I am currently on a short holiday here in Manila. WCW is on Eid break from work so we kinda make most of this nine-day break of being together. As much as we wanted to spend these days in my hometown, but with appointments and important transactions on our itinerary ,were staying in Manila regardless of the typhoon and all.
To go round Manila can be easy, transportation of all sorts is accessible. The public transportation like buses, jeepneys trains and taxicabs are everywhere, the only enemy is… traffic!
Familiar as I am going here and there in Manila, I opted to have taxicabs to get to my destinations. First of all this is how taxis in Manila look like:
Airport taxi or known as the yellow taxi . Flag rate of Php 70.00
In Davao City, yellow taxis are the Maligaya Taxi.
Coupon Taxi or the Fixed Rate taxis, mostly seen in airports with dispatchers that are employed to the corresponding company running the taxi service. Fixed Rate are based on the distance of the passenger’s destinations.
Regular Taxi with flag rate of Php40.00 .One can never be mistaken to spot them because they are everywhere.
During our stay (now and even few times before), these taxis never fail to irritate me and ruined my mood for the day. Are they always like this to all? Or they are acting such an a** because I am with a foreigner?
WCW and I decided one afternoon to go to Robinson’s Place at Pedro Gil. The guard at Mabuhay Manor helped me call the taxi that was hanging out outside the hotel. Traveling along Roxas Blvd. I noticed that the meter wasn’t on, so I asked the driver about it. I didn’t get an answer right away . I looked around to check out where we are on the way and decided to wait for us to descend the flyover along VitoCruz and Roxas Ave. stretch. When I asked the driver regarding the meter again , he looked at me at the rear view mirror and I just stared back. He said it was a fixed rate of Php360.00 regardless of the distance. Hearing this send my blood pressure out rage! I firmly told him that He can’t charge me a fixed rate since he is not a coupon taxi, besides, he is not dispatched from the airport. He kept quiet and was kinda acting arrogant by carelessly stepping the breaks and accelerator and clutches. I told him to pull over and were getting off. He continued driving and I was just about to start giving him hell but WCW held my hand telling me to just let it go. Besides, we were already at Robinson’s. Against my will I handed him only Php300.00 . He was about to complain that it’s not enough but before he can I demanded for a receipt. He was bitching about a lot of BS like the traffic and all. I acted like I am not getting off the cab not unless he will give me the receipt. Of course he can’t give me any. WCW was tugging my hand and told me to just let it go. I get off the cab and slammed the taxi door hard as I can, it shook the cab and made the people around looked back to check what made the giant slamming sound. With that I released my anger at the shameless taxi driver.
This morning, our itinerary will be at MOA(Mall of Asia). With our numerous times going to MOA in taxi from Mabuhay Manor, I already calculated the meter to be around Php63.00 not exceeding Php 75.00 for the less than ten-minute ride. Like any ordinary day at Mabuhay Manor , the guard will always get the guests the taxi and would tell the driver “Metro lang pare, sa MOA lang po“. Hopping in, the driver told us “nagdadagdag ako ng sandaan pag MOA ha!, traffic kasi!(I am adding a hundred charge to MOA, it’s due to the traffic)”. Sarcastically, I answered him saying “Walang problema Kuya, bigyan mo ko ng resibo pag baba namin! Siguro naman calibrated tong…LBX taxi no? kaya dapat may resibo ka” I was making sure he saw me looking at the taxi details written on the coupon handed to me by the hotel guard. Arriving at MOA, I saw Php67.00 on the meter. I handed him Php70.00(50 and 20 bills) ,then I said, “may resibo ka? I’ll give you a hundred extra“. Unfortunately he can’t give me any so I got off. Once again, I wonder… were they like this to everybody ? Or only because I am with a foreigner that they had the guts to push their luck to ripped off their passengers for few bucks?
I understand life is hard and driving taxi to make a living is also difficult. Do they think acting arrogant and over charging would make life easier? In fairness, I am proud to say , that never once did I encounter a taxi driver in Davao who acted the same way.