Ask anyone about the taxi drivers in the Philippines and we can all tell stories of being taken to the wrong places, meters not switched on and even worse with one of my friends being kidnapped and forced to go to an ATM or he would be pushed over a bridge.
Lucky he had the peace of mind to convince them that his ATM would not work in the Philippines and they were so angry they left him stranded at the side of the road.
My friend David Stephens recently put up another warning on facebook and with his permission I put the story here as we both believe this is important and taxi safety is a major issue in Manila. Also I would never want to be a taxi driver in the Philippines. These drivers have to work so many hours and break all the rules of the land to be in the taxi sometimes for a whole day.
This is David’s story.
6 hrs ·
I have to hand it to the Filipinos. They are very clever. Let me tell you what happened to me Sunday when I went to Manila.
My wife and I took a taxi Philippines. We tell the driver we want to go to the Manila cathedral. The driver acts like he doesn’t know where it is exactly – I knew he was an asshole then. That is like being a cab driver in Washington, DC and you tell your fare that you don’t know where the White House is!
Anyway that is normal – they want to drive you all around looking for a place so they can run the meter up. When I say “they” it is at least one out of every 3 cabs.
Well here is one scam that is a stroke of genius –
We get tired of the driver just going around everywhere and taking us to the wrong cathedral so we just got out and decided to walk, because we knew we were near the place we were trying to find.
So I get out of the cab and as I am walking away check my pocket for my wallet. IT IS GONE! My heart sunk I got in panic mode – I said – it must have dropped out of my pocket – we then saw the cab driver coming back the other way we had just been in. We stopped him and said I lost my wallet – opened the back door and looked and didn’t see it. He said he didn’t see it – this was less than a minute after I got out of the cab.
He drove off and I am thinking – well maybe I left it at home. On this street there are guards at the local historical building dressed in the old style uniforms from days of yore. My wife said to them please help us my husband lost his wallet as we went on down the street.
Suddenly I hear someone yelling about my wallet – there is one of those guards waving a wallet in the air. I ran back to him and sure enough it was my wallet. How did he get it – well they had a security cam and saw the license plate of the cab that had dropped us off and stopped him. They asked him for it and he had it. I guess the uniforms scared him. The bastard lied to me.
The whole time I am thinking – How in the heck did my wallet come out of my pocket? My pants are tight and I keep it close, never happened before.
So my wife and I are watching the news this morning and this is what she heard.
Some taxis are running a scam where there is someone in the compartment behind the back seat! They can reach in through a trap door or something like that and take your wallet out! That is what happened to me I am sure.
A Taxi now will rob you at gunpoint – there have been 12 cases of Rape by “taxi“ drivers – it is just getting ridiculous. I didn’t have any money in my wallet, but my ATM cards were in it. Everything was still there. God bless those Guards. So there is asshole Filipinos and there are good ones also – had to say that.
Welcome to the Philippines!