June 4, 2016

Hello people,

Life In The Philippines
We ran out of chicken a few days ago and I decided to be stupid and go to SM Mall at about 5:30 this evening. I knew traffic would be bad and the mall would be busy tonight and all day tomorrow but I did not want to wait until Monday to eat chicken.
As expected what would be a 5 minute drive with no traffic required a little over 15 minutes. I had to park on the 3rd of 4 floors in the parking garage. Most of the checkout lanes were open in the supermarket but we still had to wait in line about 10 minutes.
After leaving the mall I pulled onto the left hand shoulder of the highway where fruit and veggie venders are set up. Les bought the bananas I asked for as well as some other things I have no idea about.
By the time I was ready to pull back into traffic and cross the oncoming lanes it had rained a little bit and it was completely dark. As anyone knows it seems that wet pavement seems to swallow up all the light.
Traffic was pretty steady so I had to wait several minutes. Finally there was a break in traffic from both directions so I started out.
My opinion of most Filipinos is that they are just a few IQ points short of the bottom section of the attached chart. I attribute that to the very poor diet they had as children. They were not able to develop brain cells.

Most babies are breast fed here because they cannot afford anything else but once they are weaned they only get rice and not much else, just like the poor parents. They might eat fish 3 or 4 times per week, chicken a few times and pork once or twice a week if they are lucky. From what I have seen most Filipinos only eat about 3-6 servings of fruit or veggies per WEEK. The ones who have more money are better educated and eat a more balanced diet as do their kids. I have read that most Filipinos get at more 50% of their calories from rice.
EVERYONE here (including me) eats too much junk food and drinks too many sugary drinks.
Anyway, I was rolling on the left hand shoulder to have a little speed to make it easier to get across the oncoming traffic and into traffic. As I was pulling out at the very last instant I saw a guy coming at me on a motorcycle with NO lights, no helmet and no shirt. Of course lights are always required to be on in the US when riding a motorcycle and in most states as here a helmet is required of all people on a motorcycle.
As far as the no shirt, that is what probably saved the guys life. Even though most Filipinos are tan skinned, his torso is the first thing I saw and gave me just enough time to stop before we collided. Even though I was only going about 5-10 MPH I am guessing he was going about 30 – 35 MPH.
There are just over 1 million motorcycles sold in the Philippines each year compared to just over 200,000 cars, vans, SUVs and pickup trucks. They are cheap to buy and operate so more people can afford them.
Helmets are required and every so often I see police/RTA (Road Transportation Authority) personnel at road blocks checking for helmets and drivers licenses. After about 5 PM and on weekends there is NO police presence on the streets/roads. Helmet wearing drops from probably 70% to about 10% when they know they will not be ticketed.
I have been told Filipinos do not use headlights is because they think they will save a lot of money on fuel.
More people do use lights now than 6 years ago but still about 10% of the drivers and riders do not use lights at night. A few more percent only use running/tail lights. I noticed when we were in Davao last year that at least 20% had NO lights on at all. I am guessing they do not enforce it at all there. They do have a 30 KPH (19 MPH) speed limit there though. If there is a speed limit on CDO streets I do not know what it is.
It started raining here about 10 days or two weeks ago and has rained almost every day since but usually only about enough to wet the sidewalk or less. A couple times we got .4”, .3”, and I dumped .8” one day but had not checked it for a couple days. I am guessing we have gotten about 2” of rain in the last two weeks and that means the last 5 months because of the drought.
The weather has also cooled off. It is almost nice here now. It only gets to about 88-90 degrees and is always cloudy.
And that is the way it is. June 4, 2016 8:02 PM. lol
Don

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