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KEY Thread Driving in the Philippines and Dumaguete

Discussion in 'Dumaguete City' started by Wrye83, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. Wrye83

    Wrye83 DI Forum Luminary Secured Account Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Army

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    I disagree. I think that most of the time (which is the 18-20 hours of the day that are not rush hours) driving in Dumaguete, even in a car,. is not a problem at all. Being unemployed/retired should make traffic very easy. If someone refuses to adjust their very open schedule to avoid driving during these times of day it is kinda their own fault. All you have to do is push your meals 2 hours earlier or later and the vast majority of the traffic headaches goes away. I've driven in Manhattan, Dubai, Manila, Cebu, L.A, Atlanta and lots of other big cities and traffic is horrible in all them if you are driving during rush hour....but if you go driving off peak hours you are going to have the roads pretty much to yourself most of the time. If you are lucky enough to be able to avoid driving during the times when most people have no choice but to drive then why not do that? If someone is incapable of adjusting to their environment perhaps a move to the countryside would be a much better option. I think the choices about dealing with rush hours should be a) deal with it (if you must drive during it) b) avoid it (if you are retired and have that luxury) c) move out of the city.

    I would also disagree that Dumaguete has not been improving and widening their roads. There are a lot of streets here that did not exist or were only dirt roads when I first got here. Driving through certain areas it is easy to see that they have been laying down new concrete. When I first got here making one trip up to Valencia would require you to tighten all the bolts on your motorcycle and you were lucky if you didn't blow a tire out in one of the thousands of pot holes before you got to the top. Driving up to Bias would have taken a 4x4 is it had been raining. They've greatly improved the road going south as well. Actually all roads leaving the town have been greatly improved. There are still a lot of areas that need improvement but it seems to me that they are actively taking on all the main roads. Yeah, it sucks if you live on a small side road but those are always the last to get fixed no matter what country you live in.

    The roads within the city are really not all that narrow or in that bad of condition. It is a lack of driver and pedestrian discipline/education that is making the traffic here so bad during rush hours. Trikes and even nonprofessional drivers park/double park or pickup/drop-off people where ever they please. It is not only local drivers though, I see plenty of expats driving and parking like complete tw*ts as well.

    To the OP: the traffic is not that bad in Dumaguete compared to where you were in Cebu and what you will experience in other cities in the Philippines. Sh*t traffic is a fact of life in the Philippines and should not be a determining factor if you are planning on living in a city. (If it is a determining factor and you must live in a city you might just want to forget about the Philippines.)

    BTW: if I had to choose another city to move to in the Philippines I would probably go with Iloilo or Naga City (the one in Bohol). I really enjoyed both of those places but I would need to spend more time in each of those cities to decide if it would be a wise move.
     
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  2. Canadianized

    Canadianized DI Member Showcase Reviewer

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    I agree with most of what you are saying, however your take on the traffic does not take into the fact that sensible driving does not exist here and perhaps anywhere in the Phils.

    So for me, anytime between 7 am to 7 pm is actually dangerous on the main roads. Especially in Daro. If it is not to far from where I live I walk. Because it is too dangerous to drive. Also, you often take your life in your own hands when trying to cross the street! There is no way to sugar coat this. It is not the traffic that is the problem it is the careless driving and rude people!

    Also, Friday and Saturday nights are especially dangerous with drunk drivers who feel they can do whatever they want at excessive speeds. Don't believe me, just check your local hospital. I also have to say that foreigners also enjoy drinking and driving at excessive speeds.

    Correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  3. ChMacQueen

    ChMacQueen DI Senior Member Showcase Reviewer Veteran Army

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    I don't know anytime that is even sort of slightly safe on the roads here and I see traffic being annoyingly slow anytime from 9am-8pm. If its heavy traffic your at risk of idiots trying to pass crazy like nearly hitting you constantly or idiots pulling out without looking expecting to be let in. If its not a heavy traffic time then those wanting to push 80kph swerving past everyone they come across and if its dark to many motors without lights that are hard to see in any of the numerous poorly lit areas. If its at 3am depending on your route since very few others out there get worried of being held up at gunpoint as usually those out at 3am are expected to be heading home from the bar.
     
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  4. OP
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    Wrye83

    Wrye83 DI Forum Luminary Secured Account Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Army

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    This should not come as any surprise to the vast majority people. That well-known stereotype that "Asians are bad drivers" is known by, or has at least been heard, by the vast majority of Westerners. I'm not sure why anyone would move here and think that the roads and local drivers were going to be even remotely safe. I guess it's one of those things that you have to see to believe....and when people actually see it and experience it they just didn't imagine it was going to be as bad it is actually is or it is just too much for them to take in and deal with.....and then they start foaming at the mouth with anger when reality sets in. But really, the driving in the Philippines IS on par with most of the non-Western driving world.

