Guide to Foreigners Driving in the Philippines

Dear Fellow  Foreigner Driver:

Thank you for taking the time to study the guide to driving in the Philippines and in Bohol. “this includes Bohol” This post will help you survive driving in Bohol Philippines and will make sure you cause as much traffic and inconvenience as you can on your journey to becoming a certified Pinoy driver.

Everything in this Guide to Foreigners Driving in the Philippines handbook will be based on two principles. Learn them well and commit them to heart.

The first rule of driving in the Philippines is: You are more important than other people on the road.

The second rule of driving in the Philippines is: There are no rules.

Ready? Step on the gas, pull out without looking, and let’s begin. this was copied from http://pop.inquirer.net/2016/02/beginner-guide-driving-philippines/ with a little mod from me.

But this guide is complete and totally true! As a Foreigner driving here for over 15 years i can totally say this is VERY ACCURATE! This has been slightly modified to reflect on my own experiences…so…lets begin our lesson..


Bohol Philippines Right-Of-Way?

Courtesy and common sense dictates respecting the right-of-way of others, vehicles and pedestrians as well as school zones alike. However, you are driving in the Philippines. Remember our first rule? Nobody is more important than you. Here, whoever yields loses. So go ahead and block everybody including Foreigners! Read on

If you see a pedestrian crossing the road, honk your horn and speed up. You’re the big shot in a car. Block them peasants I’M FIRST I’M FIRST!!!!! That’s the mentality here!

If another vehicle wants to merge in your lane and there’s enough space in front of you, flash your headlights, speed up, and block them. Your lane is your territory. Guard it with your life and many Die from this move, but the Funeral parlors here wont mind taking in another dumb DEAD Foreigner that doesn’t obey the rules.

are-you-not-in-your-lane

Is the car in front of you driving at the recommended speed limit? Or maybe you have the itch to be just one car ahead to prove your superiority despite achieving nothing? The solution is to drive in the opposite lane, known colloquially as counterflowing even if it means running the guy coming toward you in the other lane OR OFF THE ROAD. Simply pull out, cross the center line, and drive in the same lane as oncoming traffic THEY WILL MOVE OR ELSE!!!! I’M FIRST I’M FIRST is the mentality here in the Philippines they WILL RUN YOU OFF THE ROAD!!!! Watch out. Once you have passed the car in front of you, swerve back without signaling so they can’t block you off. You can’t call yourself a true blue Philippine driver if you haven’t mastered this trick! The drivers her will RUN YOU OFF THE ROAD they simply do not care!

Intersections and U-Turns

youturns philippines all legal

If you see a line of cars about to make a U-turn or turn at an intersection, feel free to drive outside of their lane and cut them off in front. Do not wait in line; that’s only for civilized drivers. This way, you get ahead of everybody else who have been patiently waiting for their turn in traffic.

Traffic lights

Green means go. Yellow means go faster before it goes red. Red means stop — but only if there are other cars crossing the intersection. Otherwise, feel free to ignore it and just go straight ahead. I know this sounds crazy but its TRUE! Ask any  Foreigner that has driven here for MANY years they will say the same thing!

driving_beat-yellow-light phlilippines drivers

If you find yourself at a red light and you’re the car in front, an effective way of making your 30-second to 1-minute wait bearable is to slowly inch your car forward bit by bit. By the time the light turns green, you’ll already be halfway through the intersection. SO TRUE!!! or you will have so many motorcycles in front of you that you cant go unless they go first…and then? you have 1 that stalls out..now? the person on the motorcycle has stalled and wont pull aside? Oh no…he will sit in the middle of the intersection AND BLOCK ALL TRAFFIC! until he can get his motor started..this is true for tricycle drivers as well that are making over 90 to 100,000 a month but are too cheap to spend 100php on an upgrade on their tricycle. For various reasons. We wont go into that 🙂

Stopping and Parking

boss-parking philippines

Speaking of doing whatever you want, did you know that the Philippines is the only country where you can stop anywhere you want, anytime you want? It doesn’t matter if it’s the middle of a busy street, a sidewalk, or a pedestrian crosswalk, if you want to show everyone how important you are, simply turn on your hazard lights and stop. Not only will this cause inconvenience and unnecessary traffic stoppage, the cars behind you will race to go around your vehicle causing even more hassle for others! Good job!

Traffic skills

are-you-not-in-your-lane

Apart from counter flowing, an effective way to avoid traffic caused by irresponsible STUPID UNEDUCATED drivers like you is to create your own lane. You see those broken lines in the road? No, they’re not there to demarcate lanes, we call this a CLUSTER-FUCK and is ILLEGAL in our country…oh…but not here. They’re to guide you in creating your own lane in case of a traffic jam. Align the center of your car with the broken lines, drive, and watch cars on either side of you move out of the way in order to accommodate your royal douchiness. This maneuver is also known as “The Parting Of The Red Sea.” or Clusterfuck because no no one goes anywhere Filipino mentality at its best “i cant wait i cant wait” I MUST BE FIRST, FUCK EVERYONE ELSE!!!. This is the way Filipinos drive…get used to it and ware a helmet because they will RUN YOU OVER and if you hit them or if they hit you ITS YOUR FAULT! tey will always say its your fault if your a Foreigner and then you will have to PAY!!!!…YOU WILL HAVE NO CHOICE!!!!

driving_left-turn-block_we call this a clusterfuck

In most other countries, changing lanes is always preceded by the use of your turn signal. This tells other drivers that you intend to go to the left or right. In the Philippines, you do not want to use your signal lights when turning or changing lanes. Doing so will prompt the car on the side where you intend to turn to speed up and block you even though they were driving at normal speed before you indicated.

Bonus pro tip

Disclaimer: This is a highly-advanced trick of the trade and should not be attempted by decent people or those who actually passed their driving test without cheating. It takes a certain type of nimrod to pull this off. So unless you’re a self-entitled savage or in possession of an extremely thick layer of skin, leave this part to the pros.

driving_left-turn-block_we call this a clusterfuck

In the Philippines, image is everything. Make sure to drive the biggest SUV or pickup truck you can afford. And make sure it’s black. And have the windows tinted darker than your sunglasses. Then, drive down a one-way street going the wrong way. Give yourself a pat on the back every time a car yields and gives way to you.


There you have it. Everything you need to manage the mean streets of the Philippines. If you follow the rules outlined in this handbook, you will blend in well with the rest of the cavemen on the road and contribute to the soul-sucking traffic that plagues this great nation.

driving_get-in-an-accident_philippines

If, on the other hand, you’re one of those rare species of drivers who insist on driving defensively, being courteous, and following road rules like a good citizen should, you’re on your own. Traffic laws in the Philippines were written by Cinderella’s fairy godmother. They get suspended after midnight, at which point it’s pure anarchy where only the most vicious neanderthals survive. The choice is yours and we wish you luck!

– See more at: http://pop.inquirer.net/2016/02/beginner-guide-driving-philippines/#sthash.husXKNW2.dpuf