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Life, death, loathing and fear in Manila

Jeepneys: all right getting on, dangerous
getting off

The only good thing about the roads in Manila is the jeepneys. The long, brightly decorated Filipino buses-cum-taxis bring a dash of colour to the tedious traffic jams on dilapidated, pock-marked roads.

Signs on the fronts and sides of the vehicles declare: "God will protect us", "The Lord is looking over you" and "Jesus will save us".

Which is probably just as well, because with the way some people drive, he's going to have his work cut out.

Swerving past the potholes, picking up a bit of speed, and running wide into the path of some squatters, René, the hotel driver - not a fan of jeepneys - responds to the compliment paid to his competitors: "My neighbour's in hospital because he was hit by a jeepney. He was jumping out of the back of the one he was on and got hit by another behind."

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