“You Will Die!” … Over 20 Philippine Pesos

BradleyLife in the Philippines21 Comments

Something I’ve been having issues with since coming to the Philippines earlier this month (and really on every trip to the Philippines before this) is being overcharged.  You can get around that by going to stores where the prices are clearly marked on the items before buying them, but then you miss out on all the good deals keep your wallet thick.  This problem goes for the markets and for services, like public transportation.

If you’re not familiar with the Philippines there are tricycles, which are a motorcycle with a sidecar, that are used for short-range transportation.  The prices are set by organizations and the local government and those prices are posted inside the vehicles with a sticker.  Set routes to neighborhoods outside the town proper are set by the organizations.  Even so, I’m constantly arguing with people that are trying to overcharge me, like I have pesos falling out of my butt every evening and can afford to just give away extra on every transaction I make.

Tonight, we came out of the grocery store with a buggy full of items and got into a tricycle.  We needed transport over about 1 km (or less) of distance to pick up our laundry.  Our bags were too heavy to walk that far, especially given how crowded the streets are in the evenings in Antipolo.  So, the fare should have been 20 pesos.  That’s the standard.  When we pulled up in front of the laundry place, my wife handed the driver 20 pesos and the jackass started demanding 40.  The night before we took the same route and the jackass in that tricycle was demanding 30.  I like to call this the “white tax”.  While arguing with the guy I quickly pulled all of our stuff out of the sidecar in case he tried to take off with our things.  Then we ignored him and went inside.

When we got our laundry we packed it away into a bag we had bought.  We’d actually taken our laundry to the cleaner in black plastic trash bags because we hadn’t found a proper bag for it yet.  When I looked out the window, this prick was still sitting there watching us, as if he expected us to come out and say sorry and then pay him what he was demanding.

I told my wife to ignore him and not give him anything more than what he was owed.  I’m not in the Philippines to make everyone rich at the expense of our livelihood.  So, when we walked out and started up the street, he started his tricycle and shot past us screaming “You will die!”  Ya, good job dude.  We wrote down his plate number and we’re going to report him in the morning.  The fines for tricycle drivers who attempt to overcharge are pretty steep.  I hope he enjoys his 1000 peso fine for trying to be a prick.

When you live on the local economy you can’t afford to let people nickel and dime you to death, and even if I had a huge wad of cash, I wouldn’t be handing it out for free, or to someone who tried to rip me off.  I’m nobody’s chump.

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21 Comments on "“You Will Die!” … Over 20 Philippine Pesos"

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Brad F.

That's kind of how I imagine it too. They look at me and assume that I must have plenty of cash to spread around, and I'm just holding out on them.

It's definitely dangerous. That's true. There was a shooting in front of my wife's office about a week ago.

Dashaman

lol, you did experience abusive tricycle guys here in the philippines, not to mention the taxi drivers also. this are some of the cancer of society that need to be addressed. i too have experience this sometimes.

i just ignore them. but for you, you are foreigner, they look at you like in cartoons, their eyes shaped like dollar signs, or same as how a hungry dude looking at a roast chicken. you should be careful, its a dangerous place out there. =S

Dashaman

lol, you did experience abusive tricycle guys here in the philippines, not to mention the taxi drivers also. this are some of the cancer of society that need to be addressed. i too have experience this sometimes.

i just ignore them. but for you, you are foreigner, they look at you like in cartoons, their eyes shaped like dollar signs, or same as how a hungry dude looking at a roast chicken. you should be careful, its a dangerous place out there. =S

Brad F.

Very true man. I have to stay shaved so I blend in more. I'm starting to tan too from the first trip we made here to get our place set up.

Brad F.

Very true man. I have to stay shaved so I blend in more. I'm starting to tan too from the first trip we made here to get our place set up.

Dario

Sad reality about regular folk in Manila and most parts of the Philippines, white folk = $$$.

Dario

Sad reality about regular folk in Manila and most parts of the Philippines, white folk = $$$.

