Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I was in Palanca Street in Quiapo this Monday when I came upon this sight. I knew something like this is bound to happen — a pedicab going against the flow of traffic on a busy narrow street of Manila — and causing an adverse incident.

This pedicab driver, despite knowing he had no other place to go, insisted on inching forward and thereby getting pinned when the bus finally had to move forward as well. Fortunately, it wasn’t a bumper-to-bumper situation; giving the driver enough leeway to back up and maneuver his bus away from the pinned pedicab.

Lately, a growing number of pedicabs and tricycles are noticeably going though one way streets but against its designated traffic flow. One evening, at Oroquieta Street (a one way street heading to Blumentritt), I passed a jeepney that was ahead of me (that had stopped to pick up a passenger) when suddenly a pedicab appeared in front of me. Luckily, I wasn’t going fast and able to apply the brakes just in time to avoid hitting it head on. However, had there been another vehicle right behind me, it surely would have crashed against my car for my having stopped so suddenly.

In another occasion, I was waiting for the light when a pedicab suddenly hit my back bumper. It was scratched and would cost at least P1000 to get fixed. I knew the pedicab driver had no money to pay for the repair so I just let it go.

I realize that because of hard times, some less fortunate folks have to do what they can to make a living or maximize their earning capabilities. But then again, I don’t believe that being financially-strapped gives them or anyone else the license to be excused from adhering to law and order.

posted by Señor Enrique at 11:12 AM


Blogger ipanema said...

But then again, I don’t believe that being financially-strapped gives them or anyone else the license to be excused from adhering to law and order.

How true. What you did- letting that incident go, knowing that the pedicab driver has no means to pay for the damage was admirable. I have seen people alight from their vehicle and shout vendictives to these people.

October 25, 2006 12:33 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Perhaps, it was that repulsion for such action which made me choose to let go, Ipanema. But then again, I sometimes get fed up that I just had to blog about such incorrigible folks. Ang kukulit talaga!

October 25, 2006 12:50 PM  

Blogger ipanema said...

Can't blame you though. Looking at the photos will make your blood boil. They're asking for trouble.

October 25, 2006 1:44 PM  

Blogger Iskoo said...

pedicap are not required to get drivers license, thus they lack proper training or alike to be a driver. kahit di-padyak lang yun at least sana matuto sila ng street sign at manners sa street.

October 25, 2006 4:26 PM  

Blogger houseband00 said...

Hi Eric,

Are there laws or, at least, safety guidelines for pedicab drivers. They really need them because common sense is no where to be found. =)

And that mentality of false humility - overused and pathetic.


October 25, 2006 8:01 PM  

Blogger sachiko said...

That's why i don't think i can drive in the Phil. Even my hubby said it's too dangerous,and he's a very skilled driver.

Good you liked the,isn't it? :)

October 25, 2006 8:16 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ano na nga yung common expression sa atin? Kung saan masikip duon sumisiksik (?). But kidding aside that is a dangerous trick that the pedicab drivers do. And against the flow of traffic. Kung dito huli yan ng pulis. I had a kumare who once parked her car on the side of a street in a residential area here, but her car was facing the wrong way. It was obvious that she went against the flow of traffic. Na-ticketan siya ng pulis.

October 25, 2006 10:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do agree that even though you are financially-strapped, you still have to adhere to the law because no one can be dismissed from the law and order; in any country.

I guess it's hard to make people learn ... Sigh.

October 25, 2006 10:39 PM  

Blogger ipanema said...

Ah, that's true niceheart. It takes discipline. Bakit yan pinapayagan? Who controls them?

One actually needs a great deal of humility (that's if you have it) to understand and not be furious (which is seldom)when on the same road with this chaotic form of transport.

It's not overused and pathetic, it's misunderstood.

Kung parehos kayong walang pasensya, parang mga unggoy magsisigawan sa gitna ng daan. Now that's pathetic. Tawagin na
lang yung mas malaking unggoy sa kanto, yung nagtatagong pulis. Ah, buaya ba tawag dun? :)

October 25, 2006 11:17 PM  

Blogger Gayzha said...

Discipline, Orderliness, and obeying street laws are things that these pedicab drivers should learn. I personally think they should not be allowed to ply along main roads and highways :)

October 26, 2006 7:25 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not s crime to make a living but his pedi cab bikers are putting at risk lives and properties. People in authority should regulate and do something about this.

October 26, 2006 7:54 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Para rin silang Trykes nag haharian sa daan. I hope they learn to follow the flow of traffic kahit di pedal lng sila para maiwasan ang hassle sa mga motorist.

October 26, 2006 11:34 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

And know what, Iskoo? There are now motorized versions of pedicabs! And no LTO registrations required for such moving contraptions.

I sometimes take pedicab din naman pero I tell the driver not to take silly shortcuts by going against traffic kasi baga madali kami ng mga jeep! Katakot nga kung minsan.

