Today we have a Guest article which was submitted by Nick Young. Nick submitted this article using our Article Submission Form. If you would like to submit an article, please use the form and we’ll be glad to publish your article on the site too!
On a first trip to Davao everything is just so fascinating and interesting and different. Especially the traffic and the transport system. You can be walking along the street and get a loud ‘Hello Joe’ from a passing truck driver. I always give them a wave. Then the school kids going past will give you a high five and the older girls will just giggle. Not sure what they are thinking or saying to each other. Coming out of our subdivision there was always some pre school kids who would grab your hand and touch it to their forehead. I always found that quite humbling. I decided to walk to the mall one day on my own. It was only a 15 minute walk away. I came across a little girl on the footpath who put her hand out for some money. She was quick and only so small but recognized an opportunity. I had no change but she was so cute so I gave her a 100 peso note. She ran back inside her subdivision and I took off at a fast clip before they were all out there doing the same.
The transport system is so well organized. All the major routes are serviced by jeepneys and you would get off at your subdivision and then take a cycle thing on the minor route to get home. These cycle things were only a small motor cycle, usually around 100 cc, with a built in back which could seat 10 people. They would wait till they were full before they would go. And go they did. With that much weight in the back it was a task to get going. It was usually on full throttle with the front wheel a couple of feet of the road till they got up to speed. A real fun ride. The jeepneys on the major routes are a fun ride too. I always bang my head getting in and out as you have to find a seat in a crouched position which is not good for a bad back. You are usually squeezed in when they are full and sitting nearly on top of others or them sitting nearly on top of you. Some guys seem to enjoy that especially when you have a pretty female pressed close.
The only problem with the jeepneys is getting to know the routes so you can catch one to where you want to go. My wife sees to that so I would not be confident riding them on my own just yet. When you step outside your gate in some subdivisions you can just raise your hand and have transports there in 2 minutes. This usually a motorbike and sidecar arrangement which, for 5 pesos, will take you out to the main road where you can catch a jeepney or a taxi. A taxi is something else again. If it is really hot we would take a taxi because they are air conditioned now. The only problem is the driver always has the air conditioning on flat out so when you get in from a real hot day it is like getting into an ice box. Still, they are a comfortable ride if you don’t look at the other traffic to hard. Some of the drivers take liberties with the side of the road they are supposed to be on and will often be texting on their phone while negotiating heavy traffic. Can be a fun ride too.
My favourite ride though was the old pedal push bike with a side car. For a few pesos he would take you round the city and because it was low speed you are able to get a good look at everything. And there is a lot to see. So much interesting stuff that no trip is ever boring.