The Twilight Zone

This is a true story. I swear to it and would take a lie detector test if needed.

I think I found a rip in the space time continuum that let me travel to a parallel universe inside an MRT station.

I was travelling to see a buddy of mine and decided to take the MRT. Jam packed and unable to see the station name, I missed my station.

I got off and headed to the station office to explain the situation and pay the remaining fee, so I could get back to the station I wanted to reach. Having explained it to the office, they told me “dont worry, just get back on the train on the other platform and get off at the right station, no need to pay anything”.

For the first time ever, I was the one who gave a blank stare. Ok, great.

I got off at the right station (the one I bought the ticket for) but I was lost again. DAMNIT!

After managing to find Robinsons Mall, I asked the police outpost for directions. They were unsure and hurriedly whisked me inside their outpost where they checked a map on the table. After radioing for correct directions, they told me how to get there.

I discreetly pulled out 200 pesos so no one could see except the cops and told them that I would like to buy them McDonalds as they had helped me so much and I really appreciated. “No need” said the officer in charge, “it’s what we’re here for”.

All smiles, we parted and I went on my way as they waved goodbye.

“What the fuck is going on here” I muttered under my breath.

By this point I was truly sick of walking and just wanted to get there and back. I saw a cab in traffic and gestured for him to to take us. He waved us towards his cab and we jumped in.

I have rarely had a good cab experience and it always seems to be bad when it starts by jumping in a cab in traffic with no negotiations at all.

We got to our destination and I gave him the meter fare, plus P50.

The driver handed me a piece of paper. “what is this” I asked. “your receipt he replied” I gave another blank stare, utterly speechless. “Are you kidding me”, I asked, going on to explain that in 4 years the only receipt I ever received in a cab was when I went to Hong Kong. “You should always get a receipt” the driver told me.

This was getting way too weird. Knowing I wouldnt be long and taking a chance I asked the cab driver if he wanted to wait for me as I would be less than 30 minutes and I would happily buy him a McDonalds as that is where we had parked. He agreed.

It is a complete nightmare getting a cab back to my house, so if he was willing to wait, I was more than happy to reward him for it.

45 minutes later and I was ready to go. The cab driver was waiting for me and I handed him his chicken, rice and a drink. “Thank you”, he remarked.

So we were back on the madness of the roads with the meter running without me having to ask that it was turned on.

I gave him instructions on which route to take, but he said he knew a faster way that would be cheaper “You’re the boss” I said, “you know the roads better than I do”.

He took a turn and I told him I would have gone a different route. I had never been this way before and was franticly texting my friend to give him the cab details, convinced I would be taken down a side street and shot at any moment.

The driver had taken a wrong turn, it was not a shortcut and was a longer way. I really didn’t care, I just wanted to get home.

“Don’t worry” the cab driver said, “just pay me what you think it is worth”. Yea, I heard that one before when the driver refused to turn the meter on. “Here we go” I thought to myself.

As we arrived home, the driver told me “just pay me what you usually pay for the same route, it was my fault that we took a wrong turn and the meter was higher than it should have been”.

At this point my brain was seriously going into meltdown trying to figure out what was happening. Was he genuinely nice or pretending to be to lull me into a false sense of security.

We arrived back at the house and the meter was around P550 which is normal for that route. I took my receipt from him, handed him P650, thanked him and got out the cab.

“WAIT” he yelled in panic, “you gave me too much sir”

“No I didn’t, I gave you what you rightfuly earned” I replied.

I got back inside my house and turned to my partner and asked “Did that just fucking happen? Did I imagine it? Did we take some weird reality altering drugs? What the fuck just happened?”

I was tempted to pull the curtains open to see if Rod Serling was stood in the shadows giving his closing monologue. “A simple trip into the city for a couple, experiencing what they never thought possible in the Twilight Zone”

The next day I called his employer who was listed on the receipt to report him. The operator on the other end sounded nervous as if I was complaining. I explained the entire situation and told her that he was such an honest driver, he was the best I had ever experiend in my entire 4 years here. She knew him well and agreed that he was a very honest person. “If you would ever like a tour of our facility, please do let us know and you will always be welcome” she said.