    It's not that safe after 7pm either considering that, much like the other driving laws, driving under the influence is widely practiced and accepted. You mentioned this in your post but only limited to Friday and Saturday: when almost half of the population is unemployed or underemployed no night of the week is safe. Most of the clubs/bars here stay fairly well packed most nights of the week. On top of the drunks you have poorly lit streets, tons of stray dogs, vehicles without any lights, vehicles parked on the road without any hazard lights, etc, etc.

    You are not wrong. Driving in the Philippines is dangerous just as it is most of Asia, Middle East, Africa, Central America and South America. It has probably been that way since the first vehicle hit a public road/trail and it will continue to bad for a long long time to come. No amount of complaining from expats is going to change locals driving habits. The best we can do is learn to adapt to it and then give plenty of warning/advice to the newer expats coming in that have yet to experience the madness that is driving in the Philippines (and the rest of the 3rd/developing world).

    With all that being said: There are dozens, maybe even hundreds, of threads on this forum about the horrible driving here. It is probably the most written/complained about topic on this forum, and it's likely true on many other Philippine forums as well. I've also seen several YouTube expat vlogs bring the subject up in several different videos. So the subject is pretty much everywhere on the internet and should not come as such a surprise to anyone that has spent even a tiny amount of time researching the Philippines. There is a reason it is spoken about ad nauseam: it is probably the most likely way a foreigner will be injured or killed in the Philippines.

    Note: since driving is really not the topic of this thread (it was lightly touched on in one of the OPs original questions but I don't believe the intent was to get into a debate/dangers about driving in the PI) I am going to move this post, along with several others to it's own driving thread and make it a sticky in the Dumaguete City sub-forum.
     
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  5. hawk263

    hawk263 DI Member Blood Donor Veteran Army

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    I agree that traffic can be pretty bad in Dumaguete, but if you take time to explore the back streets there are a couple of 'rat runs' that will get you through the city in a reasonable time. Also, I can usually find a parking spot in town, even if it means walking a couple hundred meters to get to where I want.
     
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  6. robert k

    robert k DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster Veteran Army

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    If you drive around long enough, eventually you will find a parking spot. I used to park a block off the boulevard and walk around town. If you are buying much or have about 5 places you need to go, it becomes a lot less practical.

    Wrye has a good point about there being hours when the traffic is not horrible. Unfortunately Immigration and stores like Hypermart are not open for many of those hours that are not horrible.
     
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  7. DGTXPAT

    DGTXPAT DI Junior Member

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    Driving in Dumaguete is a learning experience in itself. I consider myself a very good driver since I drive for a living but I was not prepared for the lack of rules when I first came here and started driving a motorcycle. I did find that after a while there was some sort of secret right away granted to bigger moving vehicles :smile: I drove a car for a while too and that is maybe safer but far more challenging in the city. Motorcycles are the quick and easy way around the city but certainly it takes some time to learn the non rules like Ceres Liners are no fun to travel behind :smile:
     
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  8. DaveD

    DaveD DI Senior Member Showcase Reviewer Veteran Navy

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    Especially Malungay leaves if you have the tree. Very tasty and nutritious.
     
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  9. Dave_Hounddriver

    Dave_Hounddriver DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster

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    Driving a motorcycle in the Philippines and Dumaguete.

    When I ride a motorcycle around Dumaguete I get into bad habits involving: no helmet, wearing flipflops, not worrying about the "For Registration" plate on the back etc.

    Next week I want to ride to Talisay, Cebu City. I would like to hear from people who rode a motorcycle that way lately. Where are they enforcing helmet and shoe laws now? How many stop checks are there usually and will they care about my lack of a plate?

    I have a helmet but my spouse refuses to wear one (girls can be stubborn) so if I am going to force it on my passenger I want to be sure someone is going to stop us to check :smuggrin:

    I don't plan to ride around Cebu City (that place has worse traffic than here) so I am only concerned about enforcement as far as the new Seaside SM Mall
     
  10. OP
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    Wrye83

    Wrye83 DI Forum Luminary Secured Account Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Army

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    Cebu has enforced the helmet law for quite some time now. There are several towns along the way that occasionally set up road blocks and enforce it as well.
     
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