Highway To Hell

have just completed a 600km journey on a failippine National Highway (Manila to Matnog). Here’s what I saw/experienced:

(Please bear in mind this is a NATIONAL HIGHWAY)

  • Vehicles overtaking around bends (vertical and horizontal). Level of anticipation = NIL: the other driver will move out of my way.
  • On four occasions I had to stop on my side of the road, in order that an oncoming overtaking vehicle could complete their overtake. On one occasion, after slowing down, I had to take to the soft verge. All incidents were made safe due to my anticipation.
  • I endeavoured to keep up with the flow of traffic, but failed. I am no slouch when it comes to driving, with acknowledged racecraft and roadcraft experience at instructor level. And I drive a very swift car.
  • The average failippino has no concept of any discipline, mechanical sympathy, vehicle dynamics, or thought to what can reasonably be expected to happen when operating a vehicle. Theirs is an I’m holier-than-thou, self-rightousness, that just amplifies what we here at PFB have pinpointed in the Failippine psyche. The true belief in theur mind that nobody else exists, or if they do they are of lesser importance. So get the fuck outta my way, I have decided to (insert foolhardy banzai manoeuvre here)
  • What National Highway has a basketball hoop on the pavement, facing the road, where the road is the court? That got my attention, ffs!!
  • Two car head on, one car side on, and four motorcycle collisions.
  • Three trikes and three motorcycles forced off the road by overtaking vehicles. All clearly in view…
  • On more than ten occasions – 30mins to an hour after being overtaken – I would arrive at a tailback. All the vehicles that had frantically tried to get ahead and barrel into the distance at ridiculously insane speeds were there in front, about three seconds to the better. J
  • Some vehicles (mainly belching two-stroke oil or red diesel) were incapable of exceeding 30kph and blocked the road for many kilometers.
  • Some road surfaces were so badly maintained/scarred that to exceed 30kph would cause damage to your vehicle. You had to pick the least damaging route through.
  • Some roads, where it would have been reasonable to overtake, one lane was blocked to dry out the rice harvest.
  • I drove as I would do in the UK and at the swiftest safe speed.
  • My fastest speed, when sight lines allowed, was 120kph. Most of the time my speeds were below 100kph due to the close proximity of houses, poor road surface, etc. The only road that was excellent and could allow higher average speeds was Manila south super. But that has speed cameras, apparently.

Remember the above is over 600kph of National Highway. In a normal country this would take say 7-9 hours. My journey time? Fifteen hours!! Not much of it pleasant….

Published in Cultural Rudeness


  1. Profile gravatar of tambok

    I have exactly the same experiences. It’s fucking insane. I drive a motorcycle and have been driving for fifty years and have never experienced anything like this. They overtake no mater you are on coming, you are supposed to get out of the way. Countless times I too have had to get off the road or be hit. Every week I see new blood stains on my local road as the idiots as you say pass on blind corners. Unbelievable fucking self righteous idiots. The only reason I am still alive is because of experience. Would not want to be a beginner here, you’re dead!

    1. Profile gravatar of 86andBelow
      86andBelow Post author

      Joekano. I ride a big ol’ trail thumper and have ridden others as well.
      “I drive a motorcycle and have been driving for fifty years and have never experienced anything like this.” I agree. I thought India was insane, but this is just brain dead madness. Great training ground for defensive riding/driving though.

  2. Profile gravatar of Johnny

    I was in the USA a few weeks ago with my fiance. I explained to her what an actual highway is,, as we drove on it. After she kind of realized we can drive over 70mph/ 110kph without stopping for retarded Filipino obstructions, she finally got it. She finally understood why I get so impatient driving more than 10 minutes in the Philippines.
    We were on a 6 lane highway with smooth roads. The construction areas were not “let’s stop and wait for the opposing lane of the highway to proceed and then we’ll get our turn” cause I explained the constant flow of traffic is the utmost concern. Further, no one is allowed to dry rice, play basketball, and 2 stroke 125cc tricycles with 8 people on them are not allowed.

    Basically our sidewalks in the USA are better than their “national highway”.

    1. Profile gravatar of omgwtf

      @Johnny55 Be happy that you didn’t take her to Germany where the top speed is ‘enter the maximum speed of your vehicle’. But this is also just possible because we pay around 1500-2000 EUR for our training and license. The license is gone aswell pretty fast if you don’t follow the rules very strictly.

