I never liked the idea of feeling like a tourist in my own home country, especially in my hometown. During my last visit to Manila, as my sister and I were about to hail a cab, a man assisted us by opening the door of the cab for us. We were carrying several shopping bags so we thought it was a nice gesture. The man works as jeepney passenger caller (one who calls passengers so jeepney drivers don’t have to shout or wait for passengers to board the jeepney, a public transport). I was about to close the door, the man held the door and asked for “something” from me. My sister argued because he wasn’t the one who hailed the cab, we did. He just opened the door for us. When he didn’t get anything from us, he asked the driver. The driver got angry and ordered him to close the door and leave. The man, apparently not our usual Mr. Nice Guy, slammed the door and shot one sharp look at us. Oh well!
Unique Suggestions: Hail your own cab and open the door yourself. Better yet, just wait at a designated taxi stand. I don’t encourage tipping. Well, if you really must, just prepare P20.00 (it’s less than USD 0.50) and give it with a smile.
Fun Alternatives: Don’t act scared or surprised. Just stay cool. Filipinos are naturally friendly. (wink, wink)