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King of the Road In Bacolod

‘King of the Road’ was a huge hit for singer Roger Miller in the 1960’s.  It had nothing to do with driving a car, parking it, Bacolod or the Philippines.

I use that title because it sums up the attitude of way too many car owners in Bacolod. They think they own the road. They believe they can do just as they damn well please and to hell with any other road user.

Some of you who have followed me since 2015 will know this is a familiar refrain from me. I even wrote a book about it. This is a great cue to remind you of that book and a cool new Amazon feature. Let me show you first:

Wow! How cool is that! You can click on either ‘Buy’, ‘Share’ to share on social media, or ‘Preview’ which lets you read the first few pages of the book before (hopefully) you buy.

The reason I have got hot under the collar again about the traffic in Bacolod is the crazy chaotic and downright dangerous parking outside of a local school.

It prompted me to post the following in a local Facebook group – I Park Like An Idiot In Bacolod:

Can anyone explain this to me because I am baffled. The street outside Trinity School is almost blocked with double and triple parked cars at the end of the school day. Parents just sit in the car waiting for their kids while obstructing the free flow of traffic.
The really annoying thing is a few meters away there is ample parking on the wide road that leads out to the Villa Angela exit on Burgos Extension. But they are too damn lazy or too arrogant or both to park away from the school, walk to the gates and collect their kids.
The funny (but not so funny) thing is these parents are paying a lot of money to educate their kids. Part of that education no doubt will include social and civic duties and responsibility. So what a great example they are setting to those children.
To those who are guilty of causing this obstruction, you DO NOT OWN THE ROAD!

I must say that group is populated by people like me. They are intelligent, considerate folks who use this group to vent about the majority.  The post has received over 130 reactions to it and plenty of support for my stance. I thank them all and for some of the pleasant comments.

So, what is the problem here? It is a combination of many things. Many drivers in Bacolod have never been taught to drive. The driving test here is a joke. I doubt many can parallel park or have even heard of a hill-start! There is the first problem.

Then there is no enforcement of traffic rules and regulations. Drivers do as they please and act with impunity. I would like to see the City enforce all the rules and issue tickets but make sure the fines are paid. Many locals would scoff at that because the Mayor would upset too many people and he needs those votes next time around.

There are two answers to that. One, he shouldn’t be in politics if he hasn’t got the balls to “do the right thing.” Second, if he was clever, he could make it clear that all fines would go to worthwhile projects like, for example, improving facilities for youngsters.

The “too many people” includes the army of jeepney, tricycle drivers and pedicab operators who earn their living by plying for hire on the streets of Bacolod. They are among the worst offenders. They stop, turn, park, and all kinds of crap without signals or any consideration for others. But they are voters and can swing an election.

The solution is simple in the extreme. The two main opposing parties must unite on these issues. They must not appease this selfish self-interested cabal. If those parties adopted the same policies for traffic and parking enforcement then who would that group vote for? Not rocket science is it?

There are more issues at play but it gets too complicated and I could get sued (or worse) if I really opened up about some of the stuff that goes on here.

Yet, I will mention one factor. There is a certain type of Bacolodnon. They are usually uneducated and because they have a few pesos in their pocket believe they can do as they please.  We call them “new-money” people in the UK. These are the drivers I am referring to in the Facebook post above often to be found sat in high-end cars. They are arrogant, unpleasant people and I don’t mix with any of them, thank God. You know the type, the ones that click fingers at servers in restaurants – get my drift?

I have said it before and say it again, it is a miracle that there are no highway “killing fields” here. Yes, the driving (and parking) is that bad!

It is nice to know that all Bacolodnons are not the same. Thank God I know so many educated, intelligent, considerate local people.

My book about Bacolod is priced at $2.99 on Amazon but you can download it for free if you sign up for my monthly newsletter using the subscription box at the top right of the sidebar to this blog.

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