I have always referred to this day as my Twilight Zone Experience. It was as if for half a day, I slipped into an alternate reality where corruption was replaced by honesty.

To this day I have the receipt on my fridge door to remind me that there are some good people. Granted, not many, but they do exist. Things can be so fucking tough living here, but there is a ray of hope, sadly not a big enough one to bring enlightenment to the country, but at least I was able to experience it when it did happen.

Published in Uncategorized


  1. Profile gravatar of richmess

    The great thing that PhiloFail has done (and it can’t just be me) is answer the question ‘is it me?’. The first time I read of others experiecning the Filo Stare on here it was a huge relief. But now you’ve gone and tilted the universe!

    Actually, it is great to hear some good news stories. You relate the incidents very well, and I recognise similar feelings of incredulity and amazement. What I am saying is thtat, in fact, I have had similar things happen but not, definitely NOT in one single day!

    You are clearly blessed!

    1. Profile gravatar of TheD
      TheD Post author

      It was so weird. Myself and my GF can contest to it.

      Just so odd I couldnt shake it for days. Thats why we called his employer so they knew how good he was. Credit where credit is due.

  2. Profile gravatar of Spartacus_killingus

    Chances of winning the lottery are on average are 1 in 13,983,816.

    Chances of experiencing what you did in rapid succession within a single day, are on average 10^303, or statistically impossible. So doesnt it suck that you cant get the mega millions but you can get the functioning Philippines? (You may be a rich guy anyway)..

    It is more likely that you walked through a cloud of noxious sewer gas and hallucinated everything as being really great and functional. Im now going to trace your steps in hopes of finding that same wonderful sewer gas. In other word, I want whatever you are smoking! LOL

    1. Profile gravatar of TheD
      TheD Post author

      If it was a drug, I would take it. I honestly wondered if I had found a tear in time space and visited another dimension. Seriously… cause WHATS THE ALTERNATIVE? thats why I was so paranoid in the taxi on the way home, wondering if it was a trick.

  3. Profile gravatar of Spartacus_killingus

    On a serious note though, I have come across some reasonable and decent cab drivers here, so I know they are not all bad. How they behave the rest of the time or how they would act in the long run is probably a different story.

    Too bad such functionality has to be a novelty though right? Nevertheless, it’s still refreshing.

    1. Profile gravatar of TheD
      TheD Post author

      I agree, but these are the experiences that keep me going. When someone FINALLY lets you in front of them as you have one item and they have multiple carts full.
      otherwise i would likely go insane

      1. Profile gravatar of TightWired

        If the average Pinoy-Fail was to just make a little bit extra effort (honesty, common curtesty, etc…) their wouldn’t be a need for this web site.
        I’ve had a couple interaction with the PNP over the last 3 years. Most are traffic check points “Ok sir, you have your helmet, license, etc…have a good day”. I haven’t been overtly ripped off/treated badly. But, I do make it a point to be respectful, and polite if I’m pulled over (too many years living in Japan).
        Actually 99% of the time that I interact with Pinoys, at little common curtesty goes along way. I think it’s because the average pinoy has no CC, when I make an effort (G’morning, have a good day, etc…) it floors them into that 3rd dimension that you experienced.

        1. Profile gravatar of TheD
          TheD Post author

          Absolutely, I go to shops and they dont look at you, dont smile, dont greet you. And I dont mean “bed sheets sir”, I mean at the checkout “Good morning sir” and “Thank you sir”.

  4. Profile gravatar of FAFI

    I think this entire article has placed me in the twilight zone. I never had a problem posting a comment on here until now. I wonder if my comments are being blocked by the author of this article. I have my comment already copied and saved if in case I ever do get unblocked. Wow, this is so weird. A blocked comment, this is a first.