      My Girlfriend was amazed when i showed her this video shot from a emergency corridor on the autobahn. Wouldn’t happen here since people whould just use the newly opened lane to block the ambulance and then be stucked themseves for hours. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sgg48pV0M7s

      1. Profile gravatar of 86andBelow
        86andBelow Post author

        That video shows 100% the difference between Failipps and the west. We can have a train of thought that allows us to imagine someone else’s predicament and adjust our priorities through empathic response.

  3. Profile gravatar of JudgeDredd0621

    Have you tried reasoning out with traffic officers here? I hear they would clam up and “know” their place if you put them in theirs in a British accent.

    Hell, I don’t drive but showing your displeasure with a generous sprinkling of Cockney curses would work wonders….

    1. Profile gravatar of Rice Ganda
      Rice Ganda

      What exactly is a “British accent”? If you spoke to them in a Scouse, Brummie ,Glaswegian, Aberdonian accent ( to name only a few) then they wouldn’t have the slightest clue what was being said.

      1. Profile gravatar of 86andBelow
        86andBelow Post author

        One you should all try: if you are ever pulled over use a made up language. Confuses the fuck outta them and they dunno what to do! Then just drive off….I use my Swedish Chef impression from the Muppet Show…hurdy gurdy. They can’t shake down someone that doesnt know they want a bribe lol.

  4. Profile gravatar of 86andBelow
    86andBelow Post author

    Done it with the toll gate too. Use the tag lane – just point to go – and speak Swahili. Never paid and drove on with my mates laughing their arses off!! (I was desperate for a piss)

  5. Profile gravatar of FilamboredinthePH

    Generally speaking yes highway travel in the Philippines is fucking garbage. I laugh at the fact that people can drive cars from 2016 and have to share the roads with shitty ancient vehicles that can’t exceed 30kph. It must really suck to have a 2 million peso car and have to drive it like at fucking golf cart speed everywhere. With that said, I still do enjoy riding my 650cc motorcycle around. There are some really gorgeous rides down here in the Visayas and most traffic are people on slow scooters and in shitty cars. If there’s one thing that I know from experience is that I can always count on pinoy movements to be really slow and predictable in general (Nevermind the rare aggressive assholes in NEW vehicles). I can literally ride my motorcycle in rings around everyone without even breaking a sweat. I battled traffic in LA, Chicago, NYC, Houston, and many many other cities and over there you had to go up against many other fast thinking drivers in fast vehicles. It’s child’s play here slipping through the morons.

    I do find it comical though to see the effects PH driving conditions have on people. They get so used to driving absurdly slow everywhere that even people in nice new cars will still go about 40-50 max on a wide open road because their brains have never developed the ability to process driving at faster speeds.

    I must look like a goddamn fucking insane maniac to them riding a “big bike” around with an average speed of 130kph on clear roads. My gf accuses me of having a death wish even though I head check before every movement, monitor my rear through mirrors, only pass when it’s clear, make sure to never impede on anyone’s movement, never honk except when absolutely necessary, and when stopping to move completely off the road so as not to pose a danger to anyone. I’m like “no baby this is what we call 1st world driving.”

    1. Profile gravatar of omgwtf

      The problem here is the inconsideration of the People here as welll as the shitty road condidtions. Thats whats going to kill you. A client of mine has a Gasstation here, as you can imagine its plastered with CCTV cameras that also cover the surounding streets. I recorded many crashes and a lot of fatal ones. Mostly its because someone pulls out without looking and the ongoing driver just smashes highspeed in. The rest of the footage ist then a bunch of useless people gawking how someone dies.

  6. Profile gravatar of Mike

    Nothing in this country surprises me anymore. I started driving when I was 14 on back roads of a small town, old school will know what I mean. I drove an 18 wheeler cross country for 8 years in all kinds of weather and major cities. I can say without a doubt that the rush hour traffic in Chicago, NYC, LA and other major cities has more discipline than than any of the smallest town or any filipino driver in the philippines. In almost 40 years of driving I have never had an at fault accident. Now after being around filipinos and seeing what they are like when driving I feel no compassion when I see a filipino that has become road kill. It’s like I tell people ” Filipinos are the nicest people you will meet. But the biggest assholes when in control of anything with a motor.” Yes, they might be nice but never trust them. Beware because crocs have smiles too.

