For the month of April I will be blogging alphabetically with the theme of Winnipeg versus Davao City. Not to prove a winner but simply to explore the differences and similarities between my home town and my current location.
D is for Driving!
|Ok, so, technically this is in Manila, but it's one of the most awesome things I've ever seen. A small dog in a biker jacket with a helmet riding on the back of a motorcycle!|
One of the things we were warned about when we first got to Davao was that you can easily get lost because the roads here don't go in straight lines and the names often change. Just like in Winnipeg!
Epic potholes? THE SAME!
That's where the similarities end. Everything else is totally different. Winnipeg is a car heavy city. Davao is all about public transit. (In Canada there are 60 vehicles for every 100 people, in the Philippines it is 3.) Back in Winnipeg, Evan and I both had our own cars. (My dad had 2 for the longest time... I know I guy that had 6...) Here in Davao we see no need for one. Our NGO has a vehicle that we can sign out if we're heading outside the city. Although, road tripping isn't really a thing here. And some places are not that safe.
The most common form of PUV (Public Utility Vehicle) is the Jeepney. You can cram a lot of people into them and it only cost P8 per person. (About $0.20.) Some jeeps will also go to other towns nearby for a few extra pesos. They are not like buses with strict schedules and stops. They have set routes but they will stop anywhere that someone needs to get on or off and there are just so many of them that you don't usually have to wait long for one to come along that is going your way.
There are also a lot of Trikes. These are motorcycles with a surrounding "enclosure" for passengers. You can cram a lot of Filipinos on these but the big white people take up a lot more room! These are only P7 per person. Their routes are more limited as they are not allowed to cross major roads.
Taxis here are great, too. The fare starts at P40 ($1!!!) and goes up by distance and time. We rarely pay more than P100 ($2.50 - Winnipeg bus fare) to get anywhere we need to go. It is faster than the jeeps and trikes (direct, no stops) plus it has a/c ("air-con" here) so that is our usual mode of transport.
|When my mom came to visit we signed out the Revo and drove up to Eden Nature Park. I did not take this picture. You can tell because I am driving. Evan took this picture.|
Besides mode of transport, the rules are different. Well, maybe some rules are similar, but they are enforced differently and the culture of driving is a lot different. Scooters and motorcycles are seemingly allowed to weave in and out of other traffic. There are not a lot of traffic signs so half the time you can't be sure what the sped limit is. So people drive as fast as possible... given the traffic and road conditions it's usually not that fast. Also, lanes are just suggestions. There are few traffic lights and no stop signs. The idea is that driving is a negotiation with those around you. People are far more polite and way less given to road rage.