    1. Profile gravatar of FAFI

      Tell me exactly what day and hour all this started, maybe it’s some national secret holiday where everyone pretends to be ‘HONEST-DECENT’ living people. Everything about your story is amazing, and the only sad part about it is that it has to be quoted as a ‘rare experience.’
      In my home country, this would just be an ordinary day. You had to been smokin something that day, or had this in your dream. But I don’t think you would just make this shit up, especially since having a rare ‘ONE-OF-A-KIND’ cab receipt printed in Philippines as proof.
      NO WAY! You must’ve brought that cab receipt from another country and hired a fixer to alter the location to make it look like it was printed in Philippines.
      I don’t know any logical explanation for this, but you are one LUCKY CHARM dude!

      1. Profile gravatar of FAFI

        Nevermind, the comment had finally went through. And just to show that I’m not just making this up, look at the time stamps to show that this is ‘copy’ and ‘paste,’ only one minute a part. Well, I hope that shit doesn’t happen again. Unique story though 🙂 I wish I had that happen to me.

        1. Profile gravatar of TheD
          TheD Post author

          There seems to be a limiter in place on this site. I tried to slam in two fast comments and one was refused.

          It is indeed a rare experience.

          Even his boss at the cab company told us how honest he was and they had already been told about us by the cab driver.

          I am left speechless. Im really having problems replying to comments because everything that happened is stated in the story and my brain jams when I try to think about it. I still cant believe it happened.
          Youre right, this shouldnt be such a strange issue, it should be the norm.

    2. Profile gravatar of Captain PFB
      Captain PFB

      Sometimes when I put the site on maintenance mode, and if you’re logged in, your comments will not post. Most functions will not work if the site is on maintenance mode. I usually place it on maintenance mode when I’m making changes or what-not.

      Don’t freak out, just wait a while. Full functionality will return when I take it off of maintenance mode.

  5. Profile gravatar of EarthAngel

    I am so freakin’ interested with the twilight Zone title and read it. It gave me an idea to finally go on the idea of publishing a FILOFAIL book so many Filipinos would read it and be aware of how others see us through actions and deeds. It would be sensational to finally hear true stories, chicken Soup style for Expats. You dont only learn from it, but you inspire people to change. On the other hand, a BOOK 2 would highlight the good. this would be interesting folks. if you want your stories “confidentially” published. Send me a private message.

    1. Profile gravatar of TheD
      TheD Post author

      I hoped you liked the story.

      I had thought of a book as a good idea. The stories on this site are copyrighted to the website and the author, so you would need to obtain their permissions.
      I don’t think a book about negative experiences would do very well unless it was aimed at expats who have experienced these types of negative traits.

      ” so many Filipinos would read it and be aware of how others see us”
      Would they? Just look at this site and the comments that Filipinos leave. They do not think we are describing the world we see around us, they think we are hateful racists with some white supremacist agenda.

      1. Profile gravatar of Captain PFB
        Captain PFB

        For every 1 Filipino that can agree with what this website is saying, there are 1000 Filipinos that are completely blind to it, and write us off as simply haters and racists.

        This blog is not about hating Filipinos. It is about how the Filipinos hate each other through their behavior and actions. I cannot see their behavior as anything but hateful toward each other.

        As I’ve stated before on this blog, just watch the way they drive. That is a benchmark for how they go about every other aspect of their lives. Disobedience of the rules/laws, completely inconsiderate, “me first” attitude, to the point it can hurt or kill someone, utter disregard for each other, 100% focus on “ME and me alone”.

        They will blatantly lie in the face of cold, hard proof for self preservation. We saw it in the Corona trial, and why should he be any different? He’s a Filipino! That’s “de pilipino way”!

        1. Profile gravatar of TheD
          TheD Post author

          I think you (or any other user) who is faced with the accusation that this blog is all about hate, should simply link to this article. If it is all about hate, why does this article exist.
          This site is a fair balance of frustration at the surrounding situation. Good things do happen, but not nearly enough as they do in other countries. Bad experiences should not be the norm, they should be the exception.