I think they are not allowed to apply any license for their trade Hb00. And perhaps, this is the reason they get a bit audicious and do what they want. They sometimes ferry school kids and I'm really afraid for those children.

Knowing what's it really like to drive in Metro Manila, Sachiko, I've decided to always get comprehensive insurance for my car. This way, whether it's my fault or not, I wouldn't have to engage in dealing with uncontrollable motorists should I get into a fender bender with them. I've heard of guys pulling out their guns and shooting over a very minor traffic incidents.

And I don't blame you for not driving around here.

Great Led Zep song, btw. Thanks!

Like I said, Irene, ang kukulit and even though they have school kids as passengers, they go about their ways as if they own the roads.

Ano ba yan? Sana inayos na lang ng kumare mo ang pag-park niya para di nahalata. :)

I agree with you Kyels. It's really hard to reason with them at times.

Right, Ipanema. One of two parties has got to keep a cool head, otherwise things might escalate to an even uglier situation.

You're so right, Jase. I was under the impression that they were only supposed to ply the side streets, not the major streets and highways.

These guys can be classified amongst Rizal's cuchero which I've blogged about earlier, Sonnie. Nothing wrong with making a living, but they can't seem to understand that a certain degree of responsibility and competence go along with any occupation.

So it's the same in Bacolod, huh, Bugsybee?

I don't blame your sister. Like Ipanema said, it can make anyone's blood boil. Hanggang ngayon nga, eh, di ko pa din napapagawa yung bumper ko at naaasar lang ako pag dadalhin ko na para ayusin.

Di lang yon, Ferdz. My biggest fear is that I might hit one full of passengers. Makokonseyensiya ako ng husto nyian.

October 26, 2006 12:57 PM  

Blogger PhilippinesPhil said...

Its not just pedicab drivers. ALL drivers have a problem with following the "secret" traffic rules here. (I asked the LTO for a "rules of the road," something written that I could study and he merely looked at me quizzically). The only saving grace is that traffic is usually so snarled and slow that no one really gets hurt too bad when things get sticky. It's true that speed kills. If it wasn't for the usual slow rate of speed I would classify this place with some of the worst drivers anywhere. Still, I can't really blame the drivers. Human nature is to do what you think you can get away with and the obvious lack of enforcement encourages everyone here to do what ever they want. It's every man for himself, a concrete jungle if you will.

Self discipline only works when MOST people have it and exercise it. It takes just one selfish or stupid driver to mess it up for everyone. Ever been in a long line of traffic when one jerk will decide to pass the whole line up the side, either on the shoulder or by going against traffic in the wrong lane? THAT is a case in point. Inevitably, that one idiot will turn another 25 people into equal idiots and next thing you know everyone is doing it. THAT is driving in the Philippines. Okay, I got that off my chest... forgive me!

October 26, 2006 9:17 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Divisoria-Binondo area, the pedicabs are the KING of the road! They don't follow any traffic and would just come from anywhere. Sometimes you're more scared of being hit by one than a jeepney.
There are times when the police will catch these pedicab drivers with the pedicabs. You'll see a long line of pedicabs (maybe around 10 to 15) tied one after the other passing along the street. You don't know whether to pity them or to think they deserve it... but the thought often passes quickly. You just accept the fact that that is how it goes in that area.

October 26, 2006 9:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hayyy mga pedicab drivers nga naman. there are also pedicab drivers along wilson street in greenhills and it seems that they have a death wish, weaving in and out of every possible space as long as not part of a car is there. i rode in them when i worked near that area and though it was a bit exciting like a roller coaster ride, well, they still should take care.

oh yeah, i've written a lot of ramblings on both my intramuros tour and second manila self tour. hope you won't get dizzy reading them. ^_______^

October 27, 2006 6:48 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hey Carla!

I did enjoy your entries about Intramuros and your trip to Quiapo with your mom, but how come my comments are not registering on your page?

October 27, 2006 10:25 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hahaha! I must admit, Phil, you got me beat when it comes to describing the nitty-gritty of things. Yes! It takes one idiot to invite another 50 or so to come out of hiding :)

October 27, 2006 10:28 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Beth!

How come when I have limited time online (my landline still out to this day) that you would post a succession of interesting entries? I do enjoy reading them, but unable to post comment on each one, but will try again later.

Yes. You're right! Somehow the authorities do try to curb down the abuse by these pedicab drivers. I have seen a long train of pedicabs confiscated by the police. Nonetheless, I felt bad still for those unable to make a living for having lost their tool of trade, so to speak.

I also almost got hit once or twice by pedicabs in Divisoria and Baclaran ... grrrr!

October 27, 2006 10:33 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi! so sorry about the comment box thing. i am also not sure as to why the it isn't working. so the people who make a comment on any of my entries just use the tagboard. gonna check out with the server.

October 27, 2006 11:30 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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