Filipino bus drivers - just how crazy are they?

As far back as I can remember, Philippine buses have always been reputed road-bound killers. My earliest memory of a firsthand sighting of the aftermath of a bus crash was when I was in grade school. On the drive home after a week's vacation in Baguio City with my family, I remember traffic slowing to a crawl somewhere in Pangasinan. We eventually came up to the source of the road blockage -- two wrecked PANTRANCO buses (if I recall right) in what looked to me like a violent head-on collision.

PANTRANCO and Philippine Rabbit were the names of the bus lines of my youth that evoked images of tons of rusty metal and bald tires barreling down Luzon's mostly two-laned "highways" driven by crazed drivers. In my teenage years and most of my twenties, I recall buses aggressively tailgating me at least 4 out of every 5 times I'd be driving down the South Luzon Expressway -- regardless of the reasonableness of the speed I maintained. Sometimes I'd deliberately slow down and wait for a tailgating bus to attempt to overtake. I'd speed back up again just before the bus could pull ahead of me and switch into its lane in front of it, slow down, and then repeat the whole process a few times more.

The speed at which a bus driver maddened by these stunts of mine could bring his bus up to was quite impressive -- a testament to just how crazy these drivers are (not that these stunts of mine were exercises in prudence, but hey, those were my late teenage and early twenty-something years). Some of them would be so annoyed that I could see them on my rear view mirror wildly swerving from left to right menacingly, accelerating to within a foot or two of my rear fender before slowing down abruptly. Classy.

That's how crazy Filipino bus drivers are.

The popular urban legend in the Philippines is that Filipino bus drivers have standing orders, in the event of an accident involving a pedestrian, to make sure the victim is dead -- usually by putting their vehicles in reverse after an accident to run over the victim one more time for good measure. That way, the cost of compensation involves a one-time funeral expense rather than a lifetime of support for a surviving victim. Perhaps that is why so many crashes involving buses are so violent. Killing is part of the job description.

That's how crazy Filipino bus drivers are.

According to Presidential Communication Operation Office head Herminio Coloma (quoted in a GMA News report)...
Drivers must be road safety conscious and must realize they are responsible for many Filipinos’ lives. They must be particular on road safety and maintenance.

Sure. Try appealing to the "sensibilities" of the Filipino bus driver in the above limp-dicked way that Coloma proposes. It'll be good for laughs. Decades of driving with reckless impunity will not be changed by the quaint grandstanding of a Presidential mouthpiece.

6 comments:

  1. the fuck...you'd tease the bus drivers and you would risk the lives of people on the buses with your own driving antics? definitely a land of hypocrisy

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  2. Lack of enforcement of rules. Bulok na LTO, walang kwentang mga pulis, basurang justice system. DISIPLINA, wala namang bayad ito, bakit di magawa ng Pilipino?

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  3. Tama! Nsa enforcers din kse madalas eh... Eto kse famous line ng mga reckless drivers: "BKA PDE NATIN GAWAN NG PARAAN YAN?"... Gayahin natin ang ibang bansa na disiplina ang pinapairal...

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  4. BAKIT PALA NAWAWALA SA EKSENA ANG MGA GRUPO NG TRANSPORTASYON KATULAD NG "PISTON", "PASANG MASDA", ETC... PAG MARON NAGANAP NG MALAGIM NA AKSIDENTE?? PURO LANG REKLAMO MARIRINIG MO SA KANILA. DAPAT SA INYO MISMO MAGSIMULA ANG DISIPLINA!!! TULUNGAN NATIN ANG GOBYERNO. GISING NA TYO MGA FILIPINO!!!

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  5. It's funny when I see the contrast between bus drivers here in Singapore and in Philippines, Here they post a sign 'Do not assault the bus captain' because people often assault them when they're annoyed, In the Philippines, we fear them, Maybe it's because they're like fucking criminals out of jail.

    ReplyDelete

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