      2. Profile gravatar of EarthAngel

        Oh TheD! The story plot is quite normal because this is what is expected of a cab driver. I know because I had an ex-bf Taxi driver. hahahahaha! What is exceptional is the way He told his twilight zone scenario approach about it. I am reading it around 3 am and boy my sleepy head laughed it off. I mean yeah you are so right the stories are copyrighted but I know a lot of stories from my friends in the expats community who would share a lot of their misfortunes and so called adventures and romances with the Filipino — the good part of the book is simple. Its stating sequences and andecdotes and stories of real people with real lives it can be made fictional to ensure confidentiality you know. The word racist is so easy to say to the ones throwing it but to actually accept one’s mistake and change afterwards is a journey. Just saying that if they get to read it maybe they wont believe it but they’d be aware.

  6. Profile gravatar of Marius O.
    Marius O.

    Nah, wasn’t the Twilight Zone. Here’s a quote from Rod Serling:

    “the ultimate obscenity is not caring, not doing something about what you feel, not feeling! Just drawing back and drawing in; becoming narcissistic.”[

    So he’d probably be appalled by Filipinos.

    Oddly enough, he fought in the Philippines during WW2.

    Call me paranoid, but I can’t help wondering if EarthAngel is a policeman, immigration official, or self-appointed guardian of Filipino culture fishing for hard identities so that the undesirable foreigners posting here can be caught and punished for telling the truth.

    1. Profile gravatar of TheD
      TheD Post author

      You’re paranoid. And so am I. I smelled something, I just thought it was Manila Bay!

      And screw you for finding a better quote than I did. I went through loads of them but couldnt find one that fit exactly.
      Yours was perfect! Thanks

    2. Profile gravatar of EarthAngel

      hahahahahaha I am so lolling now naaahhh I am not even close to one. But I am more of a person in the creative side. I love to read though. And the more I read what I do not want to see or hear, the more I am interested. C’mon. Let’s go fishing id love that! By the way, No need to be punished. Everyone is entitled in this beautiful anonymous world of online blogging. hahahahahahaha!

  7. Profile gravatar of EarthAngel

    well that is because Filipinos are so full of pride they wouldnt dare face the mirror with the truth. know because i am a filipina reared in a filipino home who is so full of this “me thing”. i would still go on with the book and watch it fly. It would be so sensational and can even make me “persona non grata” in my own country but I know a lot of sensible bright Filipinos would agree with me.

    1. Profile gravatar of TheD
      TheD Post author

      Do I hear an authorship agreement with the site owner involving bitcoin? Count me in! I have many more stories, PM me. Bitcoin, Litecoin or Doge Coin na lang po. Walang check or deposit.

  8. Profile gravatar of HawkEye

    The twilight zone is a series of unrelated stories containing drama, psychological thriller, fantasy, science fiction, suspense, and/or horror, often concluding with a macabre or unexpected twist (Wikipedia).
    A few weeks after arriving here some 20 years ago, I was on my way to NAIA on a Sunday morning to pick up a friend of mine arriving from Ireland. I was driving along EDSA towards Roxas Boulevard with a Filipino friend of mine (let’s call him Juan) when we were flagged down by an MMDA officer before we got to the South Luzon expressway flyover.
    “Yes sir, what’s the problem?” I asked.
    The MMDA officer replied in tagalog. Being new here, I couldn’t understand a word he was saying. So I asked my friend Juan what’s going on. Juan tells me the guy claims I was swerving and wants to see my driver’s license. So I asked Juan to tell the MMDA officer that I still do not have a driver’s license yet.

    When told about this, the MMDA officer became a bit lost about what to do next. So I decided to get out of the car go over to the passenger side, ask Juan to jump into the driver’s seat, and I jump into the passenger’s seat.
    After we exchanged positions in the car, the MMDA officer resumes talking to Juan again (now in the driver’s seat) in tagalog.
    I asked Juan to translate and what he said was something you’d only see in a Twilight Zone episode; Juan said the MMDA officer claims he (Juan) was swerving and wants to see his license!
    So Juan proceeds to give his license to the MMDA officer and settles the matter with php200.00.