Green parks and beautiful landscapes, limited number of mendicants, rosy pimple-free skins of charming inhabitants, pedestrian-courteous motorists, less congested streets, breathable air, healthy produce, efficient services and a no smoking city with limited cigarette smoking spots were remarkably impressive. Aside from all these, what really impressed me about Baguio are its cab drivers.
In wicked Manila, taxi drivers don’t know the concept of “change fund” and almost always never give you the exact change for your payment. Your change is always rounded off to the next tenth of your fare, i.e. if your fare is worth 72.50 pesos and you handed a 100-peso bill ridiculous drivers would only give you 20 bucks as your change. Insisting that you have been short-changed and demanding for the remaining change is like inviting hostilities and luring dangerous confrontations. They would usually justify in an unfriendly douchebag manner that they don’t have smaller bills or loose change to fulfill your demand.
Stumbling upon a Manila cab driver who is nice and runs a spotless vehicle and will give you all your change is like finding a little miracle in itself in this city. I don’t require cab drivers to smile or converse with me while traversing the streets of the metro, giving me my exact change is all that I need.
But in Baguio civilized, honest, fair and courteous cab drivers abound. It was so surprising that these drivers issue the exact change. I actually thought I was vacationing in a very civilized first world country when I counted the exact change handed to me by the driver. This may be too trifling for something to be amazed about, but for me after having been subjected to a galaxy of horrors by Manila cab drivers, such character is something to smile and acclaim about.
These drivers are one of the first inhabitants that a tourist would encounter in Baguio and usually the last ones to be engaged with when leaving the city. No doubt, these motorists gave me a good impression about the City of Pines.
Hoy sukli ko?!