Most of the western world is governed by rules that we seemingly obey without question. It is just the right thing to do for the better of the whole population. Imagine for instance that there was very poor control on the roads. Imagine no signalling, no obedience of traffic rules and controls. Imagine the chaos and problems that will cause. Imagine no more. Welcome to the Philippines.
Imagine driving the wrong way on a one way system in London? Imaging the shock on the faces of other drivers and the public on the streets? Imagine how angry with you the police will be. Imagine the fine and the endorsements against your license.
Well in Manila the law as are there and are in the most totally ignored by the drivers, the passing public and the officials who are supposed to enforce said laws. One problem that always catches me out after all these years is the assumption a one way street is really a one way street.
As a person who walks mostly and avoids the hassle of driving a car, I tend to have to cross busy and unruly roads every day. You have to dodge vehicles with no lights and no lane discipline. You have to cross just as a jeepney stops right in front of you blocking you and all the cars behind him. You have to run across the zebra crossing as no one stops for it.
So imagine the extra hassle when you are walking in the road (sidewalks always blocked) and you are watching the one way traffic and are just about to cross when a BELL is rang next to you. A tricycle going the wrong way is angry because YOU are blocking his path. It is normally tricycles and bikes, but amazing as it is to say .there are cars regularly go the wrong way down a one way road.
Dont Cross Do Cross
I live next to the Supreme Court and often see cars avoiding a 50 metre road trip, by going the wrong way down the road to take a left turn. It does not matter at all that they block or annoy anyone else at all. They are often doing this is full view of traffic police who do nothing.
Of course these may be the very same traffic police on motor bikes without helmets texting. I kid you not, it happens here all the time. By pure coincidence if you have a foreigner making a mistake they are very often picked up and fined.
So when you are walking around the cities of the Philippines, try to shake out all the rules that you have about ONE WAY SYSTEMS. It means something very different here. It just means a trip to the hospital with a broken leg- and it will be your fault.