A Necessary Evil

NYZ 465
That’s just one of the many ‘abusado’ cab drivers I have had the misfortune to have encountered.

So me and my friend werewaiting in line at Shang ri-La Mall for a cab earlier- around 7:30 in the evening. We have just seen the move Red Eye (which is a pretty good film, by the way). It was drizzling. There were few cabs coming along, which was not a surprise (when are the cabs ever there when you need them?). So the line was moving real slow.

There were two big white men behind us and I couldn’t help over hearing them talk since they spoke with such loud voices. They were talking about the line being real slow and people cutting in and stuff (there weren’t really people cutting in, just people going to the front of the line because they have to cross the street). Then one of them said something about ‘important families’ being allowed to cut in line. And the other guy replied with ‘the caste system is just incredible.’

What caste system? I think they’re lost.. probably thought they were in India or something.

The queue moved and we found ourselves thankfully, finally second in line. First cab came, person before us went to it but the cab driver refused to give them a ride. Then a group of people who weren’t in line came to it but the security guard who was keeping the line in order told them to back off. He then called for people who lived nearby since that’s all the cab driver would take in. We shouted the place to the cab driver and he let us in.

On the way home, the driver told us that he would charge Php 60 for the ride. 60 for a ride that wouldn’t even take more than 40 under normal circumstances (normal- with the cab meter running). We told him the best we could give him is 50 but he kept insisting on 60 because it was going to be traffic and something about his having to come back and gas and stuff. None of which was our concern.

Well it wasn’t traffic and we only gave him 50 when we got home.

The thing is, his car had the orange sticker saying ‘meter tested and sealed’, so why didn’t he run it? And another, aren’t cab drivers forbidden to refuse civillians to ride in his cab? There’s like, a law about this if I’m not mistaken.

Cabs refusing people rides happen often but this guy was just so nasty I couldn’t let him pass.

4 Comments so far

  1. nina (unregistered) on September 8th, 2005 @ 11:34 pm

    ugh, i hate drivers like those! i understand they want to make extra money, but geez! it’s not fair for us!

    you’re lucky he only asked you for Php60. there was once a cab driver who was asking for Php100 for a Php60 distance.

    when i’m in a bad mood and the driver started demanding an extra, i tell him to stop and i get out. i give extras without being told and demanding for it is just irritating!

  2. Peter (unregistered) on September 9th, 2005 @ 10:41 am

    Necessary evil indeed, I think you can call the LTFRB hot line for this right?

  3. phil (unregistered) on September 10th, 2005 @ 3:57 am

    The term “caste system” is a general one. The Philippines has one too. You call the poor people from the masses the “bakya” crowd? Or the “jeepney driver” crowd? Or the “non-elitist schools” poor folks? “Jologs”? And then discriminate against them? That’s an example of a caste system.

  4. Crisel (unregistered) on September 10th, 2005 @ 8:55 am

    Caste System
    -Closed, hereditary system of stratification, often dictated by religion; hierarchical social status is ascribed at birth, so that people are locked into their parents’ social position

    -A system of social stratification in which social position is determined by the family into which a person is born, and change in that position is usually not possible during an individual’s lifetime

    The Philippines doesn’t have a caste system. We never did. It is something more rigid and the term should not be used lightly. A person from the “bakya” crowd may rise from it and get a better life- something that’s not possible in the caste system. If you were born a slave, you remain a slave. Your children will be slaves after you and so will their children.

    We may have social classes or more accurately- socioeconomic classes which is determined by wealth, status or income.

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