Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Life Lesson from a Tricycle Driver - Bohol, Philippines

After a week-long stint traveling with Jason, I caught a flight with Sheila to the island of Bohol, the tenth largest island in the Philippines. It’s located in the central Visayas region, and only about an hour flight from Manila. Through the Philippines' second largest flag carrier, Cebu Pacific Air, my flight to Bohol cost me a whopping $15 USD. So cheap.

Once we landed and exited Tagbilaran Airport, we were instantly surrounded with tricycle drivers soliciting our business. And because the drivers saw Sheila walking with a foreigner, i.e. yours truly, they tried to overcharge us.

“Ya’ll don’t know who you’re messing with!” I laughingly said, as the crowd of men followed and chased Sheila up the street.

Eventually a soft-spoken man approached us through the chaotic crowds of screaming men, and said that he’d take us to the bus terminal for the appropriate amount.

So we quickly hopped into his tricycle and left. And the tricycle drivers whom had just moments before tried ripping us off, pulled up next to us as we were driving away and said they would now lower their price and match our driver's.

Thanks, but no thanks.

As we were commuting to the terminal our driver told us that, at the end of every day, the tricycle drivers who attempt to cheat tourists always end up with nothing – that essentially the people they wind up cheating are themselves. And because of this, unlike his comrades, he is able to return home every night to his family with money in his pockets.

We made sure to tip him once we arrived at our destination. He was gracious, and said that it would go towards his son’s allowance.

I don't know about you, but I think his son might just turn out alright.


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