Brad F.
If you mean Filipinas in SG, then ya, most of them have iPhones or other top-notch phones. In the Philippines though it's common to see nearly everyone using a rather cheap phone, especially outside Metro Manila. Most people carry something that's about the same tier as the Nokia Xpress music phone, or one notch higher. I don't recall seeing anyone checking their e-mail on their phone either. Just texting and taking photos. I think everyone there tries to play down what they may or may not be carrying for the sake of not making a target of themselves. I think… Read more »
Brad F.
If you mean Filipinas in SG, then ya, most of them have iPhones or other top-notch phones. In the Philippines though it's common to see nearly everyone using a rather cheap phone, especially outside Metro Manila. Most people carry something that's about the same tier as the Nokia Xpress music phone, or one notch higher. I don't recall seeing anyone checking their e-mail on their phone either. Just texting and taking photos. I think everyone there tries to play down what they may or may not be carrying for the sake of not making a target of themselves. I think… Read more »
ed
Yup. I think Ph food is great. I've had it quite a few times in singapore. However, other than my smoking, i'm pretty health conscious and know that Ph food will tend to 'upsize' myself if i don't accompany it with exercise. When it comes to 'figure', i think Thai women are pretty nice. But there is something about the natural looks and figure of the average filipina that appeals to me. I'm not too into the mannequin-like figures of Thai or Sg girls. Seems a bit contrived. But then again, variety is the spice of life, and i'm appealed… Read more »
ed
Yup. I think Ph food is great. I've had it quite a few times in singapore. However, other than my smoking, i'm pretty health conscious and know that Ph food will tend to 'upsize' myself if i don't accompany it with exercise. When it comes to 'figure', i think Thai women are pretty nice. But there is something about the natural looks and figure of the average filipina that appeals to me. I'm not too into the mannequin-like figures of Thai or Sg girls. Seems a bit contrived. But then again, variety is the spice of life, and i'm appealed… Read more »
NiVleK

Kudos to you Brad.

I think if I am the one faced with that driver in a foreign country, I might just give him 20pesos to give myself a peace of mind.

NiVleK

Kudos to you Brad.

I think if I am the one faced with that driver in a foreign country, I might just give him 20pesos to give myself a peace of mind.

Brad F.
I have an iPhone but I'm afraid to take it out of the house. I bought a cheap Nokia 1616 to use in public, and I often hold it where it's visible, as a sort of “I'm not carrying anything expensive” sign to potential robbers. I've been here quite a few times before this and as long as you stay in crowded, well lit areas you'd be ok and even have a good time I'm sure. There are lots of tourist places to visit in Manila and at the beaches. Check out Palawan and Boracay if you get the chance.… Read more »
Brad F.
I have an iPhone but I'm afraid to take it out of the house. I bought a cheap Nokia 1616 to use in public, and I often hold it where it's visible, as a sort of “I'm not carrying anything expensive” sign to potential robbers. I've been here quite a few times before this and as long as you stay in crowded, well lit areas you'd be ok and even have a good time I'm sure. There are lots of tourist places to visit in Manila and at the beaches. Check out Palawan and Boracay if you get the chance.… Read more »
Brad F.

Thanks man.

I thought about it, but if I'm living here then it's no longer a foreign country. I mean, it's still strange and I'll have to get used to it, but if I'm 'home', then I can't afford to let people rip me off all the time. I think most of my problems with this will evaporate when we move to Manila. There are no tricycles there and the other public transportation has never tried to overcharge me. For now, though, I'll just have to keep arguing with these people.

Brad F.

Thanks man.

I thought about it, but if I'm living here then it's no longer a foreign country. I mean, it's still strange and I'll have to get used to it, but if I'm 'home', then I can't afford to let people rip me off all the time. I think most of my problems with this will evaporate when we move to Manila. There are no tricycles there and the other public transportation has never tried to overcharge me. For now, though, I'll just have to keep arguing with these people.

ed
I wouldn't call it the 'white tax'. Rather, 'foreigner tax'. I've asked filipinas now and then, in the past, about response to myself in the Ph should I go there. It ranged from, 'you can't wear your earrings or they will rob you' or, 'they will steal your glasses'. I suppose that is the reason why i've never gone and don't intend to – though I would love to. But if it isn't the people whom are throwing the 'foreigner tax' at you, let's not forget the women – not all of them of course – who also throw the… Read more »
ed
I wouldn't call it the 'white tax'. Rather, 'foreigner tax'. I've asked filipinas now and then, in the past, about response to myself in the Ph should I go there. It ranged from, 'you can't wear your earrings or they will rob you' or, 'they will steal your glasses'. I suppose that is the reason why i've never gone and don't intend to – though I would love to. But if it isn't the people whom are throwing the 'foreigner tax' at you, let's not forget the women – not all of them of course – who also throw the… Read more »
RONW808

for some reason I thought you were from NY city. This guy trying to shake you for a few pesos more.

RONW808

for some reason I thought you were from NY city. This guy trying to shake you for a few pesos more.

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