I came across this English BBC Documentary, “Toughest Place To Be A”, when one of my friends posted this Youtube link on Facebook. This particular episode is about a London Double-Deck Bus Driver, Josh West, who goes to Manila in the Philippines to experience what it is like to live and work as a Jeepney Driver in one of the most densely populated cities in the world. I found this concept very interesting because, having grown up in the Philippines, I’ve always said that if you could drive in the Philippines (especially in Manila – where the Yellow light means “Go Faster!”), you can drive anywhere else in the world!
On the surface, this show presents the drastic and dramatic differences between the First World life in London versus that of the Third World lifestyle in the Philippines. It doesn’t sugarcoat and makes no apologies for the poverty, overpopulation, overcrowding, hunger, traffic congestion, and (extremely) lax attitude towards traffic laws that Josh is subjected to in the ten days he spends in the Philippines.
The show even manages to present quite a compelling argument for the “controversial” (at least in the Philippines) Reproductive Health or RH Bill to help curb the tremendous overpopulation of the Metropolitan areas in the country – which is projected to increase by up to 50% in just 30 years.
However, as it progresses, Josh (as well as the audience) manages to dig beyond the initial shock of the lifestyle differences. We can see the hospitality, the warmth, the ingenuity, the creativity, the resilience, and the overall strength of the Pilipino people!