a friend once told me that "here in the philippines, if you know how to drive you'll be alive! (ehem! it doesn't contain the exact words, its just that i find it cool if i'll make a rhyme out of it)". simply because if you know how to drive, you can always be a jeepney driver, taxi driver, tricycle driver, trucker and all of the "ER" that you could think of. no wonder the traffic in manila looks like the human digestive system.
so the next time, you'll ask yourself, how the philippines' poverty level is doing? just try climbing the roof deck of a building and try looking at edsa. if there will be a day that the ratio of private vehicles will be higher, even by a single digit, than the public ones, shoot it! then forward it to me and we will celebrate! i would even personally visit the president and hang her a necklace of everlasting and sampaguita with anthurium as the pendant for a job very well done.
back to what my friend said, i really never doubted the ingenuity and resourcefulness of somebody who is being digested by his own stomach, especially the filipinos. but i told him, its not always the case. imagine: with the rise of the oil price in both the national and international markets, not to mention the boundary that they have to save before these drivers could realize there job's worth, there's no telling if they'll be able to stir the wheel by the next day.
i always admire drivers especially those who drive taxis. i remember when i was in my first year here in manila. my shift starts around four in the morning. since katipunan avenue is so exclusive that it just have one jeepney route that passes from UP Diliman to Katipunan and vice versa (and its not even 24 hours), i would always ride a cab to go to tomas morato for work.
i noticed that there was no day that i've rode a cab with a driver either smoking, has puffy eyes and just woke up, or with a bottle of extrajoss on hand. but what was really surprising about this folks, is the fact that they actually drive their cab for one whole day, as in 24 hours straight. ofcourse, they can sleep during their shift. but if you're a cab driver always thinking of how many hours and oil left in your shift, you'll always think of the rides/income that you'll miss if you're going to take a rest. tendecy: they push theirselves to their limits!
probably, these are the reasons why i always make sure that there is always a P10 tip aside from the round offs that taxi drivers ask. left hand down the floor. while my right is doing my highest salute!
so please, manong taxi driver, through this post i wrote in your behalf, kindly return back the envelope i left in your cab. it holds their the realization of my life. sad because i also forgot to check your plate number because i am so drunk that night. i just hpe that you are also blogging and reading this!
poor people. poor country. poor me.