Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hard to be a Pinoy!?

A few days ago, I saw a BBC documentary about the toughest place to be a bus driver. Well, guess what ... they chose Manila --- the most densely populated city in the world! That wasn't from me ... that was really how they described Manila.

Josh, a London bus driver went to Manila and tried driving not a standard bus but our very own JEEPNEY! He also had to stay in the house of a Pinoy jeepney driver, Mang Rogelio. Josh is one giant man who drives a humongous double decker bus. See the look on his face when he saw Mang Rogelio's tiny jeepney.

The main point of the show was to compare the job of a London bus driver to that of a Manila jeepney driver. But the program showed more than that. Poor housing,  population problem, and hunger were presented  throughout the show.

While watching, I've read some comments ... mostly from my fellow Filipinos. Some felt embarrassed.  Many blamed the government and its corrupt officials. Many pitied the people featured on the show. One Filipino commenter said the people in the show overacted so that western people would pity and give them help. As expected,  he got a lot of criticisms from our fellow kababayans

I wanted so badly to comment but I had too much to say so I saved my thoughts for this blog.

In the introduction, of all the things one would know about our country, Josh said  he only  knows about  Imelda Marcos' 200 pairs of shoes!!

The jeepney driver that the show chose is not the poorest of poor but he is, like any other struggling Pinoy, works hard everyday to provide shelter, food and other needs for his family. He strives to make ends meet. As a Filipino, though small and strange looking, Mang Rogelio's house is quite decent. Of course, Josh thinks otherwise. He doubts the house's foundations and stuff. We Filipinos are smart and we have a way of improvising. The house might not look as pretty and presentable but I think it's strong enough. 

It's quite funny when Josh described our tricycle as a half bike-half tin can!!! For a giant man ... he's ridiculously funny yet very endearing. 

Aside from just jeepney driving through Manila traffic, other issues, such as our family planning system and the sad reality of PAGPAG, were also discussed ....

Anyway, Josh, though struggling, was able to accomplish his mission ~~ to drive our very own JEEPNEY ... (bravo!!!!) 

When I'm in a jeepney, I never really bother thinking about the driver's hardship, I usually complain because half of butt is almost falling or my change is 50 centavos short.

I have a renewed admiration to our jeepney drivers  ... (in fact, my father also once tried being a jeepney driver and so is my father in law) .... (Salute! Salute!)

To my fellow pinoys, who are struggling to make our lives richer and more comfortable, just continue what you're doing ... we'll get there .... eventually .... 


  1. wow this is certainly a great post. I myself think less of the driver whenever I ride a jeepney. I guess I'll be more patient to them now. hehe.. Yeah.. Salute to all hardworking jeepney drivers.

    I guess we all have our own story of hardships and struggles no matter where we came from. It's just that it is always from different angles.

    I believe that we, Filipinos, have great survival instinct. We always maximize our limited resources in order to live. We don't get pissed off easily, in things like bad in food from restaurants, brown outs and other things that come short. I've seen people from other countries go berserk by just merely electricity shortage.

    We don't just sit and wait for politics to get better, even if we blame them often, we do something to make life better for us. And with that, I think we should be proud.

  2. wow great post you have here :D

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