    1. Profile gravatar of Johnny

      I always say, “American are rude, but we are considerate. Filipinos are not rude, but they are the most inconsiderate little fuckers”.
      Driving: If you are blocking an intersection, Americans will honk their horns and yell at you to get out of the way. So we have learned not to block intersections as a courtesy (and the law) to other drivers. Filipinos don’t give a shit and 2 jeepney drivers will block the entire road just to have a conversation.
      Lines: Cut in front of someone in the USA and you’re going to hear about it. Filipinos will cut lines cause they could care less or they don’t even notice other people are there.

      If you notice, Manila is actually not a big city/ area. Its just filled with a bunch of low-IQ Filipinos clogging the area. Plus the idiots in charge can’t plan further than their next meal break,,, especially when the morons keep electing Estrada over and over so of course things will only get worse.
      I always fantasize of driving a large bulldozer and just wiping anyone in the way off the road. This isn’t for Manila. This is for their Bullshit, awful road they call a highway. I fantasize about driving a huge bulldozer or military Humvee at a steady 45mph without ever letting off the gas. Then every shithead trike driver who feels the need to jump in front of me and go 15 mph with 8 pinoys hanging off will pay a heavy price. I’d even like to drive through those BS pnp checkpoints as well. Just a fantasy.

      1. Profile gravatar of Johnny

        Exactly what I would use! Not sure if they can go 45 mph though. Every 2-3 years they need to roll out the tank. Just keep it in the 2 right lanes and smash the double parkers, Jeepneys holding up traffic, People stopped for no reason, trikes, etc.

        1. Profile gravatar of Mike

          Well, if you have a vehicle that weighs 44 tons, can go 34 mph and has an 88mm gun why do you need 45 mph in traffic here? Yes they can out run the tank but they cannot outrun that 88mm round.

          1. Profile gravatar of Sarah

            Nah Mikey, I prefer the Humvee, at least I can drive it, but not the Harley. 🙂

  7. Profile gravatar of Mike

    You forgot the one where they put up a tarp over one lane because lola kicked the bucket and need the lane for her vigil. Hell, I’ve seen them take up both lanes for that.

    1. Profile gravatar of Richard aka Dick Head
      Richard aka Dick Head

      You see that (public wake) a lot in the working class districts of Metro Manila. Most bizarre story I’ve hear is that some folks “borrow” the body and casket, set up a wake in a public place in the neighborhood and invite players/gamblers to play “tongits” and other card games. Gambling in public during a wake is tolerated by the city authorities and the organizers donate some money to the grieving families which they have collected as “tong” from the winners in the card games.

  8. Profile gravatar of Mike

    When they set the rice out to dry and block a lane, has anyone thought about driving through the rice and scattering it? If not rice then they have wood set out to dry blocking the lane. Fucking morons.

  9. Profile gravatar of Mike

    They say there is a god and he don’t make mistakes, if so then he left the philippines long time ago. But I am starting be think maybe there is a god and he don’t make mistakes then he created filipinos so he would have his own personal comedy troupe. Can anyone else hear him laughing and saying ” What the fuck were the filipinos thinking?”

  10. Profile gravatar of tambok

    Here on Samal Island the driving problems are numerous. All of the assholes, irate and impatient come from Davao to go to the resorts here. They have to fight traffic in Davao, sometimes wait for hours in the heat to get here with a car full of screaming kids. So when they get to the island there are tricycles everywhere going 20kph and there just go fucking nuts and everything has to get out of the way especially if you are an oncoming motorcycle. Next problem is when they get to the resort out comes the tanduay and emperador. So they head back to Davao totally intoxicated and even more irate and drive like suicidal maniacs. Thousands a year lose their lives here. It’s insane and all single lane both ways.

  11. Profile gravatar of Richard aka Dick Head
    Richard aka Dick Head

    In this country, anything that has wheels whether it is mechanized, horse/animal drawn, or muscle-powered (like bicyles) is entitled to use the sidewalks, roads, motorways and highway. Traffic signs are optional or simply suggestions.

  12. Profile gravatar of 86andBelow
    86andBelow Post author

    Oh, by the by. The comment, “On four occasions I had to stop on my side of the road, in order that an oncoming overtaking vehicle could complete their overtake” was as I was EXITING A BEND!!
    Yes, to their way of “thinking” it is OK to overtake approaching and negotiating a bend. Fucktards.
    There were untold occasions when I had to reduce my speed on a straight in order that they could complete their overtake.

  13. Profile gravatar of tomas

    I considered renting a car on my last jaunt… after some thought I figured this would be an extremely bad idea.
    Absolute bloody idiots… could give a flying feck about the consequences of reckless motor vehicle operation.