Riding around in my automobile doing things and seeing thing I’ve never seen before. Well that ain’t going to happen here. The traffic is unbelievable. Here the bigger you are the more power you have on the road, just ask a bus driver or a tractor trailer driver – “who’s the king of the road.”
Now me, I do a lot of walking around. So far the farthest I’ve walked is 12 k. one way. I’ve walked from Talisay to Gingoog City. I know that’s a long walk for an old man like me, I met a lot of people along the way, and the most famous saying in the Philippines is ”HEY JOE,” but most of the time I ride a multicab in to town and back.
The multicabs are small and everyone is packed in tight like sardines, I like sitting in them, there is a lot of women who ride them so I can sit nice and close to them and nobody say anything. I used to have a multicab van, red one I drove it all over the place and in some places I shouldn’t have especially in the mountains, mud and water in not good to drive in and you can’t go anywhere cause you are spinning your wheels in the mud, but you are not stuck. It’s just that you can’t go up hill anymore so you have to back down the hill. I had to back down one hill 2k before I could turn around and sometimes you can turn around in the middle of the road if it is wide enough to do. I did that too.
I remember one time I had a van full of people (In-laws and out-laws) we were going to Subongcogon to our farm there. I drove up this road and we stopped moving, tire was spinning, people shouting, dogs barking, kids crying, chickens cackling and every time I tried to back up the van would slide sideways towards the ditch. The ditch was like a gully on each side of the road 1-2m. deep . We piled out of the van. I never shut off the engine or took it out of gear it just sits there the tire spinning; now what I think? “Ok here is what we do” I said. Just then my wife started to holler in biasya and the guys all looked at me like I knew what she was talking about, but I didn’t. She was saying something about a carabao or an elephant maybe a dinosaur pulling us out then something hauling us out a truck or tractor maybe a blimp who knows. I knew I sure didn’t know what she was hollering about, so I told her to be quiet and sit there and I said it calmly. Then I told her to get into the drivers seat and turn the steering wheel to the right as hard as you can and put it in reverse and when I give the word you step on the gas and let off the clutch, Of course she had a comment about it not working, facing uphill and something about Newton and the fig tree he was sitting under (the law of gravity I think). I told her to quit jabbering and just do as I say OK? She said “OK. “ So my 2 brother-in-laws and I got in front of the van on the passenger side then I told her to let off the clutch and step on the gas when she did the van moved back and the rear-end slid sideways to the left so when that happened we pushed the front of the van to the right and it spun around in a 180 degree and was pointed downhill, it took a couple of tries with all the ruts and mud but it got done, everybody got back in the van and we preceded to go home.
Riding around on the roads in northern Mindanao, some are in very bad condition and they fix them a little at a time. Now this is the confusing part,now pay attention here cause I’m going to compare mangos with clams, Ok in the States they take a section of road and completely re make it from the ground up. Here they redo it from the ground up but they skip sections in between, and the sections they skip are just as bad if not worse then the sections they are replacing…I didn’t understand the reasoning behind it, why do half a job? So my Uncle explained it to me so it was very clear why they did it like that. If they fixed all the road at once then the local road crew would have nothing to do and they would be laid off cause there was no work for them as it is they go around and patch the holes and fix up the road. Ok I said I can relate to that, the need to keep people working in the community.
Ok I’ll stop here for now and let all this sink in. I hoped you all enjoyed the article … Thanks for reading it …Phil